Ansar al-Islam (AAI; Anṣār al-Īslām, "Helpers of Islam") was an insurgent group active in Iraq and Syria. It was established in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2001 as a Salafist Islamist movement that imposed a strict application of Sharia in villages it controlled around Biyara to the northeast of Halabja, near the Iranian border. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the group became an insurgent group which fought against the American led forces and their Iraqi allies. The group continued to fight the Iraqi Government following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and sent members to Syria to fight the Government following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War.
The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, Australia, Canada, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is linked to, and is a known as an affiliate of, the al-Qaeda network.
On 29 August 2014, a statement on the behalf of 50 leaders of Ansar al-Islam announced that the group was merging with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, thereby officially dissolving the organization. Some elements within Ansar al-Islam rejected this merger.