Islamic Resistance Movement
From: Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1997.
United States Department of State, April 1998.Created: 03/26/95. Last Updated: 10/2/98
Description: Hamas was formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various elements of Hamas have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel. Hamas is loosely structured, with some elements working openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda. Militant elements of Hamas, operating clandestinely, have advocated and used violence to advance their goals. Hamas's strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and in a few areas of the West Bank. It has also engaged in peaceful political activity, such as running candidates in West Bank Chamber of Commerce elections.
Activities: Hamas activists, especially those in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks -- including large-scale suicide bombings -- against Israeli civilian and military targets, 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, and Jordan.
External Aid: Receives funding from Palestinian expatriates, Iran, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states. Some fund raising and propaganda activities take place in Western Europe and North America.
HIZBALLAH (Party of God)
Islamic Jihad Revolutionary Justice Organization, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, 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 area. Strongly anti-West and anti-Israel. Closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran. Dissidents, however, have conducted rogue 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 on the US Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983 and the US Embassy annex in September 1984. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping and continuing detention of most, if not all, US and other Western hostages in Lebanon.
Strength: Several thousand.
Location/Area of operation: Operates in the Bekaa Valley, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and southern Lebanon; has established cells in Western Europe, Africa, and elsewhere.
External Aid: Receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran.
Islamic Jihad, New Jihad Group, Vanguards of Conquest Talaa'al-Fateh.
Description: An Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s; appears to be divided into at least two separate factions: remnants of the original Jihad led by Abbud al-Zumar, currently imprisoned in Egypt, and a faction calling itself Vanguards of Conquest (Talaa'al al-Fateh or the New Jihad Group). The Vanguards of Conquest appears to be led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is currently outside Egypt, specific whereabouts are unknown. Like al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, the Jihad factions regard Sheikh Umar Abd-al Rahman as their spiritual leader. The goal of all Jihad factions is to overthrow the government of President Hosni Mubarak and replace it with an Islamic state.
Activities: Specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian Government officials. The original Jihad was responsible for the assassination in 1981 of President Anwar Sadat. Unlike the al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, which mainly targets mid-and lower-level security personnel, Coptic Christians, and Western tourists, al-Jihad appears to concentrate primarily 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.
Strength: Not known, but probably several thousand hardcore members and another several thousand sympathizers among the various factions.
Location/Area of Operation: Operates mainly in the Cairo area. Also appears to have members outside Egypt, probably in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan. External AidNot known. The Egyptian Government claims that Iran, Sudan, and militant Islamic groups in Afghanistan support the Jihad factions.
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Other Names: Fatah Revolutionary Council,Arab Revolutionary Council,Arab Revolutionary Brigades,Black September, 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 include the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, the Pan Am Flight 73 hijacking in Karachi in September 1986, and The City of Poros day-excursion ship attack in July 1988 in Greece. 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: Several hundred plus militia in Lebanon and limited overseas support structure.
Location/Area of Operation: Currently headquartered in Libya with substantial presence in Lebanon in the Al Biqa' (Bekaa Valley) and also several Palestinian refugee camps in coastal areas of Lebanon. Also has a presence in Sudan, Syria, and Iraq, among others. Has demonstrated ability to operate over wide area, including the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. External Aid:Has received considerable support, including safe haven, training, logistic assistance, and financial aid from Iraq and Syria (until 1987); probably continues to receive aid from Libya, in addition to close support for selected operations.
Other Names: The Islamic Group, [IG]:
Description: An indigenous Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s; appears to be loosely organized with no single readily identifiable operational leader. Shaykh Umar abd al-Rahman is the group's preeminent spiritual leader. Goal is to overthrow the government of President Hosni Mubarak 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. The group also has launched attacks on tourists in Egypt since 1992. The group claimed responsibility for the attempt in June 1995 to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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, and Qina, and Soha Governorates of southern Egypt. It also appears to have support in Cairo, Alexandria, and other urban locations, particularly among unemployed graduates and students. External Aid: Unknown. Egyptian Government believes that Iran, Sudan, and Afghan militant Islamic groups support the group.
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 victoryof the Islamic (FIS) - thIslamic party - in the fiDecember 1991 legislative elections.
Activities: Frequent attacks against civilians, journalists, and foreign residents. In the last year, the GIA has embarked on 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. The GIA 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, and suspicions centered on the group for 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.
The Islamic Group, [IG]:
Description: An Indigenous Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s; appears to be loosely organized with no single readily identifiable operational leader. Shaykh Umar abd al-Rahman, is the group's preeminent spiritual leader. Goal is to overthrow the Government of President Husni Mobarak, 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. The group also has launched attacks on tourists in Egypt since 1992. The group claimed responsibility for the attempt in June 1995, to assassinate President Hosni Mobarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Strength: Unknown, but probably several thousands hard core members and another several thousand sympathizers.
Location/Area of Operation: Operates mainly in the Alminya, Asyu't, Qina, and Soha Governmorates of southern Egypt. It also appears to have support in Cairo, Alexandria, and other urban locations, particularly among unemployed graduates and students.
External Aid: Unknown. Egyptian Government believes that Iran, Sudan and afghan militant Islamic groups support the group.
"No cause, no grievance justified terr. Now, I am convinced that reaching a secure, just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the best way to insure the terrorism has no future in the Middle East."
President Bill Clinton, October 19, 1998
"We've taken these actions to reduce the ability of these terrorist organizations to train and equip their misguided followers or to acquire weapons of mass destruction for their use in campaigns of terror. WE recognize that these strikes will not eliminate the problem, but our message is clear. There will be no sanctuary for terrorists, and no limit to our resolve do defend American citizens and our interests, our ideals of democracy and law against these cowardly attacks."
U.S. Secretary of Defense, William Cohen
The Hamas Manifesto
Ten principles of faith