Department of State
Background Information on Foreign Terrorist Organizations
by the Office of Counterterrorism, October 8, 1999
Nidal Organization (ANO) a.k.a. Black September,
the Fatah Revolutionary Council, the Arab Revolutionary
Council, the Arab Revolutionary Brigades, the Revolutionary
Organization of Socialist Muslims
terrorist organization led by Sabri al-Banna. Split
from PLO in 1974. Made up of various functional committees,
including political, military, and financial.
carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries,
killing or injuring almost 900 persons. Targets
include the United States, the United Kingdom,
France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO,
and various Arab countries. Major attacks included
the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985,
the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul and the
Pan Am Flight 73 hijacking in Karachi in September
1986, and the City of Poros day-excursion ship
attack in July 1988 in Greece. Suspected of assassinating
PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief
Abu Hul in Tunis in January 1991. ANO assassinated
a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in January 1994
and has been linked to the killing of the PLO
representative there. Has not attacked Western
targets since the late 1980s.
hundred plus militia in Lebanon and limited overseas
of Operation: Al-Banna may have relocated
to Iraq in December 1998, where the group maintains
a presence. Has an operational presence in
Lebanon in the Bekaa Valley and several Palestinian
refugee camps in coastal areas of Lebanon.
Also has a presence in Sudan and Syria, among
others. Has demonstrated ability to operate
over wide area, including the Middle East,
Asia, and Europe.
Aid: Has received considerable support,
including safehaven, training, logistic assistance,
and financial aid from Iraq, Libya, and Syria
(until 1987), in addition to close support
for selected operations.
Sayyaf Group (ASG) a.k.a. Al Harakat Al Islamiyya
and most radical of the Islamic separatist groups
operating in the southern Philippines. Split from
the Moro National Liberation Front in 1991 under
the leadership of Abdurajik Abubakar Janjalani, who
was killed in a clash with Philippine police on 18
December 1998. Some members have studied or worked
in the Middle East and developed ties to Arab mujahidin
while fighting and training in Afghanistan.
bombs, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion
payments to promote an independent Islamic state
in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago,
areas in the southern Philippines heavily populated
by Muslims. Raided the town of Ipil in Mindanao
in April 1995, the group's first large-scale
action. Suspected of several small-scale bombings
and kidnappings in 1998.
but believed to have about 200 members.
of Operation: The ASG operates in the southern
Philippines and occasionally in Manila.
Aid: Probably receives support from Islamic
extremists in the Middle East and South Asia.
Islamic Group (GIA) a.k.a. Groupement Islamique
Arme, AIG, Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah al-Musallah
Islamic extremist group, the GIA aims to overthrow
the secular Algerian regime and replace it with an
Islamic state. The GIA began its violent activities
in early 1992 after Algiers voided the victory of
the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS)--the largest Islamic
party--in the first round of legislative elections
in December 1991.
attacks against civilians, journalists, and foreign
residents. In the last several years the GIA
has conducted a terrorist campaign of civilian
massacres, sometimes wiping out entire villages
in its area of operations and frequently killing
hundreds of civilians. Since announcing its terrorist
campaign against foreigners living in Algeria
in September 1993, the GIA has killed more than
100 expatriate men and women--mostly Europeans--in
the country. Uses assassinations and bombings,
including car bombs, and it is known to favor
kidnapping victims and slitting their throats.
The GIA hijacked an Air France flight to Algiers
in December 1994, and suspicions centered on
the group for a series of bombings in France
probably several hundred to several thousand.
of Operation: Algeria.
Aid: Algerian expatriates and GIA members
abroad, many of whom reside in Western Europe,
provide some financial and logistic support.
In addition, the Algerian Government has accused
Iran and Sudan of supporting Algerian extremists
and severed diplomatic relations with Iran
in March 1993.
Shinrikyo a.k.a. Aum Supreme Truth, A.I.C. Sogo
Kenkyusho, A.I.C. Comprehensive Research Institute
cult established in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, Aum aims
to take over Japan and then the world. Its organizational
structure mimicks that of a nation-state, with "finance," "construction," and "science
and technology" ministries. 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 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 the cult.
20 March 1995 Aum members simultaneously released
sarin nerve gas on several Tokyo subway trains,
killing 12 persons and injuring up to 6,000.
The group was responsible for other mysterious
chemical incidents in Japan in 1994. Its efforts
to conduct attacks using biological agents have
been unsuccessful. Japanese police arrested Asahara
in May 1995, and he remained on trial facing
seventeen counts of murder at the end of 1998.
In 1997 and 1998 the cult resumed its recruiting
activities in Japan and opened several commercial
businesses. Maintains an Internet homepage that
indicates Armageddon and anti-US sentiment remain
a part of the cult's world view.
the time of the Tokyo subway attack, the group
claimed to have 9,000 members in Japan and up
to 40,000 worldwide. Its current strength is
of Operation: Operates in Japan, but previously
had a presence in Australia, Russia, Ukraine,
Germany, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, the former Yugoslavia,
and the United States.
Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) a.k.a Euzkadi Ta
in 1959 with the aim of establishing an independent
homeland based on Marxist principles in Spain's Basque
region and the southwestern French provinces of Labourd,
Basse-Navarra, and Soule.
bombings and assassinations of Spanish Government
officials, especially security and military forces,
politicians, and judicial figures. In response
to French operations against the group, ETA also
has targeted French interests. Finances its activities
through kidnappings, robberies, and extortion.
Has killed more than 800 persons since it began
lethal attacks in the early 1960s; responsible
for murdering 6 persons in 1998. ETA declared
a "unilateral and indefinite" cease-fire on 17
may have hundreds of members, plus supporters.
of Operation: Operates primarily in the
Basque autonomous regions of northern Spain
and southwestern France, but also has bombed
Spanish and French interests elsewhere.
Has received training at various times in the
past in Libya, Lebanon, and Nicaragua. Some ETA
members allegedly have received sanctuary in
Cuba. Also appears to have ties to the Irish
Republican Army through the two groups' legal
al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group, IG) a.k.a. al-Gama'at,
Islamic Gama'at, Egyptian al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya,
largest militant group, active since the late 1970s;
appears to be loosely organized. Has an external
wing with a worldwide presence. Signed Usama Bin
Ladin's fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks
against US civilians but publicly has denied that
it supports Bin Ladin. Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman
is al-Gama'at's preeminent spiritual leader, and
the group publicly has threatened to retaliate against
US interests for his incarceration. Primary goal
is to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace
it with an Islamic state.
attacks against Egyptian security and other government
officials, Coptic Christians, and Egyptian opponents
of Islamic extremism. Al-Gama'at has launched
attacks on tourists in Egypt since 1992, most
notably the attack in November 1997 at Luxor
that killed 58 foreign tourists. Also claimed
responsibility for the attempt in June 1995 to
assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
but probably several thousand hardcore members
and another several thousand sympathizers.
of Operation: Operates mainly in the Al
Minya, Asyu't, Qina, and Soha 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, and Austria.
Aid: Unknown. The Egyptian Government believes
that Iranian, Sudanese, and Afghan militant
groups support the IG.
(Islamic Resistance Movement) a.k.a. Harakat
al-Muqawama al-Islamiya, Students of Ayyash,
Students of the Engineer, Yahya Ayyash Units,
Izz Al-Din Al-Qassim Brigades, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassim
Forces, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassim Battalions, Izz
al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, Izz al-Din Al Qassam
Forces, Izz al-Din Al Qassam Battalions
in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch
of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various HAMAS elements
have used both political and violent means, including
terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an
Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel. Loosely
structured, with some elements working clandestinely
and others working openly through mosques and social
service institutions to recruit members, raise money,
organize activities, and distribute propaganda. HAMAS's
strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and a
few areas of the West Bank. Also has engaged in peaceful
political activity, such as running candidates in
West Bank Chamber of Commerce elections.
activists, especially those in the Izz el-Din
al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks--including
large-scale suicide bombings--against Israeli
civilian and military targets, suspected Palestinian
collaborators, and Fatah rivals.
number of hardcore members; tens of thousands
of supporters and sympathizers.
of Operation: Primarily the occupied territories,
Israel, and Jordan.
Aid: Receives funding from Palestinian
expatriates, Iran, and private benefactors
in Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states.
Some fundraising and propaganda activity take
place in Western Europe and North America.
ul-Mujahideen (HUM) a.k.a. Harakat ul-Ansar,
HUA, Al-Hadid, Al-Hadith, Al-Faran
the Harakat ul-Ansar, which was designated a foreign
terrorist organization in October 1997. HUM is an
Islamic militant group based in Pakistan that operates
primarily in Kashmir. Leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil
has been linked to Bin Ladin and signed his fatwa
in February 1998 calling for attacks on US and Western
interests. Operates terrorist training camps in eastern
Afghanistan and suffered casualties in the US missile
strikes on Bin Ladin-associated training camps in
Khowst in August 1998. Fazlur Rehman Khalil subsequently
said that HUM would take revenge on the United States.
conducted a number of operations against Indian
troops and civilian targets in Kashmir. Linked
to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran that
kidnapped five Western tourists in Kashmir in
July 1995; one was killed in August 1995, and
the other four reportedly were killed in December
of the same year.
several thousand armed supporters located in
Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and India's southern
Kashmir and Doda regions. Supporters are mostly
Pakistanis and Kashmiris, and also include Afghans
and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. Uses light
and heavy machineguns, assault rifles, mortars,
explosives, and rockets.
of Operation: Based in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan,
but members conduct insurgent and terrorist
activities, primarily in Kashmir. The HUM trains
its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Aid: Collects donations from Saudi Arabia
and other Gulf and Islamic states and from
Pakistanis and Kashmiris. The source and amount
of HUA's military funding are unknown.
(Party of God) a.k.a. Islamic Jihad, Islamic
Jihad Organization, Revolutionary Justice Organization,
Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Islamic
Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Organization
of Right Against Wrong, Ansar Allah, Followers
of the Prophet Muhammed
Shia group formed in Lebanon; dedicated to creation
of Iranian-style Islamic republic in Lebanon and
removal of all non-Islamic influences from the area.
Strongly anti-West and anti-Israel. Closely allied
with, and often directed by, Iran but may have conducted
operations that were not approved by Tehran.
or suspected to have been involved in numerous
anti-US terrorist attacks, including the suicide
truck bombing of the US Embassy and US Marine
barracks in Beirut in October 1983 and the US
Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984. Elements
of the group were responsible for the kidnapping
and detention of US and other Western hostages
in Lebanon. The group also attacked the Israeli
Embassy in Argentina in 1992.
of Operation: Operates in the Bekaa Valley,
the southern suburbs of Beirut, and southern
Lebanon. Has established cells in Europe, Africa,
South America, North America, and elsewhere.
Aid: Receives substantial amounts of financial,
training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic,
and organizational aid from Iran and Syria.
Red Army (JRA) a.k.a. Anti-Imperialist International
Brigade (AIIB), Nippon Sekigun, Nihon Sekigun,
the Holy War Brigade, the Anti-War Democratic
international terrorist group formed around 1970
after breaking away from Japanese Communist League-Red
Army Faction. Led by Fusako Shigenobu, believed to
be in Syrian-garrisoned area of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
Stated goals are to overthrow Japanese Government
and monarchy and help foment world revolution. Organization
unclear but may control or at least have ties to
Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB). Also
may have links to Antiwar Democratic Front, an overt
leftist political organization in Japan. Details
released following arrest in November 1987 of leader
Osamu Maruoka indicate that JRA may be organizing
cells in Asian cities, such as Manila and Singapore.
Has had close and longstanding relations with Palestinian
terrorist groups--based and operating outside Japan--since
the 1970s JRA conducted a series of attacks around
the world, including the massacre in 1972 at
Lod Airport in Israel, two Japanese airliner
hijackings, and an attempted takeover of the
US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. In April 1988, JRA
operative Yu Kikumura was arrested with explosives
on the New Jersey Turnpike, apparently planning
an attack to coincide with the bombing of a USO
club in Naples and a suspected JRA operation
that killed five, including a US servicewoman.
Kikumura was convicted of these charges and is
serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United
States. In March 1995, Ekita Yukiko, a longtime
JRA activist, was arrested in Romania and subsequently
deported to Japan. Eight others have been arrested
since 1996, but leader Shigenobu remains at large.
eight hardcore members; undetermined number of
of Operation: Location unknown, but possibly
based in Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon.
a.k.a. Egyptian al-Jihad, New Jihad, Egyptian
Islamic Jihad, Jihad Group
Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s.
Appears to be divided into two factions: one led
by Ayman al-Zawahiri--who currently is in Afghanistan
and is a key leader in terrorist financier Usama
Bin Ladin's new World Islamic Front--and the Vanguards
of Conquest (Talaa' al-Fateh) led by Ahmad Husayn
Agiza. Abbud al-Zumar, leader of the original Jihad,
is imprisoned in Egypt and recently joined the group's
jailed spiritual leader, Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman,
in a call for a "peaceful front." Primary goal is
to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace
it with an Islamic state. Increasingly willing to
target US interests in Egypt.
in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian
Government officials. The original Jihad was
responsible for the assassination in 1981 of
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Appears to concentrate
on high-level, high-profile Egyptian Government
officials, including cabinet ministers. Claimed
responsibility for the attempted assassinations
of Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi in August
1993 and Prime Minister Atef Sedky in November
1993. Has not conducted an attack inside Egypt
since 1993 and never has targeted foreign tourists
there. Has threatened to retaliate against the
United States, however, for its incarceration
of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently,
for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan,
and the United Kingdom.
known, but probably several thousand hardcore
members and another several thousand sympathizers
among the various factions.
of Operation: Operates in the Cairo area.
Has a network outside Egypt, including Afghanistan,
Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Sudan.
Aid: Not known. The Egyptian Government
claims that Iran, Sudan, and militant Islamic
groups in Afghanistan--including Usama Bin
Ladin--support the Jihad factions. Also may
obtain some funding through various Islamic
a.k.a. the Repression of Traitors, Dikuy Bogdim,
DOV, the State of Judea, the Committee for the
Safety of the Roads, the Sword of David, Judea
Police, Forefront of the Idea, The Qomemiyut
Movement, The Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea and
Chai a.k.a. Kahane Lives, the Kfar Tapuah Fund,
The Judean Voice, The Judean Legion, The Way
of the Torah, The Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea,
goal is to restore the biblical state of Israel.
Kach (founded by radical Israeli-American rabbi Meir
Kahane) and its offshoot Kahane Chai, which means "Kahane
Lives," (founded by Meir Kahane's son Binyamin following
his father's assassination in the United States)
were declared to be terrorist organizations in March
1994 by the Israeli Cabinet under the 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
protests against the Israeli Government. Harass
and threaten Palestinians in Hebron and the West
Bank. Have threatened to attack Arabs, Palestinians,
and Israeli Government officials. Claimed responsibility
for several shootings of West Bank Palestinians
that killed four persons and wounded two in 1993.
of Operation: Israel and West Bank settlements,
particularly Qiryat Arba' in Hebron.
Aid: Receives support from sympathizers
in the United States and Europe.
Workers' Party (PKK) a.k.a. Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan
Established in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist insurgent group
primarily composed of Turkish Kurds. In recent years has
moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to include
urban terrorism. Seeks to establish an independent Kurdish
state in southeastern Turkey, where the population is predominantly
Primary targets are Turkish Government security forces
in Turkey but also has been active in Western Europe against
Turkish targets. Conducted attacks on Turkish diplomatic
and commercial facilities in dozens of West European cities
in 1993 and again in spring 1995. In an attempt to damage
Turkey's tourist industry, the PKK has bombed tourist
sites and hotels and kidnapped foreign tourists.
Approximately 10,000 to 15,000. Has thousands of sympathizers
in Turkey and Europe.
of Operation: Operates in Turkey, Europe, the Middle
East, and Asia.
Aid: Has received safehaven and modest aid from Syria,
Iraq, and Iran. The Syrian Government claims to have expelled
the PKK from its territory in October 1998.
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) a.k.a. Tamil Tigers,
Ellalan Force. Known front organizations: World
Tamil Association (WTA), World Tamil Movement
(WTM), the Federation of Associations of Canadian
Tamils (FACT), the Sangillan Force
most powerful Tamil group in Sri Lanka, founded in
1976. Uses overt and illegal methods to raise funds,
acquire weapons, and publicize its cause of establishing
an independent Tamil state. Began its armed conflict
with the Sri Lankan Government in 1983 and relies
on a guerrilla strategy that includes the use of
integrated a battlefield insurgent strategy with
a terrorist program that targets not only key
government personnel in the countryside but also
senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders
in Colombo. LTTE political assassinations and
bombings have become commonplace, including suicide
attacks against Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe
Premadasa in 1993 and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi in 1991. Has refrained from targeting
Western tourists out of fear that foreign governments
would crack down on Tamil expatriates involved
in fundraising activities abroad. Prefers to
attack vulnerable government facilities and withdraw
before reinforcements arrive.
10,000 armed combatants in Sri Lanka; about 3,000
to 6,000 form a trained cadre of fighters. The
LTTE also has a significant overseas support
structure for fundraising, weapons procurement,
and propaganda activities.
of Operation: Controls most of the northern
and eastern coastal areas of Sri Lanka and
has conducted operations throughout the island.
Headquartered in the Jaffna peninsula, LTTE
leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has established
an extensive network of checkpoints and informants
to keep track of any outsiders who enter the
group's area of control.
Aid: The LTTE's overt organizations support
Tamil separatism by lobbying foreign governments
and the United Nations. Also uses its international
contacts to procure weapons, communications,
and bombmaking equipment. Exploits large Tamil
communities in North America, Europe, and Asia
to obtain funds and supplies for its fighters
in Sri Lanka. Some Tamil communities in Europe
also are involved in narcotics smuggling.
Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO) a.k.a. Mujahedin-e
Khalq, the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA,
the militant wing of the MEK), People's Mujahedin
Organization of Iran (PMOI), National Council
of Resistance (NCR), Organization of the People's
Holy Warriors of Iran, Sazeman-e Mujahedin-e
Khalq-e Iran, Muslim Iranian Student's Society
(front organization used to garner financial
in the 1960s by the college-educated children of
Iranian merchants, the MEK sought to counter what
it perceived as excessive Western influence in the
Shah's regime. Following a philosophy that mixes
Marxism and Islam, has developed into the largest
and most active armed Iranian dissident group. Its
history is studded with anti-Western activity, and,
most recently, attacks on the interests of the clerical
regime in Iran and abroad.
campaign against the Iranian Government stresses
propaganda and occasionally uses terrorist violence.
During the 1970s the MEK staged terrorist attacks
inside Iran and killed several US military personnel
and civilians working on defense projects in
Tehran. Supported the takeover in 1979 of the
US Embassy in Tehran. In April 1992 conducted
attacks on Iranian embassies in 13 different
countries, demonstrating the group's ability
to mount large-scale operations overseas. Recent
attacks in Iran include three explosions in Tehran
in June 1998 that killed three persons and the
assassination of Asadollah Lajevardi, the former
director of the Evin Prison.
thousand fighters based in Iraq with an extensive
overseas support structure. Most of the fighters
are organized in the MEK's National Liberation
of Operation: In the 1980s the MEK's leaders
were forced by Iranian security forces to flee
to France. Most resettled in Iraq by 1987.
In the mid-1980s did not mount terrorist operations
in Iran at a level similar to its activities
in the 1970s. In recent years has claimed credit
for a number of operations in Iran.
Aid: Beyond support from Iraq, the MEK
uses front organizations to solicit contributions
from expatriate Iranian communities.
Liberation Army (ELN) a.k.a. the Ejercito de
anti-US guerrilla group formed in January 1965. Primarily
rural based, although has several urban fronts, particularly
in the Magdalena Medio region. Entered peace talks
with Colombian Civil Society in mid-1998 and was
preparing to participate in a national convention
in early 1999.
weekly assaults on oil infrastructure (typically
pipeline bombings) and has inflicted massive
oil spills. Extortion and bombings against US
and other foreign businesses, especially the
petroleum industry. Annually conducts several
hundred kidnappings for profit, including foreign
employees of large corporations. Forces coca
and opium poppy cultivators to pay protection
money and attacks government efforts to eradicate
3,000-5,000 armed combatants and an unknown number
of active supporters.
of Operation: Colombia, border regions
Islamic Jihad-Shaqaqi Faction a.k.a. PIJ-Shaqaqi
Faction, PIJ-Shallah Faction, Palestinian Islamic
Jihad (PIJ), Islamic Jihad of Palestine, Islamic
Jihad in Palestine, Abu Ghunaym Squad of the Hizballah
among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during
the 1970s; a series of loosely affiliated factions
rather than a cohesive group. Committed to the creation
of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction
of Israel through holy war. Because of its strong
support for Israel, the United States has been identified
as an enemy of the PIJ. Also opposes moderate Arab
governments that it believes have been tainted by
threatened to retaliate against Israel and the
United States for the murder of PIJ leader Fathi
Shaqaqi in Malta in October 1995. Conducted suicide
bombings against Israeli targets in the West
Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel. Has threatened
to attack US interests in Jordan.
of Operation: Primarily Israel and the
occupied territories and other parts of the
Middle East, including Jordan and Lebanon.
The largest faction is based in Syria.
Aid: Receives financial assistance from
Iran and limited assistance from Syria.
Liberation Front-Abu Abbas Faction a.k.a. the
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), PLF-Abu Abbas
away from the PFLP-GC in mid-1970s. Later split again
into pro-PLO, pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions.
Pro-PLO faction led by Muhammad Abbas (Abu Abbas),
who became member of PLO Executive Committee in 1984
but left it in 1991.
Abu Abbas-led faction has conducted attacks against
Israel. Abbas's group also was responsible for
the attack in 1985 on the cruise ship Achille
Lauro and the murder of US citizen Leon Klinghoffer.
A warrant for Abu Abbas's arrest is outstanding
of Operation: PLO faction based in Tunisia
until Achille Lauro attack. Now based in Iraq.
Aid: Receives support mainly from Iraq.
Has received support from Libya in the past.
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
a.k.a. the Red Eagles, the Red Eagle Group, the
Red Eagle Gang, the Halhul Gang, the Halhul Squad
group founded in 1967 by George Habash as a member
of the PLO. Joined the Alliance of Palestinian Forces
(APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principles signed
in 1993 and has suspended participation in the PLO.
Broke away from the APF, along with the DFLP, in
1996 over ideological differences. Has made limited
moves toward merging with the DFLP since the mid-1990s.
numerous international terrorist attacks during
the 1970s. Since 1978 has conducted numerous
attacks against Israeli or moderate Arab targets,
including killing a settler and her son in December
of Operation: Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and
the occupied territories.
Aid: Receives most of its financial and
military assistance from Syria and Libya.
Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General
from the PFLP in 1968, claiming it wanted to focus
more on fighting and less on politics. Violently
opposed to Arafat's PLO. Led by Ahmad Jabril, a former
captain in the Syrian Army. Closely tied to both
Syria and Iran.
conducted numerous cross-border terrorist attacks
into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air
balloons and motorized hang gliders.
of Operation: Headquartered in Damascus
with bases in Lebanon and cells in Europe.
Aid: Receives logistic and military support
from Syria and financial support from Iran.
a.k.a. al Qaeda, "the Base," the Islamic Army,
the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews
and Crusaders, the Islamic Army for the Liberation
of the Holy Places, the Usama Bin Laden Network,
the Usama Bin Laden Organization, Islamic Salvation
Foundation, The Group for the Preservation of
the Holy Sites.
by Usama Bin Ladin about 1990 to bring together Arabs
who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion.
Helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni
Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Current
goal is to "reestablish the Muslim State" throughout
the world. Works with allied Islamic extremist groups
to overthrow regimes it deems "non-Islamic" and remove
Westerners from Muslim countries. Issued statement
under banner of "The World Islamic Front for Jihad
Against The Jews and Crusaders" in February 1998,
saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill US
citizens, civilian or military, and their allies
the bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi,
Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on 7 August
that killed at least 301 persons and injured
more than 5,000 others. Claims to have shot down
US helicopters and killed US servicemen in Somalia
in 1993 and to have conducted three bombings
targeted against the US troop presence in Aden,
Yemen in December 1992. Linked to plans for attempted
terrorist operations, including the assassination
of the Pope during his visit to Manila in late
1994; simultaneous bombings of the US and Israeli
Embassies in Manila and other Asian capitals
in late 1994; the midair bombing of a dozen US
trans-Pacific flights in 1995; and a plan to
kill President Clinton during a visit to the
Philippines in early 1995. Continues to train,
finance, and provide logistic support to terrorist
groups that support these goals.
have from several hundred to several thousand
members. Also serves as the core of a loose umbrella
organization that includes many Sunni Islamic
extremist groups, including factions of the Egyptian
Islamic Jihad, the Gama'at al-Islamiyya, and
the Harakat ul-Mujahidin.
of Operation: The Embassy bombings in Nairobi
and Dar es Salaam underscore al-Qa'ida's global
reach. Bin Ladin and his key lieutenants reside
in Afghanistan, and the group maintains terrorist
training camps there.
Aid: Bin Ladin, son of a billionaire Saudi
family, is said to have inherited around $300
million that he uses to finance the group.
Al-Qa'ida also maintains money-making businesses,
collects donations from like-minded supporters,
and illicitly siphons funds from donations
to Muslim charitable organizations.
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) a.k.a. Fuerzas
Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia
largest, best-trained, and best-equipped insurgent
organization in Colombia. Established in 1964 as
a rural-based, pro-Soviet guerrilla army. Organized
along military lines and includes several urban fronts.
Has been anti-United States since its inception.
The FARC agreed in 1998 to enter into preliminary
peace talks with the Colombian Government. The Pastrana
administration demilitarized five large rural municipalities
to meet FARC conditions for peace talks. (President
Pastrana traveled to this area on 7 January 1999
to inaugurate peace talks with guerrilla leaders,
although the FARC's senior-most leader failed to
attacks against Colombian political, economic,
military, and police targets. Many members pursue
criminal activities, carrying out hundreds of
kidnappings for profit annually. Foreign citizens
often are targets of FARC kidnappings. Group
has well-documented ties to narcotics traffickers,
principally through the provision of armed protection
for coca and poppy cultivation and narcotics
production facilities, as well as through attacks
on government narcotics eradication efforts.
Also began in 1998 a bombing campaign against
8,000-12,000 armed combatants and an unknown
number of supporters, mostly in rural areas.
of Operation: Colombia, with occasional
operations in border areas of Venezuela, Panama,
Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador.
Organization 17 November (17 November) a.k.a.
Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri
leftist group established in 1975 and named for the
student uprising in Greece in November 1973 that
protested the military regime. Anti-Greek establishment,
anti-US, anti-Turkey, anti-NATO, and committed to
the ouster of US bases, removal of Turkish military
presence from Cyprus, and severing of Greece's ties
to NATO and the European Union (EU). Possibly affiliated
with other Greek terrorist groups.
attacks were assassinations of senior US officials
and Greek public figures. Added bombings in 1980s.
Since 1990 has expanded targets to include EU
facilities and foreign firms investing in Greece
and has added improvised rocket attacks to its
but presumed to be small.
of Operation: Athens, Greece.
People's Liberation Party/Front a.k.a. Devrimci
Sol (Revolutionary Left), Dev Sol, Devrimci Halk
Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi (DHKP/C), Dev Sol Silahli
Devrimci Birlikleri, Dev Sol SDB, Dev Sol Armed
formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, a splinter
faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front.
Renamed in 1994 after factional infighting, it espouses
a Marxist ideology and is virulently anti-US and
anti-NATO. Finances its activities chiefly through
armed robberies and extortion.
the late 1980s has concentrated attacks against
current and retired Turkish security and military
officials. Began a new campaign against foreign
interests in 1990. Assassinated two US military
contractors and wounded a US Air Force officer
to protest the Gulf war. Launched rockets at
US Consulate in Istanbul in 1992. Assassinated
prominent Turkish businessman in early 1996,
its first significant terrorist act as DHKP/C.
of Operation: Conducts attacks in Turkey--primarily
in Istanbul--Ankara, Izmir, and Adana. Raises
funds in Western Europe.
People's Struggle (ELA) a.k.a. Epanastatikos
Laikos Agonas, Revolutionary Popular Struggle,
Popular Revolutionary Struggle, June 78, Organization
of Revolutionary Internationalist Solidarity,
Revolutionary Nuclei, Revolutionary Cells, Liberation
leftist group that developed from opposition to the
military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974.
Formed in 1971, ELA is a self-described revolutionary,
anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist group that
has declared its opposition to "imperialist domination,
exploitation, and oppression"; Strongly anti-US and
seeks the removal of US military forces from Greece.
1974 has conducted bombings against Greek Government
and economic targets as well as US military and
business facilities. In 1986 stepped up attacks
on Greek Government and commercial interests.
Raid on a safehouse in 1990 revealed a weapons
cache and direct contacts with other Greek terrorist
groups, including 1 May and Revolutionary Solidarity.
In 1991, ELA and 1 May claimed joint responsibility
for over 20 bombings. Greek police believe they
have established a link between the ELA and the
Revolutionary Organization 17 November.
of Operation: Greece.
Aid: No known foreign sponsors.
Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL) a.k.a. Partido Comunista
del Peru en el Sendero Luminoso de Jose Carlos
Mariategui (Communist Party of Peru on the Shining
Path of Jose Carlos Mariategui), Partido Comunista
del Peru (Communist Party of Peru), PCP, Socorro
Popular del Peru (People's Aid of Peru), SPP,
Ejercito Guerrillero Popular (People's Guerrilla
Army), EGP, Ejercito Popular de Liberacion (People's
Liberation Army), EPL
of Peru's two insurgencies, SL is among the world's
most ruthless guerrilla organizations. Formed in
the late 1960s by then university professor Abimael
Guzman. Stated goal is to destroy existing Peruvian
institutions and replace them with peasant revolutionary
regime. Also wants to rid Peru of foreign influences.
Guzman's capture in September 1992 was a major blow,
as were arrests of other SL leaders in 1995, defections,
and Peruvian President Fujimori's amnesty program
for repentant terrorists.
engaged in particularly brutal forms of terrorism,
including the indiscriminate use of bombs. Conducted
fewer attacks in 1998, generally limited to rural
areas. Almost every institution in Peru has been
a target of SL violence. Has bombed diplomatic
missions of several countries in Peru, including
the US Embassy. Conducts bombing campaigns and
selective assassinations. Has attacked US businesses
since its inception. Involved in cocaine trade.
1,500 to 2,500 armed militants; larger number
of supporters, mostly in rural areas.
of Operation: Rural based, with few violent
attacks in the capital.
Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) a.k.a. Movimiento
Revolucionario Tupac Amaru
Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movement formed in
1983. Aims to rid Peru of imperialism and establish
Marxist regime. Has suffered from defections and
government counterterrorist successes in addition
to infighting and loss of leftist support.
kidnappings, ambushes, assassinations. Previously
responsible for large number of anti-US attacks;
recent activity has dropped off dramatically.
Most members have been jailed. Nonetheless, in
December 1996, 14 MRTA members overtook the Japanese
Ambassador's residence in Lima during a diplomatic
reception, capturing hundreds. Government forces
stormed the residence in April, 1997 rescuing
all but one of the remaining hostages. Has not
conducted a significant terrorist operation since
to have fewer than 100 remaining members.
of Operation: Peru.