Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (”United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia,” AUC) was created in 1997 as an umbrella organization of regional paramilitary groups in Northern Colombia, each intending to protect different local economic, social and political interests by fighting left-wing insurgents in their areas, primarily the FARC and ELN. The AUC claimed its primary objective was to protect its sponsors and its supporters from insurgents and their activities, because the Colombian state had historically failed to do so. The AUC asserted itself as a regional and national counter-insurgency force.
The Al-Jabhah al-Sha‘biyyah li-Tahrir Filastin – General Command (”Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command,” PLFP-GC) is a Palestinian, secular, Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1968, that works together with Syria and Iran. Although the group was initially a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, it always opposed any political settlement with Israel. The group is influential in the Palestinian refugee camps of Syria, where it is based, and Lebanon, where Syrian support added to its importance.
Al-Jabha al-Sha‘biyya li-Tahrir Filastin (”Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” PFLP) is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organization founded in 1967 following the defeat of the Arabs in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It has consistently been the second-largest of the factions forming the Palestine Liberation Organization, the largest being Fatah. Inspired by revolutionary Marxist-Leninist ideology, the PFLP saw the Palestinian nationalist movement as part of a broader movement to transform the Arab world along Marxist-Leninist lines. The PFLP demands the end of Israel and opposes conservative Arab regimes, seeking to replace them with Marxist-Leninist states. Currently the PFLP is boycotting participation in the Executive Committee of the PLO as it considers both the Fatah led government in the West Bank and the Hamas government in the Ghaza Strip as illegal due to the lack of new elections to the Palestinian National Authority since 2006.
The Al-Jabha li-Tahrir Filastin (”Palestine Liberation Front”) is a Palestinian militant group, founded in 1961. Its aim is to eliminate what the group believes to be the wrongful rule of Israel over Palestine through armed struggle. The group was formerly communist, but currently primarily secular and nationalist since the fall of the Soviet Union. It continues to operate cells in the West Bank and Ghaza.
The al-Harakat al-Islamiyya al-Libiyya (”Libyan Islamic Movement”) is a group active in Libya founded in 1990, created by Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. It aims to establish an Islamic state in Libya and viewed the Gaddafi regime as oppressive, corrupt and anti-Muslim. The organization played a key role in deposing Gaddafi’s regime, allying itself with the National Transitional Council. In February 2011, after the Benghazi uprising, former members created a new Islamic Movement for Change which expressed support for international intervention to remove Gaddafi.
Aum Shinrikyo (currently known as Aleph) was a Japanese new religious movement. The group was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. The name derives from the Sanskrit syllable Aum, which represents the universe, followed by Shinrikyo, roughly meaning “religion of Truth.” In English “Aum Shinrikyo” is usually translated as “Supreme Truth.” In January 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph in reference to the first letter of the Hebrew and Phoenician alphabets. Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph is a belief system that incorporates Asahara’s idiosyncratic interpretations of Yoga with facets of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and the writings of Nostradamus.
Ansar al-Islam (”Supporters of Islam”) is an Islamic Kurdish separatist movement founded in 2001. The roots of Ansar al-Islam extend back to the mid-1990s. It is an offshoot of Jund al-Islam (”Soldiers of Islam” a.k.a. “Islamic Brigade”). Ansar al-Islam adheres to a rigid Salafi ideology. Its founding declaration states that “jihad in Iraq has become an individual duty of every Muslim after the infidel enemy attacked the land of Islam” and its members “derive their jihad program and orders from the instructions of the holy Quran and the Prophet Mohammed’s Sunnah.” The goal of Ansar al-Sunnah is to achieve in Iraq an Islamic state where Islam and its people are “strong,” without the influence of Western cultures, and to expel Western influence from the homeland.
Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahidin (”Mujahidin Youth Movement” or “Movement of Striving Youth”), more commonly known as al-Shabab (”The Youth” or “The Boys”), is an Islamist group working together with al-Qa‘ida. The group is an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its Ethiopian military allies. As of 2011, the group controls large swathes of the southern parts of Somalia, where it is has imposed its own strict form of traditional shari‘a law. Al-Shabab describes itself as waging jihad against “enemies of Islam,” and is engaged in combat against the TFG and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
Al-Qa‘ida in the Islamic Maghreb is an Islamist militia formed in 1998 which aims to replace the Algerian government and institute an Islamic state. To that end, it is currently engaged in an insurgent campaign. The group has declared its intention to confront Algerian, Spanish, French, and American targets. Al-Qa‘ida in the Islamic Maghreb voiced support for demonstrations against the Tunisian and Algerian Governments in a statement dating January 13, 2011. Al-Qa‘ida offered military aid and training to the demonstrators, calling on them to replace “the corrupt, criminal and tyrannical” regime, calling for “retaliation” against the Tunisian government, and also calling for the replacement of Algerian president. Al-Qa‘ida has begun recruiting anti-government demonstrators, some of whom have previously fought against American forces in Iraq and Israeli forces in Ghaza.
Al-Qa‘ida (”The Base”) was formed in 1988 by ’Usama bin Ladin and his associate Mohammed Atef to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. It serves as a focal point or umbrella group for a global network including cells in around sixty countries. Al-Qa‘ida gradually emerged out of the Maktab al-Khidma (”The Service Office”) which continues to maintain offices in various part of the world. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a Sunni Muslim movement calling for global jihad. Al-Qa‘ida ideologues envision a complete break from all foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new Islamic worldwide caliphate. Al-Qa‘ida also opposes man-made laws, and wants to replace it with a hardline form of traditional shari‘a law. Al-Qa‘ida leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis, Ahmadiyyas, and other sects as heretics and have issued attacks on their mosques and gatherings. In the words of its former leader, ’Usama bin Ladin, in an interview from October 2001: “Muhammad as its leader, our Lord is one and all the true believers are brothers. […] Brother Abu Ubada created a military base to train the young men to fight against the vicious, arrogant, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire. So this place was called al-Qa`ida, as in a training base, so this name grew and became.”
Al-Qa‘ida in Iraq is the name describing the Sunni militia group which is playing an active role in the Iraqi insurgency. The group is a direct successor of the organization Jama‘at al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad. Its first official statement declared allegiance to ’Usama bin Ladin’s al-Qa‘ida network in October 2004. Its goals are to expel US forces from Iraq, to replace the Iraqi interim government, to establish an Islamic caliphate, and to confront Iraq’s secular neighboring countries and the Israeli nation.
The al-Aqsa International Foundation was founded in 1997. It is an organization supporting humanitarian projects in the Palestinian territories. The name of the foundation refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The al-Aqsa International Foundation has its basis on the West Bank. Until 2002, its headquarters were located in Aachen. At the moment, the foundation is known to have branches in the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Pakistan, South Africa, and Yemen.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias on the West Bank. The group’s name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The leadership of the brigade and its members have identified themselves as the military wing of Fatah – a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. On their website, and on posters they employ the Fatah emblem. Al-Aqsa is committed to drive the Israelis from the West Bank, Ghaza Strip, and Jerusalem, and to create a Palestinian nation state. The organization is secular and nationalistic, and therefore does not seek to create an Islamic state, even though it uses Islamic themes in its campaigns.
The All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) is an isolationist group from the Tripura region in northeast India, consisting mainly of indigenous people of Tripura, and was originally founded as All Tripura Tribal Force on July 11, 1990, by a group of former Tripura National Volunteers, who claim to represent the Tripuri people, an economically disadvantaged community. The main objectives of ATTF are to expel all Bengali-speaking settlers settled in Tripura after 1956, to return tribal lands to their original owners under the “Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act,” and to purge voter rolls of all immigrants who entered Tripura after 1956.
Al-Itihad al-Islami (”The Islamic Union”) is Somalia’s largest Islamist group. In the early 1990s, as Somalia fell into disorder following the end of the Siad Barre regime, former al-Qa‘ida leader ’Usama bin Ladin decided to fund al-Itihad. Their main goal is the creation of an Islamist state in the Horn of Africa. Al-Itihad was active in setting up traditional shari‘a courts and presents itself also as a social movement.
Al-Ghuraba’ (”The Strangers”) are a Muslim organization which, along with al-Firqat un-Naajiyah (”The Saviour” group), is generally believed to be the reformed al-Muhajirun after it disbanded in 2004. The name of the group is derived from a hadith (”tradition”) ascribed to Muhammad, “Islam began as something strange and will end as something strange […] Paradise is for al-Ghurabaa.” In response to criticism that the group wishes to implement an Islamic state through violent means, the organization made the following public statement: “Al-Ghuraba’ do not glorify any acts of terrorism, whether committed by individuals, organizations, or nation states such as USA or UK, we do not wish anybody to emulate them or praise them, and make expressly clear that that is not the intention of any of our articles or comments of our representatives. If anyone was to mistakenly get this impression then that is not our intention and we will do everything we can to clarify the misunderstanding.”
Al-Jama‘a al-Islamiyya (”The Islamic Group”) is an Egyptian Islamist movement. Al-Jama‘a formally organized in 1973 in the Upper Nile regions. Egyptian President ’Anwar Sadat gave the group’s members free reign, covertly supplying them with arms to defend themselves against potential attacks by Marxists or Nasserites, who advocated a nationalist, pan-Arab form of socialism. Al-Jama‘a gained strong support among the university populations in both Cairo and Alexandria. The group is dedicated to replace the Egyptian government with an Islamic state and beeieves that there should be no room for diplomatic compromise. In recent years al-Jama‘a has expanded their targets to include US and allied interests abroad. Following the 2011 Revolution, it established a political party. Al-Jama‘a stated that any legislation drafted in Egypt after the revolution must refer to the traditional shari‘a of God, “who blessed us with this revolution. We believe that the suffering we endured during the past years was due to neglecting religion and putting those who don’t fear [God] in power.” It also claimed that “Islam can contain everyone and respects the freedom of followers of other religions to refer to their own shari‘a [legislation] in private affairs.”
Al-Badr is an Islamic militant group operating in the Jammu-Kashmir region. The group was allegedly formed by the Pakistani secret service (ISI) in June 1998 with the goal of strengthening the Kashmiri freedom struggle. Al-Badr aims to liberate the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and merge it with Pakistan. The group advocates that Kashmiris should be given the right of self-determination according to UN resolutions and has in the past indicated that it perceives Kashmir to be the “gateway of India,” describing its objective to be the liberation of Muslims in the rest of India after occupying Kashmir. While advocating the idea of a sovereign Kashmir, it is also critical of the moderate Kashmiri organizations. The current al-Badr leadership is also opposed to the US, Israel, and the current regime of Saudi Arabia. Al-Badr has close linkages with the ISI and Jama‘at-e-Islami in Pakistan.
The Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj is an ethnic Nepali organization founded in 1979. Over the past few years, it has established an extensive network all over India. It has a strong base in northern Bengal and is active in Northeast India, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, in areas inhabited by ethnic Nepalese, and in stretches bordering Nepal. The organization was registered with the stated objective of securing unity among immigrant Nepalese residing in India and working for their welfare. Gradually it evolved into a front organization for the Maoist insurgents of Nepal. The organization also invests in the proliferation of the ideal of a greater Nepal, a concept referring to the state of Nepal extending beyond present borders to include territories ceded to the British East India Company under the Sugauli Treaty that ended the Anglo-Nepalese War in 1814–16.
The Aden-Abyan Islamic Army emerged publicly in mid-1998 when the group released a series of communiqués expressing support for the late al-Qa‘ida leader ’Usama bin Ladin, arguing for the replacement of the Yemeni government and operations against US and other Western interests in Yemen. Members of the group adhere to the Salafi religious faction, an ultra-conservative Sunni Islamic movement. On November 8, 1998, the group called on all members of the Yemen parliament and consultative council to resign and demanded that President ‘Ali Abdullah Salih “surrender” and face trial according to traditional shari‘a law.
Abu Sayyaf (”Bearer of the Sword,” or more precisely, “Father Executioner”) was founded in 1991 by members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who objected to the latter’s negotiations with the Philippine government and proclaimed themselves mujahidin. ’Abu Sayyaf’s goal is the creation of an independent Islamic state, modeled after an Iranian-style Islamic theocracy, encompassing parts of Southern Thailand, the island of Borneo, the Sulu Archipelago, and Mindanao – areas where Moro Muslims, an ethnic minority group in the Philippines, make up the majority of the local population. ’Abu Sayyaf primarily operates in the southern Philippines and began expanding into neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia by the early 1990s. Some ’Abu Sayyaf members have studied or worked in Saudi Arabia and developed ties to mujahidin while training and engaging in the war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
The ’Abu Nidal Organization, named after its leader Sabri al-Banna, a.k.a. ’Abu Nidal, is a secular international group that has worked together with Syria, Libya, and Iraq, and has opposed a wide range of Western, Israeli, and Arab targets. ’Abu Nidal represented the Fatah movement—the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), led by Yasir ‘Arafat—in Sudan and later Iraq.
’Abu Nidal split with the PLO in 1974 after it proposed the creation of a national authority on the West Bank and in the Ghaza Strip as a step toward Palestinian statehood. He continued to advocate Israel’s disappearance and accused the PLO of selling out by pursuing diplomatic relations with the state of Israel and set up his own organization, the Fatah Revolutionary Council – signifying that he saw his group as the true heir to ‘Arafat’s Fatah movement. This council, which has become known as the ’Abu Nidal Organization, favors the abolition of the state of Israel, preferably through an international Arab revolution, and therefore supports “armed struggle” against Israel. It opposes Arab-Israeli negotiations, as well as the United States, the PLO, and the Arab regimes in Jordan and the Persian Gulf states.
The Brigata 20 luglio (”July 20th Brigade”) manifested itself in 2002 in response to the death of Carlo Giuliani, an anti-globalization protestor at the G-8 Summit in Genoa and the death of Fabio Halilović, a Roma youth – both were killed in interaction with the police. The July 20th Brigade protests “the torture and systematic violence perpetuated in the streets and police barracks in a vain attempt to repress the people’s response against the G-8 summit.” In addition, the group pledges its allegiance “to all revolutionaries who are resisting and are continuing to fight in the prisons. We are avenging our comrades in the struggle.” Currently the July 20th Brigade is acting as a faction of the Informal Anarchist Federation.
The Brigate Rosse (”Red Brigades”) are a Marxist-Leninist organization founded in 1970, based in Italy. The group was founded by students and seeks to create a revolutionary state through armed struggle, and to remove Italy from NATO. In the beginning there were two main groups, the Trento Group with strong ties to the sociology department of a Catholic university and the Reggio Emilia group which found support mainly from the communist youth movement.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) was formed in 1948, comprising tribal groups based in the Balochistan area of Eastern Pakistan, which aims to establish an independent nation encompassing the Baloch dominated areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. The organization takes part in the Balochistan conflict, which is waged between Baloch nationalists and the Pakistani goverment over Balochistan. Sources of discontent in Balochistan include a desire for increased benefits from the region’s mineral resources and an end to discrimination in government recruiting practices. The Baloch people were also involved in a struggle with the Pakistani government and military over these issues in the 1970s. The BLA operates in a loose structure, with small autonomous cells able to carry out acts on their own without directions from above.
Babbar Khalsa, or Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), is a Sikh organization based in India. The name Babbar Khalsa derives from the Babbar Akali Movement of 1920, which agitated against British colonial rule in India. Babbar Khalsa was created in 1978, after a number of Sikhs were killed in clashes with the rivaling Sant Nirankari Mission. The organization’s target is the foundation of an independent state, Khalistan, Land of the Pure, that is supposed encompass primarily the Indian province of Punjab. The organization is still active in the United States, Canada, Pakistan, and Europe.
(”Cell against Capital, Jails, Its Jailers, and Its Cells,” Five C’s). In their own words, the Five C’s intend to “broaden the struggle on behalf of all prison detainees” and expresses solidarity “with the prisoners on hunger strike in the Spanish jails.” Its main targets are businesses in Spain. Currently the Five C’s are acting as a faction of the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI).
The Cooperativa Artigiana Fuoco e Affini (”Cooperative of Hand-Made Fire and Related Items”) is an anarchist organization founded in 2001 operating in Italy. It has amongst others protested the G8 summit in Genoa. In a letter sent to the Benetton factory, the group claimed to support “freedom for the Mapuche people oppressed by Benetton.” The Mapuche are the indigenous people of the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile, where Benetton has purchased massive amounts of land, forcing many Mapuche off their traditional lands. In their statements the organization proclaimed that it would act in the future with its “comrades” in International Solidarity, Black Star, Revolutionary Action, and the Revolutionary Cores. International Solidarity and Black Star are prominent anarchist groups in Italy and Greece, respectively. The group has also stated to be fighting for prisoners in both Spain and Turkey. Currently the Cooperative is acting as a faction of the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI).
Cumann na mBan (”Irishwomen’s Council”) is an Irish republican women’s paramilitary organization formed in 1914 as an auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers. In 1913, a number of women decided to hold a meeting in Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin, to discuss the possibility of forming an organization for women who would work in conjunction with the recently formed Irish Volunteers. Although it was an otherwise independent organization, its executive was subordinate to that of the Volunteers. The primary aims of the organization as stated in its constitution were to “advance the cause of Irish liberty and to organise Irishwomen in the furtherance of this object,” to “assist in arming and equipping a body of Irish men for the defence of Ireland” and to “form a fund for these purposes, to be called ‘The Defence of Ireland Fund’.”
The Continuity Irish Republican Army founded in 1986 is an Irish republican paramilitary organization based in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that aims to bring about a united Ireland. It emerged from a split in the Provisional IRA but did not become active until the latter’s ceasefire of 1994. The CIRA considers itself a direct continuation of the Irish Republican Army (the army of the unilaterally declared 1919–1922 Irish Republic) that fought in the Irish War of Independence. Its main opponents are the security forces of Northern Ireland, including the British Army and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The CIRA and Real Irish Republican Army have reportedly been working together in order to achieve their common goal of dismantling the Good Friday Agreement, a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland’s political parties, and an international agreement between the British and Irish governments.
The New People’s Army (NPA) formed in 1969 is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The NPA quickly spread throughout the Philippines during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The Maoist NPA conducts an armed guerrilla struggle, fighting for the Maoist concept of “new democracy.” In 1995 the CPP issued a communique approving of same-sex relationships and in 2005 the first gay marriage of two NPA cadres was performed.
The Communist Party of India is a Maoist political party in India which aims to replace the government of India. It was founded in 2004, through the merger of the People’s War, and the Maoist Communist Centre. The CPI are often referred to as Naxalites in reference to the Naxalbari insurrection conducted by radical Maoists in West Bengal in 1967, named after the village Naxalbari where the movement had its origin. The Communist Party of India fights for the rights of the tribes in the forest belt around central India. That region contains deposits of minerals and there have been numerous human rights violations of the tribal people at the hands of government agencies. The Maoists denounce globalization as a war on the people by market fundamentalists and the caste system as a form of social oppression. Their eventual objective is to install a “people’s government” by means of the Maoist concept of a “new democratic revolution.” Currently the party has a presence in remote regions of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, as well as in Bihar and the tribal-dominated areas in the borderlands of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Orissa.
The Communist Party of Peru, commonly known as the Sendero Luminoso (”Shining Path”), is a Maoist organization in Peru founded in 1980. Its stated goal is to replace bourgeois democracy with Maoist “new democracy.” The Shining Path wants a dictatorship of the proletariat, inducing cultural revolution, and eventually sparking world revolution. The Shining Path perceives all existing socialist countries as revisionist, and itself as the vanguard of the world communist movement. The Shining Path’s ideology and tactics have been influential on other Maoist insurgent groups, such as the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi (”Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front,” DHKP/C) is a Marxist-Leninist party formed in 1978 in Turkey. A 1994 factional infighting within Dev Sol resulted in two factions: the main group was renamed DHKP/C, while the other created a new THKP/C. In all cases of Partisi-Cephesi (”Party/Front”) names, “Party” refers to the group’s political activities, while “Front” is a reference to a group’s military operations. DHKP/C holds anti-US and anti-NATO positions, and considers the Turkish government to be under the control of Western imperialism.
The Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi (”Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front,” DHKP/C) is a Marxist-Leninist party formed in 1978 in Turkey. A 1994 factional infighting within Dev Sol resulted in two factions: the main group was renamed DHKP/C, while the other created a new THKP/C. In all cases of Partisi-Cephesi (”Party/Front”) names, “Party” refers to the group’s political activities, while “Front” is a reference to a group’s military operations. DHKP/C holds anti-US and anti-NATO positions, and considers the Turkish government to be under the control of Western imperialism.
The Dukhtaran-e-Millat (”Daughters of the Nation”) group is part of the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir valley. The main aim of the organization is the imposition of Islamic law in Kashmir as well as secession from India. The group made the following statement concerning its main objectives: “the strong belief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat is that we want the whole universe to be governed by the laws of Allah the Almighty. Based on Islamic teachings, we are fighting against India. […] Kashmir is not a part of India because united India was divided on the basis of religion.” The group has sought to work in tandem with the Kashmir insurgency which broke out in 1989. During the 1990s, the group was active in organizing protests against Kashmiri women who did not comply with wearing a burqa (a veil covering the entire body).
The Deendar Anjuman (”Religious Association”) was founded in 1924. This Sufi organization preaches that Islam is a mixture of local cultures, religions, and traditions, appealing to the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. The Deendar Anjuman perceives Islam as the only true global religion and regards the prophet Mohammed as the final prophet. The organization interprets Islam as the logical conclusion of the spiritual beliefs of all “true Hindus,” and aims to convert India into an Islamic state primarily through conversion and preaching. It has branches and followers in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
Epanastatikos Agonas (”Revolutionary Struggle,” EA) is a Greek rebel Group founded in 2005. EA outlined its concerns about international capitalism and European Union mandated budget cutbacks, which have resulted in massive reductions on welfare spending in the areas of health care, education and pensions. The groups points out that 2.3 million Greek families live on only 576 euros a month. Calling for the complete replacement of the system by revolutionary means, the group states: “We will achieve the eradication of these ills only with the replacement of the existing system in its entirety.” EA further states that “the return of the revolutionary vision to the forefront of history is the urgent precondition for the definitive exit from the vicious cycle of injustice and social disaster promised by the system of globalised capitalism and parliamentary ‘democracy’.” The US led so-called war on terror is also strongly denounced as a ploy to establish a global police state to control the working classes of the world. Targets confronted by the group are always symbolically allied with these targets of criticism, such as the US embassy in Greece.
The Epanastatiki Organosi dekaefta Noemvri (”Revolutionary Organization 17 November,” 17N) is a Marxist urban guerrilla organization formed in 1975. The group’s name, 17N, refers to the final day of the 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising, in which a protest against the Greek Military Junta (1967–1974) took place. A 17N manifesto released in 1977 defines the post-junta regime as oppressive, authoritarian, and complicit in the transformation of Greece into a pawn for foreign interests. The organization’s efforts aim to counter NATO, EU, Turkish, and US stances. Its objectives include the expulsion of US military bases from Greek soil, the removal of Turkish forces from Cyprus, and the withdrawal of Greece from all supranational institutions. 17N believes the government of Greece to be nothing more than a placebo designed to pacify the Greek people and delay the inevitable communist revolution. 17N states that all groups that they confront are responsible for the underdevelopment or exploitation of Greece.
Epanastatiki Pyrines (”Revolutionary Nuclei”) was formed in 1971 and emerged from a broad range of anti-establishment and anti-US/NATO/EU groups active in Greece. The group is believed to be the successor to or offshoot of Greece’s Revolutionary People’s Struggle, which was formed in opposition to the military junta that ruled Greece at the time. The group’s anti-imperialistic and anti-capitalistic ideals have led them to oppose governmental and economic targets. In general, the group’s proclamations are anti-imperialist and anti-NATO but also anti-nationalist, criticizing the “neo-Byzantine” attitudes of the existing political order.
The Ejército de Liberación Nacional (”National Liberation Army,” ELN) is a revolutionary Cuban-inspired group founded in 1959. The ELN emerged following the replacement of the Cuban government and was founded by two distinct groups. The first group comprised urban left-wing intellectuals with strong ties to rural farmers. They co-founded the group with a radicalized group of oil sector unionists from Barrancabermeja’s oil industry. Radical members of the Catholic clergy joined the group in late 1965. The ELN’s founding philosophy strongly emphasized socialism, mixing Castro-ism with the liberation theology of the Catholic Church, which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. The ELN’s role is to represent the rural poor and decrease the foreign presence in Colombia, aiming to take power from the Colombian government and to replace it with a more egalitarian “popular democracy” that would represent all Colombians equally under the law.
Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (”Basque Fatherland and Liberty,” commonly known as ETA) is a Basque nationalist and separatist organization formed in 1959. The Basques are a culturally distinct Christian group located in the mountainous region between modern-day Spain and France. The Basques have never had their own independent state, but have enjoyed varying degrees of autonomy over the centuries under Spanish and French rule. Initially ETA’s founders focused on General Francisco Franco’s suppression of the Basque language and culture. More moderate Basque nationalist organizations, including the Basque Nationalist Party, were denounced as collaborators by ETA, which evolved by the 1960s into a revolutionary Marxist group. ETA’s motto is “Keep up on both,” referring to the two figures in its symbol, a snake (representing politics) wrapped around an axe (representing armed struggle). ETA held its first assembly in Bayonne, France, in 1962, during which a “declaration of principles” was formulated and following which a structure of activist cells was developed. Subsequently, Marxist and Third-worldist perspectives developed within ETA, becoming the basis for a political program. ETA’s third and fourth assemblies, held in 1964 and 1965, adopted an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist position, seeing nationalism and the class struggle as intrinsically connected. After a series of ceasefires in 1989, 1996, 1998, and 2006, ETA announced a “definitive cessation of its armed activity” in 2011.
The Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), formerly called Islamic Jihad, originally referred to as al-Jihad, the Jihad Group, or the Jihad Organization, is an Egyptian Islamist group active since the late 1970s. Since 1991 it has been led by al-Qa‘ida. The alliance of EIJ and al-Qa‘ida was officially formed in 1998. The group sought to end Egypt’s corrupt secular government and replace it with an Islamic state. Later it broadened its aims to obstruct interests of the United States and Israel in Egypt and abroad.
The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (”Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army,” commonly known as FARC) is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization and peasant army founded in 1964 in Colombia. FARC is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict between the Colombian government and peasant guerrillas. FARC was established as a military wing of the Colombian Communist Party after government military forces attacked rural communist enclaves in 1964. FARC has proclaimed itself to be a revolutionary agrarian, anti-imperialist organization of Bolivarian inspiration. It represents the rural poor in a struggle against Colombia’s wealthier classes, and opposes United States influence in Colombia, neo-imperialism, monopolization of natural resources by multinational corporations, and paramilitary or government violence.
Federazione Anarchica Informale (Informal Anarchist Federation,” FAI) is an Italian insurrectionary anarchist organization. It is a “horizontal” structure of various anarchist groups, united in their beliefs in revolutionary armed action. Groups comprising the FAI act both as separate organizations and under the FAI, and are known to format group campaigns. Their ideology is opposed to both the current European order and Marxism, which they see as solely a replacement of one form of oppressive authority with another. The organization is composed by the following groups: July 20th Brigade, Five C’s, International Solidarity, and Cooperative of Hand-Made Fire & Related Items. The New Red Brigades and Communist Combatant Party are also allied with the FAI.
The name Fianna Éireann, also written Fianna na hÉireann and Na Fianna Éireann (”Soldiery of Ireland” or “Warriors of Ireland”), named after the mythological Fianna warrior groups, has been used by various Irish republican youth movements throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Fianna Éireann, organized as a youth hurling league for boys and girls, existed in West Belfast, around 1903. As Na Fianna Éireann had been organized four years earlier than the Irish Volunteers, and that many of its members were now young adults, fully trained in many aspects of warfare many young members transferred over to the Volunteers in 1913. The organization split into factions with differing political views and ideologies over the subsequent decades. Following the 1969/70 split in the Irish Republican Army and Sinn Féin, two organizations claiming the title of Fianna Éireann emerged. One was aligned with the Provisional IRA. The other was aligned with the Official IRA. Another extant Fianna group is linked to the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and allegedly to the Real Irish Republican Army. The Fianna Éireann linked to Republican Sinn Féin claims to be the legitimate organization on the basis of Irish Republican legitimatism.
Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain is a Sunni organization that emerged in the late 1990s. GICM consists of Moroccan recruits trained in camps in Afghanistan. Its goal is to install a fundamentalist Islamist state in Morocco, but has members around Western Europe and in Quebec as well.
The Grupo de Resistencia Anti-Fascista Primero de Octubre (”First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups,” GRAPO) is a Maoist organization founded in 1976 is the armed wing of the Partido Comunista de España (reconstituido) (”Communist Party of Spain (Reconstituted),” or PCE(r)). At the beginning of 1976, two months after Franco’s death, during the Spanish political transition from dictatorship to democracy, the PCE(r) began a revolutionary struggle against the political reforms. The PCE(r) restructured itself into different commissions; one of these was a “front against fascism,” which became the GRAPO. The organization aims for the formation of a Spanish Republican state, based on the model of Maoist China. Besides its critique of capitalism, it is strongly opposed to Spain’s NATO membership and the role of the US in global political issues.
Groupe Islamique Armé is a militant Islamist group linked to the moderate, mainstream Muslim political party Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). GIA was established following a 1992 decision by Algeria’s military government to cancel an election in which it appeared that the FIS was headed for victory. The GIA vowed to raze the secular Algerian government and, in its place, establish a Muslim state ruled by traditional shari‘a law.
Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami fi Filastin (”Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine”) known in the West as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), is a small Palestinian militant organization founded in 1979. After being inspired by the Iranian Revolution, the group was organized to fight for the sovereignty of Palestine and freedom from Israel. The group is currently based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, but there are also offices in Beirut, Tehran, and Khartoum.
The Holy Land Foundation was founded in 1992 as a reorganization and expansion of the Occupied Land Foundation, the largest Islamic charity in the United States. Its headquarters are in Richardson, Texas. The organization’s website states: “Our mission is to find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters.” Their primary area of focus is with the Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. They also provide support to victims after disasters and wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Turkey, and the US (after Iowa floods, Texas tornadoes, and the Oklahoma City bombing).
The Hofstad Network is an Islamist group comprising mostly young Dutch Muslims of mainly Moroccan ancestry. The name Hofstad refers to the city of The Hague (Hofstad literally means “court city”; The Hague is the seat of the Dutch royal court), where some of the members are active. The Islamist ideas of the Hofstad Network are associated with those of the movement of Takfir wa-l-Hijra (”Excommunication and Exodus”), the popular name of the Jama‘at al-Muslimin (”Society of Muslims”). This group finds its origins in Egypt during the 1960s. Its intent is to infiltrate a target society (Islamic or Western) in order to re-Islamize it. Takfir wa-l-Hijra is Sunni-based and fundamentalist in nature, borrowing from Salafist ideology.
Hizb-ul-Mujahidin (”Party of Mujahidin,” HM) was founded in 1989. HM is a Kashmiri militant group active in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. The HM was formed as the militant wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamist political party. The Hizb-ul-Mujahidin stands for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. Since its inception, the HM has also campaigned for the Islamisation of Kashmir. The HM has its own news agency, Hizb Media Center, and has a women’s wing, Banat-ul-Islam.
Hezbollah (Hizb Allah) (”Party of God”) is a Shia Muslim militant group and political party founded in 1982 based in Lebanon. Hezbollah subsumed a number of Lebanese Islamic groups. Its formation was a direct response to Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon designed to eliminate the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) base of operations. Hezbollah receives financial and political support from Iran and Syria. Its leaders were inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini, and its forces were trained and organized by a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Hezbollah’s 1985 manifesto listed its four main goals as “Israel’s final departure from Lebanon as a prelude to its final obliteration,” ending “any imperialist power in Lebanon,” submission of the right-wing Phalangist Party to “just rule” and bringing them to trial for their crimes during the Lebanese Civil War, and giving the people the chance to choose “with full freedom the system of government they want.” Hezbollah has grown into an organization with seats in the Lebanese government, a radio and a satellite television station, and programs for social development. Hezbollah maintains strong support among Lebanon’s Shia population. Hezbollah’s political wing also runs a variety of social programs in southern Lebanon and south Beirut that provide schooling, medical care, and welfare to Lebanese Shiites.
The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (”Islamic Party Gulbuddin,” HIG) is an Afghan Islamist political party founded in 1977. Based in Eastern Afghanistan and the tribal areas in Western Pakistan, HIG was known to be one among the prominent mujahidin groups in the Afghan resistance during the Soviet occupation. The group had worked together with the Taliban and ’Usama bin Ladin during this period, and the Taliban. Though anti-American in principle, HIG temporarily worked together with the US by accepting millions of dollars and equipment to help the mujahidin fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. HIG is a faction of the Hizb-e-Islami party that seeks to liberate Afghanistan from the influence of foreign forces, replace the Afghan government, and establish a fundamentalist Islamic state.
The Harkat ul-Mujahidin al-Islami (”Islamic Mujahidin Movement,” HuM) is a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group founded in 1989 operating primarily in Kashmir. The group splintered from the Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami. It is also believed that the organization has retained close ties with the Pakistani intelligence services (ISI). At the end of Soviet-Afghan war, the group entered Kashmiri politics by use of militants under the leadership of Sajjad Afghani. Initially, the HuM’s objective was the organization of humanitarian relief for the Afghan refugees in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Since the end of the Afghan war, HuM has continued to resist secular Muslim governments and the West. The group’s main objective today is to continue the struggle against anti-Islamic forces. The organization seeks Kashmir’s secession from India and accession to Pakistan to create a pan-Islamic state.
The Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (”Islamic Struggle Movement,” HuJI) is an Islamic fundamentalist organization formed in 1984 and most active in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. HuJI was first Pakistan-based jihadist organization, during the Soviet-Afghan War. HuJI initially limited its operations in Afghanistan to defeating the communists, but after the Soviets retreated, the organization strived to bring jihad to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir as well. HuJI espoused a pan-Islamic ideology and wishes to liberate Kashmir and make it a part of Pakistan. HuJI’s footprint was extended to Bangladesh when the Bangladesh unit (HuJI-B) was established in 1992.
The Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh (”Islamic Struggle Movement Bangladesh,” HuJI-B) was established in 1992 with assistance from ’Usama bin Ladin’s International Islamic Front, a predecessor of al-Qa‘ida. On April 30, 1992, several of the HuJI-B leaders addressed a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in capital Dhaka and demanded that Bangladesh be converted into an Islamic State. The groups issued a slogan, “We will all become Taliban and we will turn Bangladesh into Afghanistan.” The HuJI-B has connections to the Pakistani militant groups Harakat ul-Jihadi al-Islami and Harakat ul-Mujahidin, which advocate similar objectives in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.
Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (”Islamic Resistance Movement”), widely known under its acronym Hamas, is a Palestinian Islamist socio-political organization founded in 1987, with a military wing, the ‘Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Based largely upon the principles of Islamic fundamentalism that were gaining momentum throughout the Arab world in the 1980s, Hamas was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, during the First Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Hamas has been founded for the purpose of jihad, to liberate Palestine from Israeli oppression and to establish an Islamic state. In the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections Hamas won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament.
The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) was founded by breakaway fighters from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in March 2002 in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. The organization initially called itself the Islamic Jihad Group, but later changed its name and became closely involved with al-Qa’ida. The group opposes Western influences as well as secular rule in Uzbekistan, and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on Islamic law.
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is an Irish republican revolutionary military organization. It descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organization established on 25 November 1913 that staged the “Easter Rising” insurrection in April 1916 with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland. In 1919 the Irish Volunteers were recognized by the Irish Republic as its legitimate army. It subsequently waged a guerrilla campaign against British rule in Ireland in the 1919–21 Irish War of Independence. Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, a civil war erupted in Ireland between pro-treaty and anti-treaty factions. A large minority found the creation of Northern Ireland to be an unacceptable compromise. In 1922 the IRA was founded by members of the anti-treaty faction who had participated in the guerrilla war against the British, lost the civil war and continued to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. In 1969, at the beginning of the almost thirty-year period collectively known as the “Troubles,” the IRA split into two rival factions, the Official and the Provisional IRA. The Official IRA, with its Marxist oriented ideology, was opposed to an armed campaign against the British and would later declare an indefinite ceasefire in 1972. The Provisional IRA started an armed campaign against the British troop presence in Northern Ireland and protect Catholic civilians. After 1972 ceasefire declared by the Official IRA, the Provisional IRA became the de facto IRA, desiring the removal of British troops and the unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish People’s Liberation Organization (IPLO) is a small Irish republican paramilitary organization formed in 1986 by disaffected and expelled members of the Irish National Liberation Army. The IPLO’s initial priority is to have the Irish Republican Socialist Movement disappear from which it had split.
The Irish Liberation Army (INLA) is a republican paramilitary organization founded in 1974 operating in Northern Ireland. The INLA is the armed wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and a splinter group of the Official Irish Republican Army. As a paramilitary organization in Northern Ireland, the INLA espouses an ideology of militant republicanism coupled with a Marxist-Leninist political and social approach. The organization fights to unite all 32 counties of Ireland under an independent communist Irish state.
The All India Sikh Students Federation started the ISYF in the United Kingdom as an international branch in 1984. The organization believes Sikhs to be cornered and ignored in Indian Society, and that the Sikh religion is being absorbed into the Hindu fold. They therefore want to carve out an independent Sikh state called Khalistan (”Land of the Pure”) from Indian territory. The organization has also collaborated and associated with other Sikh organizations, including Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Liberation Force, and Khalistan Commando Force.
Indian Mujahidin (IM) is an Islamist group based in India. IM have sent several emails to make their aims public, the following citation dates from 2008: “Here we are back […] once again calling you all, who disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad to accept Islam and bear witness that there is none to be worshipped except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Accept Islam and save yourselves. O Hindus! O disbelieving faithless Indians! Haven’t you still realized that the falsehood of your 33 crore dirty mud idols and the blasphemy of your deaf, dumb, mute idols are not at all going to save your necks, Insha-Allah, from being slaughtered?” The group has regional aspirations with the ultimate aim of creating an Islamic caliphate across South Asia.
The İslami Büyükdoğu Akıncılar Cephesi (”The Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front,” IBDA-C) is an Islamic militant organization which follows the Büyük Doğu (”Great East”) ideology of Necip Fazıl Kısakürek (1905–1983), a well-known Turkish author, poet, and Islamist ideologue. IBDA-C was founded in 1970 by Salih Izzet Erdiş, aka Salih Mirzabeyoglu. The group’s self-proclaimed goal is to create a Sunni Islamic federate state in the Middle East and reestablish the Islamic caliphate. IBDA-C carries on its pro-Islamic legacy with a newly-born radicalism that wishes to restore religious rule to Turkey of whose secular government it finds “illegal.”
Jundallah (”Soldiers of God”), is an organization founded in 2003 based in Balochistan fighting for the rights of Sunni Muslims Iran, which is predominantly Shia. Jundallah engages with high profile Iranian targets, such as government and security officials. Jundallah states that they wish to “improve conditions for ethnic Balochis,” and that his group is “fighting exclusively for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran.”
Jemaah Islamiyah (”Islamic Congregation,” JI), is a Southeast-Asian militant Islamic organization formed in 1969. The JI was established as a loose confederation of several Islamic groups. It started with an operation to propagate the Dar al-Islam movement, a conservative strain of Islam advocating the establishment of Islamic law in Indonesia. Dar al-Islam sprang up as the country emerged from Dutch colonial rule in the late 1940s, and its followers continued to resist the postcolonial Indonesian republic, which it saw as too secular. JI is both dedicated to the establishment of pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei.
Jamaat ul-Mujahidin Bangladesh (”Society of Mujahidin Bangladesh,” JMB) is an Islamist organization founded in 1998 operating in Bangladesh. The JMB’s aim is to replace the current state of Bangladesh with an Islamic state based on traditional shari‘a law. JMB has stated that it opposes the political system of Bangladesh and seeks to “build a society based on the Islamic model laid out in holy Quran-Hadith.” It opposes democracy as being in violation of shari‘a, and also opposes socialism and its avowed objective is to neutralize left-wing extremists, especially cadres of the Purba Banglar Communist Party. JMB also is opposed to cultural functions, cinema halls, shrines, and NGOs. In another leaflet it states that “We don’t want taguti [non-Islamic] law, let Quranic law be introduced. Law framed by humans cannot continue and only the laws of Allah will prevail.”
Jama‘at Ansar al-Sunna (”Society of the Followers of Faith”) or Ansar al-Sunna is a Salafi group in Iraq that fought the U.S. led occupation and the elected government. The group is based in northern and central Iraq, and includes mostly Iraqi fighters. The group was founded in September 2003 as an umbrella organization for guerrillas, with former members of Ansar al-Islam. Its goal is to expel U.S. occupation forces and influences from Iraq.
The Jaysh al-Islam (”Army of Islam”), also known as the Tawhid Brigades or Jihad Brigades, is an Islamic militant organization. It is located at the Tzabra neighborhood in the center of the Ghaza Strip bordering Israel and Egypt. The group is led by Mumtaz Dughmush and operates primarily in the Palestinian territories. It subscribes to a Salafist ideology of global jihad and supports armed Palestinian resistance.
Khuddam ul-Islam (”Servants of Islam,” KuL) is an Islamist Sunni militant splinter group of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (”Army of Mohammed,” JeM) organization, which was founded in 2000. JeM’s stated objective is to unite Indian-administered Kashmir with Pakistan under interpretation of Islamic law, as well as the removal of Hindu and other non-Muslim presence from the south-Asian subcontinent. JeM has also actively engaged in activities in Kashmir, in effort to rid the area of Indian Military working alongside several other Sunni organizations in Pakistan. JeM has actively denounced US occupation in any Islamic country and has vowed to engage US forces and allies.
The Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) is a Sikh militant organization active since 1998. The KZF is headed by Ranjit Singh Neeta, a native of Jammu and Kashmir. KZF comprises mainly Jammu based Sikhs advocating the creation of an independent Sikh majority state called Khalistan by achieving the independence of the Punjab state in India and adjoining Punjabi-speaking areas of neighboring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh via an armed struggle.
The Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) was a Sikh militant organization. The KCF, along with the Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Liberation Force, and the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan, opposed the Indian army forces during the 1980s and early 1990s as well as the Punjab police. The goal of the KCF is the eventual formation of the Sikh state of Khalistan, which would encompass Punjab, India, as well as some districts of neighboring states.
The Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (”Organization to Save the Revolutionary Movement in Manipur,” KYKL) is a Meitei group founded in 1994. The Meiteis are the majority ethnic group of Manipur, India. Before the region of Manipur was incorporated into the country of India in the early 1970s, it was dominated by local ethnic groups. Meitei insurgents who returned from the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971 felt that Manipur was being overrun by foreigners. KYKL was formed in January 1994 following the merger of a variety of insurgent groups. The purported objective of the KYKL is to “rebuild” the Manipuri society by clearing it of all vices like immoral activities, drug trade, and corruption. The KYKL is focused almost solely on social “reform,” despite the fact that the group espouses the nationalist goal of a unified “Seven Sisters” region of India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura in northeastern India). Toward the end of 2001, the outfit launched Operation New Kangleipak, an “anti-corruption” campaign to “clean up” the educational system in Manipur.
Kata’ib Hizb Allah (”Hezbollah Brigades,” KH) is a Shia Iraqi insurgent group which has been active since the end of 2003, four months before the beginning of the Iraq War. KH is a Shia Islamist group which seeks to end US foreign presence and influence in Iraq, and to establish a Shiite Islamic government. KH is a ideological offshoot of the Lebanese Hezbollah and shares many of the same basic principles and beliefs. The main goal of KH is to “liberate Iraq and the Iraq people from the domination of the West.” KH believes that Israel is an instrument of the West and the US and desires to see the State of Israel replaced. They also support (at least ideologically) a free and independent Palestinian State.
Kach (”Thus”) is a far-right political party in Israel, founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1970s. Kahanism, a term that derives from his name, can be defined as an ideology of dedication and self-sacrifice for Jewish causes, such as physical and spiritual freedom and safety of Jews in Israel and worldwide. The party entered the Knesset in 1984. Kahane’s legislative proposals focused on revoking the Israeli citizenship for non-Jews and banning Jewish-gentile marriages and sexual relations, based on the Code of Jewish Law compiled by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah. After Kahane’s assassination in 1990, the party split, with Kahane Chai (”Kahane Lives”) breaking away from the main Kach faction. Since 1994, both movements are banned in Israel, though splinter groups are still active.
The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland founded in 1996. The loyalist group seeks to maintain Northern Ireland’s position within the UK while a minority supports Northern Ireland independence. It was formed when the Mid-Ulster brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force was stood down by the latter organization’s leadership in Belfast. In May 1998, the LVF declared an “unequivocal” ceasefire to encourage people to vote “no” in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. The Agreement was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process, which established the Northern Ireland Assembly and marked a deescalation of violence in Northern Ireland. On October 30, 2005 the LVF announced that it had instructed its “military units” to stand down.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (”Army of Jhangvi,” LeJ) is a militant Islamist organization formed in 1996. The group aims to establish an Islamist Sunni state in Pakistan based on traditional shari‘a law. LeJ wishes to have all Shiites declared non-believers and specifically opposes the Pakistani Shia Muslim community in Pakistan.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba (”Army of the Good”) was founded in 1989 and is one of the largest and most active militant Islamist organizations in South Asia, operating mainly from Pakistan. The group operates several training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Its stated objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to “liberate” Muslims residing in Indian Kashmir. Their stated goal is not limited to challenging India’s sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir. Their aims include establishing an Islamic state in South Asia and uniting all Muslim-majority regions in countries that surround Pakistan to raise jihad against all non-Muslim communities. LeT sees the issue of Kashmir as part of a wider global Islamic struggle. In a pamphlet entitled “Why Are We Waging Jihad?” the group defined its agenda as the restoration of Islamic rule over all parts of India and declared India, Israel, and the US to be existential enemies of Islam.
The Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) was one of the largest two Maoist groups in India. The history of the MCC starts with the foundation of the Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist (CPI(ML)) in 1969, rallying various Maoist tendencies into a unified organization, although some groups retained a separate identity and remained outside of CPI(ML). One such group was nicknamed Dakshin Desh. The Dakshin Desh-group held strong to the idea that mass mobilizations were requisites for engaging in armed struggle. In 1975 the group took the name Maoist Communist Center. The purported objective of the MCC was to establish a people’s government through a Maoist People’s War. In September 2004 the MCC decided to fuse with the People’s War Group, to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is a Tripura-based nationalist militant organization founded in 1989. The purported objective of the NLFT is to establish an independent Tripura through an armed struggle following the liberation from “Indian neo-colonialism and imperialism” and the promotion of a “distinct and independent identity.” Their manifesto states that it the NLFT intends to expand the kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura.
The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), originally called Bodo Security Force, is an organization founded in 1986 seeking to obtain a sovereign Bodoland, an area located in the north bank of Brahmaputra river in the state of Assam in north east region of India. This area would be designated to the Bodo people, an ethnic and linguistic community, early settlers of Assam in the northeastern part of India. Though the NDFB advocates sovereignty for the Bodos, a majority of its members are Christians, who themselves do not represent the majority of indigenous Bodos. The NDFB is allied with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim and occupies training camps in the South of Bhutan.
The Osbat al-Ansar (”League of the Partisans”) is a Lebanon-based Sunni group established in the early 1990s. Its aim is to replace the Lebanese dominated secular government. The goal of Osbat al-Ansar is the establishment of a Sunni Islamic state in Lebanon.
The Orange Volunteers (OV) are an Ulster loyalist and Protestant fundamentalist paramilitary group founded in 1998 in Northern Ireland. The OV seek to prevent a political settlement between Protestants and Irish nationalists by engaging with Catholic civilian interests in Northern Ireland. The group emerged during the 1998 Drumcree conflict when the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British Army prevented members of the Portadown Orange Order and their supporters from marching to the town center. The group supposedly consists of dissident Loyalists who disapprove of the Northern Ireland peace process and also of the more militant members of the Orange Order, including former members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association.
The People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) is a militant group formed in 1977. Kangleipak is the ancient name of Manipur. PREPAK is one of the groups who have pledged to expel all outsiders from the area and establish an independent state of Manipur. In the early nineties, PREPAK along with other Meitei militant organizations launched a social reformation campaign to eradicate social crimes. It had given punishment against persons involved in rape cases. The party also took action against drug users, drug peddlers, and smashed alcohol vendors in an attempt to bring a social change in Manipur. PREPAK remains committed to establishing an independent state of Manipur for the ethnic Meitei people, and therefore most of its operations occur within that northeastern State. The group has established training camps in the Sajik Tampak area of Manipur and Bangladesh.
The People’s Liberation Army was founded in 1978. It is a separatist armed revolutionary group fighting for a separate independent socialist state of Manipur. It was the first organization from Manipur to have been trained by the China’s People Liberation Army at Lhasa in the eighties. Since its founding, it has been waging a guerrilla based warfare against the Indian Armed Forces and has opposed the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, and the State Police Force. However during the late nineties, it declared a unilateral decision not to confront the Manipur Police. The group is also a member of the Manipur People’s Liberation Front, an umbrella organization of three separatist organizations of Manipur.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was established in 1978. In 1989, the PLA formed a political body called the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF). RPF runs a government-in-exile in Bangladesh. As part of its revitalization efforts, the PLA was reorganized on the lines of a disciplined army. The PLA aims to organize a revolutionary front covering the entire Northeast and unite all ethnic groups, including the Meiteis, Nagas and Kukis, to liberate Manipur. Before this region was incorporated into the country of India in the early 1970s, it was dominated by ethnic groups. Meitei insurgents who returned from the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971 felt that Manipur was being overrun by foreigners. PLA, though a Meiti outfit, claims itself to be a trans-tribal organization seeking to lead the non-Meiteis as well. Two camps in Myanmar and five camps in Bangladesh are currently known to exist, where about 1,000 recruits have received arms training.
The Partiya Karkarên Kurdistan (”Kurdistan Workers’ Party,” PKK), also called Kongra-Gel, is a Kurdish separatist organization founded in 1978 which fights an armed struggle against Turkey, Syria, and Iran. The PKK’s ideology is founded on revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism. The group was founded in 1978 with the aim of creating an independent Kurdish state, Kurdistan, which would comprise southeastern Turkey, northeastern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran. This goal has now been moderated to claiming cultural and political rights for the ethnic Kurdish population in Turkey.
The Red Hand Defenders (RHD) are a paramilitary group seeking to maintain Northern Ireland’s status as part of the United Kingdom. The group first came to prominence during the Drumcree crisis in July 1998, when the Protestant Orange Order was banned from marching along its annual parade route in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The RHD opposes the Good Friday Agreement. Like other loyalist groups, the RHD actively opposes the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and its fellow travelers. Its members were drawn mostly from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).
The Red Hand Commando (RHC) is a small loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland founded in 1972, which is closely linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force. It is named after the Red Hand of Ulster, a symbol used in heraldry to denote the Irish province of Ulster. The RHC was part of the Combined Loyalist Military Command, aiming for the continued existence of the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland. The RHC supported the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland’s political parties, and an international agreement between the British and Irish governments.
The Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) is a paramilitary organization, formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA. The RIRA’s ultimate objective is a united Ireland by forcing British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. The organization rejects the peace process in Northern Ireland and refuses to accept the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty which resulted in the partition of Ireland. The organization aims to uphold an uncompromising form of Irish republicanism and opposes any political settlement that falls short of Irish unity and independence.
The Sāzmān-e Mojāhedin-e Khalq-e Irān (”People’s Mujahedin of Iran,” PMOI, MEK, or MKO) is a militant organization founded in 1965 that advocates the replacement of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was set up by a group of Iranian college students as an Islamic and Marxist political mass movement. PMOI was originally devoted to armed struggle against the Shah of Iran, capitalism, and Western imperialism. During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the group was given refuge by Saddam Hussein and opposed Iran as lead by Ayatollah Khomeini. The PMOI’s ideology is that of revolutionary Shiism, a combination of Marxism, nationalism, and Islam. The group argues that the monotheistic order sought by the prophet Mohammed was a commonwealth fully united not only in its worship of one God but in a classless society that strives for the common good. PMOI states that “Shiism, particularly Hussein’s historic act of martyrdom and resistance, has both a revolutionary message and a special place in our popular culture.” In recent years the organization has adopted strong principles in favor of women as two-thirds of its commanders are women. In 1981, the PMOI formed the National Council of Resistance of Iran with the stated goal of uniting the opposition to the Iranian government under one organization. The PMOI claims that in the past 25 years, the NCRI has evolved into a 540-member parliament-in-exile, with a specific platform that emphasizes free elections, gender equality, and equal rights for ethnic and religious minorities. The PMOI claims that it also advocates a free-market economy and supports peace in the Middle East. PMOI states to be a secular organization: “The National Council of Resistance believes in the separation of Church and State.”
The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is an Islamist organization founded in 1977. The SIMI advocates the “liberation of India” by converting it to an Islamic land. It has declared struggle against India, the aim of which is to establish Dar al-Islam (”Land of Islam”). The SIMI wishes to the liberate of India from Western materialistic cultural influence and to convert its Muslim society to live according to Muslim code of conduct. Its slogan is “Allah is our Lord, the Quran is our constitution, Mohammed is our leader, jihad is our way and shahada [declaration of belief] is our desire.” Among its various objectives, SIMI aims to counter what it believes is the increasing moral degeneration, sexual anarchy in Indian society and the insensitivity of the decadent West. SIMI maintains that the concepts of secularism, democracy, and nationalism are antithetical to Islam.
Saor Éire (”Free Ireland”) is a left-wing political organization established in September 1931 by communist leaning members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with the backing of the IRA leadership. Saor Éire described itself as “an organization of workers and working farmers.” The organization’s constitution listed its objectives as follows: to achieve an independent revolutionary leadership for the working class and working farmers towards the replacement of British imperialism and its ally, Irish capitalism; to organize and consolidate the Republic of Ireland on the basis of the possession and administration by the workers and working farmers, of the land, instruments of production, distribution, and exchange; and to restore and foster the Irish language, culture, and games.
The Tala’i‘ al-Fatah (”Vanguards of Conquest”) is a group founded in 1993 as a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad operating in Somalia. In 1995 the group attempted to replace Mubarak through armed struggle. In December 1998, it issued a communique to Islamist groups calling for attacks against the United States “for its arrogance” in bombing Iraq ostensibly to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In June 2001, the group merged with al-Qa‘ida.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (”Student Movement of Pakistan,” TTP), alternatively referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist militant groups formed in 2007 based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan. TTP was created to prevent the military from dividing and conquering the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Most Pakistani Taliban groups coalesce under the TTP. In December 2007 about thirteen groups united under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud to form the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Among the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s stated objectives are resistance against the Pakistani state, a plan to unite against NATO led forces in Afghanistan and the implementation of traditional shari‘a law.
The Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT) is a Tamil secessionist group that is believed to be functioning since the late eighties in the southern Indian state Tamil Nadu. The TNRT was formed with the objective of fighting for an independent homeland for Tamils in India. Reports also held that the TNRT would seek to eventually extend the boundaries of the Tamil nation to form a greater Tamil nation including what now comprises Tamil Nadu and the areas in Sri Lanka, which the Tamil Tigers claims constitute Tamil Eelam, the Tamil state.
Tamil Nadu Liberation Army (TNLA) is a small militant separatist movement in India founded in the 1980s. It has its roots in the Naxalite movement and seeks an independent nation for the Tamil people. The TNLA believes that independence of Tamil Nadu, one of the 28 states of India, from “Indian rule’ is essential for the betterment of its people, and that armed struggle is necessary to achieve independence.
Takfir wa-l-Hijra (”Excommunication and Exodus”) was the popular name given to the Islamist group Jama‘at al-Muslimin founded in the 1960s as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Most contemporary takfir doctrine was forged inside Egyptian jails following the great wave of arrests targeting the Muslim Brotherhood in the mid-1960s where many of its members were tortured and/or executed. One of those arrested, the sheikh of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque, ‘Ali Isma‘il, postulated that not only Egyptian President Nasser and his entourage were apostates, but so was Egyptian society as a whole because it was not fighting the Egyptian government and had thus accepted rule by non-Muslims.
The Tamiḻ Īḻa Viṭutalaip Pulikaḷ (”Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, is a separatist militant organization founded in 1976, formerly based in northern Sri Lanka. The Tamil Tigers waged a secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil People as the ethnic Tamils feel persecuted by Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority, the Sinhalese. Its goal is to create a monoethnic Tamil Eelam state. The Tamil Tigers have extensive support amongst the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Europe and North America, and amongst some Tamils in India. The Tamil Tigers were in control of 76% of the landmass in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, at its peak in 2000. At the start of the final round of peace talks in 2002, the Tamil Tigers, with control of 15,000 km2 area, were basically running a mini-state.
The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) is the oldest Meitei insurgent group in the State of Manipur in the northeast of India and was formed in 1964. The goal of the UNLF is to achieve independence and to install a socialist society. A pan-Manipuri Youth League was formed in December 1968, which functioned as an overground body for the UNLF. In the seventies and eighties, the UNLF concentrated mainly on mobilization and recruitment. In 1990, it decided to launch an armed struggle for the liberation of Manipur from India. In the same year, it formed an armed wing called Manipur People’s Army. On May 22, 1990, the UNLF, along with other insurgent groups floated a pan-Mongoloid coalition called the Indo-Burma Revolutionary Front to wage a “united struggle for the independence of Indo-Burma.”
The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is a revolutionary group from Assam founded among 1979. It seeks to establish a sovereign Assam via an armed struggle. The ULFA is in its own words a “revolutionary political organization” engaged in a “liberation struggle” against state terrorism and economic exploitation by India for the establishment of a sovereign, independent Assam. It claims that among the various problems that the people of Assam are confronting, the problem of national identity is the most basic, and therefore it seeks to represent “independent minded struggling peoples” irrespective of race, tribe, caste, religion, and nationality.
The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. It was formed in late 1965 or early 1966 and named after the Ulster Volunteer Force of 1913. It was created to combat the threat of republican paramilitary organizations such as the Irish Republican Army. The group’s volunteers undertook an armed campaign of almost thirty years during “The Troubles.” The principal issues at stake in “The Troubles” were the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between the mainly Protestant unionist and mainly Catholic nationalist communities in Northern Ireland. The UVF’s declared goal was to combat Irish republicanism, particularly republican paramilitaries. The group favors the continued existence of the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was formed in the 1970s and is the largest loyalist paramilitary organization in Northern Ireland. As a loyalist organization the UDA is opposed to the unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and desires that the six counties of Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom. The UDA was formed in response to the Irish Republican Army violent resurgence in Northern Ireland. Small, neighborhood-based local groups, with the express intent of protecting Protestants from republican attacks, began to form. The UDA was later established as an umbrella organization for many of these local groups. In the 1970s the group favored Northern Ireland independence, but they have retreated from this position. In early January 1994, the UDA released a document calling for ethnic cleansing and repartition, with the goal of making Northern Ireland wholly Protestant. The plan was to be implemented should the British Army withdraw from Northern Ireland. The vastly Catholic and nationalist areas would be handed over to the Republic of Ireland, and those left stranded in the “Protestant state” would be “expelled, nullified, or interned.”
World Tamil Movement (WTM) is a non-profit organization created in 1986 run by Canadians of ethnic Tamil heritage. The organization has functioned as a community group that offers services such as translation, vocational training, and a library for Toronto’s 200,000 Tamils. It further organized cultural and sports leagues, and classes to help women and children integrate into the larger Canadian society. It was further involved in relief efforts for the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. It has also openly declared itself to share the politics of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism, stating: “It’s no secret that the World Tamil Movement supports the right of the Tamil people to self-determination in the Northern and Eastern part of Sri Lanka. This is a political position – perhaps one that not everyone will agree with, but one that we are constitutionally entitled to hold.” In 2008 the organization was placed on the Canadian list of designated terrorist organizations for allegedly donating money to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers). In their press release WTM responded as follows: “The Board of Directors of the WTM, the thousands of Tamil Canadians who have benefitted from the services provided by the WTM, and the Tamil Canadian community at large are profoundly shocked and dismayed by the decision of the Government of Canada to criminalize a community-based organization in this manner. […] Rather than criminalizing community organizations in Canada, the government could better direct its efforts to promoting peace in Sri Lanka and providing humanitarian assistance for those displaced by the ongoing conflict.”