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Great Seal logo Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1999

Background Information on
Terrorist Groups

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The following descriptive list of terrorist groups is presented in two sections. The first section lists the groups that currently are designated by the Secretary of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality act, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The designations carry legal consequences:

  • It is unlawful to provide funds or other material support to a designated FTO.
  • Representatives and certain members of a designated FTO can be denied visas or excluded from the United States.
  • U.S. financial institutions must block funds of designated FTOs and their agents and must report the blockage to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The second section includes other terrorist groups that were active during 1999. Terrorist groups whose activities were limited in scope in 1999 are not included.


I. Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (October 1999)

Abu Nidal organization (ANO)
a.k.a. Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, and Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims

Description
International terrorist organization led by Sabri al-Banna. Split from PLO in 1974. Made up of various functional committees, including political, military, and financial.

Activities
Has carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 persons. Targets include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries. Major attacks included the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul and the Pan Am flight 73 hijacking in Karachi in September 1986, and the City of Poros day-excursion ship attack in Greece in July 1988. Suspected of assassinating PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief Abu Hul in Tunis in January 1991. ANO assassinated a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in January 1994 and has been linked to the killing of the PLO representative there. Has not attacked Western targets since the late 1980s.

Strength
A few hundred plus limited overseas support structure.

Location/Area of Operation
Al-Banna relocated to Iraq in December 1998, where the group maintains a presence. Has an operational presence in Lebanon in the Bekaa Valley and several Palestinian refugee camps in coastal areas of Lebanon. Also has a limited presence in Sudan and Syria, among others, although financial problems and internal disorganization have reduced the group's activities and capabilities. Authorities shut down the ANO's operations in Libya and Egypt in 1999. Has demonstrated ability to operate over wide area, including the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

External Aid
Has received considerable support, including safehaven, training, logistic assistance, and financial aid from Iraq, Libya, and Syria (until 1987), in addition to close support for selected operations.

Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

Description
The ASG is the smallest and most radical of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the southern Philippines. Some ASG members have studied or worked in the Middle East and developed ties to mujahidin while fighting and training in Afghanistan. The group split from the Moro National Liberation Front in 1991 under the leadership of Abdurajik Abubakar Janjalani, who was killed in a clash with Philippine police on 18 December 1998. The ASG still is working to fill a leadership void resulting from his death, although press reports place his younger brother, Khadafi Janjalani, as head of the group's operations in the Basilan Province.

Activities
Uses bombs, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion payments to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, areas in the southern Philippines heavily populated by Muslims. Raided the town of Ipil in Mindanao in April 1995, the group's first large-scale action. Suspected of several small-scale bombings and kidnappings in 1999.

Strength
Unknown but believed to have about 200 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation
The ASG operates in the southern Philippines with members occasionally traveling to Manila.

External Aid
Probably receives support from Islamic extremists in the Middle East and South Asia.

al-Jihad (see under J)

Armed Islamic Group (GIA)

Description
An Islamic extremist group, the GIA aims to overthrow the secular Algerian regime and replace it with an Islamic state. The GIA began its violent activities in early 1992 after Algiers voided the victory of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS)--the largest Islamic party--in the first round of legislative elections in December 1991.

Activities
Frequent attacks against civilians, journalists, and foreign residents. In the last several years the GIA has conducted a terrorist campaign of civilian massacres, sometimes wiping out entire villages in its area of operations and frequently killing hundreds of civilians. Since announcing its terrorist campaign against foreigners living in Algeria in September 1993, the GIA has killed more than 100 expatriate men and women--mostly Europeans--in the country. Uses assassinations and bombings, including car bombs, and it is known to favor kidnapping victims and slitting their throats. The GIA hijacked an Air France flight to Algiers in December 1994. In late 1999 several GIA members were convicted by a French court for conducting a series of bombings in France in 1995.

Strength
Unknown, probably several hundred to several thousand.

Location/Area of Operation
Algeria.

External Aid
Algerian expatriates and GIA members abroad, many of whom reside in Western Europe, provide some financial and logistic support. In addition, the Algerian Government has accused Iran and Sudan of supporting Algerian extremists and severed diplomatic relations with Iran in March 1993.

Aum Supreme Truth (Aum)
a.k.a. Aum Shinrikyo

Description
A cult established in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, Aum aims to take over Japan and then the world. Approved as a religious entity in 1989 under Japanese law, the group ran candidates in a Japanese parliamentary election in 1990. Over time, the cult began to emphasize the imminence of the end of the world and stated that the United States would initiate "Armageddon" by starting World War III with Japan. The Japanese Government revoked its recognition of Aum as a religious organization in October 1995, but in 1997 a government panel decided not to invoke the Anti-Subversive Law against the group, which would have outlawed the cult.

Activities
On 20 March 1995, Aum members simultaneously released the chemical nerve agent sarin on several Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 persons and injuring up to 6,000. The group was responsible for other mysterious chemical incidents in Japan in 1994. Its efforts to conduct attacks using biological agents have been unsuccessful. Japanese police arrested Asahara in May 1995, and he remained on trial facing 17 counts of murder at the end of 1999. From 1997 to late 1999 the cult recruited new members, built up a profitable commercial business, and bought several properties. In September the cult declared it would cease most of its activities and in December apologized for the sarin attack. The cult maintains an Internet home page, but shut down almost all of its links following these announcements.

Strength
The Aum's current membership is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 persons. At the time of the Tokyo subway attack, the group claimed to have 9,000 members in Japan and up to 40,000 worldwide.

Location/Area of Operation
The Aum is known to operated only in Japan, but it may have an unknown number of residual followers in Russia.

External Aid
None.

Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
a.k.a Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna

Description
Founded in 1959 with the aim of establishing an independent homeland based on Marxist principles in the northern Spanish Provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, Alava, and Navarra and the southwestern French Provinces of Labourd, Basse-Navarra, and Soule.

Activities
Primarily bombings and assassinations of Spanish Government officials, especially security and military forces, politicians, and judicial figures. In response to French operations against the group, ETA also has targeted French interests. ETA finances its activities through kidnappings, robberies, and extortion. The group has killed more than 800 persons since it began lethal attacks in the early 1960s. ETA was responsible for murdering six persons in 1998 but did not carry out any known killings in 1999. In late November, ETA broke the "unilateral and indefinite" cease-fire it had held since 16 September 1998.

Strength
Unknown; may have hundreds of members, plus supporters.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates primarily in the Basque autonomous regions of northern Spain and southwestern France, but also has bombed Spanish and French interests elsewhere.

External Aid
Has received training at various times in the past in Libya, Lebanon, and Nicaragua. Some ETA members allegedly have received sanctuary in Cuba. Also appears to have ties to the Irish Republican Army through the two groups' legal political wings.

Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left)
a.k.a. Dev Sol (see Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front, DHKP/C)

ELA (see Revolutionary People's Struggle)

ELN (see National Liberation Army)

ETA (see Basque Fatherland and Liberty)

FARC (see Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia)

Al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group, IG)

Description
Egypt's largest militant group, active since the late 1970s; appears to be loosely organized. Has an external wing with a worldwide presence. The group issued a cease-fire in March 1999 and has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since August 1998. Signed Usama Bin Ladin's fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks against US civilians but publicly has denied that it supports Bin Ladin. Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman is al-Gama'at's preeminent spiritual leader, and the group publicly has threatened to retaliate against US interests for his incarceration. Primary goal is to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace it with an Islamic state.

Activities
Armed attacks against Egyptian security and other government officials, Coptic Christians, and Egyptian opponents of Islamic extremism. Al-Gama'at has launched attacks on tourists in Egypt since 1992, most notably the attack in November 1997 at Luxor that killed 58 foreign tourists. Also claimed responsibility for the attempt in June 1995 to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Gama'at has never specifically attacked a US citizen or facility but has threatened US interests.

Strength
Unknown, but probably several thousand hardcore members and another several thousand sympathizers.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates mainly in the Al Minya, Asyu't, Qina, and Soha Governorates of southern Egypt. Also appears to have support in Cairo, Alexandria, and other urban locations, particularly among unemployed graduates and students. Has a worldwide presence, including the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, and Austria.

External Aid
Unknown. The Egyptian Government believes that Iran, Sudan, and Afghan militant groups support the organization. Also may obtain some funding through various Islamic nongovernmental organizations.

HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)

Description
Formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various HAMAS elements have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel. Loosely structured, with some elements working clandestinely and others working openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda. HAMAS's strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and a few areas of the West Bank. Also has engaged in peaceful political activity, such as running candidates in West Bank Chamber of Commerce elections.

Activities
HAMAS activists, especially those in the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks--including large-scale suicide bombings--against Israeli civilian and military targets. In the early 1990s they also targeted suspected Palestinian collaborators and Fatah rivals.

Strength
Unknown number of hardcore members; tens of thousands of supporters and sympathizers.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily the occupied territories, Israel. In August 1999, Jordanian authorities closed the group's Political Bureau offices in Amman, arrested its leaders, and prohibited the group from operating on Jordanian territory.

External Aid
Receives funding from Palestinian expatriates, Iran, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states. Some fundraising and propaganda activity take place in Western Europe and North America.

Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)

Description
HUM is an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan that operates primarily in Kashmir. Leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil has been linked to Bin Ladin and signed his fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks on US and Western interests. Operates terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan and suffered casualties in the US missile strikes on Bin Ladin-associated training camps in Khowst in August 1998. Fazlur Rehman Khalil subsequently said that HUM would take revenge on the United States.

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

Strength
Has several thousand armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris, and also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. Uses light and heavy machineguns, assault rifles, mortars, explosives, and rockets.

Location/Area of Operation
Based in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, but members conduct insurgent and terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. The HUM trains its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

External Aid
Collects donations from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf and Islamic states and from Pakistanis and Kashmiris. The source and amount of HUM's military funding are unknown.

Hizballah (Party of God)
a.k.a. Islamic Jihad, Revolutionary Justice Organization, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, and Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine

Description
Radical Shia group formed in Lebanon; dedicated to creation of Iranian-style Islamic republic in Lebanon and removal of all non-Islamic influences from the area. Strongly anti-West and anti-Israel. Closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran but may have conducted operations that were not approved by Tehran.

Activities
Known or suspected to have been involved in numerous anti-US terrorist attacks, including the suicide truck bombing of the US Embassy and US Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983 and the US Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping and detention of US and other Western hostages in Lebanon. The group also attacked the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and is a suspect in the bombing in 1994 of the Israeli cultural center in Buenos Aires.

Strength
Several thousand.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates in the Bekaa Valley, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and southern Lebanon. Has established cells in Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Asia.

External Aid
Receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and Syria.

Islamic Resistance Movement (see HAMAS)

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

Description
An international terrorist group formed around 1970 after breaking away from Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. Led by Fusako Shigenobu, believed to be in Syrian-garrisoned area of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Stated goals are to overthrow Japanese Government and monarchy and help foment world revolution. Organization unclear but may control or at least have ties to Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB). Also may have links to Antiwar Democratic Front--an overt leftist political organization--inside Japan. Details released following arrest in November 1987 of leader Osamu Maruoka indicate that JRA may be organizing cells in Asian cities, such as Manila and Singapore. Has had close and longstanding relations with Palestinian terrorist groups--based and operating outside Japan--since its inception.

Activities
During the 1970s, JRA conducted a series of attacks around the world, including the massacre in 1972 at Lod Airport in Israel, two Japanese airliner hijackings, and an attempted takeover of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. In April 1988, JRA operative Yu Kikumura was arrested with explosives on the New Jersey Turnpike, apparently planning an attack to coincide with the bombing of a USO club in Naples and a suspected JRA operation that killed five, including a US servicewoman. Kikumura was convicted of these charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United States. In March 1995, Ekita Yukiko, a longtime JRA activist, was arrested in Romania and subsequently deported to Japan. Eight others have been arrested since 1996, but leader Shigenobu remains at large.

Strength
About eight hardcore members; undetermined number of sympathizers.

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

External Aid
Unknown.

al-Jihad
a.k.a. Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Jihad Group, Islamic Jihad, Vanguards of Conquest, Talaa' al-Fateh

Description
Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s. Appears to be divided into two factions: one is based in Afghanistan and is a key player in terrorist financier Usama Bin Ladin's new World Islamic Front and the other--the Vanguards of Conquest (Talaa'al-Fateh)--is led by Ahmad Husayn Agiza. Primary goal is to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace it with an Islamic state. Increasingly willing to target US interests in Egypt.

Activities
Specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian Government officials. The original Jihad was responsible for the assassination in 1981 of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Appears to concentrate on high-level, high-profile Egyptian Government officials, including cabinet ministers. Claimed responsibility for the attempted assassinations of Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi in August 1993 and Prime Minister Atef Sedky in November 1993. Has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since 1993 and has never targeted foreign tourists there. Threatened to retaliate against the United States, however, for its incarceration of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently, for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom.

Strength
Not known, but probably several thousand hardcore members and another several thousand sympathizers among the various factions.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates in the Cairo area. Has a network outside Egypt, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Sudan.

External Aid
Not known. The Egyptian Government claims that Iran, Sudan, and militant Islamic groups in Afghanistan--including Usama Bin Ladin--support the Jihad factions. Also may obtain some funding through various Islamic nongovernmental organizations.

Kach and Kahane Chai

Description
Stated goal is to restore the biblical state of Israel. Kach (founded by radical Israeli-American rabbi Meir Kahane) and its offshoot Kahane Chai, which means "Kahane Lives," (founded by Meir Kahane's son Binyamin following his father's assassination in the United States) were declared to be terrorist organizations in March 1994 by the Israeli Cabinet under the 1948 Terrorism Law. This followed the groups' statements in support of Dr. Baruch Goldstein's attack in February 1994 on the al-Ibrahimi Mosque--Goldstein was affiliated with Kach--and their verbal attacks on the Israeli Government.

Activities
Organize protests against the Israeli Government. Harass and threaten Palestinians in Hebron and the West Bank. Have threatened to attack Arabs, Palestinians, and Israeli Government officials. Claimed responsibility for several shootings of West Bank Palestinians that killed four persons and wounded two in 1993.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Israel and West Bank settlements, particularly Qiryat Arba' in Hebron.

External Aid
Receive support from sympathizers in the United States and Europe.

Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)

Description
Established in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist insurgent group primarily composed of Turkish Kurds. In recent years has moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to include urban terrorism. Seeks to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, where population is predominantly Kurdish. Turkish authorities captured Chairman Abdullah Ocalan in Kenya in early 1999; after his trial in late June, Turkish State Security Court sentenced him to death. In August, Ocalan announced a "peace initiative," ordering members to refrain from violence and requesting dialogue with Ankara on Kurdish issues.

Activities
Primary targets are Turkish Government security forces in Turkey but also has been active in Western Europe against Turkish targets. Conducted attacks on Turkish diplomatic and commercial facilities in dozens of West European cities in 1993 and again in spring 1995. In an attempt to damage Turkey's tourist industry, the PKK has bombed tourist sites and hotels and kidnapped foreign tourists.

Strength
Approximately 10,000 to 15,000. Has thousands of sympathizers in Turkey and Europe.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates in Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

External Aid
Has received safehaven and modest aid from Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The Syrian Government claims to have expelled the PKK from its territory in October 1998.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Other known front organizations: World Tamil Association (WTA), World Tamil Movement (WTM), the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), the Ellalan Force, the Sangillan Force.

Description
Founded in 1976, the LTTE is the most powerful Tamil group in Sri Lanka and uses overt and illegal methods to raise funds, acquire weapons, and publicize its cause of establishing an independent Tamil state. The LTTE began its armed conflict with the Sri Lankan Government in 1983 and relies on a guerrilla strategy that includes the use of terrorist tactics.

Activities
The Tigers have integrated a battlefield insurgent strategy with a terrorist program that targets not only key government personnel in the countryside but also senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders in Colombo. Political assassinations and bombings have become commonplace. The LTTE has refrained from targeting Western tourists out of fear that foreign governments would crack down on Tamil expatriates involved in fundraising activities abroad.

Strength
Exact strength is unknown, but the LTTE is estimated to have 8,000 to 10,000 armed combatants in Sri Lanka, with a core of trained fighters of approximately 3,000 to 6,000. The LTTE also has a significant overseas support structure for fundraising, weapons procurement, and propaganda activities.

Location/Area of Operation
The Tigers control most of the northern and eastern coastal areas of Sri Lanka but have conducted operations throughout the island. Headquartered in the Jaffna peninsula, LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has established an extensive network of checkpoints and informants to keep track of any outsiders who enter the group's area of control. The LTTE prefers to attack vulnerable government facilities, then withdraw before reinforcements arrive.

External Aid
The LTTE's overt organizations support Tamil separatism by lobbying foreign governments and the United Nations. The group also uses its international contacts to procure weapons, communications, and bombmaking equipment. The LTTE exploits large Tamil communities in North America, Europe, and Asia to obtain funds and supplies for its fighters in Sri Lanka. Information obtained since the mid-1980s indicates that some Tamil communities in Europe also are involved in narcotics smuggling. Tamils historically have served as drug couriers moving narcotics into Europe.

Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO)
a.k.a. The National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA, the militant wing of the MEK), the People's Mujahidin of Iran (PMOI), National Council of Resistance (NCR), Muslim Iranian Student's Society (front organization used to garner financial support)

Description
Formed in the 1960s by the college-educated children of Iranian merchants, the MEK sought to counter what it perceived as excessive Western influence in the Shah's regime. Following a philosophy that mixes Marxism and Islam, has developed into the largest and most active armed Iranian dissident group. Its history is studded with anti-Western activity and, most recently, attacks on the interests of the clerical regime in Iran and abroad.

Activities
Worldwide campaign against the Iranian Government stresses propaganda and occasionally uses terrorist violence. During the 1970s the MEK staged terrorist attacks inside Iran and killed several US military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran. Supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran. In April 1992 conducted attacks on Iranian embassies in 13 different countries, demonstrating the group's ability to mount large-scale operations overseas. Recent attacks in Iran include three explosions in Tehran in June 1998 that killed three persons and the assassination in August 1998 of Asadollah Lajevardi, the former director of the Evin Prison. In April 1999, Brigadier General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, the deputy joint chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, was killed in Tehran by a MEK operative.

Strength
Several thousand fighters based in Iraq with an extensive overseas support structure. Most of the fighters are organized in the MEK's National Liberation Army (NLA).

Location/Area of Operation
In the 1980s the MEK's leaders were forced by Iranian security forces to flee to France. Most resettled in Iraq by 1987. In the mid-1980s the group did not mount terrorist operations in Iran at a level similar to its activities in the 1970s. In the 1990s, however, the MEK claimed credit for an increasing number of operations in Iran.

External Aid
Beyond support from Iraq, the MEK uses front organizations to solicit contributions from expatriate Iranian communities.

MRTA (see Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement)

National Liberation Army (ELN)--Colombia

Description
Anti-U.S. insurgent group formed in 1965. Began a dialogue with Colombian officials late in 1999 following a campaign of mass kidnappings--each involving at least one US citizen--to demonstrate its strength and continuing viability and force the Pastrana administration to negotiate with the ELN as it does the FARC.

Activities
Kidnapping, hijacking, bombing, extortion. Involved in an insurgent war against the government, but its military capabilities are declining. Annually conducts hundreds of kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreign employees of large corporations, especially in the petroleum industry. Frequently assaults power infrastructure and has inflicted major damage on pipelines and the electric distribution network.

Strength
Approximately 3,000 to 6,000 armed combatants, mostly in rural and mountainous areas, and an unknown number of active supporters.

Location/Area of Operation
Colombia, border regions of Venezuela.

External Aid
Cuba provides some medical care and political consultation.

The Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

Description
Originated among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s. Committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war. Because of its strong support for Israel, the United States has been identified as an enemy of the PIJ, but the group has not specifically conducted attacks against US interests. Also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been tainted by Western secularism.

Activities
Has threatened to retaliate against Israel and the United States for the murder of PIJ leader Fathi Shaqaqi in Malta in October 1995. Conducted suicide bombings against Israeli targets in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel. Has threatened to attack US interests in Jordan.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily Israel and the occupied territories and other parts of the Middle East, including Jordan and Lebanon. Largest faction is based in Syria.

External Aid
Receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistic support assistance from Syria.

PKK (see Kurdistan Workers' Party)

Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)

Description
Broke away from the PFLP-GC in mid-1970s. Later split again into pro-PLO, pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions. Pro-PLO faction led by Muhammad Abbas (Abu Abbas), who became member of PLO Executive Committee in 1984 but left it in 1991.

Activities
The Abu Abbas-led faction is known for hang glider attacks against Israel. Abbas's group also was responsible for the attack in 1985 on the cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of US citizen Leon Klinghoffer. A warrant for Abu Abbas's arrest is outstanding in Italy.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
PLO faction based in Tunisia until Achille Lauro attack. Now based in Iraq.

External Aid
Receives support mainly from Iraq. Has received support from Libya in the past.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Description
Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash as a member of the PLO. Joined the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principles signed in 1993 and suspended participation in the PLO. Broke away from the APF, along with the DFLP, in 1996 over ideological differences. Took part in meetings with Arafat's Fatah party and PLO representatives in 1999 to discuss national unity and the reinvigoration of the PLO but continues to oppose current negotiations with Israel.

Activities
Committed numerous international terrorist attacks during the 1970s. Since 1978 has conducted attacks against Israeli or moderate Arab targets, including killing a settler and her son in December 1996.

Strength
Some 800.

Location/Area of Operation
Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and the occupied territories.

External Aid
Receives safehaven and some logistic assistance from Syria.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)

Description
Split from the PFLP in 1968, claiming it wanted to focus more on fighting and less on politics. Violently opposed to Arafat's PLO. Led by Ahmad Jabril, a former captain in the Syrian Army. Closely tied to both Syria and Iran.

Activities
Carried out dozens of attacks in Europe and the Middle East during 1970-80. Known for cross-border terrorist attacks into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders. Primary focus now on guerrilla operations in southern Lebanon, small-scale attacks in Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip.

Strength
Several hundred.

Location/Area of Operation
Headquartered in Damascus with bases in Lebanon.

External Aid
Receives logistic and military support from Syria and financial support from Iran.

al-Qaida

Description
Established by Usama Bin Ladin about 1990 to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. Helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Current goal is to "reestablish the Muslim state" throughout the world. Works with allied Islamic extremist groups to overthrow regimes it deems "non-Islamic" and remove Westerners from Muslim countries. Issued statement under banner of "The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against The Jews and Crusaders" in February 1998, saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill US citizens, civilian or military, and their allies everywhere.

Activities
Conducted the bombings in August 1998 of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed at least 301 persons and injured more than 5,000 others. Claims to have shot down US helicopters and killed US servicemen in Somalia in 1993 and to have conducted three bombings targeted against the US troop presence in Aden, Yemen, in December 1992. Linked to plans for attempted terrorist operations, including the assassination of the Pope during his visit to Manila in late 1994, simultaneous bombings of the US and Israeli Embassies in Manila and other Asian capitals in late 1994, the midair bombing of a dozen US trans-Pacific flights in 1995, and a plan to kill President Clinton during a visit to the Philippines in early 1995. Continues to train, finance, and provide logistic support to terrorist groups that support these goals.

Strength
May have several hundred to several thousand members. Also serves as a focal point for a loose network or umbrella organization that includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, including factions of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Gama'at al-Islamiyya, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin.

Location/Area of Operation
The Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam underscore al-Qaida's global reach. Bin Ladin and his key lieutenants reside in Afghanistan and the group maintains terrorist training camps there.

External Aid
Bin Ladin, son of a billionaire Saudi family, is said to have inherited around $300 million that he uses to finance the group. Al-Qaida also maintains moneymaking businesses, collects donations from like-minded supporters, and illicitly siphons funds from donations to Muslim charitable organizations.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Description
Colombia's oldest, largest, most capable, and best equipped insurgency. Established in 1964 nominally as military wing of Colombian Communist Party. Organized along military lines and includes several urban fronts. Has been anti-US since its inception. Entered slow-moving peace negotiation process with the Pastrana Administration in January.

Activities
Bombings, murders, kidnappings, extortion, hijackings, as well as armed insurgent attacks against Colombian political, military, and economic targets. In March 1999 the FARC brutally murdered three US Indian rights activists on Venezuelan territory whom they had kidnapped in Colombia. Foreign citizens often are targets of FARC kidnappings for ransom. Has well-documented ties to narcotics traffickers, principally through the provision of armed protection. During 1999 continued its bombing campaign against oil pipelines.

Strength
Approximately 8,000 to 12,000 armed combatants, and an unknown number of supporters, mostly in rural areas.

Location/Area of Operation
Colombia with increasing presence and operations in Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, and Brazil.

External Aid
Cuba provides some medical care and political consultation.

Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)

Description
Radical leftist group established in 1975 and named for the student uprising in Greece in November 1973 that protested the military regime. Anti-Greek establishment, anti-US, anti-Turkey, anti-NATO, and committed to the ouster of US bases, removal of Turkish military presence from Cyprus, and severing of Greece's ties to NATO and the European Union (EU). Possibly affiliated with other Greek terrorist groups.

Activities
Initial attacks were assassinations of senior US officials and Greek public figures. Added bombings in 1980s. Since 1990 has expanded targets to include EU facilities and foreign firms investing in Greece and has added improvised rocket attacks to its methods.

Strength
Unknown, but presumed to be small.

Location/Area of Operation
Athens, Greece.

External Aid
Unknown.

Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
a.k.a. Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left), Dev Sol

Description
Originally formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, a splinter faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/ Front. Renamed in 1994 after factional infighting, it espouses a Marxist ideology and is virulently anti-US and anti-NATO. Finances its activities chiefly through armed robberies and extortion.

Activities
Since the late 1980s has concentrated attacks against current and retired Turkish security and military officials. Began a new campaign against foreign interests in 1990. Assassinated two US military contractors and wounded a US Air Force officer to protest the Gulf war. Launched rockets at US Consulate in Istanbul in 1992. Assassinated prominent Turkish businessman in early 1996, its first significant terrorist act as DHKP/C. Turkish authorities thwarted DHKP/C attempt in June 1999 to fire light antitank weapon at US Consulate in Istanbul.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Conducts attacks in Turkey, primarily in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Adana. Raises funds in Western Europe.

External Aid
Unknown.

Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA)

Description
Extreme leftist group that developed from opposition to the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. Formed in 1971, ELA is a self-described revolutionary, anticapitalist, and anti-imperialist group that has declared its opposition to "imperialist domination, exploitation, and oppression." Strongly anti-US and seeks the removal of US military forces from Greece.

Activities
Since 1974 has conducted bombings against Greek Government and economic targets as well as US military and business facilities. In 1986 stepped up attacks on Greek Government and commercial interests. Raid on a safehouse in 1990 revealed a weapons cache and direct contacts with other Greek terrorist groups, including 1 May and Revolutionary Solidarity. In 1991, ELA and 1 May claimed joint responsibility for more than 20 bombings. Greek police believe they have established a link between the ELA and the Revolutionary Organization 17 November. Has not claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack since January 1995. ELA members, however, still may be active and undertaking operations under the guise of other Greek terrorist group names.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Greece.

External Aid
No known foreign sponsors.

Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path, SL)

Description
SL was among the most ruthless terrorist groups formed in the late 1960s by then-university professor Abimael Guzman, on whose teachings most of SL's doctrine is based. Its stated goal is to destroy existing Peruvian institutions and replace them with a peasant revolutionary regime. It also opposes any influence by foreign governments, as well as by other Latin American guerrilla groups, especially the MRTA.The Peruvian Government undertook major counterterrorist operations in 1999, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of several remaining active members of SL, including principal regional committee leader Oscar Alberto Ramirez Durand (a.k.a. Feliciano), who had headed the group since Guzman's capture in 1992.

Activities
Conducted indiscriminate bombing campaigns and selective assassinations. Detonated explosives at diplomatic missions of several countries in Peru in 1990, including an attempt to car-bomb the US Embassy in December. Approximately 30,000 persons have died since Shining Path took up arms in 1980 in its aim to turn Peru into a Communist state. Although SL continued to clash with Peruvian authorities and military units, armed operations declined in 1999 because recent arrests have decimated the group's leadership.

Strength
Membership is unknown but estimated to be a few hundred armed militants. SL's strength has been vastly diminished by arrests and desertions.

Location/Area of Operation
Peru, with most activity in rural areas.

17 November
(see Revolutionary Organization 17 November)

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)

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

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 most of the group's 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.


II. Other Terrorist Groups

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.

Activities
Responsible for more than 100 murders and believed to have been involved in the murder in 1989 of US Army Col. James Rowe. In March 1997 the group announced it had formed an alliance with another armed group, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army. The group claimed credit for the rifle grenade attack on 2 December against Shell's headquarters in Manila that injured a security guard, demonstrating it still maintains some terrorist capabilities.

Strength
Approximately 500.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates in Manila.

External Aid
Unknown.

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
a.k.a. Continuity Army Council

Description
Radical terrorist splinter group formed in 1994 as the clandestine armed wing of Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), a political organization dedicated to the reunification of Ireland. RSF formed after the Irish Republican Army announced a cease-fire in September 1994.

Activities
Bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, and robberies. Targets include British military and Northern Irish security targets and Northern Irish Loyalist paramilitary groups. Also has launched bomb attacks against predominantly Protestant towns in Northern Ireland. Does not have an established presence or capability to launch attacks on the UK mainland.

Strength
Fewer than 50 hardcore activists. The group probably receives limited support from IRA hardliners who are dissatisfied with the IRA cease-fire and from other republican sympathizers.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic.

External Aid
Suspected 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

Description
Radical terrorist group formed in 1969 as clandestine armed wing of Sinn Fein, a legal political movement dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and unifying Ireland. Has a Marxist orientation. Organized into small, tightly knit cells under the leadership of the Army Council.

Activities
Bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, punishment beatings, extortion, and robberies. Targets have included senior British Government officials, British military and police in Northern Ireland, and Northern Irish Loyalist paramilitary groups. Bombing campaigns have been conducted against train and subway stations and shopping areas on mainland Britain, as well as against British and Royal Ulster Constabulary targets in Northern Ireland and a British military facility on the European Continent. The IRA has been observing a cease-fire since July 1997 and previously observed a cease-fire from 1 September 1994 to February 1996.

Strength
Largely unchanged--several hundred members, plus several thousand sympathizers--but the IRA's strength may have been affected by operatives leaving the organization to join hardline splinter groups.

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

External Aid
Has received aid from a variety of groups and countries and considerable training and arms from Libya and, at one time, the PLO. Is suspected of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers in the United States. Similarities in operations suggest links to the ETA.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)

Description
Coalition of Islamic militants from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states opposed to Uzbekistani President Islom Karimov's secular regime. Goal is establishment of Islamic state in Uzbekistan. Recent propaganda also includes anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric.

Activities
Believed to be responsible for five car bombs in Tashkent in February. Instigated two hostage crises in Kyrgyzstan in the fall, including a two-and-one-half-month crisis in which IMU militants kidnapped four Japanese and eight Kyrgyzstanis.

Strength
Unknown, but militants probably number in the thousands.

Location/Area of Operation
Most militants believed to be in Afghanistan in the winter (1999-2000), though some may have remained in Tajikistan. Area of operations includes Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

External Aid
Support from other Islamic extremist groups in Central Asia. IMU leadership broadcasts statements over Iranian radio.

Jamaat ul-Fuqra

Description
Islamic sect that seeks to purify Islam through violence. Led by Pakistani cleric Shaykh Mubarik Ali Gilani, who established the organization in the early 1980s. Gilani now resides in Pakistan, but most cells are located in North America and the Caribbean. Members have purchased isolated rural compounds in North America to live communally, practice their faith, and insulate themselves from Western culture.

Activities
Fuqra members have attacked a variety of targets that they view as enemies of Islam, including Muslims they regard as heretics and Hindus. Attacks during the 1980s included assassinations and firebombings across the United States. Fuqra members in the United States have been convicted of crimes, including murder and fraud.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
North America, Pakistan.

External Aid
None.

Khmer Rouge
(see the Party of Democratic Kampuchea)

Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)

Description
Extremist terrorist group formed in 1996 as a faction of the mainstream loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) but did not emerge publicly until February 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. Mark "Swinger" Fulton has led the group since the assassination in December 1997 of LVF founder Billy "King Rat" Wright. Has been observing a cease-fire since 15 May 1998. The LVF decommissioned a small but significant amount of weapons in December 1998, but it did not repeat this gesture in 1999.

Activities
Bombings, kidnappings, and close-quarter shooting attacks. LVF bombs often have contained Powergel commercial explosives, typical of many loyalist groups. LVF attacks have been particularly vicious: LVF terrorists killed an 18-year-old Catholic girl in July 1997 because she had a Protestant boyfriend. Murdered numerous Catholic civilians with no political or terrorist affiliations following Billy Wright's assassination. Also has conducted successful attacks against Irish targets in Irish border towns.

Strength
British press speculates about 250 activists.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Ireland.

External Aid
None.

New People's Army (NPA)

Description
The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA is a Maoist group formed in December 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the government through protracted guerrilla warfare. Although primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA has an active urban infrastructure to conduct terrorism and uses city-based assassination squads called sparrow units. Derives most of its funding from contributions of supporters and so-called revolutionary taxes extorted from local businesses.

Activities
The NPA primarily targets Philippine security forces, corrupt politicians, and drug traffickers. Opposes any U.S. military presence in the Philippines and attacked U.S. military interests before the U.S. base closures in 1992. Press reports in 1999 indicated that the NPA would target U.S. troops participating in joint military exercises under the Visiting Forces Agreement and US Embassy personnel.

Strength
Estimated between 6,000 and 8,000.

Location/Area of Operations
Operates in rural Luzon, Visayas, and parts of Mindanao. Has cells in Manila and other metropolitan centers.

External Aid
Unknown.

Orange Volunteers (OV)

Description
Extremist Protestant terrorist group comprised largely of disgruntled Loyalist hardliners who split from groups observing the cease-fire. OV seeks to prevent a political settlement with Irish nationalists by attacking Catholic civilian interests in Northern Ireland.

Activities
Bombings, arson, beatings, possibly robberies.

Strength
Possibly around 20 hardcore members, many of whom are experienced in terrorist tactics and bombmaking.

Location/Area of Operations
Northern Ireland.

External Aid
None.

The Party of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge)

Description
The Khmer Rouge (KR) Communist insurgency ended in 1999 after a series of defections, military defeats, and the capture of group leader Ta Mok. The US State Department removed the group from the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations in 1999. The Cambodian Government has been working on a draft law for the United Nations to establish a court to try former KR for the deaths of up to 2 million persons in Cambodia during the 1975-79 period.

Activities
Former KR may engage in criminal-type activities, especially against Vietnamese nationals.

Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)
(see Irish Republican Army)

Qibla and People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)

Description
Qibla is a small South African Islamic extremist group led by Achmad Cassiem, who was inspired by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. Cassiem founded Qibla in the 1980s, seeking to establish an Islamic state in South Africa. PAGAD began in 1996 as a community anticrime group fighting drug lords in Cape Town's Cape Flats section. PAGAD now shares Qibla's anti-Western stance as well as some members and leadership. Though each group is distinct, the media often treat them as one. Both use front names including Muslims Against Global Oppression (MAGO) and Muslims Against Illegitimate Leaders (MAIL) when launching anti-Western campaigns.

Activities
Qibla and PAGAD routinely protest US policies toward the Muslim world and use radio station 786 to promote their message and mobilize Muslims. PAGAD is suspected in the car-bombing on 1 January of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and the firebombing of a US-affiliated restaurant on 8 January. PAGAD is also believed to have masterminded the bombing on 25 August 1998 of the Cape Town Planet Hollywood.

Strength
Qibla is estimated at 250 members. Police estimate there are at least 50 gunmen in PAGAD, and the size of PAGAD-organized demonstrations suggests it has considerably more adherents than Qibla.

Location/Area of Operation
Operate mainly in the Cape Town area, South Africa's foremost tourist venue.

External Aid
Probably have ties to Islamic extremists in the Middle East.

Real IRA (RIRA) a.k.a True IRA

Description
Formed in February-March 1998 as clandestine armed wing of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement, a "political pressure group" dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and unifying Ireland. The 32-County Sovereignty Movement opposed Sinn Fein's adoption in September 1997 of the Mitchell principles of democracy and nonviolence and opposed the amendment in May 1998 of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution, which lay claim to Northern Ireland. Former IRA "quartermaster general" Mickey McKevitt leads the group; Bernadette Sands-McKevitt, his common law wife, is the vice chair of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement.

Activities
Bombings, assassinations, and robberies. Most Real IRA members are former IRA who opposed the IRA's cease-fire and bring to RIRA a wealth of experience in terrorist tactics and bombmaking. Targets include British military and police in Northern Ireland and Northern Irish Protestant communities. Has attempted several unsuccessful bomb attacks on the UK mainland. Claimed responsibility for the car-bomb attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, on 15 August 1998 that killed 29 and injured 220 persons. RIRA has been observing a cease-fire since the bombing.

Strength
About 70, plus possible limited support from IRA hardliners dissatisfied with the current IRA cease-fire and other republican sympathizers.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, Great Britain.

External Aid
Suspected of receiving funds from sympathizers in the United States. Press reports claim Real IRA leaders also have sought to gain support from Libya and to purchase weapons in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Red Hand Defenders (RHD)

Description
Extremist terrorist group 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.

Activities
RHD has carried out numerous pipe bombing and arson attacks against "soft" civilian targets such as homes, churches, and private businesses to cause outrage in the republican community and to provoke IRA retaliation. RHD claimed responsibility for the car-bombing murder on 15 March of Rosemary Nelson, a prominent Catholic nationalist lawyer and human rights campaigner in Northern Ireland.

Strength
Approximately 20 hardcore members, many of whom have considerable experience in terrorist tactics and bombmaking.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland.

External Aid
None.

Sikh Terrorism

Description
Sikh terrorism is sponsored by expatriate and Indian Sikh groups who want to carve out an independent Sikh state called Khalistan (Land of the Pure) from Indian territory. Active groups include Babbar Khalsa, International Sikh Youth Federation, Dal Khalsa, Bhinderanwala Tiger Force, and the Saheed Khalsa Force.

Activities
Attacks in India are mounted against Indian officials and facilities, other Sikhs, and Hindus; they include assassinations, bombings, and kidnappings. Attacks have dropped markedly since 1992, as Indian security forces have killed or captured numerous senior Sikh militant leaders and have conducted successful Army, paramilitary, and police operations. Many low-intensity bombings that might be attributable to Sikh extremists now occur without claims of credit.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Northern India, western Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America.

External Aid
Militant cells are active internationally, and extremists gather funds from overseas Sikh communities. Sikh expatriates have formed a variety of international organizations that lobby for the Sikh cause overseas. Most prominent are the World Sikh Organization and the International Sikh Youth Federation.

Zviadists

Description
Extremist supporters of deceased former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Launched a revolt against his successor, Eduard Shevardnadze, which was suppressed in late 1993. Some Gamsakhurdia sympathizers formed a weak legal opposition in Georgia, but others remain opposed to Shevardnadze's rule and seek to overthrow him. Some Gamsakhurdia government officials fled to Russia following Gamsakhurdia's ouster in 1991 and were using Russia as a base of operations to bankroll anti-Shevardnadze activities.

Activities
Conducted bombings and kidnappings. Attempted two assassinations against Shevardnadze--in August 1995 and in February 1998. Took UN personnel hostage following the attempt in February 1998 but released the hostages unharmed. Zviadists conducted no violent activity in 1999.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Georgia, especially Mingrelia, and Russia.

External Aid
May have received support and training in Chechen terrorist training camps. Chechen mercenaries participated in the assassination attempt against Shevardnadze in February 1998.

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