Counterterrorism Group

   The CTG was established by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in 2002 with U.S. assistance to combat the threat of the Ansar al-Islam in the Halabja region. Based in the Sulaymaniya region, the CTG is currently headed by Lahur Talabani, a nephew of PUK secretary-general and Iraqi president Jalal Talabani. It supposedly possesses an intelligence and military wing of over 1,000 to collect intelligence and carry out operations to prevent terrorists in Iraq from destabilizing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The CTG supposedly falls under the authority of the KRG Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs but also sees itself as an Iraqi force receiving finances from Baghdad and claims to operate with the permission of local authorities throughout Iraq. Its exact relationship to Parastin (Protection) and Asayesh (Security), two other KRG intelligence agencies associated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, is unclear. Bafel Talabani, the older son of Jalal Talabani, has also been listed as heading the PUK intelligence agency.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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