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 groups 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
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
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
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
GIAs members have joined other Islamist groups or been killed or captured by the
Algerian Government. The GIAs most recent significant attacks were in August, 2001.
The terrorist group has members in Europe that provide funding.
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 Ladins al-Qaida 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 groups goals include
overthrowing the Lebanese Government and thwarting perceived anti-Islamic and pro-Western
influences in the country.
The terrorist groups 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 Ladins al-Qaida network.
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 groups 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 groups 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. ETAs 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-Gamaat
The IG, Egypts 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 groups 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 Rifai 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
groups 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
HAMAS currently limits its terrorist operations to Israeli military and civilian targets
in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel. Two of the groups 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
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-Islams 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
groups 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 Lebanons 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 regimes 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, Hizballahs 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
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-Qaida and, under the leadership of Tohir Yoldashev, has embraced Usama Bin
Ladins 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
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
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
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 groups aim is
to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. It is politically aligned with the radical political party
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islams 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
The JEMs leader, Masood Azhar, was released from Indian imprisonment in December
1999 in exchange for 155 hijacked Indian Airlines hostages.
The terrorist groups 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 Ladins al-Qaida
organization in 2001. Usama Bin Ladins deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was the former
head of AJ. Active since the 1970s, AJs primary goal has been the overthrow of the
Egyptian Government and the establishment of an Islamic state. The groups 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
Kahane Chai (Kach)
The terrorist group Kachs 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 Kahanes son Binyamin
following his fathers 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 Goldsteins 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 Peoples 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 PKKs 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 Ocalans 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 groups hard-line militant wing, the Peoples
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
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 groups
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
groups 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
The terrorist group is based in Iraq since 1990, has a presence in Lebanon and the West
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.
Usama Bin Ladin Organization
Al-Qaida 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 "Qaidat al-Jihad."
Merged with Abu Musab al-Zarqawis organization in Iraq in late 2004, with
al-Zarqawis group changing its name to "Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad
al-Rafidayn" (al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Rivers).
Al-Qaidas 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 groups ideology. The
arrest and deaths of mid-level and senior al-Qaida operatives have disrupted some
communication, financial, and facilitation nodes and interrupted some terrorist plots.
Al-Qaida also serves as a focal point or umbrella organization for a worldwide
network that includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, including some members of
Gamaa al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat
Al-Qaida 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-Qaida 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-Qaida 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-Qaida funding have hampered the
groups ability to obtain money.
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
Feins 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 groups 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
IRAs continuing cease-fire and Sinn Feins 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 Americas 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,
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 Greeces most prolific terrorist
group, Revolutionary Peoples 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. RNs 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
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 Greeces 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 groups political activities, while "Front"
is a reference to the groups 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 Peoples Liberation Army
Former university professor Abimael Guzman formed SL in Peru in the late 1960s, and his
teachings created the foundation of SLs 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 AUCs 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 AUCs 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 CPPs Central Committee and the NPAs
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
CPPs 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.