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Terrorism - Terrorism Lists

religious terrorist nationalistic political

In fall of 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government established four lists of terrorists and terrorist-related groups. The goal of the lists is to prevent terrorism and halt support of terrorists. The lists are: (1) State Sponsors of Terrorism; (2) Executive Order 13224—Terrorist Financing; (3) Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) within the USA Patriot Act; and, (4) Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).

The U.S. Department of State offers rewards in the millions of dollars for information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction of individuals responsible for acts of terrorism. (AP/Wide World Photos)

The State Sponsors of Terrorism list includes any government that consistently supports groups who carry out international terrorism. Restrictions are placed on these countries for as long as they remain on the list. Restrictions can include a ban on sales of arms to the listed countries, no U.S. economic assistance, and trade restrictions. In 2003 seven countries were on the list: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Executive Order 13224 issued on September 23, 2001, enables the U.S. government to block any assets (money) held in any U.S. financial institution that supports designated terrorist groups. Tens of millions of dollars headed for terrorist support have been blocked by the United States and other countries worldwide. The complete Executive Order 13224 list can be found on the U.S. Treasury Web site.

The Terrorist Exclusion List was created within the USA Patriot Act. President Bush signed the Patriot Act, or Public Law 107-56, into law on October 26, 2001. The Patriot Act is the first comprehensive counterterrorism bill since the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The TEL lists organizations known to provide material assistance (money or supplies) to or solicit funds for the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) identified by the U.S. State Department.

The secretary of state compiles a FTO list each year. The FTO list has existed since 1997 but took on a new sense of urgency since the 9/11 attacks. The FTO list provides legal authority for the U.S. government to prosecute U.S. citizens or foreign persons within the United States who financially, materially, or physically aid any FTO. The U.S. government may freeze any FTO assets in U.S. financial institutions, and it may deny entry into the United States to any member of a FTO.

The May 2004 FTO list included thirty-six terrorist organizations and forty-one organizations under Other Terrorist Groups. Those under Other Terrorist Groups are assumed to be less active in terrorist activities than the thirty-six FTOs. The FTOs, including their base country of operation and type of terrorist group, were:

  • Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)—Iraq, religious
  • Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)—Philippines, nationalistic
  • Al Qaeda (The Base)—cells worldwide, formerly
  • Afghanistan until fall 2001, religious
  • Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade—West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel, nationalistic
  • Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)—originally Egypt, religious
  • Ansar al-Islam—northern Iraq near Iran border, religious
  • Armed Islamic Group (GIA)—Algeria, religious
  • Asbat al-Ansar—Lebanon, religious
  • Aum Shinrikyo—Japan and Russia, religious
  • Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), Northern Spain and southwest France, nationalistic
  • Communist Party of Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA)—Philippines, political
  • Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)—Egypt, religious
  • HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)—West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, nationalistic
  • Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)—Pakistan, nationalistic
  • Hezbollah (Party of God)—Lebanon and cells worldwide, religious
  • Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)—South Asia, Iran, Tajikistan, religious
  • Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)—Pakistan, nationalistic Jemaah Islamiah (JI)—Southeast Asia, religious
  • Kahane Chai (Kach)—West Bank, Israel (Jewish group), religious
  • Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT)—Pakistan-Kashmir, nationalistic
  • Lashkar I Jhangvi (LJ)—Pakistan, religious
  • Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE)—Sri Lanka, nationalistic
  • Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO)—Iraq near Iran, political
  • National Liberation Army (ELN-Columbia)—Columbia, Venezuela, political
  • Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, nationalistic and religious
  • Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)—Iran, Lebanon, West Bank, nationalistic
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)—Syria, West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Israel, nationalistic
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)—Syria, nationalistic
  • Real IRA (RIRA)—Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Irish Republic, nationalistic
  • Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC)—Colombia, political
  • Revolutionary Nuclei—Athens, Greece, political
  • Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)—Athens, Greece, political
  • Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (RPLP/F)—Turkey, political
  • Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)—Algeria, religious
  • Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path or SL)—Peru, political
  • United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Columbia (AUC)—Columbia, political and economic

(Note: many groups have elements of several types of terrorism such as religious, nationalistic, and political.)

For a complete up-to-date FTO list and more information about each terrorist group, go to the U.S. State Department Web site at http://www.state.gov or Center for Defense Information (CDI) Web site at http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist.cfm.

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