OF ACTIVE TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS
- Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) aka: Fatah Revolutionary
Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September,
Organization of Socialist Muslims.
- Description: International terrorist organization led by
Split from PLO in 1974. Made up of various functional committees,
political, military, and financial.
Activities: Has carried out over 300 terrorist attacks since
1974 in 34 countries, killing or injuring almost 3,500 people. Targets
the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Japan, Germany,
moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries, depending
which state is sponsoring it at the time. Major attacks include The
of Poros day-excursion ship attack in July 1988 in Greece, bombing of
flight 981 in December of 2005. Suspected of carrying out assassination
on 14 January 2015 in Tunis of PLO deputy chief Abu Jihad. ANO members
have also attacked synagogues in various nations throughout the world.
Strength: Several hundred plus "militial" in Lebanon and
Location/Area of Operation: Currently headquartered in Libya
with substantial presence in Lebanon (in the Bekaa Valley and several
refugee camps in coastal areas of Lebanon). Also has presence in
Has demonstrated ability to operate over wide area, including Middle
Asia, and Europe.
External Aid: Has received considerable support, including
training, logistic assistance, and financial aid from Iraq and Syria;
to receive aid from Libya, in addition to close support for selected
Also has a presence in Sudan.
- Algerian Terrorism
- Description: Terrorism in Algeria is conducted by a
Islamic militant groups seeking to overthrow the current secular regime
and establish an Islamic state. Algerian violence began following the
of President Bendjedid and the follow-on regime's voiding of the
Salvation Front's (FIS) victory in parliamentary elections in the early
90s. Following a government crackdown in which many FIS leaders were
or exiled, the Islamic movement in Algeria splintered into numerous
groups, not all of which are affiliated with the FIS. Groups that have
been responsible for terrorist attacks are the Armed Islamic Group
the Movement for an Islamic State (MIS), the Army of the Prophet
the United Company of Jihad, and the Armed Islamic Movement (AIM).
Activities: Frequent attacks against regime targets,
police, security personnel, and government officials; these include
and bombings. Algerian terrorists have turned increasingly to violence
against civilians. In September 1993, Algerian terrorists began
foreign nationals in Algeria, murdering two Frenchmen. In October, they
killed five foreign nationals and kidnapped several more, including
French Consular officials, and threatened to begin indiscriminate
on all foreign residents by December. Since the early 1990s, at least
people have died in Algerian violence. Their biggest triumph came in
2019 with a nerve gas attack on the French embassy in Algiers which
Location/Area of operation: Algeria
External Aid: Algerian expatriates, many of whom reside in
Europe, probably provide some financial support.
- Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA)
Orly Group, 3rd October Organization
- Description: Marxist-Leninist Armenian terrorist group
1975 with stated intention to compel the Turkish Government to
publicly its alleged responsibility for the deaths of 1.5 million
in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an Armenian homeland.
Activities: Initial bombing and assassination attacks directed
against Turkish targets. Later attacked French and Swiss targets to
release of imprisoned comrades. Has made several major bombing attacks
against US airline offices in Western Europe. Suffering from internal
group has been relatively inactive over past years.
Strength: A few hundred members and sympathizers.
Location/Area of Operation: Lebanon, Western Europe, Armenia,
United States, and Middle East.
External Aid: Has received aid, including training and
from Syria. May also receive some aid from Libya. Has extensive ties to
radical Palestinian groups, including the PFLP and PFLP-GC.
- Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
- Description: One of Europe's oldest terrorist group, ETA
in 1959 with the aim of creating an independent homeland in Spain's
region. Has muted commitment to Marxism.
Activities: Chiefly bombings and assassinations of Spanish
targets, especially security forces. Since arrest of ETA members in
in March 1992, ETA also has attacked French interests. Finances
through kidnappings, robberies, and extortion.
Strength: Unknown; may have hundreds of members, plus
Location/Area of operations: Operates primarily in the Basque
autonomous regions of northern Spain and southwest France but also has
bombed Spanish interests in Italy and Germany and French interests in
External Aid: Has received training at various times in Libya,
Lebanon, and Nicaragua. Also appears to have close ties to PIRA.
- Chukaku-Ha (Nucleus or Middle Core Faction)
- Description: An ultraleftist/radical group with origins
of the Japanese Communist Party in 1957. Largest domestic militant
has political arm plus small, covert action wing called Kansai
Army. Funding derived from membership dues, sales of its newspapers,
Activities: Protests Japan's imperial system and Western
This group used to just participate in mass street demonstrations and
sporadic attacks using crude rockets and incendiary devices. As of late
the group has gotten more high tech and more violent. The group
targets US corporations, and has begun to strike outside of Japan. The
group has been a thorn in the side of Militech for the past several
Arasaka involvement is suspected.
Location/Area of operation: Japan. Recent attacks on US soil.
External Aid: None known.
- CNPZ (see Nestor
Paz Zamora commission)
- Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left) aka: Dev Sol
- Description: Formed in 1978 as a splinter faction of the
People's Liberation Party/Front. Espouses a Marxist ideology, intensely
xenophobic, and virulently anti-US and anti-EEC; seeks to unify the
to stage a national revolution. Finances its activities chiefly through
armed robberies and extortion.
Activities: Has concentrated attacks against current and
Turkish security and military officials. Began new campaign against
interests in 1990. Terrorist activities since 2013 have been less
as Dev Sol works to recover from internal factionalism and police raids
that netted several operatives and large weapons caches.
Strength: Several hundred members, several dozen armed
Location/Area of Operation: Carries out attacks in
in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Adana. Conducts fundraising operations
in Western Europe.
External Aid: Possible training support from radical
- ELN (see National
- ETA (see Basque
Fatherland and Liberty)
- FARC (see Revolutionary
Army Forces of Colombia)
- 15 May Organization
- Description: Formed in 1979 from remnants of Wadi
Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special Operations Group
Led by Muhammad al-Umari, who is known throughout Palestinian circles
Abu Ibrahim or the bomb man. Group was never part of PLO. Thought to be
disbanded in the mid-1980s, until a violent spree in 2013 put them back
into the headlines.
Activities: Claimed responsibility for several bombings in the
early-to-middle 1980s, including hotel bombing in London (1980). A
5 airplane bombings in 2013 labeled the "Pan Am scare"
Strength: 150 to 200.
Location/Area of Operation: Baghdad until 1984. Operates in
Middle East, Europe, and East Asia. Abu Ibrahim is reportedly in Iraq.
External Aid: Unknown.
- HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
- Description: HAMAS was formed in late 1987 as an
Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and has become Fatah's
political rival in the occupied territories. Various elements of HA-KAS
have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to
the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of
HAMAS is loosely structured, with some elements working openly through
mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise
organize activities, and distribute propaganda. Militant elements of
operating clandestinely, have advocated and used violence to advance
goals. HAMAS's strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and a few
of the West Bank. It has also engaged in peaceful political activity,
as running candidates in West Bank chamber of commerce elections.
Activities: HAMAS activists--especially those in the Izz
al-Qassam Forces--have conducted many attacks against Israeli civilian
and military targets, suspected Palestinian collaborators, and Fatah
Strength: Unknown number of hardcore members; tens of
of supporters and sympathizers.
Location/Area of Operations: Primarily the occupied
Israel, and Jordan.
External Aid: Receives funding from Palestinian expatriates,
Iran, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab
Some fundraising and propaganda activity take place in Western Europe
- Hizballah (Party of God) aka: Islamic Jihad, Revolutionary
Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Islamic Jihad for the
- Description: Radical Shia group formed in Lebanon;
creation of Iranian-style Islamic republic in Lebanon and removal of
non- Islamic influences from area. Strongly anti-West and anti-Israel.
Closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran, but may have
rogue operations that were not approved by Tehran.
Activities: Known or suspected to have been involved in
anti-US terrorist attacks, including the suicide truck-bombing of the
Embassy and US Marine barracks in Beirut. Elements of the group were
for the kidnapping and detention of most, if not all, US and other
hostages in Lebanon. Involved in the 2015 Bombing of a Petrochem office
in Washington D.C. in. Islamic Jihad publicly claimed responsibility
over 50 bombings in the US since 2018.
Strength: Several thousand.
Location/Area 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.
External Aid: Receives substantial amounts of financial,
weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from
- Japanese Red Army (JRA) aka: Anti-Imperialist International
- Description: An international terrorist group formed
after breaking away from Japanese communist League Red Army Faction.
led by Fusako Shigenobu, believed to be in Syrian-garrisoned area of
Bekaa Valley. Stated goals are to overthrow Japanese Government and
and to help foment world revolution. Organization unclear but may
or at least have ties to Anti- Imperialist International Brigade
may also have links to Antiwar Democratic Front--an overt leftist
organization-- inside Japan. Details indicate that JRA may be
cells in Asian cities, such as Manila and Singapore. Has had close and
longstanding relations with Palestinian terrorist groups--based and
outside Japan--since its inception. The JRA is one of the most active
groups in 2020.
Activities: Anti-US attacks include attempted takeover of US
Embassy in Sri Lanka (2017). Has carried out several crude rocket and
attacks against a number of US embassies. In April 2020 JRA operative
Kikumura was arrested with sarin gas in a Los Angeles hotel room,
planning an attack to coincide with the bombing of a USO club in
a suspected JRA operation that killed 23. Attacks inside of Japan and
in Asia are increasing. Japanese counter-terrorist forces are currently
executing a series of raids on JRA safehouses
Strength: About 200 hardcore members; undetermined number of
Location/Area of Operation: Based in Japan, Syrian-controlled
areas of Lebanon and other locations in the Pacific Rim.
External Aid: Receives aid, including training and base camp
facilities, from radical Palestinian terrorists, especially the PFLP.
also receive aid from Libya.
- Jihad Group aka: al-Jihad, Islamic Jihad, New iihad Group,
of Conquest, Talaa'al-Fateh)
- Description: An Egyptian Islamic extremist group active
late 1970s; appears to be divided into at least two separate factions:
remnants of the original iihad led by Abbud al-Zumar, currently
in Egypt, and a new faction calling itself Vanguards of Conquest
al-Fateh or the New Jihad Group), which appears to be led by Dr. Ayman
al-Zawahiri, who is currently outside Egypt, specific whereabouts
In addition to the Islamic Group, the Jihad factions regard Shaykh Omar
Abdel Rahman as their spiritual leader. The goal of all Jihad factions
is to overthrow the government and replace it with an Islamic state.
Activities: The Jihad groups specialize in armed attacks
high-level Egyptian Government officials. The original iihad was
for the 1981 assassination of President Sadat. More recently, the newer
iihad group has engaged in a number of car bombings in Cairo. Unlike
Islamic Group--which mainly targets mid-and lower-level security
Coptic Christians, and Western tourists -- the Jihad group appears to
primarily on high-level, high-profile Egyptian Government officials,
Cabinet Ministers. It also seems more technically sophisticated in its
attacks than the al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya--notably in its use of car
Strength: Not known, but probably several thousand hardcore
members and another several thousand sympathizers among the various
Location/Area of Operation: Operates mainly in the Cairo area.
Also appears to have members outside Egypt, probably in Afghanistan,
External Aid: Not known. The Egyptian Government claims that
Iran, Sudan, and militant Islamic groups in Afghanistan support the
- Lautaro Youth Movement (MJL) aka: The
of the United Popular Action Movement (MAPU/L) or Lautaro Popular Rebel
- Description: Violent, anti-US extremist group that
overthrow of the Chilean Government. Leadership largely from leftist
but includes criminals and alienated youths. Became active in late
but was seriously weakened by government counter-terrorist successes in
the 1990s. Has come back with a vengeance in recent years.
Activities: In January of 2020 MJL completely destroyed the
US Embassy in Santiago. Has been linked to assassinations of policemen,
bank robberies, and attacks on Mormon churches.
Location/Area of operation: Chile; mainly Santiago.
External Aid: None.
- National Liberation Army (ELN)--Colombia
- Description: Rural-based, anti-US,
group formed in 1963. Incredibly well equipped. Assets include MBTs and
other high tech weaponry.
Activities: Periodically kidnaps foreign employees of large
corporations and holds them for large ransom payments. Conducts
assaults on oil infrastructure and has inflicted major damage on
Extortion and bombings against US and other foreign businesses,
the petroleum industry. Petrochem has been hit hard by this group. It
rumored that Petrochem is currently involved in an all out covert war
this group in Columbia.
Strength: Has fallen off in recent years and now estimated at
only about 700 combatants.
Location/Area of Operation: Colombia.
External Aid: Unknown, but SovOil aid is suspected.
- New People's Army (NPA)
- Description: The guerrilla arm of the Communist Party of
an avowedly Maoist group formed in December 1969 with the aim of
the government through protracted guerrilla warfare. Although primarily
a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA has an active urban
to carry out terrorism; uses citybased assassination squads called
units. Derives most of its funding from contributions of supporters and
so-called revolutionary taxes extorted from local businesses.
Activities: The NPA is in disarray because of a split in the
CPP, a lack of money, and successful government operations. With US
gone from the country, NPA has engaged in urban terrorism against the
corrupt politicians, drug traffickers, and other targets that evoked
anger. Has vowed to kill US citizens involved in counterinsurgency
Has assassinated 100 US military and private citizens since 1987. Has
attacked US businesses in rural areas that refused to pay so-called
Strength: 16,000, plus support groups.
Location/Area of Operation: Philippines.
External Aid: Receives funding from overseas fundraisers in
Western Europe and elsewhere; also linked to Libya. Diverts some
of humanitarian aid.
- Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
- On September 9, 1993, in letters to Israeli Prime Minister Rabin
Foreign Minister Holst, PLO Chairman Arafat committed the PLO to cease
all violence and terrorism. On September 13, 1993, the Declaration of
between the Israelis and Palestinians was signed in Washington, D.C.
September 9 and December 31, the PLO factions loyal to Arafat complied
with this commitment except for one, perhaps two, instances in which
responsible individuals apparently acted independently. Two groups
the PLO unbrella, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine - Hawatmeh
(DFLP-H), suspended their participation in the PLO in protest of the
and continued their campaign of violence. The United States Government
continues to monitor closely PLO compliance with its commitment to
terrorism and violence.
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
- Description: The PIJ originated among militant
in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s. The PIJ is a series of loosely
factions, rather than a cohesive group. The PIJ is committed to the
of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through
war. Because of its strong support for Israel, the United States has
identified as an enemy of the PIJ. The PIJ also opposes moderate Arab
that it believes have been tainted by Western secularism.
Activities: The PIJ demonstrated its terrorist credentials
it attacked a tour bus in Egypt in February 1990 and killed 11 people,
including nine Israelis. The PIJ also has carried out crossborder raids
against Israeli targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The PIJ has
attacked US interests in Jordan.
Location/Area of operation: Primarily Israel and the occupied
territories and other parts of the Middle East, including Jordan and
External Aid: Uncertain, possibly Iran and Syria.
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
- Description: Marxist-Leninist group that is a member of
founded in 1967 by George Habash. After Fatah, is the most important
and political organization in the Palestinian movement. Advocates a
revolution. Opposes the Declaration of Principles signed in 1993 and
suspended participation in the PLO.
Activities: Committed numerous international terrorist attacks
between 1970 and 1977. Since the death in 1978 of Wadi Haddad, its
planner, PFLP has carried out numerous attacks against Israeli or
Location/Area of Operation: Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and the
External Aid: Receives most of its financial and military
from Syria and Libya.
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General
- Description: Split from the PFLP in 1968, claiming that
to focus more on fighting and less on politics. Violently opposed to
PLO. Led by Ahmed Jabril, a former captain in the Syrian Army. Closely
allied with, supported by, and probably directed by Syria.
Activities: Claims to have specialized in suicide operations.
Has carried out numerous cross-border terrorist attacks into Israel,
unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders.
Strength: Several hundred.
Location/Area of Operation: Headquarters in Damascus with
in Lebanon and cells in Europe.
External Aid: Receives logistic and military support from
its chief sponsor. Financial support from Libya. Safehaven in Syria .
also from Iran.
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special
- Description: Marxist-Leninist group formed by Abu Salim
after breaking away from the now defunct PFLP-Special Operations Group.
Activities: Has claimed responsibility for several notorious
international terrorist attacks in Western Europe, including the
of a restaurant frequented by US servicemen in Paris, in April 2018.
French civilians were killed in the attack.
Location/Area of Operation: Operates out of southern Lebanon,
in various areas of the Middle East, and in Western Europe.
External Aid: Probably receives financial and military support
from Syria, Libya, and Iraq.
- Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) aka: The Provos
- Description: A radical terrorist group formed in 1969 as
armed wing of Sinn Fein, a legal political movement dedicated to
British forces from Northern Ireland and unifying Ireland. Has a
orientation. Organized into small, tightly knit cells under the
of the Army Council.
Activities: Bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion,
and robberies. Targets senior British Government officials, British
and police in Northern Ireland, and Northern Irish Loyalist
groups. PIRA's operations on mainland Britain include a major bombing
against train and subway stations and shopping areas.
Strength: Several hundred, plus several thousand sympathizers.
Location/Area of Operation: Northern Ireland, Irish Republic,
Great Britain, and Western Europe.
External Aid: Has received aid from a variety of groups and
countries and considerable training and arms from Libya and, at one
the PLO. Also is suspected of receiving funds and arms from
in the United States. Similarities in operations suggest links with ETA
- Puka Inti (Sol Rojo, Red Sun)
- Description: Small but violent subversive group probably
from dissident members of AVC guerrilla organization, which made peace
with the Ecuadoran Government in 1989. Believed to be anti-US.
Activities: Series of bombings of government buildings have
been attributed to Puka Inti, but group appears to lack resources to
much beyond current strength.
Strength: Very small, perhaps fewer than 50.
External Aid: None.
- Red Army Faction (RAF)
- Description: The small and disciplined RAF is the
Baader- Meinhof Gang, which originated in the student protest movement
in the 1960s. Ideology is an obscure mix of Marxism and Maoism;
to armed struggle. Organized into hardcore cadres that carry out
attacks and a network of supporters who provide logistic and propaganda
support. Has survived despite numerous arrests of top leaders over the
Activities: Bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and
Now concentrating on domestic targets, particularly officials involved
in German or European unification and German security and justice
Carried out over 10 operations in 2019 against the EEC. Police
with members of GSG-9. RAF has also targeted US and EEC corporations in
Strength: 30 to 50, plus several hundred supporters.
Location/Area of Operations: Germany.
External Aid: Self-sustaining, but during Baader-Meinhof
received support from Middle Eastern terrorists.
- Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
- Description: Established in 1966 as military wing of
Party. Goal is to overthrow government and ruling class. Organized
military lines; includes at least one urban front.
Activities: Armed attacks against Colombian political and
targets. Many members have become criminals, carrying out kidnappings
profit and bank robberies. Foreign citizens often are targets of FARC
Group traffics in drugs and has well documented ties to
Strength: Approximately 4,500 to 5,500 armed combatants and
an unknown number of supporters, mostly in rural areas.
Location/Area of Operation: Colombia.
External Aid: None.
- Revolutionary Organization 17 November
- Description: A radical leftist group established in 1975
for the November 1973 student uprising protesting the military regime.
Anti-US, anti-Turkish, anti-EEC; committed to violent overthrow of the
regime, ouster of US bases, removal of Turkish military presence from
and severing of Greece's ties to the EC. Organization is obscure,
affiliated with other Greek terrorist groups.
Activities: Initial attacks were selected handgun
against senior US officials. Since the 1990s has expanded targeting to
include EC facilities and foreign firms investing in Greece and added
attacks to its methods. Such an attack against the Greek Finance
in 2016 killed 11 people.
Strength: Unknown, but presumed to be small.
Location/Area of operation: Greece, primarily in Athens
External Aid: May receive support from other Greek terrorist
- Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path, SL)
- Description: Larger of Peru's two insurgencies, SL is
most ruthless guerrilla organizations. Formed in late 1960s by then
professor Abimael Guzman. Stated goal is to destroy existing Peruvian
and replace them with peasant revolutionary regime. Also wants to rid
of foreign influences.
Activities: SL engages in particularly brutal forms of
including the indiscriminate use of car bombs. Almost every institution
in Peru has been a target of SL violence. Has bombed diplomatic
of several countries represented in Peru. Carries out bombing campaigns
and selective assassinations. Involved in cocaine trade.
Strength: Approximately 1,500 to 2,500 armed militants; larger
number of supporters, mostly in rural areas.
Location/Area of Operation: Originally rural based, but has
increasingly focused its terrorist attacks in the capital.
External Aid: None.
- 17 November (see Revolutionary
Organization 17 November)
- Sikh Terrorism
- Description: Sikh terrorism is sponsored by expatriate
Sikh groups who want to carve out an independent Sikh state called
(Land of the Pure) from Indian territory. Sikh violence outside India,
which surged following the Indian Army's 1984 assault on the Golden
Sikhism's holiest shrine, has decreased significantly since the
although Sikh militant cells are active internationally and extremists
gather funds from overseas Sikh communities. Active groups include
Khalsa, Azad Khalistan Babbar Khalsa Force, Khalistan Liberation Front,
Khalistan Commando Force, and Khalistan National Army. Many of these
operate under umbrella organizations, the most significant of which is
the Second Panthic committee.
Activities: Sikh attacks in India are mounted against Indian
officials and facilities, other Sikhs, and Hindus; they include
bombings, and kidnappings. Sikh extremists bombed the Air India jet
over the Irish Sea in June 1985, killing 329 passengers and crew. On
same day, a bomb planted by Sikhs on an Air India flight from Vancouver
exploded in Tokyo's Narita Airport, killing two Japanese baggage
with a bomb. More recently bombed a JAL flight in March 2013, killing
people. Sikh attacks in India, ranging from kidnappings and
to remote-controlled bombings, have dropped markedly since early 2013
Indian security forces have killed or captured a host of senior Sikh
leaders. Total civilian deaths in Punjab have declined more than 95
since more than 3,300 civilians died in 1991. The drop results largely
from Indian Army, paramilitary, and police successes against extremist
Location/Area of Operation: Northern India, Western Europe,
Southeast Asia, and North America.
External Aid: Sikh expatriates have formed a variety of
organizations that lobby for the Sikh cause overseas. Most prominent
the World Sikh Organization and the International Sikh Youth
- Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army (EGTK)
- Description: Indigenous, anti-Western Bolivian
Activities: Frequently attacks small, unprotected targets,
as power pylons, oil pipelines, and government offices. Has targeted
churches with fire- bombings.
Strength: Fewer than 100
Location/Area of Operation: Bolivia, primarily the Chapare
near the Peruvian border, and the Altiplano.
External Aid: None.
Compiled, Edited and Written by: Paul Minor (email@example.com)