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Terrorist Groups

Sociology of Terrorism, Books on Sociology of Terrorism, Terrorism Abstracts, Terrorism Syllabus, Terrorism Journals, Terrorism Bibliography,

Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
The terrorist group was also called Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September and Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims

The ANO international terrorist organization was founded by Sabri al-Banna (a.k.a. Abu Nidal) after splitting from the PLO in 1974. In November 2002 Abu Nidal died in Baghdad.

The ANO has carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 persons.

The terrorist group received considerable support, including safe haven, training, logistical assistance, and financial aid from Iraq, Libya, and Syria (until 1987).

Abu Sayyaf Group
The terrorist group ASG is primarily a small, violent Muslim terrorist group operating in the southern Philippines. Some ASG leaders allegedly fought in Afghanistan during the Soviet war and are students and proponents of radical Islamic teachings. The group split from the much larger Moro National Liberation Front in the early 1990s under the leadership of Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, who was killed in a clash with Philippine police in December 1998.

The group’s stated goal is to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago (areas in the southern Philippines heavily populated by Muslims) but the ASG has primarily used terror for financial profit.

The ASG was founded in Basilan Province and operates there and in the neighboring provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the Sulu Archipelago.

The terrorist group is largely self-financing through ransom and extortion; has received support from Islamic extremists in the Middle East and may receive support from regional terrorist groups. Libya publicly paid millions of dollars for the release of the foreign hostages seized from Malaysia in 2000.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
The terrorist group was also called al-Aqsa Martyrs Battalion

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade consists of an unknown number of small cells of terrorists associated with the Palestinian Fatah organization. Al-Aqsa emerged at the outset of the 2000 Palestinian intifadah to attack Israeli targets with the aim of driving the Israeli military and settlers from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem, and to establish a Palestinian state.

Al-Aqsa operates in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip, and has only claimed attacks inside these three areas. It may have followers in Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon.

Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
The terrorist group is an Islamist extremist group, the GIA aims to overthrow the Algerian regime and replace it with a fundamentalist Islamic state. The GIA began its violent activity in 1992 after the military government suspended legislative elections in anticipation of an overwhelming victory by the Islamic Salvation Front, the largest Islamic opposition party.

The GIA has engaged in attacks against civilians and government workers. Many of the GIA’s members have joined other Islamist groups or been killed or captured by the Algerian Government. The GIA’s most recent significant attacks were in August, 2001. The terrorist group has members in Europe that provide funding.

Asbat al-Ansar
The terrorist group was also called the League of the Followers or Partisans’ League, is a Lebanon-based Sunni extremist group, composed primarily of Palestinians with links to Usama Bin Ladin’s al-Qa’ida organization and other Sunni extremist groups. The group follows an extremist interpretation of Islam that justifies violence against civilian targets to achieve political ends. Some of the group’s goals include overthrowing the Lebanese Government and thwarting perceived anti-Islamic and pro-Western influences in the country.

The terrorist group’s primary base of operations is the ‘Ayn al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon in southern Lebanon. Probably receives money through international Sunni extremist networks and Bin Ladin’s al-Qaida network.

Aum Shinrikyo
The terrorist group was also called Aum Supreme Truth and Aleph

A cult established in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, the Aum aimed to take over Japan and then the world. Approved as a religious entity in 1989 under Japanese law, the group ran candidates in a Japanese parliamentary election in 1990. Over time, the cult began to emphasize the imminence of the end of the world and stated that the United States would initiate Armageddon by starting World War III with Japan. The Japanese Government revoked its recognition of the Aum as a religious organization in October 1995, but in 1997 a Government panel decided not to invoke the Anti-Subversive Law against the group, which would have outlawed it. A 1999 law continues to give the Japanese Government authorization to maintain police surveillance of the group due to concerns that the Aum might launch future terrorist attacks. Under the leadership of Fumihiro Joyu, the Aum changed its name to Aleph in January 2000 and tried to distance itself from the violent and apocalyptic teachings of its founder. However, in late 2003, Joyu stepped down, pressured by members who wanted to return fully to the worship of Asahara.

The terrorist group’s principal membership is located in Japan, but a residual branch comprising about 300 followers has surfaced in Russia.

Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
The terrorist group was also called Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna and Batasuna

ETA was founded in 1959 with the aim of establishing an independent homeland based on Marxist principles and encompassing the Spanish Basque provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, and Alava, as well as the autonomous region of Navarra and the southwestern French Departments of Labourd, Basse-Navarra, and Soule. Spanish and French counterterrorism initiatives since 2000 have hampered the group’s operational capabilities. Spanish police arrested scores of ETA members and accomplices in Spain in 2004, and dozens were apprehended in France, including two key group leaders. These arrests included the capture in October of two key ETA leaders in southwestern France. ETA’s political wing, Batasuna, remains banned in Spain. Spanish and French prisons are estimated to hold over 700 ETA members.

Operates primarily in the Basque autonomous regions of northern Spain and southwestern France, but also has bombed Spanish and French interests elsewhere.

The terrorist group has received training at various times in the past in Libya, Lebanon, and Nicaragua. Some ETA members allegedly fled to Cuba and Mexico while others reside in South America. ETA members have operated and been arrested in other European countries, including Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany.

Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)
The terrorist group was also called Islamic Group and al-Gama’at

The IG, Egypt’s largest militant group, has been active since the late 1970s, and is a loosely organized network. It has an external wing with supporters in several countries. The group’s issuance of a cease-fire in 1997 led to a split into two factions: one, led by Mustafa Hamza, supported the cease-fire; the other, led by Rifa’i Taha Musa, called for a return to armed operations. The IG issued another ceasefire in March 1999, but its spiritual leader, Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, sentenced to life in prison in January 1996 for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and incarcerated in the United States, rescinded his support for the cease-fire in June 2000.

In early 2001, Taha Musa published a book in which he attempted to justify terrorist attacks that would cause mass casualties. Taha Musa disappeared several months thereafter, and there is no information as to his current whereabouts. In March 2002, members of the group’s historic leadership in Egypt declared use of violence misguided and renounced its future use, prompting denunciations by much of the leadership abroad. The Egyptian Government continues to release IG members from prison, including approximately 900 in 2003; likewise, most of the 700 persons released in 2004 at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were IG members.

For IG members still dedicated to violent jihad, their primary goal is to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace it with an Islamic state. Disaffected IG members, such as those inspired by Taha Musa or Abd al-Rahman, may be interested in carrying out attacks against US interests.

The terrorist group operates mainly in the al-Minya, Asyut, Qina, and Sohaj Governorates of southern Egypt. Also appears to have support in Cairo, Alexandria, and other urban locations, particularly among unemployed graduates and students. Has a worldwide presence, including in the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Yemen, and various locations in Europe.

HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
The terrorist group was also called Islamic Resistance Movement

HAMAS was formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various HAMAS elements have used both violent and political means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel. It is loosely structured, with some elements working clandestinely and others operating openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda. HAMAS’ strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

HAMAS terrorists, especially those in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets. HAMAS maintained the pace of its operational activity in 2004, claiming numerous attacks against Israeli interests. HAMAS has not yet directly targeted US interests, although the group makes little or no effort to avoid targets frequented by foreigners. HAMAS continues to confine its attacks to Israelis inside Israel and the occupied territories.

HAMAS currently limits its terrorist operations to Israeli military and civilian targets in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel. Two of the group’s most senior leaders in the Gaza Strip, Shaykh Ahmad Yasin and Abd al Aziz al Rantisi, were killed in Israeli air strikes in 2004.

The terrorist group receives some funding from Iran but primarily relies on donations from Palestinian expatriates around the world and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. Some fundraising and propaganda activity take place in Western Europe and North America.

Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
The terrorist group was also called Harakat ul-Ansar

HUM is an Islamist militant group based in Pakistan that operates primarily in Kashmir. It is politically aligned with the radical political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F). The long-time leader of the group, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, in mid-February 2000 stepped down as HUM emir, turning the reins over to the popular Kashmiri commander and his second-in-com-mand, Farooqi Kashmiri. Khalil, who has been linked to Usama Bin Ladin and signed his fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks on US and Western interests, assumed the position of HUM Secretary General. HUM operated terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan until Coalition air strikes destroyed them during fall 2001. Khalil was detained by the Pakistanis in mid-2004 and subsequently released in late December. In 2003, HUM began using the name Jamiat ul-Ansar (JUA), and Pakistan banned JUA in November 2003.

The terrorist group is based in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, and several other towns in Pakistan, but members conduct insurgent and terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. HUM trained its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hizballah (Party of God)
The terrorist group was also called Party of God, Islamic Jihad and Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine

Formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, this Lebanon-based radical Shia group takes its ideological inspiration from the Iranian revolution and the teachings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. The Majlis al-Shura, or Consultative Council, is the group’s highest governing body and is led by Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah. Hizballah is dedicated to liberating Jerusalem and eliminating Israel, and has formally advocated ultimate establishment of Islamic rule in Lebanon. Nonetheless, Hizballah has actively participated in Lebanon’s political system since 1992. Hizballah is closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran but has the capability and willingness to act independently. Though Hizballah does not share the Syrian regime’s secular orientation, the group has been a strong ally in helping Syria advance its political objectives in the region.

Hizballah also provides guidance and financial and operational support for Palestinian extremist groups engaged in terrorist operations in Israel and the occupied territories.

In 2004, Hizballah launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that left Lebanese airspace and flew over the Israeli town of Nahariya before crashing into Lebanese territorial waters. Ten days prior to the event, the Hizballah Secretary General said Hizballah would come up with new measures to counter Israeli Air Force violations of Lebanese airspace. Hizballah also continued launching small scale attacks across the Israeli border, resulting in the deaths of several Israeli soldiers. In March 2004, Hizballah and HAMAS signed an agreement to increase joint efforts to perpetrate attacks against Israel. In late 2004, Hizballah’s al-Manar television station, based in Beirut with an estimated ten million viewers worldwide, was prohibited from broadcasting in France. Al-Manar was placed on the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) in the United States, which led to its removal from the program offerings of its main cable service provider, and made it more difficult for al-Manar associates and affiliates to operate in the United States.

Operates in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, and southern Lebanon. Has established cells in Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Asia.

The terrorist group receives financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran, and diplomatic, political, and logistical support from Syria. Hizballah also receives funding from charitable donations and business interests.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
The terrorist group Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is a group of Islamic militants from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states. The IMU is closely affiliated with al-Qa’ida and, under the leadership of Tohir Yoldashev, has embraced Usama Bin Ladin’s anti-US, anti-Western agenda. The IMU also remains committed to its original goals of overthrowing Uzbekistani President Karimov and establishing an Islamic state in Uzbekistan.

The IMU in recent years has participated in attacks on US and Coalition soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and plotted attacks on US diplomatic facilities in Central Asia.

IMU militants are scattered throughout South Asia, Tajikistan, and Iran. The area of operations includes Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

The terrorist group receives support from other Islamic extremist groups and patrons in the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed)
The terrorist group was also called Army of Mohammed Tehrik ul-Furqaan and Khuddam-ul-Islam

The Jaish-e-Mohammed is an Islamic extremist group based in Pakistan that was formed in early 2000 by Masood Azhar upon his release from prison in India. The group’s aim is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. It is politically aligned with the radical political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F). By 2003, JEM had splintered into Khuddam ul-Islam (KUI), headed by Azhar, and Jamaat ul-Furqan (JUF), led by Abdul Jabbar, who was released in August 2004 from Pakistani custody after being detained for suspected involvement in the December 2003 assassination attempts against President Musharraf. Pakistan banned KUI and JUF in November 2003. Elements of JEM and Lashkar e-Tayyiba combined with other groups to mount attacks as "The Save Kashmir Movement."

The JEM’s leader, Masood Azhar, was released from Indian imprisonment in December 1999 in exchange for 155 hijacked Indian Airlines hostages.

The terrorist group’s cadre and material resources have been drawn from the militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI) and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM). JEM had close ties to Afghan Arabs and the Taliban. Usama bin Ladin is suspected of giving funding to JEM. JEM also collects funds through donation requests in magazines and pamphlets. In anticipation of asset seizures by the Pakistani Government, JEM withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and production of consumer goods.

al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
The terrorist group was also called Jihad Group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and EIJ

This Egyptian Islamic extremist group merged with Usama Bin Ladin’s al-Qa’ida organization in 2001. Usama Bin Ladin’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was the former head of AJ. Active since the 1970s, AJ’s primary goal has been the overthrow of the Egyptian Government and the establishment of an Islamic state. The group’s primary targets, historically, have been high-level Egyptian Government officials as well as US and Israeli interests in Egypt and abroad. Regular Egyptian crackdowns on extremists, including on AJ, have greatly reduced AJ capabilities in Egypt.

The terrorist group operated in the Cairo area. Most AJ members today are outside Egypt in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, and Yemen. AJ activities have been centered outside Egypt for several years under the auspices of al-Qa’ida.

Kahane Chai (Kach)
The terrorist group Kach’s stated goal is to restore the biblical state of Israel. Kach, founded by radical Israeli-American rabbi Meir Kahane, and its offshoot Kahane Chai, (translation: "Kahane Lives"), founded by Meir Kahane’s son Binyamin following his father’s 1990 assassination in the United States, were declared to be terrorist organizations in 1994 by the Israeli Cabinet under its 1948 Terrorism Law. This followed the groups’ statements in support of Dr. Baruch Goldstein’s attack in February 1994 on the al-Ibrahimi Mosque (Goldstein was affiliated with Kach) and their verbal attacks on the Israeli Government. Palestinian gunmen killed Binyamin Kahane and his wife in a drive-by shooting in December 2000 in the West Bank.

The terrorist group receives support from sympathizers in the United States and Europe.

Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK)
The terrorist group was also called PKK, Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress, KADEK, Kurdistan People’s Congress and Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan

The Kongra-Gel was founded by Abdullah Ocalan in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist separatist organization and formally named the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in 1978. The group, composed primarily of Turkish Kurds, began its campaign of armed violence in 1984, which has resulted in some 30,000 casualties. The PKK’s goal has been to establish an independent, democratic Kurdish state in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, and parts of Iran and Syria. In the early 1990s, the PKK moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to include urban terrorism. Turkish authorities captured Ocalan in Kenya in early 1999, and the Turkish State Security Court subsequently sentenced him to death. In August 1999, Ocalan announced a "peace initiative," ordering members to refrain from violence and requesting dialogue with Ankara on Kurdish issues. At a PKK Congress in January 2000, members supported Ocalan’s initiative and claimed the group now would use only political means to achieve its public goal of improved rights for Kurds in Turkey. In April 2002 at its 8th Party Congress, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) and proclaimed a commitment to non-violent activities in support of Kurdish rights. In late 2003, the group sought to engineer another political face-lift, renaming itself Kongra-Gel (KGK) and promoting its "peaceful" intentions while continuing to conduct attacks in "self-defense" and to refuse disarmament. After five years, the group’s hard-line militant wing, the People’s Defense Force (HPG), renounced its self-imposed cease-fire on June 1, 2004. Over the course of the cease-fire, the group had divided into two factions -- politically-minded reformists, and hardliners who advocated a return to violence. The hardliners took control of the group in February 2004.

The terrorist group operates primarily in Turkey, Iraq, Europe, and the Middle East.

Has received safe haven and modest aid from Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Syria and Iran appear to cooperate with Turkey against KGK in a limited fashion when it serves their immediate interests. KGK uses Europe for fundraising and conducting political propaganda.

Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT) (Army of the Righteous)
The terrorist group was also called Army of the Righteous, Lashkar-e-Toiba, al Monsooreen, al-Mansoorian, Army of the Pure, Army of the Righteous and Army of the Pure and Righteous

LT is the armed wing of the Pakistan-based religious organization, Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), an anti-US Sunni missionary organization formed in 1989. LT is led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and is one of the three largest and best trained groups fighting in Kashmir against India. It is not connected to any political party. The Pakistani Government banned the group and froze its assets in January 2002. Elements of LT and Jaish-e-Mohammed combined with other groups to mount attacks as "The Save Kashmir Movement."

The terrorist group is based in Muridke (near Lahore) and Muzaffarabad.

Lashkar i Jhangvi

Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) is the militant offshoot of the Sunni sectarian group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. LJ focuses primarily on anti-Shia attacks and was banned by Pakistani President Musharraf in August 2001 as part of an effort to rein in sectarian violence. Many of its members then sought refuge in Afghanistan with the Taliban, with whom they had existing ties. After the collapse of the Taliban, LJ members became active in aiding other terrorists with safe houses, false identities, and protection in Pakistani cities, including Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi. In January 2003, the United States added LJ to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

The terrorist group is active primarily in Punjab and Karachi. Some members travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
The terrorist group was also called The Tamil Tigers and The Ellalan Force

Founded in 1976, the LTTE is the most powerful Tamil group in Sri Lanka. It began its insurgency against the Sri Lankan Government in 1983 and has relied on a guerrilla strategy that includes the use of terrorist tactics.

The LTTE has integrated a battlefield insurgent strategy with a terrorist program that targets key personnel in the countryside and senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders in Colombo and other urban centers. The LTTE is most notorious for its cadre of suicide bombers, the Black Tigers. Political assassinations and bombings were commonplace tactics prior to the cease-fire.

The terrorist group's overt organizations support Tamil separatism by lobbying foreign governments and the United Nations. The LTTE also uses its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies.

Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)
The terrorist group was also called The National Liberation Army of Iran, The People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI), National Council of Resistance (NCR), National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Muslim Iranian Student's Society

The MEK philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. Formed in the 1960s, the organization was expelled from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and its primary support came from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein starting in the late 1980s. The MEK conducted anti-West-ern attacks prior to the Islamic Revolution. Since then, it has conducted terrorist attacks against the interests of the clerical regime in Iran and abroad. The MEK advocates the overthrow of the Iranian regime and its replacement with the group’s own leadership.

National Liberation Army (ELN)
The ELN is a Colombian Marxist insurgent group formed in 1965 by urban intellectuals inspired by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. It is primarily rural-based, although it possesses several urban units. In May 2004, Colombian President Uribe proposed a renewal of peace talks, but by the end of the year talks had not commenced.

The terrorist group operates in rural and mountainous areas of northern, northeastern, and southwestern Colombia, and Venezuelan border regions.

Cuba provides some medical care and political consultation. Venezuela continues to provide a hospitable environment.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

The terrorist group was also called Islamic Jihad of Palestine, PIJ-Shaqaqi Faction PIJ-Shalla Faction and Al-Quds Brigades

Formed by militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets inside Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The terrorist group operates primarily Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The group’s primary leadership resides in Syria, though other leadership elements reside in Lebanon, as well as other parts of the Middle East.

Receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistical assistance from Syria.

Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
PLF-Abu Abbas Faction
The Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) broke away from the PFLP-GC in the late 1970s and later split again into pro-PLO, pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions. The pro-PLO faction was led by Muhammad Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Abbas) and was based in Baghdad prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The terrorist group is based in Iraq since 1990, has a presence in Lebanon and the West Bank.

Received support mainly from Iraq; has received support from Libya in the past.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Formerly a part of the PLO, the Marxist-Leninist PFLP was founded by George Habash when it broke away from the Arab Nationalist Movement in 1967. The PFLP does not view the Palestinian struggle as religious, seeing it instead as a broader revolution against Western imperialism. The group earned a reputation for spectacular international attacks, including airline hijackings, that have killed at least 20 US citizens.

Receives safe haven and some logistical assistance from Syria.

PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)

The PFLP-GC split from the PFLP in 1968, claiming it wanted to focus more on fighting and less on politics. Originally it was violently opposed to the Arafat-led PLO. The group is led by Ahmad Jabril, a former captain in the Syrian Army, whose son Jihad was killed by a car bomb in May 2002. The PFLP-GC is closely tied to both Syria and Iran.  

Headquartered in Damascus with bases in Lebanon.

Receives logistic and military support from Syria and financial support from Iran.

al-Qaeda
Usama Bin Ladin Organization

Al-Qa’ida was established by Usama Bin Ladin in 1988 with Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Goal is to unite Muslims to fight the United States as a means of defeating Israel, overthrowing regimes it deems "non-Is-lamic," and expelling Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries. Eventual goal would be establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate throughout the world. Issued statement in February 1998 under the banner of "The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders" saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill US citizens, civilian and military, and their allies everywhere. Merged with al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) in June 2001, renaming itself "Qa’idat al-Jihad." Merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s organization in Iraq in late 2004, with al-Zarqawi’s group changing its name to "Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn" (al-Qa’ida in the Land of the Two Rivers).

Al-Qa’ida’s organizational strength is difficult to determine in the aftermath of extensive counterterrorist efforts since 9/11. However, the group probably has several thousand extremists and associates worldwide inspired by the group’s ideology. The arrest and deaths of mid-level and senior al-Qa’ida operatives have disrupted some communication, financial, and facilitation nodes and interrupted some terrorist plots. Al-Qa’ida also serves as a focal point or umbrella organization for a worldwide network that includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, including some members of Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin.

Al-Qa’ida has cells worldwide and is reinforced by its ties to Sunni extremist networks. It was based in Afghanistan until Coalition forces removed the Taliban from power in late 2001. Al-Qa’ida has dispersed in small groups across South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and probably will attempt to carry out future attacks against US interests.

Al-Qa’ida maintains moneymaking front businesses, solicits donations from like-minded supporters, and illicitly siphons funds from donations to Muslim charitable organizations. US and international efforts to block al-Qa’ida funding have hampered the group’s ability to obtain money.

Real IRA
32-County Sovereignty Committee

RIRA was formed in the late 1990s as the clandestine armed wing of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement, a "political pressure group" dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and unifying Ireland. The RIRA also seeks to disrupt the Northern Ireland peace process. The 32-County Sovereignty Movement opposed Sinn Fein’s adoption in September 1997 of the Mitchell principles of democracy and non-violence; it also opposed the amendment in December 1999 of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution, which had claimed the territory of Northern Ireland. Despite internal rifts and calls by some jailed members -- including the group’s founder Michael "Mickey" McKevitt -- for a ceasefire and disbandment, RIRA has pledged additional violence and continues to conduct attacks.

The number of activists may have fallen to less than 100. The organization may receive limited support from IRA hardliners and Republican sympathizers dissatisfied with the IRA’s continuing cease-fire and Sinn Fein’s involvement in the peace process. Approximately 40 RIRA members are in Irish jails.

The terrorist group operates in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and Irish Republic.

Suspected of receiving funds from sympathizers in the United States and of attempting to buy weapons from US gun dealers. RIRA also is reported to have purchased sophisticated weapons from the Balkans, and to have taken materials from Provisional IRA arms dumps in the later 1990s.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Established in 1964 as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party, the FARC is Latin America’s oldest, largest, most capable, and best-equipped insurgency of Marxist origin. Although only nominally fighting in support of Marxist goals today, the FARC is governed by a general secretariat led by long-time leader Manuel Marulanda (a.k.a. "Tirofijo") and six others, including senior military commander Jorge Briceno (a.k.a. "Mono Jojoy"). Organized along military lines but includes some specialized urban fighting units. A Colombian military offensive targeting FARC fighters in their former safe haven in southern Colombia has experienced some success, with several FARC mid-level leaders killed or captured. On December 31, 2004, FARC leader Simon Trinidad, the highest-ranking FARC leader ever captured, was extradited to the United States on drug charges.

The terrorist group operates primarily in Colombia with some activities -- extortion, kidnapping, weapons sourcing, logistics, and R&R -- suspected in neighboring Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, and Ecuador.

Cuba provides some medical care, safe haven, and political consultation. In December 2004, a Colombian Appeals Court declared three members of the Irish Republican Army -- arrested in Colombia in 2001 upon exiting the former FARC-controlled demilitarized zone (despeje) -- guilty of providing advanced explosives training to the FARC. The FARC often uses the Colombia/ Venezuela border area for cross-border incursions and consider Venezuelan territory as a safe haven.

Revolutionary Nuclei (formerly ELA)
The terrorist group is also called Revolutionary Cells, Revolutionary Popular Struggle, ELA

Revolutionary Nuclei (RN) emerged from a broad range of antiestablishment and anti-US/NATO/EU leftist groups active in Greece between 1995 and 1998. The group is believed to be the successor to or offshoot of Greece’s most prolific terrorist group, Revolutionary People’s Struggle (ELA), which has not claimed an attack since January 1995. Indeed, RN appeared to fill the void left by ELA, particularly as lesser groups faded from the scene. RN’s few communiqués show strong similarities in rhetoric, tone, and theme to ELA proclamations. RN has not claimed an attack since November 2000, nor has it announced its disbandment.

Since it began operations in January 1995, the group has claimed responsibility for some two dozen arson attacks and low-level bombings against a range of US, Greek, and other European targets in Greece. In its most infamous and lethal attack to date, the group claimed responsibility for a bomb it detonated at the Intercontinental Hotel in April 1999 that resulted in the death of a Greek woman and injured a Greek man. Its modus operandi includes warning calls of impending attacks, attacks targeting property instead of individuals, use of rudimentary timing devices, and strikes during the late-evening to early-morning hours.

Group membership is believed to be small, probably drawing from the Greek militant leftist or anarchist milieu.

Primary area of operation is in the Athens metropolitan area.

Unknown, but believed to be self-sustaining.

Revolutionary Organization 17 November
The terrorist group is also called Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri and Revolutionary Organization 17 November

17 November is a radical leftist group established in 1975 and named for the student uprising in Greece in November 1973 that protested the ruling military junta. 17 November is an anti-Greek establishment, anti-United States, anti-Turkey, and anti-NATO group that seeks the ouster of US bases from Greece, the removal of Turkish military forces from Cyprus, and the severing of Greece’s ties to NATO and the European Union (EU).

Revolutionary People?s Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C)
The terrorist group is also called Devrimci Sol, Dev Sol and Revolutionary Left

This group originally formed in Turkey in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, a splinter faction of Dev Genc (Revolutionary Youth). Renamed in 1994 after factional infighting. "Party" refers to the group’s political activities, while "Front" is a reference to the group’s militant operations. The group espouses a Marxist-Leninist ideology and is vehemently anti-US, anti-NATO, and anti-Turkish establishment. Its goals are the establishment of a socialist state and the abolition of one- to three-man prison cells, called F-type prisons. DHKP/C finances its activities chiefly through donations and extortion.

Probably several dozen terrorist operatives inside Turkey, with a large support network throughout Europe. On April 1, 2004, authorities arrested more than 40 suspected DHKP/C members in coordinated raids across Turkey and Europe. In October, 10 alleged members of the group were sentenced to life imprisonment, while charges were dropped against 20 other defendants because of a statute of limitations.

Turkey, primarily Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Adana. Raises funds in Europe.

Widely believed to have training facilities or offices in Lebanon and Syria.

Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
The terrorist group is also called Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat and Le Groupe Salafiste pour la Predication et le Combat

The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), a splinter group of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), seeks to overthrow the Algerian Government with the goal of installing an Islamic regime. GSPC eclipsed the GIA in approximately 1998, and is currently the most effective and largest armed group inside Algeria. In contrast to the GIA, the GSPC pledged to avoid civilian attacks inside Algeria.

Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
Sendero Luminoso People’s Liberation Army
Former university professor Abimael Guzman formed SL in Peru in the late 1960s, and his teachings created the foundation of SL’s militant Maoist doctrine. In the 1980s, SL became one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 30,000 persons have died since Shining Path took up arms in 1980. The Peruvian Government made dramatic gains against SL during the 1990s, but reports of recent SL involvement in narco-trafficking and kidnapping for ransom indicate it may be developing new sources of support. Its stated goal is to destroy existing Peruvian institutions and replace them with a communist peasant revolutionary regime. It also opposes any influence by foreign governments. Peruvian Courts in 2003 granted approximately 1,900 members the right to request retrials in a civilian court, including the imprisoned top leadership. The trial of Guzman, who was arrested in 1992, was scheduled for November 5, 2004, but was postponed after the first day, when chaos erupted in the courtroom.

Conducted indiscriminate bombing campaigns and selective assassinations.

United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia

The AUC, commonly referred to as "the paramilitaries," is an umbrella organization formed in April 1997 to coordinate the activities of local paramilitary groups and develop a cohesive paramilitary effort to combat insurgents. The AUC is supported by economic elites, drug traffickers, and local communities lacking effective Government security, and claims its primary objective is to protect its sponsors from Marxist insurgents. The AUC’s affiliate groups and other paramilitary units are in negotiations with the Government of Colombia and in the midst of the largest demobilization in modern Colombian history. To date, approximately 3,600 AUC-affiliated fighters have demobilized since November 2003.

AUC operations vary from assassinating suspected insurgent supporters to engaging guerrilla combat units. As much as 70 percent of the AUC’s operational costs are financed with drug-related earnings, with the rest coming from "donations" from its sponsors. The AUC generally avoids actions against US personnel or interests.

AUC forces are strongest in the northwest of Colombia in Antioquia, Cordoba, Sucre, Atlantico, Magdelena, Cesar, La Guajira, and Bolivar Departments, with affiliate groups in the coffee region, Valle del Cauca, and in Meta Department.

Communist Party of the Philippines/New People?s Army (CPP/NPA)

The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA is a Maoist group formed in March 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the Government through protracted guerrilla warfare. The chairman of the CPP’s Central Committee and the NPA’s founder, Jose Maria Sison, reportedly directs CPP and NPA activity from The Netherlands, where he lives in self-imposed exile. Fellow Central Committee member and director of the CPP’s overt political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), Luis Jalandoni also lives in The Netherlands and has become a Dutch citizen. Although primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA has an active urban infrastructure to support its terrorist activities and uses city-based assassination squads. The rebels have claimed that the FTO designation has made it difficult to obtain foreign funding and forced them to step up extortion of businesses and politicians in the Philippines.

Jemaah Islamiya organization (JI)

Exact numbers are unknown, but Southeast Asian authorities continue to uncover and arrest JI elements. Estimates of total JI members vary widely from the hundreds to the thousands.

JI is believed to have cells spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Investigations indicate that JI is fully capable of its own fundraising, although it also receives financial, ideological, and logistical support from Middle Eastern and South Asian contacts, non-governmental organizations, and other groups.