printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Appendix C -- Background Information on Other Terrorist Groups


Patterns of Global Terrorism
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
April 29, 2004
Report
Share

CONTENTS

Al-Badhr Mujahedin (al-Badhr)
Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI)
Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB)
Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR)
Anti-Imperialist Territorial Nuclei (NTA)
Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF)
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)/United People's Front
Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)
First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO)
Great East Islamic Raiders-Front (IBDA-C)
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI)
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)
Hizbul-Mujahedin (HM)
Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Islamic Army of Aden (IAA)
Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB)
Jamiat ul-Mujahedin (JUM)
Japanese Red Army (JRA)
Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Maoist Communist Center of India (MCCI)
Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)
New Red Brigades/Communist Combatant Party (BR/PCC)
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)
Peoples War
Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei (NIPR)
Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM)
Sipah-I-Sahaba/Pakistan (SSP)
Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR)
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
Turkish Hizballah
Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (USA/UFF)
Ulster Defense Force (UVP)

Al-Badhr Mujahidin
(al-Badr)
Description
Split from Hizb ul-Mujahidin (HM) in 1998. Traces its origins to 1971 when a group of the same name attacked Bengalis in East Pakistan. Later operated as part of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-I-Islami (HIG) in Afghanistan and from 1990 as a unit of HM in Kashmir.

Activities
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir.

Strength
Perhaps several hundred.

Location/Area of Operation
Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI) Description
AIAI rose to power in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Siad Barre regime. Some members of AIAI maintain ties to al-Qaida.

Activities
The group is believed to be responsible for a series of bomb attacks in public places in Addis Ababa in 1996 and 1997 as well as the kidnapping of several relief workers in 1998. AIAI sponsors Islamic social programs, such as orphanages and schools, and provides pockets of security in Somalia.

Strength
Estimated membership is roughly 2,000 persons, of which a small percentage is considered militant. During the 1990s, AIAI sustained significant losses at the hands of the Ethiopian military, from which the group never fully recovered. Members now operate in small cells or groups.

Location/Area of Operations
Primarily in Somalia, with limited presence in Ethiopia and Kenya.

External Aid
Receives funds from Middle East financiers and Western diaspora remittances and suspected of receiving training in Afghanistan in the past. Past weapons deliveries via Sudan and Eritrea.

 

Alex Boncayao
Brigade (ABB)
Description
The ABB, the breakaway urban hit squad of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army, was formed in the mid-1980s. The ABB was added to the Terrorist Exclusion list in December 2001.

Activities
Responsible for more than 100 murders, including the murder in 1989 of US Army Col. James Rowe in the Philippines. In March 1997, the group announced it had formed an alliance with another armed group, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA). In March 2000, the group claimed credit for a rifle grenade attack against the Department of Energy building in Manila and strafed Shell Oil offices in the central Philippines to protest rising oil prices.

Strength
Approximately 500.

Location/Area of Operation
The largest RPA/ABB groups are on the Philippine islands of Luzon, Negros, and the Visayas.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Army for the
Liberation of Rwanda
(ALIR)

a.k.a. Ex-FAR/
Interahamwe, (formerly Armed Forces of Rwanda)
Description
The Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) was the army of the ethnic Hutu-dominated Rwandan regime that carried out the genocide of 500,000 or more Tutsis and regime opponents in 1994. The Interahamwe was the civilian militia force that carried out much of the killing. The groups merged and recruited additional fighters after they were forced from Rwanda into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC; then Zaire) in 1994. They became known as the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR), which is the armed branch of the PALIR or Party for the Liberation of Rwanda. In 2001, ALIR—while not formally disbanded—was supplanted by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Though directly descended from those who organized and carried out the genocide, identified FDLR leaders are not thought to have played a role in the killing. They have worked to build bridges to other opponents of the Kigali regime, including ethnic Tutsis.

Activities
ALIR sought to topple Rwanda's Tutsi-dominated government, reinstitute Hutu domination, and, possibly, complete the genocide. In 1996, a message—allegedly from the ALIR—threatened to kill the US ambassador to Rwanda and other US citizens. In 1999, ALIR guerrillas critical of alleged US-UK support for the Rwandan regime kidnapped and killed eight foreign tourists, including two US citizens, in a game park on the Democratic Republic of Congo-Uganda border. In the 1998-2002 Congolese war, the ALIR/FDLR was allied with Kinshasa against the Rwandan invaders. FDLR's political wing has mainly sought to topple the Kigali regime via alliance with Tutsi regime opponents. They established the ADRN Igihango alliance in 2002, but it has not resonated politically in Rwanda.

Strength
Exact strength is unknown, but several thousand FDLR guerrillas operate in eastern DRC close to the Rwandan border. In 2003, the United Nations, with Rwandan assistance, repatriated close to 1,500 FDLR combatants from the DRC. The senior FDLR military commander returned to Rwanda in November 2003 and has been working with Kigali to encourage the return of his comrades.

Location/Area of Operation
Mostly eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

External Support
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo provided training, arms, and supplies to ALIR forces to combat Rwandan armed forces that invaded the DRC in 1998 but halted that support in 2002.

 

Anti-Imperialist
Territorial Nuclei (NTA)

a.k.a. Anti-Imperialist
Territorial Units
Description
Clandestine leftist extremist group that first appeared in the Friuli region in Italy in 1995. Adopted the class-struggle ideology of the Red Brigades of the 1970s and 1980s and a similar logo—an encircled five-point star—for their declarations. Seeks the formation of an "anti-imperialist fighting front" with other Italian leftist terrorist groups including Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei and the New Red Brigades. Opposes what it perceives as US and NATO imperialism and condemns Italy's foreign and labor polices. Identified experts in four Italian Government sectors—federalism, privatizations, justice reform, and jobs and pensions—as potential targets in a leaflet dated January 2002.

Activities
To date, the group has conducted attacks against property rather than persons. This pattern continued in 2003 when NTA claimed responsibility for the arson attacks against three vehicles belonging to US troops serving at the Ederle and Aviano bases in Italy. In January 2002, police thwarted an attempt by four NTA members to enter the Rivolto Military Air Base. It claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in September 2000 against the Central European Initiative office in Trieste and a bomb attack in August 2001 against the Venice Tribunal building. During the NATO intervention in Kosovo, NTA members threw gasoline bombs at the Venice and Rome headquarters of the then-ruling party, Democrats of the Left.

Strength
Approximately 20 members. In 2003, no NTA members were arrested and prosecuted.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily northeastern Italy.

External Aid
None evident.

 

Cambodian Freedom
Fighters (CFF)

a.k.a. Cholana
Kangtoap Serei Cheat
Kampouchea
Description
The Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF) emerged in November 1998 in the wake of political violence that saw many influential Cambodian leaders flee and the Cambodian People's Party assume power. With an avowed aim of overthrowing the Government, the US-based group is led by a Cambodian-American, a former member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party. The CFF's membership reportedly includes Cambodian- Americans based in Thailand and the United States and former soldiers from the Khmer Rouge, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and various political factions.

Activities
The Cambodian Government arrested seven CFF members who were reportedly planning an unspecified terrorist attack in southwestern Cambodia in late 2003, but there were no successful CFF attacks in 2003. Cambodian courts in February and March 2002 prosecuted 38 CFF members suspected of staging an attack in Cambodia in 2000. The courts convicted 19 members, including one US citizen, of "terrorism" and/ or "membership in an armed group" and sentenced them to terms of five years to life imprisonment. The group claimed responsibility for an attack in late November 2000 on several government installations that killed at least eight persons and wounded more than a dozen. In April 1999, five CFF members were arrested for plotting to blow up a fuel depot outside Phnom Penh with antitank weapons.

Strength
Exact strength is unknown, but totals probably never have exceeded 100-armed fighters.

Location/Area of Operation
Northeastern Cambodia near the Thai border and the United States.

External Aid
US-based leadership collects funds from the Cambodian-American community.

 

Communist Party of
Nepal (Maoist)/ United
People's Front
Description
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) insurgency grew out of the increasing radicalization and fragmentation of leftwing parties following the emergence of democracy in 1990. The United People's Front—a coalition of leftwing parties— participated in the elections of 1991, but the Maoist wing failed to win the minimum three percent of the vote leading to their exclusion from voter lists in the elections of 1994. In response, they abandoned electoral politics and in 1996 launched the insurgency. The Maoists' ultimate objective is the takeover of the government and the transformation of society, probably including the elimination of the present elite, nationalization of the private sector, and collectivization of agriculture. In 2003, the United States designated Nepal's Maoists under Executive Order (EO) 13224 as a supporter of terrorist activity.

Activities
The Maoists have utilized traditional guerrilla war tactics aimed at ultimately overthrowing the Nepalese Government in favor of a single-party Communist state. In line with these efforts, the Maoists continue to use murder, torture, arson, sabotage, extortion, child conscription, kidnapping, threats of physical violence, bombings, and assassinations to intimidate and coerce the populace. In 2002, Maoists claimed responsibility for assassinating two Nepalese US Embassy guards, citing anti-Maoist spying, and in a press statement threatened foreign embassy missions—including the US mission—to deter foreign support for the Nepalese Government.

Strength
Probably several thousand full-time cadres.

Location
Operations are conducted throughout Nepal. Press reports indicate Maoist leaders reside in India.

External Aid
None.

 

Continuity Irish
Republican Army
(CIRA)
Description
Terrorist splinter group formed in 1994 as the clandestine armed wing of Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), which split from Sinn Fein in 1986. "Continuity" refers to the group's belief that it is carrying on the original IRA goal of forcing the British out of Northern Ireland. Cooperates with the larger Real IRA. Designated under Executive Order 13224 in December 2001.

Activities
CIRA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include British military, Northern Ireland security targets, and loyalist paramilitary groups. Unlike the Provisional IRA, CIRA is not observing a cease-fire. CIRA continued its bombing campaign in 2003 with a string of low-level improvised explosive device attacks. A senior CIRA member was arrested, and two powerful RIRA bombs were seized in a June 2003 raid.

Strength
Fewer than 50 hard-core activists. Eleven CIRA members have been convicted of criminal charges, and others are awaiting trial. Police counterterrorist operations have reduced the group's strength, but CIRA has been able to reconstitute its membership through active recruiting efforts.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic. Does not have an established presence on the UK mainland.

External Aid
Suspected of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers in the United States. May have acquired arms and materiel from the Balkans in cooperation with the Real IRA.

 

Eastern Turkistan
Islamic Movement
(ETIM)
Description
The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a small Islamic extremist group based in China's western Xinjiang Province, is the most militant of the ethnic Uighur separatist groups pursuing an independent "Eastern Turkistan," an area that would include Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Xinjiang. ETIM is linked to al-Qaida and the international mujahidin movement. Designated under EO 13224 in September 2002.

Activities
ETIM militants fought alongside al-Qaida and Taliban forces in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. In October 2003, Pakistani soldiers killed ETIM leader Hassan Makhsum during raids on al-Qaida-associated compounds in western Pakistan. US and Chinese Government information suggests ETIM is responsible for various terrorist acts inside and outside China. In May 2002, two ETIM members were deported to China from Kyrgyzstan for plotting to attack the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan as well as other US interests abroad.

Strength
Unknown. Only a small minority of ethnic Uighurs supports the Xinjiang independence movement or the formation of an East Turkistan.

Location/Area of Operation
Xinjiang Province and neighboring countries in the region.

External Aid
ETIM has received training and financial assistance from al-Qaida.

 

First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO) Grupo de Resistencia Anti-Fascista Primero de Octubre

Description
Formed in 1975 as the armed wing of the illegal Communist Party of Spain during the Franco era. Advocates the overthrow of the Spanish Government and its replacement with a Marxist-Leninist regime. GRAPO is vehemently anti-United States, seeks the removal of all US military forces from Spanish territory, and has conducted and attempted several attacks against US targets since 1977. The group issued a communique following the attacks of 11 September in the United States, expressing its satisfaction that "symbols of imperialist power" were decimated and affirming that "the war" has only just begun. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.

Activities
GRAPO did not mount a successful terrorist attack in 2003, marking the second consecutive year without an attack. The group suffered several major setbacks as well. In March, the group's political wing—the Reconstituted Communist Party of Spain (PCE/R)—was outlawed, marking the first time in the organization's 28-year history that the Spanish judicial system ruled that GRAPO and the PCE/R comprised a single organization. In June, seven GRAPO members—including four leaders—were sentenced to various prison terms in France. Early in 2003, GRAPO committed a series of bank robberies, ostensibly to fund its operations. GRAPO has killed more than 90 persons and injured more than 200 since its formation. The group's operations traditionally have been designed to cause material damage and gain publicity rather than inflict casualties, but the terrorists have conducted lethal bombings and close range assassinations. In May 2000, the group killed two security guards during a botched armed robbery attempt of an armored truck carrying an estimated $2 million, and in November 2000, members assassinated a Spanish policeman in a possible reprisal for the arrest that month of several GRAPO leaders in France.

Strength
Fewer than two-dozen activists remaining. Police have made periodic large-scale arrests of GRAPO members, crippling the organization and forcing it into lengthy rebuilding periods. In 2002, Spanish and French authorities arrested 22 suspected members, including some of the group's reconstituted leadership. Three more members were arrested in December 2003.

Location/Area of Operation
Spain.

External Aid
None.

 

Great East Islamic
Raiders-Front
(IBDA-C)
Description
The Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA-C) is a Sunni Salafist group that supports Islamic rule in Turkey and believes that Turkey's present secular leadership is "illegal." It has been known to cooperate with various opposition elements in Turkey in attempts to destabilize the country's political structure. The group supports the establishment of a "pure Islamic" state, to replace the present "corrupt" Turkish regime that is cooperating with the West. Its primary goal is the establishment of the Federative Islamic State, a goal backed by armed terrorist attacks primarily against civilian targets. It has been active since the mid-1970s.

Activities
The IBDA-C has engaged in activities that minimize personal risk, such as bombings, throwing Molotov cocktails and sabotage. The group has announced its actions and targets in publications to its members, who are free to launch independent attacks. The IBDA-C typically has attacked civilian targets, including: churches, charities, minority-affiliated targets, television transmitters, newspapers, prosecular journalists, Ataturk statues, taverns, banks, clubs, and tobacco shops. One of the IBDA-C's more renowned attacks was the killing of 37 people in a firebomb attack in July 1993 on a hotel in Sivas. The group claimed responsibility for a quadruple bomb attack in Istanbul in February 2002. In 1994, the IBDA-C was tied to an attempt to assassinate a Jewish businessman and an attack on the Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul. In 1992, the group had unconfirmed involvement in an attack on an Istanbul synagogue. Turkish police believe that the IBDA-C has also claimed responsibilities for attacks carried out by other groups to elevate its image.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Turkey.

External Aid
Specific sources of external aid are unknown.

 

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)
(Movement of Islamic Holy War)
Description
HUJI, a Sunni extremist group that follows the Deobandi tradition of Islam, was founded in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight in the jihad against the Soviets. It also is affliated with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazlur Rehman Jalili faction (JUI-F) and the Deobandi school of Sunni Islam. The group, led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar and chief commander Amin Rabbani, is made up primarily of Pakistanis and foreign Islamists who are fighting for the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir and its accession to Pakistan.

Activities
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir. Linked to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran that kidnapped five Western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1995; one was killed in August 1995, and the other four reportedly were killed in December of the same year.

Strength
Exact numbers are unknown, but there may be several hundred members in Kashmir.

Location/Area of Operation
Pakistan and Kashmir. Trained members in Afghanistan until fall of 2001.

External Aid
Specific sources of external aid are unknown.

 

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/
Bangladesh (HUJI-B)

(Movement of Islamic
Holy War)

Description
The mission of HUJI-B, led by Shauqat Osman, is to establish Islamic rule inBangladesh. HUJI-B has connections to the Pakistani militant groups Harakat ul-Jihadi-Islami (HUJI) and Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM), who advocate similar objectives in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

Activities
HUJI-B was accused of stabbing a senior Bangladeshi journalist in November 2000 for
making a documentary on the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh. HUJI-B was suspected in
the assassination attempt in July 2000 of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Strength
HUJI-B has an estimated cadre strength of more than several thousand members.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates and trains members in Bangladesh, where it maintains at least six camps.

External Aid
Funding of the HUJI-B comes primarily from madrassas in Bangladesh. The group also
has ties to militants in Pakistan that may provide another funding source.

 

Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin
(HIG)

Description
Gulbuddin Hikmatyar founded Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) as a faction of the Hizb-I Islami party in 1977, and it was one of the major mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long-established ties with Usama Bin Ladin. In the early 1990s, Hikmatyar ran several terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and was a pioneer in sending mercenary fighters to other Islamic conflicts. Hikmatyar offered to shelter Bin Ladin after the latter fl ed Sudan in 1996.

Activities
HIG has staged small attacks in its attempt to force US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan Transitional Administration, and establish a fundamentalist state.

Strength
HIG possibly could have hundreds of veteran fighters on which to call.

Location/ Area of Operation
Eastern Afghanistan (particularly Konar and Nurestan Provinces) and adjacent areas of
Pakistan's tribal areas.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Hizbul-Mujahidin (HM)

Description
Hizb ul-Mujahidin, the largest Kashmiri militant group, was founded in 1989 and officially supports the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir and its accession to Pakistan, although some cadres are proindependence. The group is the militant wing of Pakistan's largest Islamic political party, the Jamaat-i-Islami. It currently is focused on Indian security forces and politicians in Jammu and Kashmir and has conducted operations jointly with other Kashmiri militants. It reportedly operated in Afghanistan through the mid-1990s and trained alongside the Afghan Hizb-I-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) in Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover. The group, led by Syed Salahuddin, is made
up primarily of ethnic Kashmiris.

Activities
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir. The group also occasionally strikes at civilian targets in Jammu and Kashmir but has not engaged in terrorist acts elsewhere.

Strength
Exact numbers are unknown, but there may be several hundred members in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.

Location/Area of Operation
Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. Trained members in Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover.

External Aid
Specific sources of external aid are unknown.

 

Irish National
Liberation Army
(INLA)

Description
Terrorist group formed in 1975 as the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), which split from the Official IRA (OIRA) because of OIRA's cease-fire in 1972. Responsible for some of the most notorious killings of "the Troubles," including the bombing of a Ballykelly pub that killed 17 people in 1982, bloody internal feuding has repeatedly torn the INLA. The INLA announced a cease-fire in August 1998 but continues to carry out occasional attacks and punishment beatings.

Activities
The INLA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include British military, Northern Ireland security targets, and loyalist paramilitary groups. The INLA continues to observe a cease-fire as—in the words of its leadership in 2003—a return to the armed struggle is "not a viable option at this time."

Strength
Unclear, but probably fewer than 50 hard-core activists. Police counterterrorist operations and internal feuding have reduced the group's strength and capabilities.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic. Does not have a significant established presence on the UK mainland.

External Aid
Suspected in the past of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers in the United States.

 

Irish Republican Army
(IRA)

a.k.a. Provisional Irish
Republican Army
(PIRA), the Provos
(sometimes referred
to as the PIRA to
distinguish it from RIRA
and CIRA.)

Description
Dissension within the IRA over support for the Northern Ireland peace process resulted in the formation of two more radical splinter groups: Continuity IRA in 1995 and the Real IRA in 1997. Until its cease-fire in July 1997, the Provisional IRA had sought to remove British forces from Northern Ireland and unify Ireland by force. In July 2002, the IRA reiterated its commitment to the peace process and apologized to the families of what it called "non-combatants" who had been killed or injured by the IRA. The IRA is organized into small, tightly knit cells under the leadership of the Army Council.

Activities
IRA traditional activities have included bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, punishment beatings, extortion, smuggling, and robberies. Before the cease-fire in 1997, bombing campaigns had been conducted on various targets in Northern Ireland and Great Britain and included senior British Government officials, civilians, police, and British military targets. In October 2003, the IRA conducted a third act of arms decommissioning that the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) called "considerably larger" than the previous IRA move. The group disposed of light, medium, and heavy weapons, ammunition, and explosives. The IRA retains
the ability to conduct paramilitary operations. The IRA's extensive criminal activities reportedly provide the organizations with millions of dollars each year.

Strength
Several hundred members plus several thousand sympathizers—despite the defection of some members to RIRA and CIRA.

Local/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, Great Britain, and Europe.

External Aid
In the past, has received aid from a variety of groups and countries and considerable training and arms from Libya and the PLO. Is suspected of receiving funds, arms, and other terrorist-related materiel from sympathizers in the United States. Similarities in operations suggest links to ETA and the FARC. In August 2002, three suspected IRA members were arrested in Colombia on charges of assisting the FARC to improve its explosives capabilities.

 

Islamic Army of Aden
(IAA)

a.k.a. Aden-Abyan
Islamic Army (AAIA)

Description
The Islamic Army of Aden (IAA) emerged publicly in mid-1998 when the group released a series of communiques that expressed support for Usama Bin Ladin, appealed for the overthrow of the Yemeni Government, and called for operations against US and other Western interests in Yemen. Designated under EO 13224 in September 2001.

Activities
Engages in bombings and kidnappings to promote its goals. The group reportedly was behind an attack in June 2003 against a medical assistance convoy in the Abyan Governorate. Yemeni authorities responded with a raid on a suspected IAA facility, killing several individuals and capturing others, including Khalid al-Nabi al-Yazidi, the group's leader.

Before that attack, the group had not conducted operations since the bombing of the British Embassy in Sanaa in October 2000. In 2001, Sanaa found an IAA member and three associates responsible for that attack. In December 1998, the group kidnapped 16 British, American, and Australian tourists near Mudiyah in southern Yemen.

Although Yemeni officials previously have claimed that the group is operationally defunct, their recent attribution of the attack in 2003 against the medical convoy and reports that al-Yazidi was released from prison in mid-October 2003 suggest that the IAA, or at least elements of the group, have resumed activity.

Strength
Not known.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates in the southern governorates of Yemen—primarily Aden and Abyan.

External Aid
Not known.

 

Islamic International
Peacekeeping Brigade
(IIPB)

Description
One of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on 23 October 2002. The suicide attackers took more than 800 hostages, whom they threatened to kill if the Russian Government did not meet their demands, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. Chechen extremist leader Shamil Basayev—who claimed responsibility for ordering the seizure—established the IIPB in 1998, which he led with Saudi-born mujahidin leader Ibn al-Khattab until the latter's death in March 2002. Arab mujahidin leader Abu al-Walid has since taken over Khattab's leadership role in the IIPB, which consists of Chechens, Arabs, and other foreign fighters. Designated under
EO 13224 in February 2003.

Activities
Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces.

Strength
Up to 400 fighters, including as many as 100 Arabs and other foreign fighters.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily in Russia and adjacent areas of the north Caucasus, but major logistic activities also occur in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

External Aid
The IIPB and its Arab leaders appear to be a primary conduit for Islamic funding for the Chechen guerrillas, in part, through links to al-Qaida-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Jamiat ul-Mujahidin
(JUM)

Description
Small pro-Pakistan militant group formed in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990. Followers are mostly Kashmiris, but the group includes some Pakistanis.

Activities
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Japanese Red Army (JRA)
a.k.a. Anti-Imperialist
International Brigade

Description
An international terrorist group formed around 1970 after breaking away from the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. The JRA's historical goal has been to overthrow the Japanese Government and monarchy and to help foment world revolution.
JRA's leader, Fusako Shigenobu, claimed that the forefront of the battle against international imperialism was in Palestine, so in the early 1970s, she led her small group to the Middle East to support the Palestinian struggle against Israel and the West. After her arrest in November 2000, Shigenobu announced she intended to pursue her goals using a legitimate political party rather than revolutionary violence, and the group announced it would disband in April 2001.

Activities
During the 1970s, JRA carried out 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. During the late 1980s, JRA began to single out American targets and used car bombs and rockets in attempted attacks on US Embassies in Jakarta, Rome, and Madrid. 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, a suspected JRA operation that killed five, including a US servicewoman. He was convicted of the charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United States. Tsutomu Shirosaki, captured in 1996, is also jailed in the United States. In 2000, Lebanon deported to Japan four members it arrested in 1997 but granted a fifth operative, Kozo Okamoto, political asylum. Longtime leader Shigenobu was arrested in November 2000 and faces charges of terrorism and passport fraud.

Strength
About six hard-core members; undetermined number of sympathizers. At its peak, the group claimed to have 30 to 40 members.

Location/Area of Operation
Location unknown, but possibly in Asia and/or Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Kumpulan Mujahidin
Malaysia (KMM)

Description
Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) favors the overthrow of the Malaysian Government and the creation of an Islamic state comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, and the southern Philippines. Malaysian authorities believe an extremist wing of the KMM has engaged in terrorist acts and has close ties to the regional terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). Key JI leaders, including the group's spiritual head, Abu Bakar Bashir and JI operational leader Hambali, reportedly had great influence over KMM members. The Government of Singapore asserts that a Singapore JI member assisted the KMM in buying a boat to support jihad activities in Indonesia.

Activities
Malaysia is holding scores of KMM members under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for activities deemed threatening to Malaysia's national security, including planning to wage jihad, possession of weaponry, bombings and robberies, the murder of a former state assemblyman, and planning attacks on foreigners—including US citizens. The alleged leader of KMM, Nik Adli Nik Abdul Aziz, had his detention under the ISA extended for another two years in September 2003. A number of those detained are also believed to be members of JI. Several of the arrested KMM militants have reportedly undergone military training in Afghanistan, and some fought with the Afghan mujahidin during the war against the former Soviet Union, as did a significant number of JI members. Some members are alleged to have ties to Islamic extremist organizations in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Strength
KMM's current membership is unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
The KMM is reported to have networks in the Malaysian states of Perak, Johor, Kedah, Selangor, Terengganu, and Kelantan. They also operate in Kuala Lumpur. According to press reports, the KMM has ties to radical Indonesian Islamic groups and has sent members to Ambon, Indonesia, to fight against Christians and to the southern Philippines for operational training.

External Aid
Largely unknown, probably self-financing.

 

Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group (LIFG)

a.k.a. Al-Jam'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah,
Fighting Islamic Group,
Libyan Fighting Group, Libyan Islamic Group

Description
Emerged in 1995 among Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Declared the government of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi un-Islamic and pledged to overthrow it. Some members maintain a strictly anti-Qadhafi focus and organize against Libyan Government interests, but others are aligned with Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qaida organization or are active in the international mujahidin network. The group was designated for asset freeze under EO 13224 and UNSCR 1333 in September 2001.

Activities
Libyans associated with the LIFG are part of the support network of the broader international
jihadist movement. LIFG is one of the groups believed to be involved in planning the Casablanca suicide bombings of May 2003. Claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt against Qadhafi in 1996 and engaged Libyan security forces in armed clashes during the mid-to-late 1990s. Continues to target Libyan interests and may engage in sporadic clashes with Libyan security forces.

Strength
Not known but probably has several hundred active members or supporters.

Location/Area of Operation
Probably maintains a clandestine presence in Libya, but since the late 1990s, many members have fled to various Asian, Middle Eastern, and European countries.

External Aid
Not known. May obtain some funding through private donations, various Islamic nongovernmental
organizations, and criminal acts.

 

Lord's Resistance
Army (LRA)

Description
The LRA was founded in 1986 as the successor to the ethnic Acholi-dominated Holy Spirit Movement. LRA leader Joseph Kony has called for the overthrow of the Ugandan Government and its replacement with a regime run on the basis of the Ten Commandments. More frequently, however, he has spoken of the liberation and honor of the Acholi people who he sees as oppressed by the "foreign" government of Ugandan President Museveni. Kony is the LRA's undisputed leader. He claims to have supernatural powers and to receive messages from spirits, which he uses to formulate the LRA's strategy.

Activities
Since the early 1990's, the LRA has kidnapped 20,000 Ugandan children, mostly ethnic Acholi, to replenish its ranks. Kony despises Acholi elders for having given up the fight against Museveni and relies on abducted children who can be manipulated to fight for the LRA cause. The LRA forces kidnapped children and adult civilians to become soldiers, porters, and "wives" for LRA leaders. The LRA prefers to attack internally displaced persons camps and other civilian targets, avoiding direct engagement with the Ugandan military. Victims of LRA attacks sometimes have their hands, fingers, ears, noses, or other extremities cut off. LRA has stepped up its activities since early 2002 when the Ugandan army, with the Sudanese Government's permission, attacked LRA positions inside Sudan. Since then, the number of internally displaced has doubled to
1.4 million, and the LRA has pushed deep into non-Acholi areas where it had never previously operated.

Strength
Estimated at between 1,000 and 1,500 fighters, 85% of whom are abducted children and civilians.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Uganda and southern Sudan.

External Aid
Although the LRA has been supported by the Government of Sudan in the past, the Sudanese now appear to be cooperating with the Government of Uganda in a campaign to eliminate LRA sanctuaries in Sudan.

 

Loyalist Volunteer
Force (LVF)

Description
An extreme loyalist group formed in 1996 as a faction of the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) but did not emerge publicly until 1997. Composed largely of UVF hardliners who have sought to prevent a political settlement with Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland by attacking Catholic politicians, civilians, and Protestant politicians who endorse the Northern Ireland peace process. LVF occasionally uses the Red Hand Defenders as a cover name for its actions but in February called for the group's disbandment. In October 2001, the British Government ruled that the LVF had broken the cease-fire it declared in 1998 after linking the group to the murder of a journalist.
According to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, the LVF
decommissioned a small amount of weapons in December 1998, but it has not repeated this gesture. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.

Activities
Bombings, kidnappings, and close-quarter shooting attacks. Finances its activities with drug money and other criminal activities. LVF bombs often have contained Powergel commercial explosives, typical of many loyalist groups. LVF attacks have been particularly vicious: the group has murdered numerous Catholic civilians with no political or paramilitary affiliations, including an 18-year-old Catholic girl in July 1997 because she had a Protestant boyfriend. The terrorists also have conducted successful attacks against Irish targets in Irish border towns. From 2000 to 2003, the LVF has been engaged in a violent feud with other loyalists, which has left several men dead. In February 2003, the LVF was the chief suspect behind a bomb attack against a Catholic home
in Northern Ireland; no injuries occurred in this attack.

Strength
300 members, half of whom are active.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland and Ireland.

External Aid
None.

 

Maoist Communist
Center of India (MCCI)

a.k.a. the Maoist
Communist Center
[MCC] and Naxalites

Description
MCCI was founded in the early 1970s in Bahragora (now part of Jharkhand), near the borders of West Bengal and Orissa. Its "Naxalite" goals are peasant revolution, abolition of class hierarchies, and expansion of "liberated zones." Like its ideological partner, the People's War, the MCCI has signifi cant numbers of women cadre. The MCCI frequently restructures its organization and leadership portfolios to complicate police action against it. Pramod Mishra is now believed to head the MCCI, and other important leaders are Uma Shankar and P. N. G (alias Nathu Mistry, arrested by Jharkhand police in 2003).

Activities
The MCCI runs a virtual parallel government in remote areas where state and central government control are weak. It collects "tax" from the villagers and, in turn, completes small projects such as building hospitals, schools, and hand water pumps. It also runs a parallel court system wherein allegedly corrupt block development officials have been punished by amputation and even death. Landlords are a frequent MCCI target, and they are believed to kill an average of 100 civilians a year.

Strength
Although difficult to assess with any accuracy, media reports suggest the MCCI's membership
may be as high as 30,000.

Location/Area of Operations
The MCCI operates in the Indian states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, and parts of West Bengal. It has a presence on the Bihar-Nepal border.

External Aid
The MCCI is a founding member of the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia. Police have recovered foreign-made arms and Nepalese currency in raids against the MCCI suggesting links to the Maoist organization active in Nepal.

 

Moroccan Islamic
Combatant Group
(GICM)

Description
The goals of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) include establishing an Islamic State in Morocco and supporting al-Qaida's jihad against the West. The group appears to have emerged in the late 1990s and comprises Moroccan recruits who trained in armed camps in Afghanistan. GICM members interact with other North African extremists, particularly in Europe. On 22 November 2002, the United States designated the GICM for asset freeze under EO 13224 following the group's submission to the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee. Designated under EO 13224 in November 2002.

Activities
Moroccans associated with the GICM are part of the support network of the broader international jihadist movement. GICM is one of the groups believed to be involved in planning the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003. Members work with other North African extremists engaging in trafficking falsified documents and possibly arms smuggling. The group in the past has issued communiques and statements against the Moroccan Government.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Western Europe, Afghanistan, and Morocco.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

New Red Brigades/
Communist
Combatant Party (BR/PCC)

a.k.a. Brigate Rosse/
Partito Comunista
Combattente

Description
This Marxist-Leninist group is a successor to the Red Brigades, active in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to ideology, both groups share the same symbol, a five-pointed starinside a circle. The group is opposed to Italy's foreign and labor policies and NATO.

Activities
In 2003, Italian authorities captured at least seven members of the BR/PCC, one in March and six in October, dealing the terrorist group a severe blow to its future operational effectiveness. Some of those arrested are suspects in the assassination in 1999 of Labor Ministry adviser Massimo D'Antona, and authorities are hoping to link them to the assassination in 2002 of Labor Ministry advisor Marco Biagi. The arrests in October came on the heels of a clash in March 2003 involving Italian Railway Police and two BR/PCC members, which resulted in the death of one of the members of the group and the death of an Italian security officer. Italian officials believe they have
netted key BR/PCC operatives. Remaining BR/PCC members may conduct a retaliatory attack at some point, if only to prove their continued viability. Has financed its activities through armed robberies.

Strength
With the arrest of at least seven members and the death of one, its strength has been
estimated at fewer than 20.

Location/Area of Operation
Italy.

External Aid
Has obtained weapons from abroad.

 

People Against
Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)

Description
PAGAD and its ally Qibla view the South African Government as a threat to Islamic values. The two groups work to promote a greater political voice for South African Muslims. PAGAD sometime uses front names such as Muslims Against Global Oppression and Muslims Against Illegitimate Leaders when launching anti-Western protests and campaigns.

Activities
PAGAD's activities have been severely curtailed since 2001 by law-enforcement and
prosecutorial efforts against leading members of the organization. Between 1996 and 2000, however, they conducted a total of 189 bomb attacks, including nine bombings in the Western Cape that caused serious injuries. PAGAD's previous bombing targets have included South African authorities, moderate Muslims, synagogues, gay nightclubs, tourist attractions, and Western-associated restaurants. PAGAD is believed to have masterminded the bombing on 25 August 1998 of the Cape Town Planet Hollywood.

Strength
Current operational strength is unknown, but previous estimates were several hundred members.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates mainly in the Cape Town area.

External Aid
May have ties to international Islamic extremists.

 

Peoples War
a.k.a. Peoples War Group (PWG) and
Naxalites

Description
Kondapally Sitaramaiah (a.k.a. Kondapalli Seetharamiah) founded the Andhra Pradesh branch of the PWG in 1980 with the aim of creating an independent "Maoist" state stretching from rural Andhra Pradesh through Orissa and Bihar. Sitaramaiah cited the need for land reform as cause to rebel. Local press often refer to PWG cadres as "Naxalites" after the West Bengal village thought to have originally spawned the organization.

Activities
Peoples War continues a low-intensity insurgency that local police report kills about a dozen police officers, 60 PWG rebels, and as many innocent civilians each year. PWG activities have included: attempted (but failed) political assassination, theft of weapons from police stations, kidnapping police officers, assaulting civilians, extorting money from construction firms, and vandalizing the property of multinational corporations. On 1 October 2003, the PWG ambushed the motorcade of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Naidu using several roadside improvised explosive devices. The attack killed no one but injured a senior state government official.

Strength
Local police estimate Peoples War can muster 800 to 1,000 armed members and enjoys the support of 3,000 to 4,000 sympathizers.

Location/Area of Operations
The PWG operates in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and Bihar.

External Aid
Peoples War claims to belong to a "Confederation of Maoist Parties of South Asia" but
has not otherwise demonstrated international links.

 

Red Hand Defenders
(RHD)

Description
Extremist terrorist group formed in 1998 and composed largely of Protestant hardliners from loyalist groups observing a cease-fire. RHD seeks to prevent a political settlement with Irish nationalists by attacking Catholic civilian interests in Northern Ireland. In January 2002, the group announced all staff at Catholic schools in Belfast and Catholic postal workers were legitimate targets. Despite calls in February 2002 by the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) to announce its disbandment, RHD continued to make threats and issue claims of responsibility. RHD is a cover name often used by elements of the banned UDA and LVF. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.

Activities
In early 2003, the RHD claimed responsibility for killing two UDA members as a result of what is described as loyalist internecine warfare. They also claimed responsibility for a bomb that was left in the offices of Republican Sinn Fein in West Belfast, though the device was defused, and no one was injured. In recent years, the group has carried out numerous pipe bombings and arson attacks against "soft" civilian targets such as homes, churches, and private businesses. In January 2002, the group bombed the home of a prison official in North Belfast. Twice in 2002 the group claimed responsibility for attacks—the murder of a Catholic postman and Catholic teenager—that were later claimed by the UDA-UFF, further blurring distinctions between the groups. In 2001, RHD claimed responsibility for killing five persons.

Strength
Up to 20 members, some of whom have experience in terrorist tactics and bombmaking. Police arrested one member in June 2001 for making a hoax bomb threat.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland.

External Aid
None.

 

Revolutionary
Proletarian Initiative
Nuclei (NIPR)

Description
Clandestine leftist extremist group that appeared in Rome in 2000. Adopted the logo of the Red Brigades of the 1970s and 1980s—an encircled five-point star—for its declarations. Opposes Italy's foreign and labor polices. Has targeted property interests rather than personnel in its attacks.

Activities
Did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2002. Claimed responsibility for bomb attack in April 2001 on building housing a US-Italian relations association and an international affairs institute in Rome's historic center. Claimed to have carried out explosion in May 2000 in Rome at oversight committee facility for implementation of the law on strikes in public services. Claimed responsibility for explosion in February 2002 on Via Palermo adjacent to Interior Ministry in Rome.

Strength
Possibly 12 members.

Location/Area of Operation
Mainly in Rome, Milan, Lazio, and Tuscany.

External Aid
None evident.

 

Riyadus-Salikhin
Reconnaissance and
Sabotage Battalion
of Chechen Martyrs
(RSRSBCM)

Description
One of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on 23 October 2002. The suicide attackers took more than 800 hostages, whom they threatened to kill if the Russian Government did not meet their demands, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. The RSRSBCM—whose name translates into English as "Requirements for Getting into Paradise"—was not known to Western observers before the seizure. Chechen extremist leader Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for ordering the seizure, continues to lead the RSRSBCM. Designated under EO 13224 in February 2003.

Activities
Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces.

Strength
Probably no more than 50 fighters at any given time.

Location/Area of Operations
Primarily Russia.

External Aid
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahidin.

 

Sipah-i-Sahaba/
Pakistan (SSP)

Description
The Sipah-I-Sahaba/Pakistan (SSP) is a Sunni sectarian group that follows the Deobandi school. Violently anti-Shia, the SSP emerged in central Punjab in the mid-1980s as a response to the Iranian Revolution. Pakistani President Musharraf banned the SSP in January 2002. In August 2002, the SSP renamed itself Millat-i-Islami, and Musharraf re-banned the group in November 2003.

Activities
The group's activities range from organizing political rallies calling for Shia to be declared
non-Muslims to assassinating prominent Shia leaders.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Pakistan.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Special Purpose
Islamic Regiment
(SPIR)

Description
One of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on 23 October 2002. The suicide attackers took more than 800 hostages, whom they threatened to kill if the Russian Government did not meet their demands, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. Movzar Barayev commanded the SPIR until he was killed in the October seizure, which he led. The SPIR has continued to carry out guerrilla operations in Chechnya under the leadership of another Chechen leader, Khamzat, whose true identity is not known. Designated under EO 13224 in February 2003.

Activities
Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces. Has also been involved in various hostage and ransom operations, as well as the execution of ethnic Chechens who have collaborated with Russian authorities.

Strength
Probably no more than 100 fighters at any given time.

Location/Area of Operations
Primarily Russia.

External Aid
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahidin.

 

The Tunisian
Combatant Group
(TCG)

Description
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG), also known as the Jama'a Combattante Tunisienne, seeks to establish an Islamic regime in Tunisia and has targeted US and Western interests. Founded around 2000 by Tarek Maaroufi and Saifallah Ben Hassine, the loosely organized group is associated with al-Qaida and North African extremist networks implicated in terrorist plots during the past two years. The group was designated for sanctions under UNSCR 1333 in December 2000. Belgian authorities sentenced Maaroufi to six years in 2003. Designated under EO 13224 in
October 2002.

Activities
Tunisians associated with the TCG are part of the support network of the broader international jihadist movement. According to European press reports, TCG members or affiliates in the past have engaged in trafficking falsified documents and recruiting for terror training camps in Afghanistan. Some TCG associates are suspected of planning an attack against the US, Algerian, and Tunisian diplomatic missions in Rome in April 2001. Some members reportedly maintain ties to the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Western Europe and Afghanistan

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Tupac Amaru
Revolutionary
Movement  (MRTA)

Description
Traditional Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movement formed in 1983 from remnants of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, a Peruvian insurgent group active in the 1960s. Aims to establish a Marxist regime and to rid Peru of all imperialist elements (primarily US and Japanese influence). Peru's counterterrorist program has diminished the group's ability to carry out terrorist attacks, and the MRTA has suffered from infighting, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and loss of leftist support. In 2003, several MRTA members remained imprisoned in Bolivia.

Activities
Previously conducted bombings, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations, but recent
activity has fallen drastically. In December 1996, 14 MRTA members occupied the Japanese
Ambassador's residence in Lima and held 72 hostages for more than four months. Peruvian forces stormed the residence in April 1997 rescuing all but one of the remaining hostages and killing all 14 group members, including the remaining leaders. The group has not conducted a significant terrorist operation since and appears more focused on obtaining the release of imprisoned MRTA members.

Strength
Believed to be no more than 100 members, consisting largely of young fighters who lack
leadership skills and experience.

Location/Area of Operation
Peru with supporters throughout Latin America and Western Europe. Controls no territory.

External Aid
None.

 

Turkish Hizballah

Description
Turkish Hizballah is a Kurdish Islamic (Sunni) extremist organization that arose in the early 1980s in response to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) atrocities against Muslims in southeastern Turkey, where Turkish Hizballah seeks to establish an independent Islamic state.

Activities
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Turkish Hizballah, which is unrelated to Lebanese Hizballah,
expanded its target base and modus operandi from killing PKK militants to conducting
low-level bombings against liquor stores, bordellos, and other establishments that the
organization considered "anti-Islamic." In January 2000, Turkish security forces killed Huseyin Velioglu, the leader of Turkish Hizballah, in a shootout at a safehouse in Istanbul. The incident sparked a yearlong series of counterterrorist operations against the group that resulted in the detention of some 2,000 individuals; authorities arrested several hundred of those on criminal charges. At the same time, police recovered nearly 70 bodies of Turkish and Kurdish businessmen and journalists that Turkish Hizballah had tortured and brutally murdered during the mid-to-late 1990s. The group began targeting official Turkish interests in January 2001, when its operatives assassinated the Diyarbakir police chief in the group's most sophisticated operation to date. Turkish Hizballah did not conduct a major operation in 2003 but is probably attempting
to reorganize.

Strength
Possibly a few hundred members and several thousand supporters.

Location/Area of Operation
Turkey, primarily the Diyarbakir region of southeastern Turkey.

External Aid
Unknown.

 

Ulster Defense
Association/Ulster
Freedom Fighters
(UDA/UFF)

Description
The Ulster Defense Association (UDA), the largest loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, was formed in 1971 as an umbrella organization for loyalist paramilitary groups such as the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). Today, the UFF constitutes almost the entire UDA membership. The UDA/UFF declared a series of cease-fires between 1994 and 1998. In September 2001, the UDA/UFF's Inner Council withdrew its support for Northern Ireland's Good Friday Agreement. The
following month, after a series of murders, bombings, and street violence, the British Government ruled the UDA/UFF's cease-fire defunct. The dissolution of the organization's political wing, the Ulster Democratic Party, soon followed. In January 2002, however, the UDA created the Ulster Political Research Group to serve in a similar capacity. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.

Activities
The UDA/UFF has evolved into a criminal organization involved in drug trafficking and other moneymaking criminal activities. In February of 2003, the UDA/UFF declared a 12-month cease-fire but refused to decommission its weapons arsenal until Republican groups did likewise and emphasized its continued disagreement with the Good Friday accords. Even though numerous attacks on Catholics were blamed on the group, the UDA/UFF did not claim credit for any attacks and in August reiterated its intention to remain militarily inactive. The group has been involved in an internecine war with other loyalist groups for the past several years, which has lead to the deaths of numerous members of the organization. In January 2002, the UDA/UFF called for
an end to sectarian violence; in the preceding months, the UDA had been blamed for more than 300 bombings and shootings against Catholics in Belfast. Nevertheless, the UDA/ UFF continued its attacks against Catholics, as well as those seen as a threat to its criminal enterprises. The UDA/UFF admitted responsibility for the murder of a Catholic postman in January 2002, an attack also claimed by the Red Hand Defenders, a group used as a cover name by some UDA/UFF elements. The UDA also was blamed for a drive-by shooting that wounded three Catholics in September. Johnny Adair, the only person ever convicted of directing terrorism in Northern Ireland, was a leading UDA member until September 2002 when he was expelled from the group because of his growing ties to the LVF.

Strength
Estimates vary from 2,000 to 5,000 members, with several hundred active in paramilitary operations.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland.

External Aid
Probably obtains weapons from abroad.

 

Ulster Defense Force (UVP)

Description
Loyalist terrorist group formed in 1966 to oppose liberal reforms in Northern Ireland that members feared would lead to unification of Ireland. The group adopted the name of an earlier organization formed in 1912 to combat Home Rule for Ireland. The UVF's goal is to maintain Northern Ireland's status as part of the UK; to that end it has killed some 550 persons since 1966. The UVF and its offshoots have been responsible for some of the most vicious attacks of "the Troubles" including horrific sectarian killings like those perpetrated in the 1970s by the UVF-affiliated "Shankill Butchers." In October 1994, the Combined Loyalist Military Command, which included the UVF, declared a cease-fire, and the UVF's political wing—the Progressive Unionist Party—has played an active role in the peace process. Despite the cease-fire, the organization has been involved in a series of bloody feuds with other Loyalist paramilitary organizations.

Activities
The UVF has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include nationalist civilians, republican paramilitary groups and, on occasion, rival loyalist paramilitary groups. The UVF continues to observe a cease-fire.

Strength
Unclear, but probably several hundred supporters, with a smaller number of hard-core activists. Police counterterrorist operations and internal feuding have reduced the group's strength and capabilities.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland. Some support on the UK mainland.

External Aid
Suspected in the past of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers overseas.



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.