Country Reports on Terrorism: 2004
Country Reports on Terrorism: 2004
Editor's note: The report below was edited from information released in April 2005 by the Office of the Coordinator of Counterterrorism of the U.S. State Department. This report is reproduced here to aid in increasing awareness of terrorism as a growing concern for citizens of all nations and to provide summary information on U.S. government programs to combat terrorism.
LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS AND KEY TERMS
This report is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 265 of (the "Act"), which requires the Department of State to provide Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act. Statutory excerpts relating to the terms used in this report and a discussion of the interpretation and application of those terms in this report are included below.
Section 2656f(a) of Title 22 of the United States Code states as follows:
(a) The Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, by April 30 of each year, a full and complete report providing—
(1) detailed assessments with respect to each foreign country –
(A) in which acts of international terrorism occurred which were, in the opinion of the Secretary, of major significance;
(B) about which the Congress was notified during the preceding five years pursuant to section 2405(j) of the Appendix to Title 50; and
(C) which the Secretary determines should be the subject of such report;
(2) all relevant information about the activities during the preceding year of any terrorist group, and any umbrella group under which such terrorist group falls, known to be responsible for the kidnapping or death of an American citizen during the preceding five years, any terrorist group known to be financed by countries about which Congress was notified during the preceding year pursuant to section 2405(j) of the Appendix to Title 50, and any other known international terrorist group which the Secretary determines should be the subject of such report;
(3) with respect to each foreign country from which the United States Government has sought cooperation during the previous five years in the investigation or prosecution of an act of international terrorism against United States citizens or interests, information on
(A) the extent to which the government of the foreign country is cooperating with the United States Government in apprehending, convicting, and punishing the individual or individuals responsible for the act; and
(B) the extent to which the government of the foreign country is cooperating in preventing further acts of terrorism against United States citizens in the foreign country; and
(4) with respect to each foreign country from which the United States Government has sought cooperation during the previous five years in the prevention of an act of international terrorism against such citizens or interests, the information described in paragraph (3)(B).
Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the United States Code defines certain key terms referred to in Section 2656(a) as follows:
(d) (1) the term "international terrorism" means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country;
(2) the term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; and
(3) the term "terrorist group" means any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism.
Interpretation and Application of Key Terms
For purposes of this report, the terms "international terrorism," "terrorism," and "terrorist group" have the definitions assigned to them in 22 USC 2656f(d) (see above). The term "noncombatant," which is referred to but not defined in 22 USC 2656f(d)(2), is interpreted to mean, in addition to civilians, military personnel (whether or not armed or on duty) who are not deployed in a war zone or a war-like setting.
It should be noted that 22 USC 2656f(d) is one of many US statutes and international legal instruments that concern terrorism and acts of violence, many of which use definitions for terrorism and related terms that are different from those used in this report. The interpretation and application of defined and related terms concerning terrorism in this report is therefore specific to the statutory and other requirements of the report, and is not intended to express the views of the US Government on how these terms should be interpreted or applied for any other purpose. Accordingly, there is not necessarily any correlation between the interpretation of terms such as "noncombatant" for purposes of this report and the meanings ascribed to similar terms pursuant to the law of war (which encapsulates the obligations of states and individuals with respect to their activities in situations of armed conflict).
Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political, social, ethnic, religious, or national group is not meant to imply that all members of that group are terrorists. Indeed, terrorists rarely represent anything other than a tiny fraction of such groups. It is those few—and their actions—that are the subject of this report.
Furthermore, terrorist acts are part of a larger phenomenon of politically inspired violence, and at times the line between the two can become difficult to draw. This report includes some discretionary information in an effort to relate terrorist events to the larger political context in which they occur, and to give a feel for the conflicts that spawn violence. Thus, this report will discuss terrorist acts as well as other violent incidents that are not necessarily international terrorism and therefore are not subject to the statutory reporting requirement.
"The appeal of justice and liberty, in the end, is greater than the appeal of hatred and tyranny in any form." President Bush, July 12, 2004
Terrorism remains a global threat from which no nation is immune. Despite ongoing improvements in US homeland security, military campaigns against insurgents and terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deepening counterterrorism cooperation among the nations of the world, international terrorism continued to pose a significant threat to the United States and its partners in 2004. The slaughter of hundreds of innocents in the Beslan school, in the commuter trains of Madrid, on a Philippines ferry, and in a Sinai resort proved again that the struggle against terrorism is far from over. Over the long run, the spread of democracy and economic and social reform, sustained and encouraged by the United States and others, should promote political, economic and social conditions inhospitable to terrorist exploitation. For now, however, the tasks confronting the United States and its partners in the struggle against terrorism remain formidable.
A look back on the events of 2004 in the global war on terrorism reveals the following:
- There were no terrorist attacks in the US homeland.
- Many other countries were hit by terrorist attacks; the most deadly, like Beslan, Madrid, and the Philippines ferry, were committed by local groups, many inspired by or linked to al-Qa'ida.
- American deaths due to terrorist attacks were confined to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt and Gaza.
- The overwhelming majority of victims of terrorist attacks were citizens of countries other than the United States. Many victims were Muslims.
The al-Qa'ida Threat
- The primary terrorist threat to the United States in 2004 continued to be al-Qa'ida, which remained intent on attacking the US homeland as well as US interests abroad.
- The United States and its partners, however, degraded al-Qa'ida and its affiliates'leadership abilities and depleted the ranks of their operatives.
- Al-Qa'ida, weakened operationally, adapted by spreading its ideology to local groups throughout the world. Al-Qa'ida-affiliated groups and locally-based extremists continued to be inspired or assisted by Usama bin Ladin and other al-Qa'ida leaders.
- The diffusion of the al-Qa'ida ideology in many countries makes even more crucial the need for deeper international cooperation to defeat emerging violent extremist groups.
- The United States and other donor nations must intensify current efforts to bolster the political will and the intelligence, law enforcement, financial and military capabilities of partner nations to combat terrorism, on their own or with us.
- The United States and its partners must work together to prevent the spread of al-Qa'ida ideology and the growth of jihadist terror.
- The United States and its partners must also continue efforts to defeat non-al-Qa'ida terrorist groups, discourage state sponsorship of terrorism, and prevent terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The Evolving Terrorist Threat
Al-Qa'ida leadership was degraded through arrests and ongoing Pakistani operations to assert greater control along the border with Afghanistan where some al-Qa'ida leaders are believed to hide. Numerous al-Qa'ida and affiliated foot soldiers were captured or killed during the year.
- Pakistani authorities captured al-Qa'ida communications expert and Heathrow bomb plot suspect Naeem Noor Khan and US Embassy bombing suspect Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani in July 2004, and killed Amjad Farooqui, suspected in the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl, in September 2004.
- Saudi security forces killed several top leaders of the al-Qa'ida organization in Saudi Arabia, including Khalid Ali al-Hajj and Abdulaziz al-Muqrin.
- Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, leader of the al-Qa'ida-affiliated Jemaah Islamiya remained in jail pending his early 2005 trial for involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings.
- The Filipino Antiterrorism Task Force captured seven foreigners in 2004 believed to be elements of al-Qa'ida and Jemaah Islamiya.
- British authorities in August 2004 arrested suspected al-Qa'ida-affiliated individuals who were subsequently indicted in the United States for plotting to attack financial institutions in the United States.
Many senior al-Qa'ida leaders remained at large, continued to plan attacks against the United States, US interests, and US partners, and sought to foment attacks by inspiring new groups of Sunni Muslim extremists to undertake violent acts in the name of jihad. In some cases, al-Qa'ida attempted to bring other extremist groups under its banner, while in other cases, groups claimed allegiance to al-Qa'ida despite little evidence of any connection with al-Qa'ida leaders. In still other cases, the existence of new groups only became evident following an attack.
- Al-Qa'ida cells continued to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia throughout 2004.
- Al-Qa'ida-affiliate Jemaah Islamiya continued to plot attacks against the United States, Australian and other foreign interests in Indonesia, bombing the Australian Embassy in September 2004.
- The al-Qa'ida cell in East Africa, including terrorists linked to the 1998 bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and the 2002 attacks on a Mombasa hotel and an Israeli commercial aircraft, remained at large, and are suspected of planning new attacks.
- Notorious terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi pledged the fealty of himself and his group in Iraq to bin Ladin; al-Zarqawi is now the recognized leader of al-Qa'ida in Iraq.
- The March 2004 bombing of commuter trains in Madrid that killed 191 innocent people was executed by a previously unknown group of jihadist terrorists (mostly Moroccan immigrants resident in Spain for years) inspired by, but without direction from, al-Qa'ida.
- The new leader of the GSPC in Algeria announced his affiliation with al-Qa'ida, but there was no evidence of assistance or direction from al-Qa'ida leadership.
The latter two incidents illustrate what many analysts believe is a new phase of the global war on terrorism, one in which local groups inspired by al-Qa'ida organize and carry out attacks with little or no support or direction from al-Qa'ida itself.
As al-Qa'ida itself weakens and local groups take on greater responsibility for planning, acquiring resources and carrying out attacks in their localities, it will be ever more important for the United States to help partners who require assistance to counter this new manifestation of the terrorist threat. Furthermore, although al-Qa'ida remains the primary concern regarding possible WMD threats, the number of groups expressing an interest in such materials is increasing, and WMD technology and know-how is proliferating within the jihadist community.
International cooperation is an integral and growing aspect of the overall US "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism" which calls for:
- Defeating terrorist organizations by eliminating their sanctuaries, leadership, finances, and command, control and communications capabilities;
- Denying further sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists by cooperating with other states to take action against those who provide support;
- Diminishing the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit by enlisting the international community to focus our mutual efforts and resources on addressing legitimate political and social needs and by reducing security vulnerabilities in the countries most at risk; and
- Defending the United States, its citizens, and interests at home and abroad.
The continuing threats by al-Qa'ida make necessary the continued investment of enormous effort and resources by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of State, and Department of Defense (among other federal agencies), as well as state and local governments, in new and strengthened homeland defense measures. They also require a growing level of international cooperation between the United States and its many partner nations around the world to interdict terrorists, disrupt their planning, restrict their travel, reduce the flow of financial and material support to terrorist groups, and enable partner governments to assert control over weakly governed territory where terrorists find sanctuary.
In 2004, the United States broadened and deepened its international cooperation on counterterrorism issues. Increased diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, military and financial cooperation contributed directly to homeland security and the interdiction or disruption of terrorists around the globe. Examples are discussed throughout this report, but the following successes stand out for 2004:
- Close cooperation with British, French, and other authorities–coordinated through the State Department and US Embassies in London, Paris and else where–was pivotal to managing threats to airline security during the 2003-2004 New Year period.
- Information-sharing with the United Kingdom and Pakistan led to the disclosure and disruption of al-Qa'ida attack planning against US financial institutions.
- US diplomatic and military assistance facilitated cooperation among Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Libya and Chad that led to the capture and return of wanted GSPC factional leader al-Para to Algeria to stand trial.
- Law enforcement officers in Iraq, Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan (among others) applied US specialized counterterrorism training to bring terrorists to justice.
- Working with a broad spectrum of domestic and international partners, the United States has identified and disrupted many sources of terrorist finance.
- The United States used its G8 presidency in 2004 to advance new international transportation security measures and to coordinate international counterterrorism assistance among G8 and other donors, ensuring that counterterrorism needs of states requiring assistance were addressed and wasteful duplication avoided.
Notably, 2004 was marked by progress in decreasing the threat from states that sponsor terrorism. Iraq's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was formally rescinded in October 2004. Libya and Sudan took significant steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism. Unfortunately, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and, in particular, Iran continue to embrace terrorism as an instrument of policy. Most worrisome is that these countries also have the capabilities to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and other destabilizing technologies that could fall into the hands of terrorists. Iran and Syria are of special concern for their direct, open, and prominent role in supporting Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups, for their unhelpful actions in Iraq, and Iran's unwillingness to bring to justice senior al-Qa'ida members it detained in 2003.
American noncombatants in Iraq and Afghanistan comprised most of the American victims of terrorism this year. These casualties occurred against a backdrop of US combat operations against terrorists and insurgents in both countries. Americans were also killed in terrorist incidents in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Gaza.
The United States continued in 2004 to harden security of its official presence overseas and to step up travel advisories and warnings to American citizens to help them manage and weigh the risks associated with travel into areas in which terrorist threats may be elevated. The United States also continued to work with international and multilateral organizations to tighten security of seaports and airports and improve security of international travel. The United States will continue to broaden and deepen international cooperation to protect US citizens. The trend away from centralized planning of terrorist activities and towards inspiration of local groups to commit acts of terror makes even more crucial the need for deeper international cooperation to defeat emerging violent extremist groups. The United States and its partners must intensify current efforts to bolster the political will and the intelligence, law enforcement, financial, and military capabilities of partner nations to combat terrorism, on their own or with us. The United States will step up cooperation with its partners to prevent the spread of al-Qa'ida ideology and the growth of jihadist terror. The United States will also continue its efforts to defeat non-al-Qa'ida terrorist groups, discourage state sponsorship of terrorism, and mobilize international will and build capacity to prevent terrorist access to WMD. No single country can successfully deal with terrorism on its own, but together we will prevail.
More information on the US Counterterrorism Policy is available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45317.pdf
GLOBAL JIHAD: EVOLVING AND ADAPTING
The global jihadist movement—including its most prominent component, al-Qa'ida—remains the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States, US interests and US allies. While the core of al-Qa'ida has suffered damage to its leadership, organization, and capabilities, the group remains intent on striking US interests in the homeland and overseas. During the past year, concerted antiterrorist coalition measures have degraded al-Qa'ida's central command infrastructure, decreasing its ability to conduct massive attacks. At the same time, however, al-Qa'ida has spread its anti-US, anti-Western ideology to other groups and geographical areas. It is therefore no longer only al-Qa'ida itself but increasingly groups affiliated with al-Qa'ida, or independent ones adhering to al-Qa'ida's ideology, that present the greatest threat of terrorist attacks against US and allied interests globally.
US and coalition successes against al-Qa'ida have forced these jihadist groups to compensate by showing a greater willingness to act on their own and exercising greater local control over their strategic and tactical decisions. As a result of this growing dispersion and local decision-making, there is an increasing commingling of groups, personnel, resources, and ad hoc operational and logistical coordination. These groups affiliated with al-Qa'ida or indoctrinated with al-Qa'ida's ideology are now carrying out most of the terrorist attacks against US and allied interests. Their decreased power projection and limited resources mean that an increasing percentage of jihadist attacks are more local, less sophisticated, but still lethal. Some groups, however, are seeking to replicate al-Qa'ida's global reach and expertise for mass casualty attacks. This trend underscores that America's partners in the global war on terror require the capabilities to identify and eliminate terrorist threats in their countries for their own security and ultimately to stop terrorists abroad before they can gain the ability to attack the US homeland.
Despite intensive US and partner operations that have led to the killing or capture of much of al-Qa'ida's senior leadership, Usama bin Ladin and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, remain at large. In late 2004, they made videotaped statements addressed directly to the US public that warned of more attacks. The two have also publicly threatened at least three dozen countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
The apparent mergers or declarations of allegiance of groups such as Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's organization with al-Qa'ida suggest that al-Qa'ida is looking to leverage the capabilities and resources of key regional networks and affiliates—a trend that al-Qa'ida could also use to try to support new attacks in the United States and abroad.
The Global Jihadist Movement
The global jihadist movement predates al-Qa'ida's founding and was reinforced and developed by successive conflicts in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, and elsewhere during the 1990s. As a result, it spawned several groups and operating nodes and developed a resiliency that ensured that destruction of any one group or node did not destroy the larger movement. Since 2001, extremists, including members of al-Qa'ida and affiliated groups, have sought to exploit perceptions of the US-led global war on terrorism and, in particular, the war in Iraq to attract converts to their movement. Many of these recruits come from a large and growing pool of disaffected youth who are sympathetic to radical, anti-Western militant ideology. At the same time, these extremists have branched out to establish jihadist cells in other parts of the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, from which they seek to prepare operations and facilitate funding and communications.
Foreign fighters appear to be working to make the insurgency in Iraq what Afghanistan was to the earlier generation of jihadists—a melting pot for jihadists from around the world, a training ground, and an indoctrination center. In the months and years ahead, a significant number of fighters who have traveled to Iraq could return to their home countries, exacerbating domestic conflicts or augmenting with new skills and experience existing extremist networks in the communities to which they return.
The Spread of Al-Qa'ida's Ideology
Al-Qa'ida's ideology resonates with other Sunni extremist circles. Some affiliated groups—including Jemaah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia—look to their own spiritual leaders, yet historically have shared close ideological and operational ties to al-Qa'ida. In recent years, however, the resonance of al-Qa'ida's message has contributed to the formation of an assortment of grassroots networks and cells among persons that previously have had no observable links to bin Ladin or al-Qa'ida aside from general ideological and religious affinity. Examples of this trend include Salafiya Jihadia, a loosely-organized Moroccan movement that carried out the bombings in May 2003 in Casablanca, and the terrorists who executed the March 2004 attack in Madrid. Although these cells do not appear to have been acting directly on al-Qa'ida orders, their attacks supported al-Qa'ida's ideology and reflected al-Qa'ida's targeting strategy.
Terrorist capabilities for attacks will remain uneven, given the varying degrees of expertise and increasing decentralization within the movement. Most groups will be capable only of relatively unsophisticated, but still deadly attacks. Others, however, may seek to acquire or replicate al-Qa'ida's expertise and material support for mass-casualty attacks. The explosive growth of media and the Internet, as well as the ease of travel and communication around the world have made possible the rapid movement of operatives, expertise, money, and explosives. Terrorists increasingly will use media and the Internet to advance key messages or rally support, share jihadist experiences and expertise, and spread fear.
Although the jihadist movement remains dangerous, it is not monolithic. Some groups are focused on attacking the United States or its allies, while others view governments and leaders in the Muslim world as their primary targets. The United States and its partners in the global war on terrorism will continue to use all means available to identify, target, and prevent the spread of these jihadist groups and ideology. More information on the elements of the al-Qa'ida ideology is available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45318.pdf
BUILDING INTERNATIONAL WILL AND CAPACITY TO COUNTER TERRORISM
The Department of State engages diplomatically with foreign governments and in international and regional fora to accomplish the US Government's first priority—protecting Americans at home and abroad.
The Department of State's diplomatic efforts help build the political will and operational skills of foreign governments to combat terror. Many countries are committed allies in the global war on terrorism. Some, however, need training and resources to develop stronger institutions and capabilities. The Department of State's counterterrorism efforts are an essential component in the success of US military, law enforcement, intelligence, and financial activities in the global fight against terrorism.
Multilateral and regional organizations are also a key platform for developing broad international support for the adoption and implementation of policies, strategies, and "best practices" in combating terrorism and financing of terrorist activities. The Department of State works actively with foreign governments to urge adoption of all 12 international counterterrorism conventions, as well as adherence to and implementation of UNSCR 1373, which imposes binding obligations on all states to suppress and prevent terrorist financing, improve their border controls, enhance information sharing and law enforcement cooperation, suppress terrorist recruitment, and deny terrorists safe haven.
Antiterrorism Assistance Program
Congress authorized the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Program in 1983 as part of a major initiative against international terrorism. Since that time, ATA has trained over 48,000 participants from 141 countries. The ATA Program provides training and related assistance to law enforcement and security services of selected partner nations. Assistance to qualified countries focuses on the following objectives:
- Enhancing the antiterrorism skills of partner nations by providing training and equipment to deter and counter the threats of terrorism.
- Strengthening the bilateral ties of the United States with partner nations by offering concrete assistance in areas of mutual concern.
- Increasing respect for human rights by sharing with civilian authorities modern, humane, and effective antiterrorism techniques.
ATA courses are tailored to the requirements of individual partner nations and are developed in response to terrorism trends. The training can be categorized into four functional areas: Crisis Prevention, Crisis Management, Crisis Resolution, and Investigation. Countries needing assistance are identified on the basis of the threat or actual level of terrorist activity they face.
Antiterrorism assistance and training may be conducted either in-country or within the United States. This arrangement provides flexibility to maximize the effectiveness of the program for countries of strategic importance in the global war on terrorism.
ATA programs may take the form of advisory assistance, such as the impact of counterterrorism activities on police administration and management of police departments, how to teach counterterrorism tactics to police instructors or develop counterterrorism curriculum for a police academy, and modern interview and investigative techniques. This approach enables the program to provide a narrow focus to solutions for country-specific problems that are not resolved in the classroom training environment. Equipment or explosive-detection trained dogs may also be included in the assistance package.
The ability of the United States to assist partner nations to master the detection and prevention of terrorist activities will clearly enhance the mutual security of all the participating countries. Detecting and eliminating terrorist cells at the root before their violence can cross borders and oceans will ensure a safer world for all nations.
ATA continues its efforts to familiarize ambassadors, US Embassy regional security officers, and other US officials with the program offerings. The success of these efforts is evidenced by the fact that every frontline nation has requested antiterrorist assistance in some form. US diplomats report that the ability of the United States to offer immediate, specific, and intensive training, along with technical tools and equipment, has succeeded in breaking down barriers and building trust. More information concerning the success of ATA in 2004 can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45319.pdf
Countering Terrorism on the Economic Front
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the US Government has acted to block funding of terrorists and their supporters and to promote international cooperation against them.
On September 23, 2001, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13224, giving the United States Government (USG) a powerful tool to impede terrorist funding. In general terms, the EO provides a means to disrupt the financial-support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations by authorizing the US Government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. In addition, because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundations of foreign terrorists, the order authorizes the US Government to block the assets of individuals and entities that provide support, offer assistance to, or otherwise associate with designated terrorists and terrorist organizations. The EO also covers their subsidiaries, front organizations, agents, and associates.
The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, continues to designate foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in the US fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business. Among other consequences of such a designation, it is unlawful for US persons or any persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to provide material support or resources to a designated FTO. US financial institutions are also required to freeze the funds of designated FTOs.
EO and FTO designations support US efforts to curb financing of terrorism and encourage other nations to do the same. They stigmatize and isolate designated terrorist entities and individuals internationally. They deter donations or contributions to, and economic transactions with, named entities and individuals. They heighten public awareness and knowledge of terrorist organizations and signal to other governments US concerns about named entities and individuals.
During 2004, the United States and other UN members designated a number of individuals and entities:
- On January 16, the United States Government designated Sulaiman Jassem Sulaiman Abo Ghaith under EO 13224, and his name was added, at the request of the Kuwaiti Government, to the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee's ("Sanctions Committee") consolidated list of individuals and entities with links to the Taliban, Usama bin Ladin, or al-Qa'ida the same day.
- The USG designated the branch offices of the Saudi-based charity al-Haramain Islamic Foundation located in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Pakistan on January 22 under EO 13224. At the request of the United States and Saudi Arabia, these entities were also listed by the Sanctions Committee on January 26.
- The USG designated Shaykh 'Abd al-Majid al-Zindani under EO 13224 on February 24. At the request of the United States, he was also listed by the Sanctions Committee on February 27.
- On March 15, Italy submitted 10 names to the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee, which listed them on March 17. The United States designated and froze the assets of these 10 individuals domestically on March 18.
- On May 3, the Sanctions Committee listed four names submitted by Germany. The United States designated and froze the assets of these four individuals domestically on April 30.
- On May 6, the USG designated al-Furqan, Taibah International (Bosnia), and al-Haramain & al-Masjed al-Aqsa Charity Foundation under Executive Order 13224. At the request of the United States, two of these al-Qa'ida-linked Bosnian charities were listed by the Sanctions Committee on May 11 and one on June 28.
- On June 2, the USG designated the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation branch offices in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands under EO 13224. At the request of the United States and Saudi Arabia, these additional al-Haramain branches were listed by the Sanctions Committee on July 6.
- The United States designated Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki under EO 13224 on June 3. At the request of the United States, his name was listed by the Sanctions Committee on July 6.
- On June 10, the United States designated Assad Ahmad Barakat and two businesses under EO 13224.
- On June 23, the Sanctions Committee listed six names proposed by Italy, and the United States designated these six individuals under EO 13224.
- On July 13, the USG designated the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and amended the Executive Order designation of CIRA to include two aliases: Continuity Army Council and Republican Sinn Fein. The USG had designated Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) under EO 13224 on December 31, 2001.
- On September 9, the United States designated al-Haramain Islamic Foundation branch offices in the United States (Ashland, Oregon and Springfield, Missouri) and a branch of the Foundation in the Comoros Islands under EO 13224. In addition, the director of the US branch of the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Suliman al-Buthe, was also designated. At the request of the United States, the additional al-Haramain branches and Suliman al-Buthe were listed by the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee on September 28.
- On October 13, the United States designated the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), its offices world wide, and five of its senior officials (Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Sulaiman, Jaffar Ahmad Abdullah Makki, Khalid Ahmad Jumah al-Sudani, Abdul Aziz Abbabakar Muhamad, and Ibrahim Buisir) under EO 13224.
- On October 15, the United States designated Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad (JTJ) both as an FTO and separately under EO 13224. At the request of the United States, the United Kingdom, Jordan, and Iraq, this organization was also listed by the Sanctions Committee on October 18.
- On November 30, the USG amended the previous designation of Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad (JTJ), to include its new alias Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn and all its possible translations. On December 2, Japan, joined by the United Kingdom and Germany, submitted the new alias Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn and all its possible translations and transliterations to the Sanctions Committee. The USG fully supported those efforts.
- On December 17, the United States designated Khadafi Abubaker Janjalani, the leader of a major faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group, under EO 13224 and cosponsored the submission of Janjalani to the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee with the Governments of the Philippines and Australia.
- On December 21, the United States designated Adel Abdul Jalil Batterjee and Saad Rashed Mohammad al-Faqih for providing material support to al-Qa'ida and Usama bin Ladin under EO 13224 and submitted both names to the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee; they were listed by the Committee on December 23.
As of December 31, 2004, the United States had designated under EO 13224 a total of 397 individuals and entities as terrorists, their financiers, or facilitators. Since September 11, 2001, the global community has frozen over $146 million in terrorist-related assets.
Throughout the year, the United States also continued to work closely with multilateral partners in numerous counterterrorist financing tracks, including the Counterterrorism Committee of the United Nations, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the Counterterrorism Assistance Group (CTAG), as well as in international financial institutions. In addition, in June the United States agreed with the European Union on a Declaration on Combating Terrorism that ratified a wide-ranging set of counterterrorism initiatives, including a commitment to establish a regular dialogue on terrorism finance between the European Union and the United States. Since it was launched in September 2004, the dialogue has served as the framework for ongoing exchanges to promote information-sharing and cooperation on FATF and on technical assistance issues.
More information on combating the threat of non-bank financing of terrorism can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45319.pdf
Mutilateral and Regional Coorperation
Multilateral and regional organizations are crucial to building a seamless global counterterrorism web. Specialized multilateral organizations like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) can set international counterterrorism standards and best practices. Regional groups around the world, including the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of American States and others, can, and do, encourage their member states to adopt these standards and best practices, and help in their implementation.
One example of how the United States is working with multilateral and regional organizations to improve counterterrorism capabilities involves different multilateral groups, each doing what it does best:
- The G8 developed a set of guidelines and best practices to improve the security of travel documents, including the use of biometrics.
- The ICAO reviewed these guidelines and best practices and agreed to adopt them as international standards.
- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed in a Ministerial decision in December 2003 to a US-initiated proposal for all 55 OSCE member states to adopt and implement the ICAO standards.
- The G8 Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG), which coordinates members'counterterrorism programs and assistance to avoid duplication of effort, worked to coordinate donor assistance on document security needs in the OSCE region and beyond.
G8 actions in these areas can serve as a first step in further bolstering the security of travel. As with G8 document security and issuance standards, the next steps will be to export completed standards and practices to other organizations for broader adoption, and then to assist those lacking the means to implement them. More information on G8 actions can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45319.pdf
Role of the United Nations in Fighting Terrorism
There are 12 universal conventions and protocols currently in force against terrorism that have been developed under the auspices of the United Nations and its specialized agencies and are open to participation by all member states. Various UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1373, have called upon all member states to become parties to these international instruments. However, many states are not yet parties to all 12 instruments (and thus have not yet implemented them), while still other states have not fully implemented them despite becoming parties. (A thirteenth instrument, the Nuclear Terrorism Convention, was adopted by the UN General Assembly on April 13, 2005, and will be opened for signature in September 2005.)
These conventions and protocols were negotiated from 1963 to 1999. Most are penal in nature with a common format. Typically, they define a particular type of terrorist conduct as an offense under the convention, such as seizure of an aircraft in flight by threat or force; require state parties to penalize that activity in their domestic law; identify certain bases upon which the relevant state parties are required to establish jurisdiction over the defined offense, such as registration, territoriality, or nationality; and create an obligation on the state party in which an accused offender is found to establish jurisdiction over the offense and to refer the offense for prosecution if the party does not extradite pursuant to other provisions of the convention. This last element gives effect to the principle of "no safe haven for terrorists." UN Security Council Resolution 1373 particularly stresses this principle and obligates all states to "deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens."
The 1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection is regulatory in nature and contains no penal provisions. The 1963 Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft requires a state party to establish penal jurisdiction over offenses committed on board its registered aircraft in flight, without requiring how those offenses should be defined.
More information on the 12 international counterterrorism conventions can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45319.pdf
A small number of al-Qa'ida operatives in East Africa, particularly Somalia, continued to pose the most serious threat to American interests in the region. It is unclear to what extent terrorist groups are present in South Africa, however, the activity of al-Qa'ida and affiliated persons or groups in South Africa and Nigeria, home to Africa's largest Muslim population, is of growing concern. Hizballah continues to engage in fundraising activities in Africa, particularly in West Africa.
Though civil conflict and ethnic violence continued in a number of African countries in 2004, there were few significant international terrorist incidents in Africa during the year. An increase in anti-American and anti-Western rhetoric from a number of Islamic radicals is of growing concern. Many African governments improved their cooperation and strengthened their efforts in the war on terrorism. Both the African Union (AU) and other African regional organizations undertook initiatives to improve counterterrorism cooperation and information sharing.
In October, the Government of Chad helped negotiate the turnover of captured Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) factional leader Amari Saifi (aka Abderazak al-Para) from a Chadian rebel group to the Algerian Government. Chadian military forces had routed the GSPC element led by al-Para in northern Chad in March, and he was subsequently captured by the rebel group. Al-Para headed a GSPC faction responsible for the kidnapping of 32 European tourists in Algeria in the summer of 2003. Al-Para took the captives to Mali, where the government was instrumental in securing their release. Members of the GSPC continue to operate in the Sahel region, crossing difficult-to-patrol borders between Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Algeria and Chad. With the help of US-funded training, those countries have increasingly cooperated against the GSPC. At year's end, al-Para was in Algerian custody.
Sahel countries Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad are devoting more resources to improve their counterterrorism capabilities. These countries also participate in the US-sponsored Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI), a program designed to assist those nations in protecting their borders, combating terrorism, and enhancing regional stability. Components of the program are intended to encourage the participating countries to cooperate with each other against smuggling and trafficking in persons, as well as in the sharing of information. The State Department funded and currently supervises the program, which has included providing equipment and training by US European Command (EUCOM) trainers to Sahel country military units. The United States has also provided counterterrorism training for senior police and other officials from eastern and southern Africa at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone, Botswana. A continuation of the PSI program, called the Trans Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative, is now under consideration.
Many African nations have taken cooperative action against terrorism, including making real efforts to sign and ratify the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, the Seychelles, and Sudan have signed all 12 protocols. In October, the African Union (AU) opened the new African Center for Study and Research on Terrorism in Algiers. Several nations have formed national counterterrorism centers, including Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Information on the US East African Counterterrorism Initiate (EACTI) can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45321.pdf
Djibouti has taken a strong stand against international terrorist organizations and individuals. Djibouti hosts the only US military base in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, as well as Combined Task Force 150 which operates offshore and is headquartered in Bahrain.
The Djiboutian Government has increased its efforts to train security forces, secure borders, and expand its capacity for maritime interdiction. Djibouti also joined the ranks of countries participating in the US Government's Safe Skies for Africa program in late 2004. Through this program, Djibouti is scheduled to receive assistance to improve its airport security and infrastructure. The Government has also closed down terrorist-linked financial institutions and shared information on possible terrorist activity in the region. The counterterrorism committee under President Guelleh moved to enhance coordination and action on information concerning terrorist organizations.
Ethiopia's support in the global war on terrorism has been consistently solid and unwavering. The Government of Ethiopia has conducted investigations regarding regional rebel and possibly transnational terrorist threats to Westerners and US military officials in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has also been cooperative in sharing information with the United States on terrorist activities. To counter the threat from these groups and from elements of the Somalia-based Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI), Ethiopia has undertaken increased military efforts to control its lengthy and porous border with Somalia. Its draft penal code includes provisions that criminalize terrorism, money-laundering, and providing financial support for terrorism. The Government also has developed and installed new security systems for Addis Ababa's international airport that allow the tracking of terrorists and terrorist supporters, and introduced a new, more secure passport that includes anti-tampering features.
Kenya remains an active and critical partner in the war on terrorism. The Government established the National Counter Terrorism Center in January 2004 as well as the National Security Advisory Committee to oversee its operations. However, Kenya registered only slow progress towards the overall strengthening of its capabilities to combat terrorism, prosecute terror suspects, or respond to emergency situations. In April 2003, Kenya published a draft "Suppression of Terrorism" bill, but withdrew it in 2004 due to broad human rights concerns. At year's end, the Kenyan Government had not submitted to parliament a revised draft to address these concerns.
The Kenyan Government has taken the initiative in arresting terrorist suspects and disrupting terrorist operations. The trials of seven terror suspects—arrested in November 2003 on charges related to the Kikambala hotel bombing and attempted shoot-down of an Israeli airliner in November 2002, the 1998 Embassy bombings and a subsequent plot to attack the US Embassy in 2003—continued but were not concluded by year's end. Kenya made many security improvements at airports and hotels in 2004, particularly in Mombasa. The Government's uncoordinated response to an explosion at Nairobi's Wilson Airport in October, however, indicates the need for better coordination and continued improvement of security measures.
In 2004, Nigeria remained committed to the global war against terrorism and has stepped up diplomatic efforts in both global and regional forums concerning counterterrorism issues. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and other African heads of state founded the New Partnership for African Development—geared toward sustainable development in Africa—that has helped African countries combat terrorism. Nigeria initiated and sponsored the first-ever regional conference of security and intelligence service chiefs during 2004 under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). A central theme during this conference was the need to share information and cooperate more fully on a host of transnational issues, particularly terrorism. This effort was followed by an African Union conference, chaired by President Obasanjo, which specifically addressed the need for broader cooperation within the intelligence and security service communities of AU member countries on the issue of terrorism.
Nigeria has participated actively in international efforts to track and freeze terrorists'assets. However, Nigeria's relatively large and complex banking sector, combined with widespread corruption, makes combating terrorism financing more difficult. There are growing concerns about the rise of radical Islam in Nigeria—home of Africa's largest Muslim population. Links were also uncovered connecting Nigerians to al-Qa'ida in 2004.
In late December 2003, early January and again in September 2004, a group calling itself the "Taleban" raided police stations in the northeastern states of Yobe and Borno, reportedly taking several police officers hostage, stealing weapons, and killing at least seven civilians. Nigerian security services quickly responded to both attacks and claim to have killed or captured dozens of the "Taleban" members in the aftermath of the attacks.
The Rwandan Government has continued to give full support to international efforts to combat terrorism. The Government has been responsive on efforts to combat terrorism financing and has increased its border control measures to identify potential terrorists. Rwanda established an intergovernmental counterterrorism committee and has an antiterrorism section in its police intelligence unit. Despite lack of training and resources, Rwanda's Central Bank and Ministry of Finance officials have provided outstanding cooperation on terrorist financing issues. Rwanda has participated in regional initiatives on international counterterrorism cooperation with other African countries.
During 2004, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), known as the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) until 2001, an armed rebel force including former soldiers and supporters of the previous government that orchestrated the genocide in 1994, continued to operate in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda continues to pursue the rebels. An ALIR unit was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of nine persons, including two US tourists, in Bwindi Park in 1999. In 2004, the Rwandan Government assisted US law enforcement officials seeking to prosecute three suspects in the attack who were transferred to the United States for prosecution in 2003. At year's end, the suspects were in US custody awaiting trial.
Somalia's lack of a functioning central government, protracted state of violent instability, long unguarded coastline, porous borders, and proximity to the Arabian Peninsula make it a potential location for international terrorists seeking a transit or launching point to conduct operations elsewhere. Regional efforts to bring about a national reconciliation and establish peace and stability in Somalia are ongoing. Although the ability of Somali local and regional authorities to carry out counterterrorism activities is constrained, some have taken limited actions in this direction.
Members of the Somalia-based al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI) have committed terrorist acts in the past, primarily in Ethiopia. AIAI rose to power in the early 1990s with a goal of creating an Islamic state in Somalia. In recent years, AIAI has become highly factionalized and diffuse, and its membership is difficult to define. Some elements of AIAI continue to pose a threat to countries in the region, other factions may be targeting Western interests in the region, while still other elements are concerned with humanitarian issues. Some members are sympathetic to and maintain ties with al-Qa'ida.
South Africa publicly supports global efforts against terrorism and has shared financial, law enforcement, and intelligence information with the United States. South Africa took several strong steps forward in combating terror in 2004, particularly in the legislative arena. The South African Parliament in November adopted the thorough "Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Bill," which has been sent to the President's office for signature into law. The act clearly defines terrorism and specifically criminalizes terrorist activities in application of its international obligations. It prescribes prison sentences of up to 15 years or large fines for those convicted.
Two South Africans were arrested in Pakistan in July as part of the Pakistani Government's efforts against al-Qa'ida. South African officials were satisfied they were not planning to conduct attacks in South Africa. This incident, however, brought to international attention the possibility of South Africans participating in terrorist activities. Some weaknesses of the South African passport were identified, and the Home Affairs Department is taking initial steps to improve the security of both the passport and national identity document.
The South African Government in March organized a four-week multinational Anti-Terrorism Training Program in Pretoria, which brought together police from South Africa and eleven other African countries to teach methods for combating terrorism. In early October, the Government released a report on the first full year's activities of the Financial Intelligence Unit. The Unit received almost 7,500 reports of suspicious financial transactions. Though the quality of the reports was uneven, this is expected to improve during the Unit's next year of operation. Also in October, the Government announced the establishment of an anti-terrorism "nerve center," to bring together several police and intelligence agencies. A specialized rapid response anti-terrorism unit also is planned for the future.
Tanzania continues to be a supportive partner in the global war on terrorism. It has cooperated on several multi-year programs to build law enforcement capacity, enhance border security, improve civil aviation security, and combat money laundering and terrorist finance. It also hosts the East and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), an international group whose aim is to develop a comprehensive anti-money laundering regime on a regional scale.
Tanzanian and US authorities established a close working relationship after the bombing in 1998 of the US Embassy in Dar Es Salaam and have cooperated in bringing bombing suspects to trial in New York and Dar Es Salaam. Rashid Sweleh Hemed, on trial in Tanzania in late 2003 for his role in the 1998 Embassy attacks, was acquitted in late December by the High Court following the government's appeal of his initial acquittal earlier in the year. A Tanzanian suspected of involvement in the 1998 bombing, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was arrested in July in Pakistan. Although cooperative, Tanzanian law enforcement authorities still have a limited capacity to investigate terrorist suspects and bring them to justice. A comprehensive Prevention of Terrorism Act, approved in late 2002, has yet to be enforced, and implementing regulations for the law have not been drafted.
Uganda continued its firm stance against local and international terrorism. Uganda enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2002, which provides a legal basis for bringing suspected terrorists to court and freezing assets of certain terrorist entities.
The Government of Uganda has fought the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) since the 1980s. This group has carried out acts of extreme brutality against innocent civilians (kidnapping children for use as soldiers and sex slaves) and operates in northern and eastern Uganda and southern Sudan. In February, the LRA attacked the Barlonyo refugee camp near Lira, Uganda, killing nearly 200 people. In previous years, the LRA received assistance from the Government of Sudan. During 2004, the Sudanese Government cooperated with the Ugandan Government to cut off supplies to the LRA, and to allow the Ugandan military to operate on Sudanese territory. The Ugandan Government inflicted severe setbacks to the LRA. It also continued an amnesty program for senior LRA combatants, many of whom opted to come out of the bush and accept the offer. In an attempt to hold a direct dialogue with the LRA, the Government announced a limited ceasefire in mid-November and extended it through December 31, 2004. At year's end, however, no peace had been agreed, and fighting resumed on January 1, 2005, when the LRA ambushed a government vehicle.
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
East Asian countries made significant progress in 2004 in preventing terrorist attacks and creating an international environment inhospitable to terrorists. Despite this progress, Southeast Asia continues to be an attractive theater of operations for terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The region faced continuing terrorist threats on several fronts, and in 2004 several terrorist assaults occurred. In February, the Philippines suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history when a bomb planted by the ASG sunk SuperFerry 14, killing approximately 130 passengers. In September, a car bomb was detonated in front of the Australian Embassy in Indonesia, reportedly killing 10 and wounding nearly 200. JI claimed responsibility for the attack.
Because terrorism in Asia is a transnational problem, capacity building in a regional context has emerged as a priority alongside national capacity building efforts. In an important development, centers like the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counterterrorism (SEARCCT) in Malaysia and the US-Thailand International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok expanded their activities to provide counterterrorism training to law enforcement officers throughout the region. Likewise, the Australian-Indonesian Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) is a promising additional regional center for capacity building. Multilateral fora, including the United Nations Security Council's Counterterrorism Committee (UNCTC), G8's Roma-Lyon and Counterterrorism Action Groups (CTAG), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), also emerged as important organizations for regional and transnational counterterrorism cooperation.
Australia deserves special recognition for its continuing robust counterterrorism posture in 2004, as the Government undertook strong measures not only to improve domestic counterterrorism capacities, but also to strengthen cooperation and capabilities throughout the region. Japan also made valuable contributions to regional counterterrorism capacity building efforts.
Measures to strengthen law enforcement efforts supportive of the global war on terror accelerated in 2004, and several economies in the region developed new institutions to address gaps in their current counterterrorism efforts. The People's Bank of China established an anti-money laundering bureau, which created a terrorist finance investigative unit, and in November Beijing joined the Eurasia Group, a regional anti-money laundering group. In the Philippines, President Arroyo created a multi-agency Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF), which captured over 60 suspected terrorists in its first five months of existence. New Zealand further enhanced its capacity by allocating funds for the creation of National Security Teams specially designated to combat terrorism. Taiwan authorities announced the creation of a counterterrorism policy committee chaired by the Premier of the Executive Yuan and composed of seven multi-agency task forces.
Several countries achieved successes in bringing terrorists to justice, as the fight against terrorism in East Asia matured to move beyond arrests towards prosecutions. The Indonesian police arrested approximately two dozen terrorist suspects, including suspected senior JI leaders, former instructors at JI training camps, financiers of attacks, and members of splinter networks who joined with JI to carry out attacks. When JI Emir Abu Bakar Ba'asyir completed a sentence for document fraud and immigration violations, Indonesian police rearrested and charged him with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, linking him to the Bali and Jakarta Marriott bombings as well as to a cache of arms and explosives found in central Java. Ba'asyir's trial on these charges was underway at year's end. Following up on 2003 arrests for channeling terrorist money into Cambodia through the Umm al-Qura Islamic school, a Cambodian court convicted three suspects of supporting JI and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The Philippines arrested numerous ASG members, including a senior ASG leader wanted by the United States for his role in the kidnappings of Americans in 2001, and a Philippines court sentenced 17 ASG members to death, although four were convicted in absentia after having escaped from jail. Lack of specific anti-terrorism legislation continues to be a challenge to comprehensive law enforcement efforts in several countries in the region.
Although governments in Southeast Asia made progress in the fight against terrorism in 2004, they face tremendous challenges as they continue to deal with the terrorist threat. Separatist insurgencies, currently ongoing in the Philippines, Indonesia, and southern Thailand, also contribute to an environment of lawlessness, which terrorist groups may attempt to exploit for their own purposes.
More information on Asia-Pacific counterterrorism initiatives can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45321.pdf
Australia maintained its robust support for domestic and international counterterrorism efforts in 2004, adding to already significant commitments of personnel and resources. Demonstrating a clearer appreciation than most for the scope and nature of the terrorist threat, the Australian Government worked to advance practical proposals for regional cooperation to deter attacks, disrupt terrorist cells, mitigate the effects of any attacks that did occur, and bring terrorists and their supporters to justice. In 2004, Australia committed significant resources to strengthen its own national security capabilities in areas such as intelligence collection, protective security, and border protection. In May, the National Threat Assessment Center located within the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center also assisted regional financial intelligence units by building investigation skills and by helping officers throughout the region detect patterns of financial transactions that could be used in terrorist financing.
The Australian Government also introduced legislation to give ASIO new powers to fight terrorism. By the close of 2004, Australia had designated 17 groups as terrorist organizations under legislation creating offenses for membership in, or other specified links to, such groups. Australia also extended measures to freeze terrorist assets of an additional 55 individuals and entities pursuant to Australia's obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1390 (and their successor resolutions) and 1373.
The Australian Government conducted a national review of the regulations, reporting requirements, and security for the storage, sale, and handling of hazardous materials, with ammonium nitrate a particular priority because of its ready availability and history of terrorist use. The Council of Australian Governments agreed to ban access to ammonium nitrate for other than specifically authorized users. The agreement mandated establishing in each state a licensing regime for the use, manufacture, storage, transport, supply, import, and export of ammonium nitrate.
The Australian Ambassador for Counterterrorism continued to serve as a focal point for coordinating, promoting, and intensifying Australia's international counterterrorism efforts throughout 2004. In continuation of a major diplomatic initiative, Australia broadened its network of bilateral counterterrorism arrangements in Southeast Asia. By the end of 2004, the Australian Government had signed nine bilateral memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on cooperation to combat international terrorism with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Fiji, Cambodia, East Timor, and India.
Australia launched a number of multi-year plans to help countries in the Asia-Pacific region build capacity to combat terrorism in areas such as law enforcement, border management, transportation security, intelligence, anti-terrorist financing, and the development of legal regimes. Australia's support for the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) in Semarang, Indonesia is a particularly noteworthy development, as JCLEC will serve as a counterterrorism training resource for regional law enforcement agencies. Australia also funded the establishment in 2004 of the Transnational Crime Center (TNCC) in Jakarta, which will provide a focal point within the Indonesian police for prevention, identification and dismantling all forms of transnational crime, including terrorism.
In February, Australia and Indonesia convened a regional meeting of Justice and Interior ministers to strengthen law enforcement efforts on counterterrorism information sharing and cooperative legal frameworks. Australian law enforcement agencies continued to build working-level relationships with their regional counterparts in 2004. The Australians also provided legal drafting assistance to Pacific Island Forum (PIF) states seeking to adopt UN conventions against terrorism and to bring their domestic laws into conformity with the conventions.
In partnership with the United States, Australia played a leading role in continuing development of a Regional Movement Alert List (RMAL) system. A fully functional RMAL should strengthen the ability of participating countries to fight terrorism by monitoring the movement of people across borders. Following completion of a feasibility study undertaken by Australia and the United States, APEC ministers agreed in November to pilot the RMAL in 2005.
Despite legislative and investigative limitations, Cambodia took several important measures to counter the threat of terrorism. On March 31, 2004, Cambodia, with the assistance of the United States, destroyed its entire stock of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) in part to ensure these weapons would never fall into the hands of terrorists.
In April, a bomb detonated at a ferry in the southwestern town of Koh Kong, slightly injuring several people. Five persons allegedly belonging to the Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF), an anti-government group, were subsequently arrested. Cambodian authorities had previously arrested seven members of the CFF in November 2003 for allegedly planning a terrorist attack in Koh Kong. However, in October 2004 the court dropped all charges in these cases. Some of the accused claimed they were coerced into confessions.
In December, a Cambodian court convicted three suspects (one Cambodian and two Thai) of supporting Jemaah Islamiya (JI), sentencing them to mandatory life imprisonment. The court acquitted an Egyptian defendant. The case began in May 2003 when the four were arrested by Cambodian authorities for using an Islamic school run by the Saudi Arabia-based non-government organization (NGO) Umm al-Qura as a front for channeling terrorist money into Cambodia from Saudi Arabia. In addition to the arrests of the four, the Government shut down two branches of the Umm al-Qura Islamic School and deported 28 foreign teachers and their dependents. During the trial, the court also convicted in absentia JI operations chief Hambali and two others of attempted murder for terrorist purposes. According to evidence presented in court, Hambali and the others convicted were involved in the planning of terrorist attacks on the US and UK embassies in Phnom Penh.
The Cambodian Government's ability to investigate potential terrorist activities is limited by a lack of training and resources, and it has requested international assistance to upgrade its law enforcement/security capabilities, particularly in border security. The Government has installed with US assistance computerized border control systems at Cambodia's international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and land border crossing points at Poipet and Koh Kong. The Cambodian Government has also cooperated fully with US requests to monitor terrorists and terrorist entities listed as supporters of terrorist financing.
China continues to take a clear stand against international terrorism and is broadly supportive of the global war on terror. China holds regular counterterrorism consultations with the United States, and is supportive of international efforts to block and freeze terrorist assets. The Chinese Government treats designations of terrorists under US Executive Order 13224 on an equal basis with those designated by the United Nations UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee. In 2004, the Bank of China established a financial intelligence unit (FIU) to track suspicious transactions. China joined with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia to form the Eurasia Group, a newly created regional anti-money laundering organization or Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and is in the process of becoming an observer in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In 2004, China agreed to grant permanent status to the FBI Legal Attaché Office in Beijing, thus providing for long-term stability and expansion of US-Chinese law enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation. Although US authorities have sought more timely Chinese responses to terrorist investigation requests, substantive intelligence has been exchanged in some cases. Lack of training and counterterrorism expertise remains an issue for Chinese law enforcement officials, but some received training in combating terrorist financing at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Thailand in 2004. While no acts of international terrorism were committed in China in 2004, there were several reports of bombings and bomb threats in various parts of China. It is unclear whether these were acts of terrorism or criminal attacks. Chinese authorities assert that ethnic Uighur terrorists, primarily based in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, continue to operate on Chinese territory.
In 2004, Indonesia continued building on its successes combating terrorism, but the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September that killed 10 demonstrates the continued threat posed by terrorists operating in Indonesia. The Indonesian National Police continued to take effective steps to counter the threat posed by the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiya (JI). Indonesian police arrested approximately two dozen terrorist suspects in 2004. Those arrested or convicted in 2004 include suspected senior JI leaders, former instructors at JI training camps, financiers of attacks, and members of splinter networks who joined with JI to carry out attacks. Since the October 2002 Bali bombings, Indonesian prosecutors and courts have convicted more than 100 members of JI or affiliated groups on terrorism charges.
Indonesian prosecutors and courts became a focal point of counterterrorism efforts in 2004, as more than 45 JI members stood trial on terrorism charges in Jakarta, Central Sulawesi, and Sumatra. As in previous years, the Government continued to mount effective prosecutions and the courts continued to convict those arrested in cases such as the Marriott bombing, although prosecution cases could have been strengthened in many instances. Additionally, prosecutors have begun levying terrorism charges against suspects involved in sectarian violence in Maluku and Central Sulawesi.
In September 2003, the Indonesian Supreme Court found suspected JI Emir Abu Bakar Ba'asyir guilty of document fraud and immigration violations, but exonerated him on charges of leading and participating in treasonous acts, accepting defense arguments that prosecutors had shown no connection between Ba'asyir and JI. A Supreme Court decision in January 2004 reduced his sentence from three years to 18 months. As Ba'asyir completed that sentence in April 2004, Indonesian police rearrested him and charged him with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, linking him to the Bali and Marriott bombings as well as to a cache of arms and explosives found in central Java. His trial began in October 2004 and was ongoing at year's end.
In July, the Constitutional Court struck down the retroactive application of the 2003 Anti-Terror Law, passed after the Bali attack. In a divided decision, the Court ruled that the Bali bombings did not constitute an extraordinary crime. Both the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court officials said publicly the ruling would not affect Bali bombing cases already adjudicated. At the time of writing, no sentences of those convicted of Bali-related charges have been appealed based on the Constitutional Court ruling.
In October, an Indonesian court convicted and sentenced Rusman "Gun Gun" Gunawan, an Indonesian connected to the bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta, to four years in prison for his role in helping facilitate the transfer of funds for that attack.
The South Jakarta District Court handed down an important verdict in November when it found JI member Mohammad Qital guilty under corporate criminal liability provisions of the Anti-Terror Law. In its decision, the court officially recognized the existence of JI and acknowledged that it engaged in terrorist actions. The court then found Qital guilty of terrorist activities through his duties as a JI member. However, at year's end, JI was not a banned organization in Indonesia. The Government has also established and is implementing an interagency process for responding to UN 1267 Sanctions Committee designations. The Government of Indonesia notified the UN Resolution 1373 Committee that it has frozen 18 accounts, but the details of those freeze orders are unclear.
By year's end, newly-elected President Yudhoyono had identified the capture of fugitive JI bomb-makers Noordin Mohammad Top and Azahari Hussein as a top priority. The Indonesian Government demonstrated commitment to regional leadership in counterterrorism efforts by working with the Australians to establish the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC), which will develop into a regional counterterrorism training institute.
Japan continued its strong counterterrorism stance, both domestically and abroad, in 2004. In May, the Diet ratified a mutual legal assistance treaty with the United States. The treaty will make cooperation in investigations and prosecution of terrorists easier.
Japan is active regionally in building counterterrorism cooperation and capacity among Asian countries. In June, Japan announced its APEC Counterterrorism Capacity Building Initiative and its plans to provide assistance to address aviation, port, and maritime security, as well as terrorism financing shortfalls in the region. The Japanese Coast Guard invited students from Southeast Asian countries to study at its academy, provided training for maritime law enforcement activities, and conducted a human resource development project to modernize and further professionalize the Philippine Coast Guard. Japanese officials have led regional seminars on terrorist finance, customs cooperation, law enforcement, immigration control, and export control. To help stem the flow of terrorist financing to al-Qa'ida and the Taliban, Japan designated under its asset-freezing program all entities and individuals included on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's consolidated list and sponsored an experts seminar on establishing financial intelligence units for Southeast Asian countries in December 2004.
There were no serious incidents of international or domestic terrorism in Japan during 2004. The leader of Aum Shinrikyo, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization accused of perpetrating the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995, was sentenced to death in February. Appeals are pending. The Public Security Intelligence Agency is continuing its surveillance of the group through 2005, as authorized by the Public Security Commission in December 2002.
Laos has continued to support the global war on terrorism, but lacks specific counterterrorism laws. The Office of the Prosecutor General is drafting amendments to existing criminal law, under which acts of terrorism fall, to make more explicit the descriptions of and punishments for terrorism-related crimes. Efforts to implement the counterterrorism provisions of multilateral agreements are hampered by weak enforcement procedures and inefficiency of security organizations. The Government cooperated bilaterally on counterterrorism issues with the United States and other nations, and multilaterally with the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Laos suffered a handful of incidents of domestic terrorism in 2004, carried out by groups opposed to the Lao Government. A group calling itself the Free Democratic People's Government of Laos claimed credit for several small bombings, which resulted in one death and a number of injuries. This group also claimed responsibility for several explosions in Vientiane designed to disrupt the ASEAN Summit in late November 2004.
The Malaysian Government continues to be a strong partner in the war on terrorism, taking on a leading role to facilitate regional cooperation, most notably through its Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT). Malaysia has detained more than 100 suspected terrorists under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since May 2001. According to the Internal Security Ministry, 87 such suspects remained in custody. Malaysia issued eight and renewed 32 two-year detention orders for terrorist suspects in 2004. Five detained terrorist suspects were granted conditional release in 2004.
The SEARCCT, established in 2003, focused primarily on training for regional authorities in law enforcement, banking, and other sectors. US trainers conducted courses for officials throughout the region at SEARCCT, and Malaysian, Japanese, Australian, South Korean, British, Croatian, and Canadian trainers also participated in regional counterterrorism courses, seminars, lectures, and workshops.
The Malaysian Government has worked to ensure that separatist violence in southern Thailand, which has wounded Malaysian tourists, does not spill over into Malaysia. Malaysia has strengthened border controls along the frontier between the two countries.
New Zealand has a strong capacity to develop and implement counterterrorism policies, and further strengthened its role in the global war on terror in 2004 through domestic legislation and regional involvement. In May, New Zealand hosted a counterterrorism meeting for Pacific Island Forum members. The meeting, which was funded through the Government's Pacific Island Security Fund, discussed the region's counterterrorism obligations and the range of international assistance available to help Pacific Island nations meet these requirements. In December, the Government introduced a bill into Parliament to extend until 2007 New Zealand's UN Security Council-related designations of terrorist organizations. By year's end, New Zealand had designated 420 terrorist organizations and was considering adding more to the list. In its 2004 budget, New Zealand allocated funds for the creation of specially-dedicated National Security Teams to combat terrorism.
The Philippines continues to cooperate on a range of bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism efforts. Indigenous terrorist groups, as well as operatives of Jemaah Islamiya, continue to threaten the security of the country. The Philippines suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history when a bomb planted by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists sunk SuperFerry 14 in Manila Bay, killing approximately 130 passengers. In December, a bomb exploded in a crowded market in General Santos City, Mindanao, killing a reported 17 people. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Philippine authorities had a number of successes against terrorists in 2004. In March, they arrested seven ASG members responsible for the SuperFerry bombing and uncovered their plans to bomb the US Embassy, shopping malls, and other targets in Metro Manila. In April, a Philippine military unit killed six ASG members on Basilan Island, including Hamsiraji Sali, a senior ASG leader wanted by the United States for his role in the kidnappings of Americans Guillermo Sobero and Gracia and Martin Burnham and Sobero's and Martin Burnham's subsequent deaths. One of the three US-trained Light Reaction Companies bloodlessly apprehended two New People's Army (NPA) commanders in June, and an August air strike against the Pentagon Gang destroyed its leadership and virtually eliminated it as an organization. A court in August sentenced 17 ASG members to death, although four were convicted in absentia after having escaped from jail. In October, authorities arrested two men and one woman for their roles in bomb attacks at the Davao airport and ferry port.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the creation of a multi-agency Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF) in March. During the first five months of its existence, ATTF operatives, backed up by law enforcement, captured over 60 suspected terrorists, seven of them foreigners believed to be elements of al-Qa'ida and JI.
The Philippines has made progress in tracking, blocking, and seizing terrorist assets. The main body tasked with investigating terrorist finance cases—the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)—completed the first phase of its information technology upgrades in 2004. The arrests in May and September, respectively, of ASG suspects Khair Mundus and Satrap Tilao on the first-ever money laundering charges against terrorists grew out of an investigation initiated by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with Philippine officials. On December 17, the Philippines agreed to co-sponsor, with the United States, the submission of ASG leader Khadaffy Janjalani for inclusion on the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee list.
Major evidentiary and procedural obstacles in the Philippines, such as the absence of a law defining and codifying terrorist acts and restrictions on gathering of evidence, hinder the building of effective terrorism cases. Although several new counterterrorism bills were introduced in the new session of Congress in July, the Philippines failed to enact new antiterrorism legislation in 2004. Generic problems in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems also hamper bringing terrorists to justice. Among them are corruption, low morale, inadequate salaries, recruitment and retention difficulties, and lack of effective cooperation between police and prosecutors.
US and Philippine authorities worked closely during 2004 to energize rewards programs targeting terrorist groups. Using its Rewards Program, the US Department of Defense made two payments of $15,000 and $9,800 to Filipino informants for their roles in the capture of ASG cell leaders Galib Andang (aka "Commander Robot") and Alhamzer Limbong (aka "Kumander Kosovo"). The US Department of State, through its Rewards for Justice program, made a payment of $1 million to the three Philippine informants who played a crucial role in the attempted capture of Hamsiraji Sali, during which Sali was killed.
Singapore continued its strong opposition to terrorism and worked vigorously to advance the counterterrorism agenda in bilateral and multilateral contexts. While there were no acts of international or domestic terrorism in Singapore in 2004, Singaporean authorities pressed their investigation of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya (JI), and continued to detain JI members who plotted to carry out attacks in Singapore in the past.
Over the course of the year, the number of terrorismrelated detainees held under the Internal Security Act decreased from 37 to 35. Detainees include members of JI and two members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The "Restriction Orders" authorizing detention require these persons to undergo a program of religious counseling with a group of volunteer religious counselors.
During 2004, Singapore continued its intelligence and law enforcement cooperation with a variety of governments, including the United States, to investigate terrorist groups, especially JI. Singapore provided information to Indonesia to assist in the second trial of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. It has requested that Indonesia extradite to Singapore several JI members to face trial for engaging in a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts.
In 2004, authorities updated the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Anti-Terrorism Measures) and the United Nations Act (Anti-Terrorism Measures). These regulations prohibit the provision of any funds or other assistance to terrorists, and provide the authority for the seizure of financial or other assets.
Singaporean officials have taken strong measures to enhance maritime security in nearby waters, especially the Strait of Malacca. These measures are focused on addressing terrorist threats as well as piracy and other criminal attacks. The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore issued new security control measures on ships calling at the Port of Singapore, including pre-arrival notification requirements. In July, the navies of Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia initiated coordinated patrols in the Strait of Malacca. The Government of Singapore has scheduled a Proliferation Security Initiative maritime interdiction exercise in August 2005. Based on an initiative by Japan, 16 countries, including Singapore, agreed to the regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia. The countries agreed to establish a center, based in Singapore, to coordinate information exchange on maritime piracy. Singapore and the other members of the Five Power Defense Arrangement (Malaysia, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand) announced that their agreement would be expanded to deal with terrorism and other unconventional threats, including maritime security.
Singapore actively participated in counterterrorism efforts through various international fora, including the ASEAN Regional Forum, and has worked to enhance regional counterterrorism capabilities. Singaporean police conducted a regional workshop on "Explosives and Suicide Bomber Counter-Measures" to enhance the capabilities of police units in other ASEAN member countries. Singapore hosted an APEC Counterterrorism Task Force meeting to further develop proposals to enhance the counterterrorism capabilities of APEC members, as committed by leaders in November 2003.
Taiwan remains a responsive partner in the global war on terrorism, although it is frequently prevented from participating in international and regional fora on counterterrorism issues.
In November 2004, Taiwan authorities announced the creation of a counterterrorism policy committee chaired by the Premier of the Executive Yuan and composed of seven multi-agency task forces. Each task force is required to collect information and develop operational plans to deal with such contingencies as terrorist attacks on public infrastructure and telecommunication networks. The National Police Administration (NPA) also established a special SWAT team to respond to terrorist incidents and continues to send law enforcement personnel abroad for counterterrorism training.
Cooperation on maritime security issues advanced in 2004, as Taiwan and the United States agreed on a framework to implement the US Department of Homeland Security's Container Security Initiative (CSI) in the southern port city of Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung is one of the busiest container ports in the world and will be the eleventh port in the East Asia Pacific region to implement CSI standards designed to protect shipping containers against exploitation by terrorists and criminal elements. US customs and border protection officers are tentatively scheduled to begin operations with their Taiwanese counterparts in 2005. Mote information on the Container Security Initiative is available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45321.pdf
Although not a member of the United Nations and therefore unable to become a party to international treaties, Taiwan has nonetheless committed to implement the 12 UN conventions and protocols related to international terrorism, and has taken some unilateral measures to combat illicit money flows. In 2004, Taiwan's legislative Yuan amended the Money Laundering Control Act, strengthening provisions to identify and seize terrorist assets and property. Taiwanese authorities also continue to maintain a centralized database to verify and track remittances.
There were no significant acts of international terrorism in Thailand during 2004. However, there was a significant increase in acts of domestic violence fueled by a renewed separatist insurgency based in the far southern provinces of Thailand. The violence has been primarily concentrated in the Muslim majority provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, which are located along the Thai-Malaysian border. Most estimates put the number of deaths this year directly related to the violence at over 500. The victims include government officials and civilians, both Buddhist and Muslim. The Thai Government has expressed concern that Thai militants may be seeking refuge across the border; Malaysia has denied these allegations.
There is no evidence of a direct connection between militants in southern Thailand and international terrorist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiya and al-Qa'ida. However, there is concern that transnational groups may attempt to capitalize on the increasingly violent situation for their own purposes. Long-standing Muslim separatist organizations in southern Thailand continue to be active to some degree, but there is little direct evidence that these groups are actively organizing the violence. Thai separatist groups by all indications remained focused on seeking autonomy or independence for the far southern provinces. Violence in the south remains focused on government officials and other symbols of Thai authority, as well as civilians.
Thailand has commitments to work with neighboring countries on counterterrorism issues and is a participant in the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counterterrorism (SEARCCT) in Malaysia.
Thailand is also enhancing the security of its borders by implementing more effective controls. In cooperation with the G8 Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG) member governments, Thailand has increased efforts to combat document fraud. During 2004, Thailand enhanced its ability to internally coordinate its response to terrorist financing activities. Thailand has embarked on an aggressive program to equip its air, land, and sea ports of entry with a computerized terrorist watch listing system. The system will be operational at a limited number of locations in 2005, with completion forecast for 2006.
EUROPE AND EURASIA
Major terrorist events occurred in Europe in 2004, with hundreds dying in horrific attacks in Spain, Russia, and Uzbekistan, accompanied by major successes, including broad-based international cooperation to secure the Olympics in Greece, and deepened multilateral efforts to improve capabilities to combat the threat of terrorism. European nations continued to work in close partnership with the United States in the global counterterrorism campaign and, galvanized by the Madrid bombings and growing awareness of their own vulnerabilities, took significant steps to enhance their capability to combat terrorists and their supporters. The contributions of European countries in sharing intelligence, arresting members of terrorist cells, and interdicting terrorist financing and logistics continued to be vital elements in the war on terrorism.
The European Union (EU) remained a key partner in the war on terrorism and has moved to strengthen Community legal and administrative capacity, and that of EU member states, to combat terrorism. The EU created the position of Coordinator for Counterterrorism following the Madrid attacks in March. International judicial cooperation advanced as EU members brought into effect the European Arrest Warrant and enacted implementing legislation for US-EU Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. The June US-EU Summit Declaration on Combating Terrorism reaffirmed a wide range of transatlantic commitments to cooperate closely and continue to work together to develop measures to maximize capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks, prevent access by terrorists to financial and other economic resources, enhance information sharing and cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and improve the effectiveness of border information systems. The United States and EU initiated a dialogue on terrorism finance issues in September.
European nations are active participants in a variety of multilateral organizations that have made contributions in counterterrorist efforts, including the G8, NATO, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). They worked actively with the United States and other partners through these organizations to establish and implement best practices, build the counterterrorism capabilities of "weak but willing" states, and institutionalize the war against terrorism globally. OSCE members have committed themselves to becoming parties to the 12 UN terrorism conventions and protocols, to work together to modernize travel documents and shipping container security, and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist organizations.
Terrorist activity and the presence of terrorist support networks in Europe remain a source of concern. Efforts to combat the threat in Europe are sometimes hampered by legal protections that make it difficult to take firm judicial action against suspected terrorists, asylum laws that afford loopholes, inadequate legislation, or standards of evidence that limit use of classified information in holding terrorist suspects. Ease of travel within Schengen visa countries also makes Western Europe attractive to terrorists. Some European states have at times not been able to prosecute successfully or hold some of the suspected terrorists brought before their courts. The Clearinghouse mechanism for authorizing EU-wide terrorist designations was unable to generate consensus on action to block the assets of charities associated with HAMAS and Hizballah.
In March, Islamic extremists linked to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) detonated 10 bombs on commuter trains during the Madrid rush hour, killing 191 persons and wounding hundreds more; several suspects later blew themselves up in order to avoid arrest.
Russia endured a series of deadly terrorist attacks in February, August and September 2004, including explosions on the Moscow subway, suicide bomb attacks that brought down two Russian airliners simultaneously, a suicide bomber attack outside a Moscow metro station, and the seizure of approximately 1,200 hostages, most of whom were school children, at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, that left at least 331 people dead, more than half of them children, and hundreds of others injured.
In Uzbekistan in March and April 2004, suicide bombers attacked a popular bazaar and other locations resulting in the death of more than a dozen police officers and innocent bystanders. A further round of bombings in July outside the US and Israeli Embassies and the Uzbekistani General Prosecutor's Office resulted in the death of four Uzbekistani security officers.
Deploying thousands of security personnel and working closely with partners from across the globe, Greece staged successful and secure summer Olympic Games.
The Netherlands was rocked by the brutal assassination of a prominent film director by a Dutch-born Moroccan dual national. The killing and its aftershocks, like the Madrid bombings, focused attention throughout Europe on the potential threat from extremist groups recruited from within Europe.
Cooperation among European law enforcement authorities continued to be key to counterterrorism successes. Intra-European information exchanges shed light on the continent-wide linkages of the Madrid bombers and facilitated the April arrests across Europe of suspects connected to the Turkish Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).
Enhancing regional counterterrorism cooperation has been a priority for the United States. Toward that end, the US Department of State co-hosted with the Swiss Government the sixth Counterterrorism Conference for Eurasian states in Zurich, Switzerland, in December 2004. Participants included most of the Eurasian states, Turkey, and representatives from the World Health Organization, the EU, Interpol, OSCE, NATO, and Poland's recently developed Foundation for the Prevention of Terrorism and Biological Threats. The conference provided participants an opportunity to describe and identify components of their national programs to respond to a bioterrorism attack, and to see how their various governments would respond together to a transnational bio-emergency. The Dutch EU Presidency hosted an EU-wide conference on terrorism finance in Brussels in September, which included participation by the United States as well as other third countries and international organizations, including the United Nations.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also played a key role in combating terrorism at the regional level in Europe. First and foremost, NATO continues Operation Active Endeavor (OAE), a naval operation aimed at combating terrorism by monitoring maritime traffic in the Mediterranean. Thus far, Alliance warships have hailed over 57,000 vessels and have boarded nearly 100 vessels. Currently, NATO is discussing expanding OAE into the Black Sea and strengthening the mandate's directives for searching for WMD materials. Additionally, during the Olympics, NATO provided critical chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN), and air patrol capabilities to the Government of Greece.
Despite limited resources, the countries of southeast Europe have actively supported the international coalition against terrorism. Through the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) Regional Center to Combat Transborder Crime, based in Romania, the twelve states of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, and Turkey cooperated to combat organized crime and various forms of trafficking, enhance border security, and improve training for border security personnel.
In October Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia created the Eurasia Group, a regional anti-money laundering organization or Financial Action Task Force-style regional body (FSRB).
Despite limited resources, Albania continued to support the global war on terrorism and made progress in implementing its national action plan against terrorism, originally approved in 2002. Albania has steadfastly supported US actions against terrorism, sharing information and investigating terrorist-related groups and activities. In 2004, the Government froze the assets of terrorist financiers, curtailed the activities of suspect Islamic NGOs, and detained or expelled individuals suspected of having links to terrorism or attempting to foment religious intolerance. In July, Parliament passed legislation to implement asset freezes against persons designated as terrorists or terrorist financiers by the United Nations. Albania has begun cracking down on ethnic Albanian extremists, including leaders of the ultranationalist Albanian National Army. In December, police apprehended four arms traffickers dealing in surface to air missiles likely intended for regional extremists.
In 2004, Armenia continued to be a full and active participant in the global war against terrorism. A new Armenian criminal law more clearly defining terrorist acts replaced Soviet-era legislation in 2003. The National Assembly passed legislation outlawing money laundering and financing of terrorism in December 2004, bringing Armenian legislation in line with its international obligations to combat terrorist finance, and strengthening the ability of the Government to prosecute terrorist-related offenses. Border Guards seized 42 grams of non-weapons-grade radioactive material in 2004. While none of the material was likely destined for terrorist organizations, the Border Guards have shown that they are capable of detecting and interdicting nuclear material. The Armenian Central Bank fully cooperated with efforts to freeze terrorist assets but reported finding none in 2004.
Austria continued its participation in multilateral missions, its cooperation with US law enforcement agencies, and its leadership in regional anti-terrorism initiatives. In 2004, the Government made efforts to tighten financial oversight of suspected terrorism financing.
In 2004, the Interior Ministry's intelligence arm, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and for Terrorism (BVT), stepped up surveillance of suspected Islamic extremists; it also increased monitoring of suspected extremist prayer houses in Vienna and surveillance of the Egyptian al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah movement and of suspected Afghan extremists entering Austria as asylum seekers. Austria passed legislation to allow police video surveillance of public spaces. Austria's legal and institutional framework to combat terrorism was strengthened. Its money laundering and terrorist financing legislation is now in compliance with FATF 40+9 Recommendations, and the EU-wide arrest warrant became effective in 2004.
Azerbaijan and the United States have a very good record of cooperation on counterterrorism issues that predates the September 11, 2001, attacks. With the 2004 ratification of the Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, Azerbaijan has acceded to all 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. While Azerbaijan has served as a route for international mujahedin with ties to terrorist organizations seeking to move men, money, and materiel throughout the Caucasus, the Azeri Government has stepped up its efforts and succeeded in reducing their presence and hampering their activities. Azerbaijan has taken steps to combat terrorist financing and identify possible terrorist-related funding by distributing lists of suspected terrorist groups and individuals to local banks. An experts group, led by the National Bank of Azerbaijan, has prepared draft anti-money laundering legislation that would establish a financial intelligence unit (FIU) and expand the predicate crimes for money laundering beyond narcotics trafficking.
In 2004, the Government continued to make significant arrests of individuals associated with terrorist groups. Members of Jayshullah, an indigenous terrorist group, who were arrested in 2000 and tried in 2001 for plotting to attack the US Embassy in Baku, remain in prison.
In 2004, the Belgian Government continued anti-terrorist cooperation with European neighbors and the US Government on multiple levels. Belgium remained active in sharing information with the United States regarding terrorist threats to US interests or persons. In 2004, Belgium and the United States broadened cooperation under the Container Security Initiative—in place for the Port of Antwerp since 2003—to include a second Belgian port, Zeebrugge. The two governments also agreed to place radiation detection equipment in the Port of Antwerp under the Department of Energy's Megaports program.
The Belgian judicial system applied the rule of law to terrorist conspirators in 2004, when it charged 10 suspects with criminal conspiracy related to possible terrorist activities. Eight of the defendants were found guilty, receiving sentences ranging from 11 months to five years.
One of those convicted, Tarek Maaroufi, had been found guilty in the 2003 terrorist trial in Belgium and will serve a total of seven years in prison based on that previous conviction. A Belgian appellate court rejected appeals filed by nine of the 18 convicted in Belgium's 2003 terrorist trial, including Maaroufi and Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian national and al-Qa'ida associate. The court actually increased Maaroufi's sentence from six to seven years, while maintaining the ten-year sentence of Trabelsi and the shorter sentences of three other defendants. Another of the appellants, Mouloud Haiter, had his sentence increased from three to four years, while Abelhouaid Aberkan's sentence was reduced from three to two years. A final appellant, who cooperated with authorities in the initial trial, had his sentence suspended.
The Belgian authorities, in cooperation with Spanish, Italian, and Dutch investigators, continued criminal investigations of over 20 other suspects in Belgium for possible terrorism activities, including possible links to the March Madrid bombing and the November murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Belgian legislation adopted in 2003 to implement the EU's Framework Decision of June 2002 on combating terrorism and the European Arrest Warrant came into effect in December 2003 and January 2004, respectively.
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) remained a strong and active partner in the global war on terrorism. The country's ethnic divisions, its complex and multi-level government structure, and its still weak central institutions complicate its efforts against terrorism, but Bosnia made great strides in institutionalizing its counterterrorism capabilities.
State-level Ministries of Defense and Security were established in 2004, and the two entity-level (Federation and Republika Srpska) intelligence services were merged into a single state-level service. US Government assistance helped establish the State Investigative and Protection Agency (SIPA), an FBI-like agency responsible for investigating complex crimes including terrorism, illegal trafficking, organized crime, and smuggling of weapons of mass destruction. SIPA will have a financial intelligence unit (FIU), and a sub-unit of its Criminal Investigation Department will be dedicated to counterterrorism and WMD. However, these units of SIPA are not yet fully staffed or fully operational, and state institutions in general are largely under-funded, under-resourced, and lack sufficiently trained personnel.
In June, Bosnia adopted a package of laws that, when fully implemented, will dramatically strengthen state-level law enforcement capabilities. The set of laws includes legislation giving SIPA law enforcement and investigative authority for state-level crimes, including terrorism, and a law on prevention of money laundering. The law, which came into force on December 28, determines the measures and responsibilities for detecting, preventing, and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing, and prescribes measures and responsibilities for international cooperation. Bosnia lacks established procedures for dealing with such issues as denaturalization, extradition, and preventive detention.
The BiH Government took decisive action in apprehending suspects and shutting down NGOs and bank accounts tied to terrorist-linked organizations. In the past year and a half, Bosnian Federation authorities shut down NGOs with terrorist links and froze accounts of terrorist supporters. In 2004, the Government disrupted the operations of al-Furqan (a.k.a. Sirat Istikamet), al-Haramain and al-Masjed al-Aqsa Charity Foundation, and Taibah International, organizations listed by the UN 1267 Committee as having direct links with al-Qa'ida. Of continuing concern are the foreign Islamic extremists who remain in Bosnia as a legacy of the 1992-95 war.
Bulgaria is a staunch ally of the United States in the global war against terror. During 2004, the Bulgarian Government continued its high level of cooperation with the United States in preventing acts of terrorism in Bulgaria and elsewhere. This included information sharing on potential terrorist threats. Bulgarian officials have aggressively pursued and developed leads and provided extensive cooperation to US officials. Cooperation with US and regional officials on export and border controls continued to be outstanding.
Czech authorities have cooperated closely with the US Government and other European governments to prevent terrorist activity. In 2004, the Czechs blocked several exports of weapons and explosives that were linked to possible terrorist activity. Czech authorities responded effectively to requests for increased protection of US facilities, including at the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Finland enhanced its ability to combat terrorism in 2004, implementing legislation that allowed it to freeze assets without prior action by the EU or UN. Finland amended its criminal code to make it possible to sentence leaders of terrorist groups to 15 years in jail, although the group has to have actually committed acts of terrorism in Finland before investigation and prosecution can begin. In January, the Finnish Security Police created a special unit concentrating solely on fighting terrorism, the first of its kind in Finland.
Throughout 2004, France continued to pursue one of Europe's most effective and aggressive counterterrorism policies and made significant terrorism-related arrests. In April, French authorities shut down a cell of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) that was considered to be extremely dangerous. In July, the Government took custody of four former detainees at Guantanamo Bay and charged them with terrorist conspiracy; all four remain in pretrial detention with trials expected to begin in 2005. In October, French and Spanish authorities struck a significant blow to ETA terrorism through the arrest in France of two top ETA leaders and the seizure of significant arms and materials caches. Judicial and police investigations following the high-profile arrests in 2003 of German national Christian Ganczarski and Moroccan national Karim Mehdi continued in 2004. Ganczarski and Mehdi, who are suspected of ties to al-Qa'ida, remain in pretrial detention in France. The investigation into the activities of suspected terrorist Djamel Beghal concluded in late 2004. His trial, as well as the trials of seven associates, will begin in January 2005. The Beghal network is suspected of planning a number of terrorist acts, including an attack on the US Embassy in Paris.
The Ministry of Finance's terrorism financing coordination cell TRACFIN maintained direct coordination with the US Treasury Department. At the level of the European Union, France played an active role in the Clearinghouse, the Union's terrorism financing coordination body. France has not designated HAMAS-affiliated charities, arguing that they have no links to terrorism, and continues to oppose designating Lebanese Hizballah as a terrorist organization. France took rapid action in support of US requests to freeze Taliban, al-Qa'ida, and other terrorist financial assets.
In 2004, France expanded its international judicial cooperation. In addition to bringing into force the European Arrest Warrant, France signed with the United States two new agreements in September that updated a bilateral extradition treaty and improved overall counterterrorism cooperation.
The Georgian Government remained deeply committed to combating international and domestic terrorism in 2004 and has consistently and publicly condemned acts of terror. Georgia is still used to a limited degree as a terrorist transit state, although much less so since the government crackdown on the Pankisi Gorge in late 2002. Stepped-up Georgian law enforcement counterterrorism operations in late 2004 in Pankisi, in the wake of the Beslan terrorist attack in September 2004 in Russia, have further eroded the ability of transnational terrorist groups to use the Pankisi Gorge as a transit area.
Georgian law enforcement capabilities are limited, although improving through internal reform and US Government and Western donor technical and financial assistance. In particular, the United States is providing counterterrorism training via the State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance Program. The Procuracy has a special unit of six prosecutors and investigators solely dedicated to terrorism financing and money laundering cases. Efforts to reform the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of State Security and enhance their counterterrorism capabilities are constrained by lack of adequate resources, equipment, and, mostly, training. These reform efforts, coupled with frequent personnel turnover, have created confusion and prevented development of an overall counterterrorism policy. Border guard and customs reform is continuing, and over the past few years, maritime, air, and communications capabilities have improved considerably.
Germany continued to be a dedicated and important participant in the global coalition against terrorism; cooperation with the United States remained solid. Throughout 2004 German law enforcement authorities conducted numerous actions against individuals, organizations, and mosques suspected of involvement in terrorism.
In some cases, hundreds of individuals and vehicles were searched, which resulted in arrests for document fraud, illegal residency, and weapons violations.
To improve coordination of state and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, in December 2004 Interior Minister Schily announced establishment of a Berlin-based "Information and Analysis Center" that will bring together all agencies involved in the German fight against terrorism. In 2004, the German Federal Criminal Office also established an Office for International Coordination to improve counterterrorism collaboration with foreign law enforcement authorities. In July, Germany adopted a new immigration law containing provisions to strengthen Germany's fight against terrorism. The new law took effect in January 2005.
Germany is currently investigating almost 200 cases of terrorism nationwide, but has at times had difficulties in convicting terrorist suspects. The 2003 conviction of Moroccan citizen Mounir el Motassadeq for accessory to murder and membership in the "Hamburg cell" that had formed around 9/11 suicide pilot Mohammed Atta was overturned and Motassadeq was released in April pending a retrial, despite what the court called "strong evidence" of his membership in a terrorist organization. His retrial began in August. A trial on similar charges against another "Hamburg cell" suspect, Moroccan citizen Abdelghani Mzoudi, ended with his acquittal in February. Prosecutors filed an appeal. German authorities have initiated deportation proceedings against both Motassadeq and Mzoudi.
Other notable 2004 arrests and indictments include the cases of several alleged members of the Iraq-based terrorist group Ansar al-Islam. Three Iraqi alleged members of Ansar al-Islam were arrested in December on charges of plotting an attack on Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi during his visit to Berlin. Tunisian national Ishan Garnoui was indicted by the Federal Prosecutor in January 2004 for attempted formation of a terrorist organization with the intention to unleash explosive attacks on US and Jewish targets in Germany. He was convicted in April 2005 on charges of tax evasion, illegal possession of weapons, and violation of the immigration law, but was acquitted on terrorism charges.
German authorities deported Turkish extremist Metin Kaplan to Turkey, where authorities detained him to face numerous charges, including treason. German authorities made several indictments and arrests related to the Turkish terrorist group PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel, although one prominent PKK suspect was later released.
German prosecutors were unsuccessful in bringing indictments against several prominent al-Qa'ida suspects, including German national Christian Ganczarski, a suspect in the April 2002 bombing of a Tunisian synagogue in which several German citizens were killed. Similarly, authorities were unable to indict Syrian-German dual national Mamoun Darkazanli, but he is in custody and authorities are seeking to extradite him to Spain, where a 2003 arrest warrant accuses him of membership in and providing logistical and financial support to al-Qa'ida. In November, the Federal Constitutional Court blocked his extradition pending its review of the constitutionality of the new European Arrest Warrant.
In 2002 the German Interior Ministry banned the al-Aqsa Foundation on the grounds of providing financial support to HAMAS. In July 2003, a German court temporarily lifted the ban pending a final court ruling, although it also imposed financial reporting requirements on al-Aqsa. In December 2004, following a court ruling upholding the 2002 ban on the al-Aqsa Foundation, German law enforcement officials searched more than 30 al-Aqsa offices nationwide. The Interior Ministry has banned the extremist Islamic association Hizb ut-Tahrir—based outside Germany—from any activity within the country and has seized the association's assets in Germany. The US Government has no evidence that Hizb ut-Tahrir has committed any terrorist acts, but the group's radical anti-US and anti-Semitic ideology is sympathetic to acts of violence against the United States and its allies, and it has publicly called on Muslims to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight Coalition forces.
Greece continued to strengthen its ability to fight terrorism and held the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens without incident. In June, the Greek Parliament passed new counterterrorism legislation that brought Greece into compliance with the EU Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, including approval of the EU Arrest Warrant. This legislation made specific reference to terrorist crimes and groups for the first time. Among its provisions, the legislation extends the statute of limitations on terrorist-related killings from 20 to 30 years, established a framework for EU-wide probes and rapid extradition of terrorist suspects within the EU bloc, and provided for harsher treatment of terrorist leaders and those who provide money and logistics to terrorists.
In October, after an eight month process, a Greek court sentenced four of five accused members of the domestic terrorist group Peoples'Revolutionary Struggle (ELA) to what amounts to 25 years imprisonment, the maximum allowed under Greek law, for bombings/attempted murders, possession of firearms/explosives, and involvement in the 1994 assassination of a police officer. The ELA defense immediately appealed these sentences; by year's end there was no decision on the timing of the appeals. In July the Athens Court of Appeals indicted longtime suspected ELA leader Yannis Serifis for his role in the 1994 assassination; the trial is set to begin in February 2005.
A Greek court announced in October that the appeals process for members of the 17 November (17N) terrorist group, convicted in December 2003 of hundreds of crimes over the years, including the murder of five US Government employees, would begin in December 2005. Top Greek law enforcement officials have stated that further investigation of 17N suspects/evidence will continue and that the case is not considered closed.
Anarchists and domestic terrorists continued to conduct numerous small-scale arson attacks, most involving gas canister or other crude improvised explosive devices (IEDs), against an array of perceived establishment and so-called "imperialist targets," such as banks, US fast food restaurants, courts, and personal vehicles. In May, exactly 100 days before the start of the Olympic Games in Athens, a group calling itself "Revolutionary Struggle" took responsibility for three IEDs which detonated near a police station in the Athens suburb of Kallithea, causing significant property damage but no injuries. The reported number of IED attacks dropped dramatically during the Olympic and Paralympic Games (August-September), but increased soon after.
In October, in a departure from crude IED attacks against property that usually occur in the dead of night, a remotely-controlled device detonated during the morning rush hour near two police buses that were carrying officers to the Korydallos prison (where 17N members are imprisoned). The explosion caused no injuries and only minor damage. No group has thus far claimed responsibility for this attack and Greek authorities have continued their investigation. In December, unknown assailants shot and killed a Greek Special Guard at his post outside the residence of the British Defense Attaché. While the case has not yet been solved, police are treating the case as a domestic terrorist incident.
In early 2004, the Hungarian Parliament passed far-reaching legislation on reporting requirements for financial transactions. This follows Hungarian initiatives on money laundering and terrorist financing that brought it into full compliance with EU and Financial Action Task Force norms. Hungary has been fully supportive of the war against terrorism and US initiatives against al-Qa'ida and other terrorist organizations both within its borders and abroad.
Cooperation with US and regional officials on export and border controls is outstanding. In several cases in 2004, Hungarian officials aggressively pursued and developed leads and provided extensive cooperation to US officers that have stopped the transshipment of hazardous goods. Hungary is actively improving its technical ability to track and control dangerous materials, and its accession into the EU is accelerating this process.
Italy has been a staunch ally in the war against terror. The commitment of the Government of Italy to the global war on terrorism remained steadfast, despite two separate hostage-takings in Iraq, the brutal murders of an Italian journalist and another Italian hostage, and terrorist threats throughout the year against Italy for its participation in the OEF coalition and in the reconstruction of Iraq, and for its active efforts against terrorism.
Italy's law enforcement authorities maintained the initiative against Italy-based terrorist suspects through investigations, detentions, prosecutions, and expulsions. According to Ministry of Interior data and the media, Italian authorities in 2004 arrested more than 60 individuals suspected of planning or providing support to terrorist activity, both international and internal. Many of those arrested were suspected al-Qa'ida sympathizers and recruiters supporting anti-coalition activities in Iraq. Many were also suspected of having ties to Ansar al-Islam and other al-Qa'ida-linked extremist organizations. Included among those arrested was Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, who was suspected of involvement in the March Madrid bombings. In April, Italy coordinated with four of its European neighbors the arrests of multiple suspects believed to have ties to the Turkish DHKP/C and in September, Italian intelligence and law enforcement agencies joined with Lebanese authorities to thwart a plot to attack the Italian Embassy in Beirut. Italy's Minister of Interior continued to expel terrorist suspects he believed posed a serious terrorist threat.
The domestic leftwing terrorist group, the new Red Brigades-Communist Combatant Party (BR-CCP), presents a diminished threat due to Italian authorities'continued efforts to dismantle the organization. In June, the BRCCP's presumed leader, Desdemona Lioce, was given a life sentence for killing one police officer and wounding a second during a train shootout in 2003.
After the July 30 suicide bombings in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the Government of Kazakhstan aggressively sought leads and prosecuted individuals involved with extremist groups targeting Western interests in the region. The Government's cooperation and timeliness in sharing information with the United States has greatly improved since 2003. The Government is pursuing legislation to make banking laws more transparent to facilitate terrorist finance investigations. In October, Kazakhstan, along with Belarus, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia joined the Eurasia Group, a regional anti-money laundering organization or Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Kazakhstan, along with China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which established a Regional Antiterrorism Center in Tashkent in June.
In October, the Supreme Court recognized al-Qa'ida, the East Turkistan Islamic Party, the Kurdish People's Congress, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) as terrorist groups, a decision that prohibits them from any activity in the country. Lacking legislative means for prosecuting suspected terrorists, the Government must use other provisions of its criminal code. In 2004, Kazakhstan arrested and tried more than 60 individuals suspected of participation in Hizb ut-Tahrir activities. They were prosecuted under the criminal code for "participating in activities of illegal organizations" (although Hizb ut-Tahrir has not been banned by name in Kazakhstan) and "inciting social, national, tribal, racial, or religious hatred." Several thousand members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist political movement advocating the establishment of a borderless, theocratic Islamic state throughout the entire Muslim world, are present in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as well as in countries outside the Central Asian region. The US Government has no evidence that Hizb ut-Tahrir has committed any terrorist acts, but the group's radical anti-US and anti-Semitic ideology is sympathetic to acts of violence against the United States and its allies, and it has publicly called on Muslims to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight Coalition forces.
In November, the Government announced that Kazakhstani security agencies had detained leaders and accomplices of the Central Asia Mujahedeen Jamaat (more frequently referred to in English as the Islamic Jihad Group). More than a dozen suspects were detained, including four women who were allegedly preparing to be suicide bombers. This group was alleged to have links to the July 30 bombings in Tashkent.
Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro)
Kosovo, currently under the administration of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1244, successfully prosecuted individuals for terrorism and developed new tools to combat terrorist financing. Radical Islamic organizations, some with links to terrorism, have attempted to recruit followers among Kosovo Albanian Muslims but these attempts have largely failed. In June 2004, authorities in Albania arrested and extradited Florim Ejupi to Kosovo, a suspect in a deadly 2001 terrorist attack against a bus carrying Kosovo Serbs; Ejupi was later indicted by a local Kosovo District Court for terrorism and murder. In February, UNMIK passed a regulation and later established a Financial Information Center to monitor suspicious financial transactions and deter money laundering and identify sources of terrorist financing. UNMIK, as well as Kosovo's local Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG), continue to cooperate closely with the United States and other governments in sharing information and investigating terroristrelated groups and activities.
Kyrgyzstan in 2004 remained a dependable and outspoken ally in the global war on terrorism, taking political, legislative, and law enforcement initiatives to disrupt and deter terrorism.
Kyrgyzstan suffered a deadly act of terrorism in 2004. An explosion in the southern city of Osh in November killed one police officer and one suspected terrorist. The Ministry of Interior announced in December that it would open a temporary antiterrorism center in Osh. In December the Kyrgyz Parliament began consideration of a law on terrorism financing that, if passed, will considerably strengthen Kyrgyzstani efforts in this area. In April, Kyrgyzstan added Hizb ut-Tahrir to the list of banned religious extremist groups, though members are typically only arrested for distributing literature that "incites religious, ethnic or racial hatred." Several thousand members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist political movement advocating establishment of a borderless, theocratic caliphate throughout the entire Muslim world, are present in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as well as in countries outside the Central Asian region. Hizb ut-Tahrir pamphlets, filled with anti-US propaganda, have been distributed throughout the southern region of the country and even appeared in Bishkek and other parts of the north. The US Government has no evidence that Hizb ut-Tahrir has committed any terrorist acts, but the group's radical, anti-US and anti-Semitic ideology is sympathetic to acts of violence against the United States and its allies, and it has publicly called on Muslims to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight Coalition forces.
Kyrgyzstan's military and internal forces worked to improve their counterterrorism capabilities and to expand their cooperation with regional partners in 2004. The Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Kazakh Border Services held joint exercises along their common borders in June to improve regional cooperation against terrorists. In July, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan held joint military counterterrorism exercises in Kyrgyzstan. In April, the National Border Service opened an Interagency Training Center, which will focus on training to fight illegal migration and terrorism. Kyrgyzstan and China signed a bilateral agreement in September on cooperation against terrorism, separatism, and extremism.
Kyrgyzstan hosts a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) counterterrorism center in its capital, Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan, along with China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which established a Regional Antiterrorism Center in Tashkent in June. In October, Kyrgyzstan, along with Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Russia, formed the Eurasia Group, a regional anti-money laundering organization or Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.
In November 2004, the Netherlands was rocked by the murder of prominent Dutch film director Theo van Gogh by a Dutch Moroccan acting out of radical Islamic convictions, prompting a national debate on the need to toughen immigration and counterterrorism legislation.
In June, the Dutch for the first time successfully convicted two individuals of terrorist activity; two men suspected of plotting to bomb the US Embassy in Paris were sentenced to six and four-year jail terms, respectively. The appeals court ruled information by the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) served as a legitimate base for starting criminal investigations, thereby allowing use of AIVD intelligence as evidence. Justice Minister Donner submitted legislation codifying the court's ruling to allow the use of intelligence information in criminal proceedings. The bill is still awaiting parliamentary action.
The Act on Terrorist Crimes, implementing the 2002 EU framework decision on combating terrorism, became effective in August. The Government also reorganized its counterterrorism efforts to centralize and coordinate information sharing, currently shared by multiple ministries and agencies. As part of this effort, the Justice and Interior Ministries have proposed additional legislation to enhance the ability of law enforcement to detect and prevent terrorist activity and to hold and prosecute terrorists.
The six-month Dutch EU Presidency placed a priority on counterterrorism issues. The US and the EU initiated a dialogue on terrorism finance issues in September. The Netherlands finance ministry and Europol hosted a joint US-EU workshop for prosecutors and investigators of terrorism finance cases in November. EU leaders approved updated Presidency action plans on counterterrorism and terrorist financing in December.
Using national sanctions authority, the Dutch blocked the accounts and financial transactions of a HAMAS fundraiser, the al-Aqsa Foundation, and al-Qa'ida-affiliated Benevolence International Nederland. In July, the Netherlands froze all financial assets of the Dutch branch of al-Haramain. The Dutch have also been active in seeking support for an EU designation of Hizballah as a terrorist group.
The Netherlands continued its cooperation with the United States on shipping and port security. Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Megaport/Second Line of Defense Initiative, four radiological monitors (provided by DOE) became operational in the port of Rotterdam in February. An estimated 31 additional monitors (funded by the Dutch) will be installed by the end of 2006. Improved security targeting at the port resulted from bilateral discussions. In July, the Government approved an experiment with air marshals on certain transatlantic flights, and the Dutch also permitted US immigration officials to return to Schiphol Airport to assist with US-bound passenger screening (now part of the Immigration Assistance Program).
Norway remained a stalwart ally in the war against terror. Due to lack of evidence admissible in Norwegian courts, authorities dropped their criminal case against suspected Ansar al-Islam leader (and Norway resident) Mullah Krekar but ordered his expulsion from Norway on national security grounds. The administrative and legal processes related to the expulsion order have extended into 2005.
Poland continued to play an active role in the war on terrorism as a leader in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2004, Poland's active Financial Intelligence Unit—the General Inspectorate for Financial Information (GIIF)—amended legislation to include non-profit organizations and legal practitioners as institutions obligated to file reports. The GIIF suspended five transactions worth 650,000 Euros, and blocked 12 accounts worth 2.1 million Euros in cases involving money laundering.
In response to the March 11 train bombings in Spain, Portuguese security forces reassessed the security situation for the June-July EURO 2004 soccer tournament, increasing security at all levels within the country, enhancing cooperation with neighboring countries, and soliciting NATO air support during the games. While the games went forward without incident, the Portuguese addressed certain vulnerabilities, most notably the use of false documentation, and the relative ease with which terrorists could enter the country. In November, the media revealed that Portugal had apprehended ten suspected terrorists, predominantly Moroccan nationals, on the eve of the EURO 2004 opening ceremony in Porto. The suspected terrorists were deported both to Morocco and the Netherlands. One was later linked to the terror cell that carried out the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. In addition, accused Indian terrorist Abu Salem remained in Portuguese custody pending extradition to India.
Romania is a staunch ally of the United States in the global war against terrorism, providing full public and diplomatic support for US goals to counter terrorism. The Romanian Government has established internal mechanisms to combat terrorism, including adoption of a national antiterrorism strategy and guidelines to prevent the use of the Romanian financial and banking system for the purpose of financing terrorist acts. As part of its national strategy, Romania adopted legislation in 2004 that delineates the responsibilities of Romanian Government institutions in battling terrorism, providing a clearer framework for interagency coordination and cooperation. Bucharest hosts the headquarters of the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative's regional center that provides law enforcement training and intelligence sharing on transborder criminal activities, including terrorism, for 12 member countries in Southeastern and Central Europe.
Russia pursued several major domestic and global counterterrorism initiatives in 2004, expanding its role in the global war on terrorism. Russia's leadership and public assigned increasing importance to counterterrorism following a series of deadly terrorist attacks in 2004. Separatist terrorists based in the North Caucasus were responsible for the murder of hundreds of Russian citizens. There is evidence of a foreign terrorist presence in Chechnya and of international financial ties with Chechen groups, although much of the actual terrorist activity in the region and elsewhere in Russia is homegrown and linked to the Chechen separatist movement.
Throughout the year, Russia continued revamping its domestic counterterror legislation and restructuring its law enforcement and security services in response to the terrorist threat. It facilitated effective interdiction of terrorist finance flows as a full member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In October, Russia fulfilled its pledge to create a Central Asian FATF-style regional body (FSRB)—the Eurasia Group—whose members include Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia. As chair of that new group, Russia declared its intention to create a training center in Moscow to bolster regional cooperation.
On September 13, immediately following the Beslan tragedy, President Putin announced political reforms (including the presidential nomination of governors) that the Government said would result in greater domestic security. Some Russians view those reforms as anti-democratic, and the United States expressed concerns about the nature of some of the proposals and the degree to which they would address Russia's counterterrorism efforts.
Examples of noteworthy law enforcement and judicial actions undertaken by Russia in 2004 include: Zarema Muzhikhoyeva, a failed Chechen suicide bomber, was convicted of terrorism by a Moscow court in April and sentenced to 20 years in prison. In November, Russian law enforcement officials arrested Alisher Usmanov, whom the Russian authorities allege was the leader of a terrorist cell. Usmanov was reportedly carrying explosives and al-Qa'ida training manuals at the time of his arrest. Abdulla Aliyev, an aide to Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev, was convicted of involvement in Basayev's 1999 incursion into Dagestan after returning to Dagestan from self-imposed exile in Turkey and confessing to prosecutors. He was given an eight-year suspended sentence.
Russia increasingly oriented its foreign policy to strengthening efforts to fight terrorism and engaged in bilateral counterterrorism cooperation with numerous countries, including the United Kingdom, India, France, Pakistan, Japan, and Germany. President Putin created the post of Special Envoy for International Counterterrorism Cooperation and appointed former Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoliy Safonov to fill that role. Safonov co-chaired many of the bilateral meetings.
The US-Russia Counterterrorism Group met in March and October, fostering cooperative operational links between numerous US agencies and their counterparts in Russia. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regularly exchanged operational counterterrorism information, and several joint investigations were underway in 2004. The FSB and Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) have provided information to US agencies that has helped identify potential terrorism financing flows and suspect bank accounts and transactions. During FBI Director Mueller's December 2004 visit to Moscow, he and FSB Chief Patrushev signed a comprehensive memorandum of cooperation between the two agencies on counterterrorism, specifically committing them to the timely sharing of terrorist threat information. The FSB and FBI agreed to expand their cooperative exchange program to include information on weapons of mass destruction. Russia also cooperated extensively with the DHS Transportation Security Agency to increase airport security following terrorists'downing of two Russian airliners in August. The US Department of Treasury and Russia's Federal Service for Financial Monitoring (FSFM) submitted a joint report to Presidents Bush and Putin in July 2004 on Cooperative Strategies for Countering Terrorist Finance.
Russia was the chief sponsor of UN Security Council Resolution 1566, passed October 8, which created a working group to explore ways to sanction terrorist groups not covered by the al-Qa'ida/Taliban Sanctions Committee and strengthened the UN's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). Russia chaired the CTC in the latter half of 2004 and was active in numerous other international fora in building cooperative mechanisms and programs to counter terror. For example, Russia led efforts in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to focus those organizations on counterterrorism cooperation. Russia signed a joint declaration on international counterterrorism cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta in July, and has pushed that organization's members to create a Russia-ASEAN counterterrorism task force. Russia has urged the OSCE and other organizations to orient their missions and goals to the global counterterrorist fight. The NATO-Russia Council adopted a joint counterterrorism plan at its December meeting in Brussels. Russia signed an agreement at the same meeting to begin permanent participation in 2005 in NATO's Operation Active Endeavor by providing naval assets to the ongoing sea interdiction operation in the Mediterranean.
Major terrorist acts perpetrated against Russia during 2004 included, in chronological order:
- On February 6, suicide bombers blew up a Moscow subway train, killing at least 41 and wounding more than 100.
- On April 6, a suicide bomber tried to assassinate Ingush President Murat Zyazikov by ramming an explosive-laden vehicle into Zyazikov's motorcade. The blast wounded four of Zyazikov's bodyguards and two civilians. Zyazikov was lightly wounded.
- On May 9, Chechen President Akhmed Kadyrov was assassinated during Victory Day celebrations in a Grozny stadium.
- On June 22, armed militants seized a Ministry of Interior building in Ingushetia, killing at least 92 people.
- On August 24, suicide bombers simultaneously brought down two Russian airliners, killing 88 passengers and crew.
- On August 31, a female suicide bomber killed at least eight persons and wounded more than 50 others when she detonated explosives outside a Moscow subway station.
- September 1-3, terrorists seized approximately 1,200 hostages, more than half children, at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia. Two days later, an explosion inside the gymnasium where hostages were held sparked a fierce gun battle between terrorists and security forces. According to official figures, 331 people were killed, 172 of them children, though many believe the actual number of deaths was higher. Hundreds of others were injured.
Slovenia hosted a regional anti-money laundering conference for eight of its Balkan neighbors in October 2004. In 2004, Slovenia changed its penal code, increasing the prison term for money laundering from three to five years. Slovenia is actively involved in regional efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, working throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe, especially with Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine, Macedonia, and Russia, through its Office for Money Laundering Prevention (OMLP). In 2004, Slovenia provided police trainers in Amman, Jordan, to train Iraqi policemen. Slovenia provides training to its non-EU member neighbors on border security and enforcement against financial crimes.
Spain remained a strong ally in the global war against terrorism and suffered a massive terrorist attack in March, when Islamic extremists attacked commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 and wounding hundreds of others.
On the morning of March 11, 2004, terrorists detonated bombs on commuter trains, including five near Atocha, the city's biggest train station. Police discovered that extremists associated with the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), most of them North African residents of Spain, had carried out the attacks. On April 2, authorities located an explosive device under the high-speed railway connecting Madrid and Seville that failed to detonate. On April 3, seven suspects sought by police in connection with the March 11 bombings detonated explosives in an apartment in a Madrid suburb in order to avoid arrest. All seven suspects and one police officer were killed in the explosion. Authorities are holding approximately two dozen individuals in connection with the March 11 bombings. Those charged in the case are pending trial on charges of murder and belonging to a terrorist organization.
Spain has arrested and indicted scores of individuals with possible links to al-Qa'ida since September 11. In November, Spanish police arrested more than 30 suspected members of a radical Islamic organization, disrupting apparent plans to bomb Spain's High Court, Madrid's largest soccer stadium, the headquarters of the opposition Popular Party, an office building, and other public landmarks. Spain requested the extradition from Switzerland of Mohamed Achraf, the alleged leader of this terrorist conspiracy, also known as "Mikael Etienne Christian Lefevre." Extradition was authorized in January 2005 by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, and in April 2005, Achraf's appeal against extradition was denied. In May, a Spanish judge ordered the detention of three Algerian nationals and one Spanish national for their ties to an al-Qa'ida cell in Hamburg, Germany. Police in Barcelona arrested ten Pakistani nationals suspected of providing logistical and financial support to Islamic extremist groups outside of Spain. At the time of their arrest, Spanish officials explicitly said these individuals were not known to be linked to al-Qa'ida. On December 17, Spanish police arrested Moroccan national Hassan El Haski and three other members of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group in the Canary Islands on charges of participating in the March 11 train bombings.
Spain has had some success in prosecuting terrorism cases. In November, a Spanish judge issued the first sentence connected to the March 11 train bombings, sentencing a 16-year-old male to six years in a juvenile prison facility and five years probation for helping the conspirators obtain the explosives used in the blasts. In November, a judge ordered the detention of an al-Jazeera television network journalist with alleged ties to the Spain-based al-Qa'ida network of Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas. The journalist had been released on bail in 2003 for health reasons. The trial of 24 suspects charged in the Barakat Yarkas case is scheduled to begin in April 2005. The prosecutor is requesting 25-year prison terms for each victim of the 9/11 attacks for several members of the Barakat Yarkas cell.
Spain scored significant successes in its decades-old campaign to eliminate domestic terrorist groups, including the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) organization, a radical terrorist group. Spanish police arrested more than 70 individuals in 2004 for association with or membership in ETA and dismantled several ETA operational terrorist cells, dealing a blow to ETA's logistic, recruitment, and operational capabilities.
In October, a joint French-Spanish investigation led to the arrest in France of high-ranking ETA terrorists Mikel Antza and Soledad Iparragirre. Antza was the leader of ETA at the time of his arrest and Iparragirre was sought in connection with 14 murders. ETA carried out a series of bombings of tourist areas during the summer and detonated 12 bombs on December 3 and 6 in Madrid and eight other cities, resulting in minor injuries to approximately a dozen people. Spanish and French authorities also made joint advances against the domestic terrorist group First of October Antifascist Resistance Group, all but eliminating the group.
US Attorney General John Ashcroft visited Spain on December 17 to sign the bilateral protocols to the US-EU Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and Extradition Agreement, deepening bilateral judicial cooperation. In December, Spain signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Department of Energy for the installation of nuclear material detectors at the port of Algeciras.
Spain is also cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security on the Container Security Initiative to scan containers bound from Algeciras to the United States for hazardous materials. Spain led the effort in the EU to approve the EU-wide common arrest and detention order, which the EU approved in late 2001. Spain co-chairs with the United States the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Terrorism Finance Working Group and is pressing to become a standing member of the G8's Counterterrorism Action Group on the basis of its high level of technical counterterrorism assistance to third countries.
The Government of Tajikistan continues to be a staunch supporter of the United States in the global war on terrorism. The Tajik Government directs intelligence and law enforcement resources against terrorist groups operating within its borders such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. In addition, Tajikistan combats terrorist financing by distributing lists of designated terrorist groups and individuals to local banks and other financial institutions. On the international level, Tajikistan participates in antiterrorist initiatives advanced by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Community of Independent States Antiterrorist Center. The SCO established a Regional Antiterrorism Center in Tashkent in June.
In 2004, Tajikistan, with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, and Belarus, co-founded the Eurasia Group, a regional anti-money laundering organization or Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The United States currently provides technical aid to the antiterrorist units of the Tajik Government. With the assistance of the United States and other foreign countries, Tajikistan's law enforcement personnel receive training in such areas as crisis management, bomb detection, and post-blast investigation. In 2004, Tajikistan worked with Russia to extradite a Tajik citizen to Russia to stand trial for accusations of terrorist acts in 2000.
Turkish authorities, long staunch counterterrorism allies, continued to provide strong support in the global war on terrorism. Domestic and transnational terrorist groups have targeted Turks and foreigners, occasionally including US Government personnel, for over 40 years. International and domestic terrorist groups operating in Turkey include Marxist-Leninist, radical Islamist, separatist, and pro-Chechen-separatist groups. In response to these threats the Government has developed strong determination and the capability to fight most domestically-based terrorism. The Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C) continued to be active, and allegedly was responsible for a blast on an Istanbul bus in June that killed four and injured more than a dozen, as well as a number of smaller "sound" bombs. Turkish law enforcement authorities pursued several successful operations against DHKP/C cells.
In the summer of 2004, PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel renounced its self-proclaimed cease-fire and threatened to renew its separatist struggle in both the Southeast and Turkey's western cities. The Turkish press subsequently reported multiple incidents in the Southeast of PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel terrorist actions or clashes between Turkish security forces and PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel militants. PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel maintains approximately 500 armed militants in Turkey and an estimated 3,000 to 3,500 armed militants in northern Iraq, according to Turkish government sources and NGOs.
A new group calling itself the Kurdistan Liberation Hawks (TAK) used pro-PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel media sources in Germany to claim responsibility for several attacks on civilian targets this year, including two Istanbul hotels, the governor of Van province, and a music festival in Mersin. Several civilians, including international tourists, were killed and dozens were wounded in these attacks.
A criminal trial is underway for dozens of defendants charged with involvement in the November 2003 bombings of banks and synagogues in Istanbul. The lead defendants have admitted to contacts with al-Qa'ida and warned of further attacks if Turkey continues to cooperate with the United States and Israel. However, most of the other defendants denied any responsibility for or knowledge of the bombings. Verdicts are not expected until sometime in 2005.
On March 9, a suicide attack against an Istanbul Masonic lodge killed one attacker and one other person and wounded several others. Statements made by the surviving attacker suggest the attack was conducted by Islamic extremists against what they believed was a "Zionist" or Jewish target. Thirteen suspects have been charged in this attack, including one who is also a defendant in the trial related to the November 2003 bombings.
In May, Turkish authorities announced that they had foiled a plot to attack the NATO Summit in Istanbul. Turkey charged nine alleged members of the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group—which has ties to al-Qa'ida—with planning the bombing.
The Government of Turkmenistan has been a cautious member of the international coalition against terrorism, taking limited action to secure its border with Afghanistan, demonstrating greater willingness to accept some border security expertise and equipment from the international community, and instituting new airport security measures.
There was a significant change in the Government's attitude toward terrorism, specifically "domestic terrorism," following the November 25, 2002, attack on President Niyazov's motorcade. The intent of the new antiterrorism laws and strictures, however, has been to strengthen internal security controls to ensure the survival of the Niyazov government. The effect of these new laws has been a serious infringement on civil liberties and violations of human rights.
To build on its Law on Fighting Terrorism, adopted in August 2003, the President issued a decree in September 2004 approving the creation of the State Commission on Fighting Terrorism. The Department for Organized Crime at the Ministry of Internal Affairs also took on the responsibility for counterterrorism activities in 2004, becoming the Department for Counterterrorism and Organized Crime.
The fight against terrorism is a top foreign policy priority for the Government of Ukraine. Ukraine does not suffer from a domestic terrorism problem. In 2004, Ukrainian courts carried out no prosecutions on charges of international terrorism, although in May Ukrainian authorities arrested an Iraqi, two Greeks, and a Pakistani in a sting operation to foil an attempt to buy weapons for use in Iraq by the Iraqi insurgency; the four were convicted in late December, given suspended sentences, and deported.
The United Kingdom has been and remains one of the United States'strongest partners in the global fight against terrorism. In what was reportedly the largest counterterrorism operation in the UK since 9/11, police in March arrested eight men, all British citizens of Pakistani descent, and seized a half-ton of ammonium nitrate. The men were charged under the Terrorism Act for involvement in a plot to manufacture and deploy an improvised explosive device. The UK has not commented publicly on the eight plotters'likely target. Their trials are expected to begin in 2005. In an unrelated case, police arrested eight men in August for planning a terrorist attack in the UK. All eight were charged with terrorism-related offenses, and at the time of their arrests, it was widely reported that police suspected them of having links with al-Qa'ida. Their trials are expected to begin in late 2005. The first trials for individuals arrested in connections with the 2003 "ricin plot" began in September. A second group of trials related to the ricin plot are likely to begin after the first group concludes.
UK law enforcement authorities may detain without charge individuals suspected of having committed a terrorism-related offense for up to 48 hours. Until January 2004, this period could be extended by court order to seven days. In January, a new law came into force allowing court ordered detention without charge for up to 14 days. In December, the UK's highest court ruled that special immigration powers that allowed the Home Secretary to detain indefinitely certain foreign nationals were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In response to the ruling, the detention powers were allowed to lapse and Parliament adopted the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The Act gives the Home Secretary powers to make control orders that impose a range of conditions, including a ban on Internet or mobile phone use, restrictions on movement and travel, restrictions on association with named individuals, curfews, and tagging. These may be applied to both UK citizens and foreign nationals suspected of involvement in international terrorism.
The UK continued to assist with the US request for the extradition of Khaled al-Fawwaz, Adel Abdel Bary, and Ibrahim Eidarous for their involvement in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa. However, all three have exercised their legal right to make representations to the Home Secretary against their surrender to the United States. The United States has also requested the extradition of Abu Doha in connection with the December 1999 plot by Ahmed Ressam and others to attack Los Angeles International Airport. As in the case of the Embassy bombers, his case is before the Home Secretary. In May, British officials arrested the radical cleric, Abu Hamza, on a US extradition warrant. The UK Government subsequently arrested Hamza on separate terrorism-related charges and in October the Crown Prosecution Service charged him with 16 criminal offenses, including soliciting murder, inciting racial hatred, and possessing a document that contained information "of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism." The British case against Hamza takes legal precedence over the US extradition request, which has been suspended until the British case is settled. In August, the United States requested the extradition of Babar Ahmed, an alleged terrorist recruiter.
UK law enforcement and intelligence authorities work closely with their US counterparts. The regular exchange of law enforcement reporting and intelligence has resulted in the successful disruption of several significant plots to commit terrorist attacks against unspecified targets in the UK and the United States. The Metropolitan Police have also assisted other international partners with terrorismrelated investigations, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Iraq.
The United States and the United Kingdom are also strong allies in combating terrorism finance. Both work closely together and with other partners within the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the G8 Counterterrorism Action Group to promote initiatives to deny terrorists and their supporters access to the international financial system. The UK has strong legal provisions for freezing assets related to terrorist financing.
In 2004, the United States and the UK co-sponsored a proposal to the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee to include on its consolidated list the Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad (subsequently renamed al-Qa'ida of the Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers), the organization which was responsible for the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad and the brutal abduction and execution of seven civilians in Iraq.
In Northern Ireland, Republican and Loyalist paramilitary organizations have increasingly shifted their activity from political actions to criminal racketeering. This shift began with the 1994 ceasefires of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and has accelerated since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Two relatively small "dissident" Republican paramilitaries—Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) and Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)—are not observing a ceasefire, and continue to advocate the use of armed violence to support their goal of uniting the northern and southern parts of Ireland. The activities of Loyalist paramilitaries take place almost exclusively within Northern Ireland, while Republican paramilitaries also have a presence in the Republic of Ireland. In December, unknown persons suspected of being linked to PIRA robbed a Belfast bank of some $50 million dollars.
Uzbekistan has played an active role in multilateral regional efforts to address terrorism. In June, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Regional Antiterrorism Center was established in Tashkent and is in the early stages of development. The SCO membership includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. After an explosion at a safe house in Bukhara, suicide bombers attacked a popular bazaar and other locations in Tashkent in March and April, resulting in the deaths of more than a dozen police officers and innocent bystanders and dozens of injuries. These were the first suicide bombings to occur in Central Asia. A further round of bombings took place in July outside the US and Israeli Embassies and the Uzbek General Prosecutor's Office, resulting in several injuries and the death of two Uzbekistani police officers at the US Embassy, one Uzbekistani National Security Service Officer, and an Uzbekistani guard at the Israeli Embassy. The Government of Kazakhstan has recently detained individuals suspected of organizing these latest attacks.
Uzbekistan continues to make countering terrorism and anti-government threats a high priority. In August and September, Uzbek courts convicted more than 80 individuals of terrorist activities for their involvement in the March and April attacks.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
The Middle East and North Africa region continues to be the region of greatest concern in the global war on terrorism. Iraq witnessed extensive terrorism and violence by foreign jihadists, former regime elements, and Islamic extremists. Numerous attacks in Iraq targeted foreign aid workers, contractors, and other non-combatants. Major terrorist attacks also occurred in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Active groups in the Middle East included al-Qa'ida, the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (Fatah's militant wing), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ansar al-Islam and its offshoot Ansar al-Sunna, and Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's organization Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, or the al-Qa'ida Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad). There was an increase in terrorist groups affiliating themselves with al-Qa'ida or expressing support for al-Qa'ida's ideology. In December, the United States amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation of Zarqawi's group to include its new name and aliases and designated the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) as an FTO. Lebanese Hizballah's television network, al-Manar, was also added to the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL).
Almost all countries in the region continued significant international counterterrorism cooperation and undertook efforts to strengthen their counterterrorism capabilities and effectiveness. Many countries continued to provide support to Coalition efforts to bring peace and stability to Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States continued to provide training throughout the region to assist US allies to enhance their counterterrorism capacity. In November, Bahrain hosted the first meeting of the newly-established FATF-style regional body, the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENA FATF), the creation of which should strengthen members'efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in countries in the region.
Iraq's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was officially rescinded on October 20, and the United States continued to work closely with the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) and Iraqi Security Forces to combat terrorism in Iraq. Nevertheless, terrorists and insurgents endeavored to prevent the establishment of a free, sovereign, and democratic Iraq through numerous attacks, including bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and beheadings.
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait undertook aggressive actions to prevent terrorists and insurgents from crossing their borders into Iraq. Syria also took some measures to intercept Iraq-bound foreign jihadists, but those efforts were only partly successful.
Terrorist attacks in Israel in 2004 killed almost 100 people, a significant decrease from the year before. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack of the year, the August 31 double suicide bombing of two buses in Beersheva that killed 16 people and wounded 100.
In Egypt on October 7, terrorists attacked three tourist targets in Taba and Nuweiba on the Sinai peninsula, killing 34 people, including Egyptians, Israelis, Italians, a Russian, and an American-Israeli dual national, and injuring over 140. By the end of the year, the Egyptian Government assessed that of the nine individuals responsible for the attacks, two had been killed in the attacks, five were in custody, and two were still at large.
In Saudi Arabia, terrorists killed dozens of foreigners and Saudi citizens in 2004, including six Americans. Saudi authorities aggressively pursued terrorists and succeeded in capturing or killing many on their most-wanted list. On December 6, an attack on the US Consulate in Jeddah killed four Consulate locally engaged staff and one contract guard, and significantly injured ten employees. Three of the attackers were killed at the site, and one died later of his injuries. The fifth is in Saudi custody. Two groups associated with al-Qa'ida claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jordan's State Security Court sentenced eight men to death, including Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, for the 2002 murder of USAID official Laurence Foley. In Yemen, the Sana'a Primary Court, in separate trials, convicted the defendants in the USS Cole and French M/V Limburg attacks. Both cases were under appeal at the end of 2004.
Algeria killed or apprehended key leaders of the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), and arrested more than 400 other GSPC and GIA terrorists during 2004. On October 12, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika opened the African Union's Center for Study and Research on Terrorism in Algiers. Morocco continued its aggressive action against suspects in the May 2003 Casablanca bombing.
Algeria continued strong support for US counterterrorism efforts and demonstrated its overall support of the global war on terror. Algeria made impressive gains against both the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC - also known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). In June, GSPC "Emir" Nabil Sahraoui (aka Abu Ibrahim Mustapha) was killed by security forces during an armed clash. In October, Amari Saifi, a.k.a. Abderazak al-Para, the GSPC leader responsible for the 2003 kidnapping of 32 European hostages in Algeria, was apprehended through cooperation with the Chadian and Libyan authorities, and returned to Algeria after being held by a Chadian rebel group, the Movement for Democracy and Justice, for several months.
In early November, Algerian security forces captured GIA leader Nouredine Boudiaf and three of his associates along with a large cache of weapons near the Algiers airport. Algerian authorities arrested more than 400 other GSPC and GIA terrorists during 2004.
According to Algerian authorities, fewer than 800 terrorists remain active in Algeria, down from a possible high of 28,000 terrorists in the mid-1990s. The Government's success in capturing or killing a number of GSPC and GIA leaders has further weakened the effectiveness of these two groups. The GSPC, however, carried out several operations in Algeria in 2004, including the August ambush of a military convoy in which 40 members of the security forces were killed. On June 21, GSPC terrorists exploded a vehicle-borne explosive device outside the El-Hamma electric power generating facility in central Algiers, causing no casualties but knocking out 210 MW of generating capacity for several months. Members of the cell responsible for the El-Hamma bombing were reportedly killed by security forces in October. Numerous smaller incidents occurred in 2004, mainly in the Boumerdes area and in parts of Kabylie.
Algeria's neighbors, including Mali, Niger, Chad, and Mauritania, continue to be affected by the GSPC's activities. The GSPC conducts smuggling activities between Algeria and neighboring countries. There are also financial links between GSPC cells in Europe and Algeria. The GSPC issued several communiqués on its website threatening foreigners in Algeria and pledged renewed allegiance to al-Qa'ida and global jihad. Algeria cooperates closely with its neighbors in the Sahel. This cooperation led to the apprehension of Abderrazak al-Para.
On October 12, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika hosted a high-level African Union (AU) conference on counterterrorism in Algiers and opened the new AU Center for Study and Research on Terrorism. This center is intended to facilitate information exchange and training for AU member states in the fight against terrorism. In the financial arena, Algeria drafted legislation to criminalize money laundering activities. A financial intelligence unit (FIU), which turns over actionable information to the courts, became operational.
Bahrain provides important support to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly efforts to block the financing of terror groups. Bahrain has continued to respond positively to requests for assistance to combat terror financing and has frozen about $18 million in terrorist-linked funds. In November, Bahrain hosted the inaugural meeting of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENA FATF). Bahrain worked closely with FATF for several years to establish this regional body. Located in Bahrain, the new MENA FATF secretariat will promote FATF recommendations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Bahrain is an active participant in the US Government's Antiterrorism Assistance Program. Bahrain continued to cooperate with the US on intelligence and law enforcement matters.
The Government actively monitored terrorist suspects, but domestic legal constraints, including the absence of comprehensive conspiracy legislation, have at times hamstrung the Government's ability to detain and prosecute suspects. In June, the Government arrested six Bahrainis and placed one Bahraini under house arrest on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks. All seven were released within two days. The Government re-arrested the six individuals in mid-July. The court ordered the release of two of the individuals in mid-September and ordered the release of the remaining four in early November pending trial. Preliminary hearings for the case began in early December. The court referred to the Constitutional Court a motion contesting the constitutionality of the charges against the suspects. One of the four escaped the courtroom during a hearing in mid-September and was recaptured the same day. He was convicted in mid-November for the escape attempt and began serving a six-month sentence.
The Egyptian and US Governments maintained close cooperation on a broad range of counterterrorism and law enforcement issues in 2004. A high-level Egyptian judicial delegation visited the United States in June and met with representatives of the US Departments of Justice, State, and the FBI to discuss cooperation in the areas of counterterrorism, law enforcement, and the mutual legal assistance treaty. In September, 20 generals from Egyptian security services attended a crisis management seminar in Washington funded by the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance Program.
The Egyptian and US Governments also exchanged information on a variety of terrorism, security, and law enforcement matters during the course of the year. In the past two years, Egypt has tightened its assets-freezing regime in keeping with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Egypt passed strong anti-money laundering legislation in 2002 and established a financial intelligence unit in 2003. Egypt maintained its strengthened airport security measures and security for the Suez Canal, and continued to institute more stringent port security measures.
Egypt was a victim of terrorism in 2004. On October 7, terrorists attacked tourist targets in Taba and Nuweiba on the Sinai peninsula in three separate but coordinated actions. Thirty-four people were killed, including Egyptians, Israelis, Italians, a Russian, and an American-Israeli dual national, and over 140 were injured. On October 25, the Minister of Interior announced that the Government had identified nine individuals responsible for the attack. According to the Egyptian Government, a Palestinian resident in North Sinai was the group's ring-leader. The Government reported that the Palestinian and an accomplice were killed in the course of the attack in Taba, and that five others had been taken into custody. At year's end, two of the nine named by the Government remained at large. The Government asserted that the nine perpetrators were not part of a wider conspiracy and did not receive assistance from international terrorist organizations.
The Egyptian judicial system does not allow plea bargaining in most cases, and terrorists have historically been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Defendants are tried in military tribunals or emergency courts. In March, an emergency court pronounced its verdict in the trial of 26 persons accused of attempting to reconstitute the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami), which was banned in Egypt in 1974 for its efforts to overthrow the Egyptian Government. The court sentenced 12 of the defendants (including three UK citizens) to prison. In April, Ahmad Hussein Agiza, an Islamist militant returned to Egypt by Sweden in 2001, was sentenced by a military court to 25 years in prison for membership in a banned organization, although his sentence was subsequently commuted to 15 years.
Egypt continued to release from prison members of the terrorist Islamic Group (IG) who recanted their past actions and renounced the use of violence. Approximately 700 people were released over the course of the year, of which the majority were reportedly IG members. The Government characterized the releases as the result of a transformation in the ideological and theological positions of the imprisoned IG leadership, reflected in a number of books, pamphlets, and interviews in which they espoused a new non-violent philosophy. Some IG members in Egypt and abroad rejected the leadership's move to adopt nonviolence.
Egypt continued to work with Israel to crack down on long-established smuggling tunnels through the Sinai to Gaza. Egypt has destroyed more than 40 tunnel openings since 2003 and long ago cleared sensitive portions of the border area spanning the tunneling area. Egypt has actively engaged Palestinian leaders on the question of reorganizing the Palestinian Authority's security services to better police the border area.
Iraq remains the central battleground in the global war on terrorism. Former regime elements as well as foreign fighters and Islamic extremists continued to conduct terrorist attacks against civilians and non-combatants. These elements also conducted numerous insurgent attacks against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces, which often had devastating effects on Iraqi civilians and significantly damaged the country's economic infrastructure. Following the return of sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) on June 28, 2004, Iraqi authorities began to implement a new legal regime and to undertake needed law enforcement action to counter terrorist activity. Iraqi Security Forces (including the Police, Border Enforcement, National Guard, and Iraqi Armed Forces) worked closely with the Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) to combat terrorism in Iraq. On October 20, 2004, Iraq's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was rescinded by the United States.
Prior to the IIG, the governing Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) implemented several orders (binding instructions or directives that have the force of law) governing the creation of a revised penal code, new policies on border security, management of the court system, and new security forces. IIG cooperation with MNF-I forces was enshrined in Article 59 of the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), which established the framework for Iraq's transition from the CPA through the sovereign IIG and eventually to a permanent sovereign Iraqi Government. The TAL names the Iraqi Armed Forces as the MNF-I's "principal partner…pursuant to the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1511 (2003)…until the ratification of a permanent constitution."
At the United Nations, the IIG consistently responded positively to US requests to co-sponsor the listing of al-Qa'idarelated entities and individuals pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1267 and related resolutions that provide for the imposition of sanctions against entities associated with Usama bin Ladin, al-Qa'ida and the Taliban.
Terrorist attacks against a variety of targets increased in late 2004 in the run-up to the January 30, 2005, elections for the Transitional National Assembly and regional parliamentary bodies.
Jordanian-born Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and his organization emerged in 2004 to play a leading role in terrorist activities in Iraq. In October, the US Government designated Zarqawi's group, Jama'at al Tawhid wa'al-Jihad, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). In December, the designation was amended to include the group's new name Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (or "The al-Qa'ida Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers") and other aliases following the "merger" between Zarqawi and Usama bin Ladin's al-Qa'ida organization. Zarqawi announced the merger in October, and in December, bin Ladin endorsed Zarqawi as his official emissary in Iraq.
Zarqawi's group claimed credit for a number of attacks targeting Coalition and Iraqi forces, as well as civilians, including the October massacre of 49 unarmed, out-of-uniform Iraqi National Guard recruits. Attacks that killed civilians include the March 2004 bombing of the Mount Lebanon Hotel, killing seven and injuring over 30, and a December 24 suicide bombing using a fuel tanker that killed nine and wounded 19 in the al-Mansur district of Baghdad.
In February, Zarqawi called for a "sectarian war" in Iraq. He and his organization sought to create a rift between Shi'a and Sunnis through several large terror attacks against Iraqi Shi'a. In March 2004, Zarqawi claimed credit for simultaneous bomb attacks in Baghdad and Karbala that killed over 180 pilgrims as they celebrated the Shi'a festival of Ashura.
In December, Zarqawi also claimed credit for a suicide attack at the offices of Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), one of Iraq's largest Shi'a parties, which killed 15 and wounded over 50. Zarqawi has denied responsibility for another significant attack that same month in Karbala and Najaf, two of Shi'a Islam's most holy cities, which killed 62 Iraqi civilians and wounded more than 120.
Terrorists operating in Iraq used kidnapping and targeted assassinations to intimidate Iraqis and third-country nationals working in Iraq as civilian contractors. Nearly 60 noncombatant Americans died in terrorist incidents in Iraq in 2004. Other American noncombatants were killed in attacks on coalition military facilities or convoys. In June, Zarqawi claimed credit for the car bomb that killed the chairman of the Coalition-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. In April, an American civilian was kidnapped and later beheaded. One month later, a video of his beheading was posted on an al-Qa'ida-associated website. Analysts believe that Zarqawi himself killed the American as well as a Korean hostage, kidnapped in June. Zarqawi took direct credit for the September kidnapping and murder of two American civilians and later their British engineer coworker, and the October murder of a Japanese citizen.
In August, the Kurdish terrorist group Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and killing of 12 Nepalese construction workers, followed by the murder of two Turkish citizens in September. Many other foreign civilians have been kidnapped. Some have been killed, others released, some remain in their kidnappers'hands, and the fate of others, such as the director of CARE, is unknown. Other terrorist groups were active in Iraq. Ansar al-Sunna, believed to be an offshoot of the Ansar al-Islam group founded in Iraq in September 2001, first came to be known in April 2003 after issuing a statement on the Internet. In February 2004, Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for bomb attacks on the offices of two Kurdish political parties in Irbil, which killed 109 Iraqi civilians. The Islamic Army in Iraq has also claimed responsibility for terrorist actions.
Approximately 3,800 disarmed persons remained resident at the former Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) military base at Camp Ashraf; the MeK is a designated US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). More than 400 members renounced membership in the organization in 2004. Forty-one additional defectors elected to return to Iran, and another two hundred were awaiting ICRC assistance for voluntary repatriation to Iran at the end of the year. PKK/KADEK/Kongra Gel, a designated foreign terrorist group, maintains an estimated 3,000 to 3,500 armed militants in northern Iraq, according to Turkish Government sources and NGOs. In the summer of 2004, PKK/KADEK/Kongra Gel renounced its self-proclaimed cease-fire and threatened to renew its separatist struggle in both Turkey's Southeast and urban centers. Turkish press subsequently reported multiple incidents in the Southeast of PKK/KADEK/Kongra Gel terrorist actions or clashes between Turkish security forces and PKK/KADEK/Kongra Gel militants.
More information on international contributions to Iraqi security is available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45322.pdf
Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Israel maintained staunch support for US-led counterterrorism efforts in 2004. Palestinian terrorist groups conducted a large number of attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip in 2004. HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)—all US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations—were responsible for most of the attacks, which included suicide bombings, shootings, and mortar and rocket firings against civilian and military targets. Terrorist attacks in 2004 killed almost 100 people (mostly Israelis, as well as a number of foreigners, including one US citizen), a decrease from the almost 200 people killed in 2003.
The October 15, 2003, attack on a US diplomatic convoy in Gaza that killed three Americans is the most lethal attack ever directly targeting US interests in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza. The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a loose association of Palestinians with ties to various Palestinian militant organizations such as HAMAS, PIJ, and Fatah, claimed responsibility, although that claim was later rescinded. Official investigations continued and resulted in the arrests of four suspects.
A Palestinian civil court ordered the four suspects freed on March 14, citing a lack of evidence. Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Arafat rescinded the order and kept the suspects in custody until Palestinian gunmen attacked the Gaza prison and released the four suspects on April 24. Since the April 24 incident, the PA has failed to re-arrest the four suspects or to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the October 2003 attack.
Palestinian terrorist groups in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza continue to focus their attention on the Palestinians'historical conflict with Israel, attacking Israel and Israeli interests within Israel and the Palestinian territories, rather than engaging in operations worldwide.
Israel employed a variety of military operations in its counterterrorism efforts. Israeli forces launched frequent raids throughout the West Bank and Gaza, conducted targeted killings of suspected Palestinian terrorists, destroyed homes—including those of families of suicide bombers—imposed strict and widespread closures and curfews in Palestinian areas, and continued construction of an extensive security barrier in the West Bank. Israeli counterterrorism measures appear to have reduced the lethality of attacks; continuing attacks and credible threats of attacks, however, show that the terrorist groups remained potent.
Israel also took action in February to block what it labeled terrorist funding in two Palestinian banks. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Shin Bet raided the West Bank offices of the Arab Bank and the Cairo-Amman Bank, seizing almost $9 million in cash from 310 accounts. Israeli law does not allow seizure of funds via correspondent accounts in Israel, and the Israeli Government claimed that the PA had failed to act on earlier intelligence. PA officials asserted that the funds belonged to reputable clients, with no connection to terrorism. The funds remain seized by order of an Israeli court.
HAMAS was particularly active in 2004, carrying out attacks that included shootings, suicide bombings, and standoff mortar and rocket attacks against civilian and military targets, many of them joint operations with other militant organizations. HAMAS was responsible for the deadliest attack of the year in Israel—the August 31 double suicide bombing of two buses in Beersheva that killed 16 people and wounded 100. HAMAS was also responsible for an increase in Qassam rocket attacks. A rocket attack on Sderot on June 28 was the first fatal attack against Israelis using Qassam rockets. Two Israelis died in the attack. In September, two Israeli children were killed in Sderot from another Qassam rocket attack. In response to the continued Qassam rocket fire, the IDF launched a three-week operation on September 28, in which 130 Palestinians (among them 68 HAMAS and Palestine Islamic Jihad militants) and five Israelis died, according to press reports.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was active in 2004. The group was responsible for the November 1 suicide bombing at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, which killed three people and wounded 30. Palestinian Islamic Jihad conducted numerous attacks on Israeli settlements and checkpoints, including the April 3 attacks on the Avnei Hafetz and Enav settlements in the West Bank which killed one Israeli and seriously wounded a child.
Fatah's militant wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, conducted numerous shooting attacks and suicide bombings in 2004. It was responsible for two suicide bus bombings in Jerusalem during January and February. The attacks killed 21 people and wounded over 110. Al-Aqsa also claimed responsibility along with HAMAS for the March 14 suicide attack in the port of Ashdod. The double suicide attack killed ten people and wounded at least 15. The group also claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber attack which killed two people and wounded 17 at a checkpoint near Jerusalem on August 11. On May 2, Palestinian gunmen belonging to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and PIJ shot and killed an Israeli settler and her four daughters in the Gaza Strip. The group also claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber attack which killed two people and wounded 17 at a checkpoint near Jerusalem on August 11.
Lebanese Hizballah remained a serious threat to the security of the region, continuing its call for the destruction of Israel and using Lebanese territory as a staging ground for terrorist operations. Lebanese Hizballah was also involved in providing material support to Palestinian terrorist groups to augment their capacity and lethality in conducting attacks against Israel. In December, Israel convicted and sentenced an Israeli man for membership in the "New Jewish Underground," a terrorist organization that aimed to carry out attacks on Arab civilians. On September 29, a group of five Israeli settlers attacked and seriously wounded two US citizens, members of an NGO, who were escorting Palestinian children to school near Hebron. As of the end of 2004, the Israeli police had not arrested those responsible.
The Palestinian Authority's efforts to thwart terrorist operations were minimal in 2004. The PA security services remained fragmented and ineffective, hobbled by corruption, infighting, and poor leadership. Following the November 11 death of PA Chairman Arafat, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and then PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas engaged in an effort to convince militant Palestinian groups to agree to a cease-fire. Cease-fire talks were inconclusive by the end of 2004. Palestinian officials, including Mahmoud Abbas, and some Palestinian intellectuals have called for an end to armed attacks against Israelis.
Jordan continued its strong support for the global war on terrorism in 2004. Jordanian security services disrupted numerous terrorist plots during the year, including several that targeted US interests in Jordan. It has aggressively pursued the network of fugitive Jordanian terrorist Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, deemed responsible for numerous plots and attacks in Jordan and Iraq. In the most serious plot disrupted to date in Jordan, security services in April arrested Zarqawi affiliates in the advanced stages of a plan to launch truck bombs against Jordanian Government targets and the US Embassy in Amman. In an unprecedented move, the Jordanian Government aired the plotters'confessions on state-run television, emphasizing their plans to kill thousands, including Jordanian citizens. In late April, Government officials, including Queen Rania, joined thousands of Jordanians in a street march against terrorism. The Government publicly condemned terrorist acts throughout the world. King Abdullah was an outspoken critic of terrorism and Islamic extremism, and in September directed religious authorities to deliver the "Amman Message," a declaration that rejects religious extremism and terrorism, and seeks to promote moderate Islam and dialogue.
Jordan's State Security court, which has purview over terrorism-related cases, maintained a heavy caseload over the year, most of which involved Zarqawi-affiliated suspects. The Court in April sentenced eight men to death, including Zarqawi and five others in absentia, for the murder of USAID official Laurence Foley in front of his Amman home on October 28, 2002. The Government announced in July that Muammar al-Jaghbir, sentenced to death in absentia for his role in the Foley murder, was in Jordanian custody and would be re-tried according to Jordanian law. In May, the Court found guilty three Jordanians—including one of Zarqawi's nephews—for plotting attacks against US and Israeli tourists in the country. In June, the Court sentenced Ahmad al-Riyati and eight men being tried in absentia (including Zarqawi and reputed Ansar al-Islam leader Mullah Krekar) to prison for plotting against US interests. In October, the Court sentenced Bilal al-Hiyari, a Zarqawi fundraiser, to six months in jail for his activities. It also indicted suspected Zarqawi affiliate Miqdad al-Dabbas for planning attacks against Jordanian interests in Iraq. In November, the Court began the trial of the 13 suspects accused in the April plot, including Zarqawi in absentia.
In one of the few non-Zarqawi related terrorism cases, the State Security Court in September indicted two Jordanians for plotting to attack foreign diplomats in Amman. Separately, the Court in November acquitted four men of charges they plotted attacks against US and Israeli targets in Jordan, although they were sentenced to one year in jail for possession of an automatic weapon. In late December, the court convicted 11 men on weapons charges in a plot against the US Embassy and US military forces in Jordan.
The State Security Court also moved forward on other long-standing terrorism cases. In June, the Court affirmed its guilty verdict (first handed down in September 2000) against ten men accused of plotting attacks during Jordan's millennial celebrations, sentencing two to death. In October, Jordan's Court of Cassation, which hears appeals from the State Security Court, upheld the lower court's guilty verdict of US-Jordanian citizen Ra'ed Hijazi, one of those sentenced to death for his role in the plot, but commuted the death sentence, sentencing him to 20 years in jail with labor. The decision is final, and no more appeals will be heard.
Border security remained a top concern of Jordanian officials in 2004, as the Jordanian Government continued to interdict weapons and potential infiltrators at its borders. In July, Jordanian border officials intercepted and killed armed individuals attempting to infiltrate northern Israel from Jordan. Jordanian border officials allegedly intercepted suspects involved in the April Zarqawi plot as they tried to enter Jordan from Syria. In November, a terrorist driving a vehicle loaded with explosives tried to cross the Iraqi-Jordanian border, but was stopped before the explosives detonated.
Kuwait continued to engage with the US Government and its neighbors to thwart domestic threats to Kuwaiti and foreign interests. It also continued to provide significant support to US efforts to stem terror financing. Following the four terror attacks carried out against Operation Iraqi Freedom and Coalition forces in Kuwait between October 2002 and December 2003 that resulted in the death of one US Marine and a US defense contractor, the Government of Kuwait sought to strengthen domestic counterterrorism efforts, but the potential for further attacks remains a serious concern.
The Kuwaiti Government has taken significant measures to bolster security and enhance protection for Coalition forces transiting Kuwait. Kuwait responded quickly to US concerns about a possible terror attack in December 2004. Kuwaiti officials have heightened security along their border with Iraq to prevent terrorist infiltration and have also worked with Syria and Iran to develop procedures to increase intelligence sharing and enhance customs and border-monitoring cooperation. In July, Syria repatriated to Kuwait seven people recruited to carry out suicide bomb attacks in Iraq. Kuwait subsequently arrested a dozen Kuwaitis reportedly being trained to attack US and Coalition forces in Iraq. By the end of 2004, all but two of them had been released on bail.
The Kuwaiti Government was able to identify and arrest terror suspects in some cases, but was on occasion unable to secure convictions, citing a lack of evidence for use in court. Those actually sentenced to jail on terrorism charges often had their sentences reduced.
As part of its campaign against terror, the Government formed in October a ministerial committee chaired by the Minister of Islamic Endowments and Islamic Affairs to develop strategies to combat terror and extremists. In November, the Government forbade Kuwaiti ministries and religious institutions from extending official invitations to 26 Saudi clerics who reportedly signed a statement in support of jihad in Iraq. No entry ban was imposed, however, and at least one cleric visited the homes of some Members of Parliament and other private gatherings, sparking widespread public criticism of the cleric's presence. The Islamic political bloc in the Kuwaiti Parliament has been critical of the Government's methods in confronting and dealing with Islamic extremists.
Lebanon remains host to numerous US-designated terrorist groups. Beirut continued to demonstrate an unwillingness to take steps against Lebanese Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), the Abu Nidal organization (ANO), and HAMAS. In contrast, the Lebanese Government moved vigorously through legal and operational initiatives against Sunni extremist groups, including those similar in ideology to al-Qa'ida.
The Lebanese Government recognized as legitimate resistance groups organizations that target Israel and permitted them to maintain offices in Beirut. Lebanon also exempts what it terms "legal resistance" groups, including Lebanese Hizballah, from money laundering and terrorism financing laws. Lebanese leaders, including President Emile Lahud, reject assessments of Lebanese Hizballah's global terror activities, though the group's leadership has openly admitted to providing material support for terror attacks inside Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Hizballah, which holds 12 seats in the Lebanese parliament, is generally seen as a part of Lebanese society and politics. The Lebanese Government has failed to comply with numerous UN resolutions to extend sole and effective authority over all Lebanese territory. The Lebanese security forces remain unable or unwilling to enter Palestinian refugee camps, the operational nodes of terrorist groups such as Asbat al-Ansar and other Palestinian terror groups, and to deploy forces into areas dominated by Lebanese Hizballah, including the Beka'a Valley, southern Beirut, and the south of the country up to the UN-demarcated Blue Line.
Syria's predominant role in Lebanon facilitates the Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist presence in portions of Lebanon. In addition, Syrian and Iranian support for Lebanese Hizballah activities in southern Lebanon, and for Palestinian terrorist groups throughout the country, help promote an environment where terrorist elements flourish.
The Lebanese and Syrian Governments have not fully complied with UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for, among other things, respect for the sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon, and the disarming and disbandment of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias. Lebanese Hizballah militiamen operate freely in southern Lebanon without interference from Lebanese security forces. Lebanese Government officials have openly and publicly condoned Lebanese Hizballah operations against Israel. Lebanese authorities further maintain that the Government's provision of amnesty to Lebanese individuals involved in acts of violence during the civil war prevents Beirut from prosecuting many cases of concern to the United States, including the hijacking in 1985 of TWA 847 and the murder of a US Navy diver on the flight, and the abduction, torture, and murder of US hostages from 1984 to 1991. US courts have brought indictments against Lebanese Hizballah operatives responsible for a number of those crimes, and some of these defendants remain prominent terrorist figures. Despite evidence to the contrary, the Lebanese Government has insisted that Imad Mugniyah, wanted in connection with the TWA hijacking and other terrorist acts, who was placed on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists in 2001, is no longer in Lebanon. The Government's legal system also has failed to hold a hearing on the prosecutor's appeal in the case of Tawfic Muhammad Farroukh, who—despite the evidence against him—was found not guilty of murder for his role in the killings of US Ambassador Francis Meloy and two others in 1976. Lebanon's Special Investigation Commission (SIC), an independent legal entity with judicial status empowered to investigate suspicious transactions, investigated over 176 cases involving allegations of money laundering and terrorist financing activities in 2004.
Lebanon has taken other counterterrorism measures in 2004, primarily directed against Sunni extremists. In March, a Lebanese military tribunal sentenced eight alleged Sunni extremists, for periods varying from five to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor, who were accused of carrying out terrorist attacks against foreign interests in Lebanon (including bombings of McDonalds and Pizza Hut restaurants) and plotting to assassinate the US Ambassador. Lebanese security services, in concert with Italian and Syrian authorities, rounded up members of a Sunni extremist cell in September that was allegedly planning to bomb the Italian and Ukrainian Embassies, and assassinate Western diplomats. The alleged cell leader later died in Lebanese custody. In October, a Lebanese military tribunal found guilty and sentenced two people to imprisonment with hard labor on charges of bringing an explosives device to US Embassy premises. One was sentenced for seven years and the other for three years.
The Government of Morocco continues to be a staunch ally in the war on terror. King Mohammed VI has been a steadfast supporter of efforts to confront terrorism, in particular by promoting internal reforms designed to combat sources of terrorism over the long-term. Towards this end, during 2004 Morocco implemented reforms to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to promote religious moderation and tolerance. Domestically, Morocco's historical record of strong vigilance against terrorist activity remained unwavering.
Following the May 16, 2003, Casablanca attacks in which suicide bombers from the "Salafiya Jihadiya" group killed 42 and wounded approximately 100 others, the Government arrested several thousand people, prosecuted 1,200 and sentenced about 900 for various terrorism-related crimes. The Minister of Justice announced that these arrests represented approximately 90 percent of those sought by the Government. The remaining ten percent were subjects of international arrest warrants. A spate of May 16-related terrorist arrests since June 2004, however, in Agadir, Beni Mellal, Fes, Khourigba, and Meknes suggests that the number of at-large suspects has likely decreased further. The Government also aggressively pursued Salafiya Jihadiya terrorist cells in several Moroccan cities.
The al-Qa'ida-affiliated Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) continues to pose a threat in Morocco as well as in Europe. Moroccan extremists, associated with the GICM, were among those implicated in the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid.
Oman continued to provide support for the global war on terrorism, and has been responsive to requests for Coalition military and civilian support, making arrests as well as working with its neighbors to improve cross-border security. During the last three years, the Government of Oman has implemented a tight anti-money laundering regime, including surveillance systems designed to identify unusual transactions, with plans to require financial institutions to verify customer identities using sophisticated biometric technology. Omani financial authorities have also demonstrated their commitment to freeze the assets of any UN-listed individual found in Oman.
The Government of Qatar provided the United States with significant counterterrorism support during 2004, building on the bilateral cooperation it has maintained since September 11, 2001.
No terrorist attacks occurred in Qatar in 2004, and the Qatari security services had some successes against terrorist targets. In March, Qatar passed the Combating Terrorism Law. The law defines terrorism and terrorist acts, lists specific punishments for terrorist crimes to include the death penalty, provides measures against terrorist financing or fundraising activities, and gives the Government sweeping authority to take action against terrorist crimes and activities. The law incorporates existing laws such as Qatar's penal code, criminal procedures code, judicial law, law on weapons, ammunitions and explosives, and the anti-money laundering law.
In March, the Government passed a new law to establish the Qatar Authority for Charitable Works, which monitors all domestic and international charitable activities. The Secretary General of the Authority approves international fund transfers by the charities. The Authority has primary responsibility for monitoring overseas charitable, developmental, and humanitarian projects, and is to report annually to concerned Government ministries on the status of all projects. The Authority was still in the process of developing concrete measures to exert more control over domestic charity collection.
In October, the Government appointed a member of the ruling al-Thani family as director of its financial intelligence unit (FIU). The FIU is responsible for reviewing all financial transaction reports, identifying suspicious transactions and financial activities of concern, and ensuring that all Government ministries and agencies have procedures and standards to ensure proper oversight of financial transactions.
In 2004, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continued to support the global war on terror. Terrorists killed dozens of foreigners and citizens, including six Americans, in attacks throughout the country. The attacks consisted of kidnappings, armed assaults, targeted shootings, bombings, and beheadings. In the first half of 2004, the al-Qa'ida presence in Saudi Arabia kept up a steady tempo of attacks, surpassing the number and lethality of attacks conducted in the previous year. In the second half of the year, facing concerted pressure from Saudi authorities, the network appeared to be largely on the defensive, and did not mount a major operation until the December 6 attack on the US Consulate General in Jeddah. Five foreign nationals—four locally engaged staff and one local guard—working at the Consulate were killed. This attack was later claimed by "al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula," which also claimed credit for other deadly attacks against American citizens in 2004. Two car bombs, one aimed at the Ministry of Interior, exploded December 29, killing one passer-by and injuring several others.
In response to the wave of terrorist violence in the Kingdom, the Saudi Government aggressively pursued terrorists and achieved successes, including the capture or killing of all but seven of the Kingdom's 26 most-wanted terrorists and most of the known terrorist leadership in Saudi Arabia. Saudi forces launched dozens of security sweeps throughout the country, dismantling several al-Qa'ida cells, some of which were directly involved in attacks against US citizens and interests. More than thirty members of the Saudi security forces lost their lives in this campaign.
Saudi Arabia continued a public outreach campaign in the war against terror. As custodian of the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina, the Saudi Government worked to delegitimize the inappropriate use of Islam to justify terrorist attacks. During the year, Saudi authorities aired confessions of militants and interviews with fathers of wanted men as part of a campaign to rally the public against radicals who carried out attacks in the Kingdom. In June, the Grand Mufti Shaykh Abd al-Aziz Al al-Shaykh issued a fatwa condemning terrorist acts and calling on citizens to report "saboteurs and anyone planning or preparing to carry out terrorist acts to the concerned authorities." Also in June, six senior religious leaders issued a statement denouncing terrorist attacks as "heinous crimes." A November "fatwa" issued by 26 radical Saudi clerics, who called on Iraqis to resist Coalition forces in Iraq by force, was rebutted by senior members of the Saudi official religious establishment, including the Grand Mufti. The Government also focused on internal social, political, and economic reforms as a method to reduce the appeal of radical ideologies. The media reported widely on each of the attacks conducted by terrorists in the Kingdom and the subsequent Government crackdown, leading to widespread public recognition that terrorism is a serious threat in the Kingdom, not only to foreigners, but to Saudis as well.
During the year, the Government launched intensive searches and counterterrorism sweeps in the country, often involving thousands of Saudi security personnel. On June 23, Crown Prince Abdullah issued an ultimatum to terrorists: surrender in 30 days or suffer the full force of the state. The ultimatum prompted several notable extremists to turn themselves in, including one terrorist suspect on Saudi Arabia's 26 most-wanted list. On June 29, the Prince Nayif Security Academy began training employees of the national oil company (Saudi ARAMCO) on counterterrorism measures. On the same day, the Ministry of Interior announced a 60-day pardon for persons to surrender unlicensed weapons.
In July, reporting on the results of a mutual evaluation conducted in 2003, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded that Saudi Arabia's financial regime met the general obligations of the organization's recommendations for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. The Government continued to take steps to make operational a financial intelligence unit (FIU) established in 2003 under anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing law. Concerned about the possible misuse of charitable organizations for terrorist purposes, the Government issued a set of bylaws for the Commission for Relief and Charitable Work Abroad, designed to oversee all Saudi charities. In this regard, the Government ordered the closure of the al-Haramain Foundation, a Saudi charity with a number of overseas offices that had been designated by the UN Sanctions Committee for providing support for terrorist activities. The Government also maintained its prohibition, imposed in 2003, on the collection of cash donations at mosques or commercial establishments and its restrictions on the bank accounts of charities, including prohibiting fund transfers out of the country. The media reported during the year that Saudi banks froze more than 250,000 accounts for noncompliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist finance laws. During the year, the Saudi Government requested that the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee add entities and individuals suspected of terrorist activities or of supporting terrorists to its consolidated list.
The Government of Tunisia publicly supported the international coalition against terrorism and responded positively to US requests for information and assistance in blocking financial assets. Tunisia's active stance against terrorism has been reinforced by its own experience with international terrorism. In April 2002, a suicide truck bomb detonated outside the el-Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, killing at least twenty.
The Government of Tunisia has taken steps to strengthen counterterrorism laws. The Tunisian legislature in December 2003 passed a comprehensive law to "support the international effort to combat terrorism and money laundering." The first prosecution of suspected terrorists under the law's provisions commenced in February 2004. Tunisia has consistently emphasized the threat that terrorism poses to security and stability in the region. Further, it has encouraged Libya to abandon terrorism. Domestically, the Tunisian Government has prohibited the formation of religious-based political parties and groups, which it believes pose a terrorist threat.
In 2004, the United Arab Emirates continued to provide staunch assistance and cooperation to the global war against terrorism. In July, late President Sheikh Zayed issued an antiterrorism law defining terrorist crimes and punishment, and specifically criminalizing the funding of terrorist organizations. In December, the United States and the Emirate of Dubai signed a Container Security Initiative Statement of Principles aimed at screening US-bound containerized cargo transiting Dubai's ports. The UAE also undertook several security measures along its land border and at sea to deter terrorists from reaching UAE soil.
In October, the UAE hosted an international conference on Islam intended to encourage moderation and condemn terrorism and extremism. The conference included sessions by prominent international and Emirate Muslim religious figures, and called for moderate Islamic preaching, increased training of imams, and reforms of the Islamic studies education curriculum.
In suppressing terrorist financing, the UAE Central Bank continued to enforce anti-money laundering regulations aggressively. Tightened oversight and reporting requirements for domestic financial markets resulted in a stronger legal and regulatory framework to deter abuse of the UAE financial system. The Central Bank has provided training programs to financial institutions on money laundering and terrorist financing.
In April, the Central Bank hosted the Second International Hawala Conference, which was attended by 375 participants from around the world to discuss how to better monitor money flows occurring outside the formal banking structure. (Hawalas are informal money remittance and exchange businesses common in the Middle East and South Asia.) The conference included interactive panels, overviews of anti-money laundering systems in various other countries, and presentations from multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, FATF, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Central Bank has also investigated financial transactions and frozen accounts in response to UN resolutions and internal investigations, and continued the process of registering hawala dealers.
In 2004, the Republic of Yemen continued to provide support for the global war on terrorism and took action against al-Qa'ida and local extremists, arresting several individuals suspected of having al-Qa'ida ties and prosecuting the perpetrators of several terrorist acts.
On August 28, the Sana'a Primary Court convicted 14 al-Qa'ida members for the October 2002 attack on the French tanker M/V Limburg, the murder of a Ministry of Interior officer during the November 2002 attack on an oil company helicopter, a plot to attack the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority, a plot to attack four foreign embassies in Sana'a and to kill the US Ambassador, and for forging documents for the purpose of carrying out terrorism. Two defendants received death sentences, one in absentia. The other defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to ten years. Under Yemeni law, both defendants and the prosecution have the right to appeal rulings. All defendants have appealed their sentences, as has the prosecution, the latter arguing that some of the sentences were too light. The appeals process is expected to conclude in early 2005.
On September 10, the Sana'a Primary Court concluded the trial of five defendants for the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole in Aden that killed 17 US sailors and injured 35. This included suspects Jamal al-Badawi and Fahad al-Quso, who were re-apprehended on March 10 by Yemeni authorities following their escape from an Aden prison in April 2003. On September 29, the court issued two death sentences for the ringleaders of the bombing (al-Badawi and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in absentia). Three others were convicted and sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to ten years for their roles in the attack. These cases were under appeal by both the Government and the defense at the end of 2004.
The Yemeni Supreme Court heard appeals on the death sentences of Abed Abdulrazak al-Kamel and Ali Ahmed Mohamed Jarallah for the December 30, 2002, shootings of three American citizens in Jibla. No final decision has been issued in these cases.
Yemen has expressed a willingness to fight international terrorists by denying them the use of its territorial seas and ports. Over the past year, Yemen has increased its maritime security capabilities. The US Government provided extensive training and eight boats to the Yemeni Coast Guard, which is now a visible patrolling force along the coastline. Coast Guard operations are expanding to stem the use of Yemen as a way station for smuggling of persons, drugs, weapons, and explosives.
Land border security along Yemen's extensive frontier with Saudi Arabia remains a major concern. In February, Yemen and Saudi Arabia agreed to bolster cooperation in order to combat the cross-border smuggling of arms and people. The two countries also agreed to establish joint patrols and increase monitoring.
The Government's capacity for stemming terrorism financing remains limited. In February, the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee designated prominent Yemeni sheikh and opposition Islah party leader Abd al-Majid al-Zindani for his association with al-Qa'ida. The Yemeni Government has taken no action to bar his travel or to freeze his assets in compliance with its UN obligations, and Zindani continues to appear prominently at public events.
Yemen utilized its Islamic Dialogue Committee, headed by a leading judge, to continue its dialogue with detainees arrested for connections to terrorist groups and extremist elements. In a 2004 Ramadan amnesty the Government released over 100 security detainees, claiming that they had been rehabilitated and had made commitments to uphold the Yemeni constitution and laws, the rights of non-Muslims, and the inviolability of foreign interests.
Several terrorist organizations continued to maintain a presence in Yemen throughout 2004. HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are recognized as legal organizations, and HAMAS maintains offices in Yemen. Neither organization has engaged in any known terrorist activities in Yemen, and PIJ does not have any known operational presence. HAMAS conducts extensive fundraising through mosques and other charitable organizations throughout the country. While al-Qa'ida's operational structure in Yemen has been weakened and dispersed, concerns remain about the organization's attempts to reconstitute operational cells in Yemen.
South Asia continued in 2004 to be a major theater of the global war on terrorism, and partner countries achieved several notable successes in countering terrorist groups. Afghanistan ratified a new constitution in January, and Hamid Karzai became the country's first popularly elected leader in October's presidential election. The Afghan National Army (ANA), while still limited in its capabilities, has lent support to US-led Coalition forces against antigovernment elements in the country's southern and eastern regions. The number of trained Afghan National Police (ANP) also continued to grow, playing an increasingly important role in deterring terrorist and extremist activity.
Security remained a key concern in the region. Insurgent and terrorist elements in Afghanistan continued to target international military forces, international and non-governmental organizations (IOs and NGOs), the Afghan Government, and Afghan civilians. The Coalition sought to address security concerns by extending its activities into the Afghan provinces, aided by a growing network of provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs). For its part, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) expanded into northern Afghanistan and worked on plans to extend its reach into the country's western regions.
Pakistan also achieved notable gains in the war on terrorism. Assassination attempts against key Government officials and numerous terrorist attacks were thwarted, as Pakistan continued its close cooperation with the United States. Counterterrorist activities and military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where elements of al-Qa'ida and other groups continue to hide, disrupted terrorist command and control capabilities and killed or captured hundreds of militants. Authorities continued to arrest members of al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups throughout the country while providing many new leads for future investigations and arrests.
India joined the United States in a renewed commitment to cooperate in a broadening range of counterterrorism measures. India suffered hundreds of attacks from both foreign and domestic terrorists this year, but security forces were increasingly effective, particularly in Kashmir, where the level of terrorist violence declined. The Indian Government cooperated with both Nepal and Bhutan in these countries'counterterrorist efforts. The Indian legislature modified its counterterrorism law regime in December, removing controversial elements while maintaining or strengthening provisions essential to fighting the war on terror.
Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh experienced mixed results in 2004. Violence in Sri Lanka increased as fighting broke out between differing factions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). While the ceasefire between the Government and the LTTE was generally observed, the LTTE repeatedly struck at dissident members of the Tamil community. Both sides failed to resume the negotiations broken off by the LTTE in 2003, but the December 26 tsunami may have an impact on reconciliation in 2005. In Nepal, the Maoist insurgency continued, accompanied by increased anti-US and anti-Indian rhetoric. The Maoists threatened numerous companies, shut down business operations, and called for several general strikes throughout the country. They continued to extort money from Nepalis and foreign tourists. In September, suspected Maoists bombed the American Center in Kathmandu. Political violence increased in Bangladesh, where political rallies suffered from attacks with explosives. The United States concentrated its assistance on strengthening Bangladesh's weak institutions and laws to combat terror.
Afghanistan made great strides towards building democracy and rebuilding the country in 2004. In January, Afghan delegates ratified a new national constitution that embraced democracy and pluralism in the context of Afghan and Islamic traditions. On October 9, over eight million citizens defied terrorist and extremist threats and small-scale attacks by voting in Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. Hamid Karzai became the country's first popularly elected leader and was inaugurated as Afghanistan's president on December 7. Both the election and inauguration occurred without any major security incidents, despite Taliban threats to disrupt the democratic process. Other achievements included: the growing effectiveness of the Afghan National Army (ANA), with over 18,000 personnel in its ranks; a build-up to 33,000 personnel in the Afghan National Police (ANP); major gains in the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) process; arrests of suspects in the August and October Kabul street bombings; and the expansion of reconstruction efforts. In the coming year, Afghans will face the challenge of building upon these gains, especially through holding parliamentary, provincial, and district elections.
President Karzai and his Government remained strongly committed to the war on terrorism. The ANA stepped up its role alongside the US-led Coalition in fighting insurgents and terrorists in Afghanistan's south and east. The ANA and ANP, along with the Coalition and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), played a key role in thwarting extremist attempts to disrupt the October presidential election. The Afghan people were also instrumental in thwarting terrorist threats against the election, providing information that in some cases resulted in the discovery of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Terrorist and insurgent elements targeted Afghan Government, US, Coalition, and ISAF assets in Kabul, as well as in southern and eastern provinces. Four American noncombatants are known to have died in international terrorist incidents in Afghanistan in 2004. Terrorists and other extremists hampered reconstruction efforts with attacks on NGOs and UN facilities and personnel in an unsuccessful attempt to drive the international community out of Afghanistan. These elements also targeted Afghan citizens who were trying to participate in their country's political process, in some cases reportedly killing people for possessing voter registration cards. Despite these concerted efforts, they failed to disrupt the October 9 presidential election.
Afghan troops continued to carry out joint operations with Coalition forces against the Taliban, al-Qa'ida, and other anti-government elements. The Tripartite Commission, formed in 2003 by the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, continued to improve the sharing of information and coordination of border security efforts and to discuss other political issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan. More information on international contributions to Afghan security is available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45322.pdf
Bangladesh supports the global war on terror but its ability to combat terrorism is undermined by weak institutions, porous borders, limited law enforcement capabilities, and debilitating in-fighting between the two major political parties.
Bangladesh's long tradition of inclusive, moderate Islam is increasingly under threat from extremist alternatives, already offering an attractive breeding ground for political and sectarian violence. Endemic corruption, poverty, and a stalemated political process could further contribute to the type of instability and widespread frustration that has elsewhere provided recruits, support, and safe haven to international terrorist groups.
There was an increase in political violence using explosives in 2004. In May, the British High Commissioner and more than 70 others were injured in a grenade attack in Sylhet. In August, approximately 20 Awami League supporters were killed, and 200 injured during an attack on the party's opposition rally in Dhaka.
Bangladesh, with US technical assistance, is strengthening police institutions with a professionalization program, enhancing police and banking capabilities to combat terrorist financing, and strengthening border control systems to detect suspicious travel and improve the integrity of Bangladeshi travel documents. The United States is assisting Bangladesh in developing new, stronger laws to enhance banking oversight and enforcement and in creating a financial intelligence unit (FIU). The Government is committed to enforcing UN Security Council resolutions and actions related to terrorism, including the identification and freezing of assets of individuals and organizations designated as terrorists or terrorist supporters, such as the Saudi-based charity al-Haramain Foundation. It also ordered the closure of the local Rabita Trust office and the departure from Bangladesh of its expatriate staff.
The Bangladesh military maintains a large presence in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and has been successful in locating hidden weapons. In April it seized a large cache of weapons in Chittagong harbor. Bangladesh is taking steps to improve its effectiveness in preventing maritime smuggling and its capabilities in terrorist interdiction operations.
India remains an important ally in the global war on terror. Cooperative counterterrorism training expanded during the year, with hundreds of Indian military and law enforcement officers trained under State Department and Department of Defense programs. In 2004, both the US-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group (CTJWG) and the Indo-US Cyber Security Forum, which includes counterterrorism prevention and detection discussions, met in New Delhi and Washington, respectively. These consultations improved information exchanges and under-lined political commitment in both countries to counterterrorism cooperation as a strong pillar of the bilateral relationship. In November, the Indian Cabinet ratified the US-India Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which will come into force once the instruments of ratification are exchanged.
Separatist terrorists and insurgents staged hundreds of attacks on people and property in 2004, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, in the northeastern states, and the "Naxalite (Maoist) belt" in eastern India. The Government noted a significant decline in infiltration from Pakistani Kashmir during 2004, attributing the drop in large part to the fence it constructed during the year-long cease-fire with Pakistan and more effective counter-insurgency methods. Nevertheless, in Jammu and Kashmir insurgent and terrorist groups made numerous attempts to kill Indian and Kashmiri politicians, targeted public areas frequented by tourists, and attacked security forces. More than 500 civilians were killed in these attacks. Foreign Terrorist Organizations Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LT) and Jaishe-Mohammad (JEM), operating through front groups in India under a number of new names, claimed responsibility for attacks on prominent Indian politicians and for killing the uncle of a prominent Kashmiri religious and political leader. In eastern India, the primary Naxalite groups took steps towards consolidation by combining to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Naxalite violence dropped significantly in 2004, but the future of peace talks was uncertain at year's end.
The Government further engaged other neighbors in the region, supporting Bhutanese and Nepalese counterterrorism efforts, and continues to pursue counterterrorism diplomacy at international and multilateral fora.
In December, India modified its counterterrorism legislation, repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and simultaneously amending the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (ULPA). The new legislation retained POTA's salient aspects and maintained India's compliance with UNSCR 1373, expanded the legal definition of terrorism to include extraterritorial acts, and strengthened Government wiretapping authority in terrorism cases. In November, the Government also announced a review of its policy on the resolution of hostage crises.
Indian authorities began issuing machine-readable passports in New Delhi and Mumbai, and plan to expand this program to other major cities. The Cabinet approved the establishment of a financial intelligence unit (FIU) in November, although by year's end had yet to issue the regulations needed to make this unit fully effective. The Government was also unable to complete the requirements to accept the Financial Action Task Force's long-standing invitation to join.
In April 2003, Nepal signed an agreement with the US Government establishing an antiterrorism assistance program. The Government continued its strong support of the global coalition against terrorism in 2004, and was responsive to both US and multilateral efforts to police international terrorism. Nepal's primary focus, however, remained the Maoist insurgency, active in Nepal since February 1996.
After unilaterally withdrawing from a seven-month cease-fire in August 2003, the Maoists resumed full-scale hostilities. In 2004 alone, Maoists were responsible for the deaths of at least 383 civilians and 214 Government security forces, with some estimates running as high as 831 victims. The Government has stated that Nepalese security forces have arrested thousands of suspected Maoists and killed more than 1,555 during the year.
Repeated anti-US rhetoric suggests the Maoists view US support for Kathmandu as a key obstacle to their goal of establishing a communist dictatorship in Nepal. Maoist supreme commander Prachanda issued a press statement in July 2004 threatening to use "more violent means" if peace talks with the Government of Nepal were not forthcoming or were unsuccessful. In August and September, Maoists threatened almost 50 companies and forced them to shut down operations. In August, a Maoist-affiliated group stated that it had decided to close down all multinational corporations in Nepal with US investment permanently. All companies reopened in mid-September after an agreement was reached between the Maoist-affiliated group and the Government of Nepal.
In addition to the threats against American-affiliated business enterprises, Maoists have threatened attacks against US and international NGOs, including those associated with Peace Corps programs. In September, Maoists attacked an American NGO worker in midwestern Nepal. They sought to extort money from Nepalis and foreigners to raise funds for their insurgency. The Maoists'public statements have criticized the United States, the United Kingdom, and India for providing security assistance to Nepal. On September 10, Maoists bombed the American Center in Kathmandu. The attack occurred during non-duty hours and there were no injuries, but the blast damaged the facility.
Security remains weak at many public facilities, including Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The United States and other donor countries are actively working to improve this situation, but limited Government finances, weak border controls, and poor security infrastructure could make Nepal a convenient logistic and transit point for outside militants and international terrorists.
Pakistan continues to be one of the United States'most important partners in the war on terrorism. Few countries suffered as much from terrorism in 2004 as Pakistan, and few did as much to combat it. After the two near-miss assassination attempts against President Musharraf in December 2003, groups linked to al-Qa'ida tried to assassinate a corps commander in Karachi in June, and the Finance Minister (now Prime Minister) in July. Nearly 200 people were killed in major Sunni-Shia sectarian attacks. Al-Qa'ida declared the Government of Pakistan to be one of its main enemies, and called for its overthrow.
The Government of Pakistan continues to pursue al-Qa'ida and its allies aggressively through counterterrorist police measures throughout the country and large-scale military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the rugged Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Pakistani Army and Frontier Corps units destroyed key al-Qa'ida safe havens in South Waziristan Agency (part of the FATA), killing over 100 foreign terrorists and dispersing several hundred more.
These operations significantly degraded al-Qa'ida's command and control capabilities in the region, but at a cost of approximately 200 Pakistani servicemen killed in action. Parallel to this military effort, the Government pursued a strategy to win the support of the tribes in the FATA with a combination of negotiations and economic development investments.
In addition to counterterrorism operations in the tribal areas, Pakistani security services are cooperating closely with the United States and other nations in a successful campaign to eliminate terrorism both within Pakistan and abroad. Over 600 suspected operatives of al-Qa'ida and other groups have been killed or captured by Pakistani authorities since September 2001. Individuals detained in 2004 have provided leads that aided investigations by security agencies around the world.
Particularly notable in 2004 were the capture of al-Qa'ida communications expert and Heathrow bomb plot suspect Naeem Noor Khan in July, the arrest of 1998 US Embassy bombing suspect Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani the same month, and the killing of Daniel Pearl murder-suspect Amjad Farooqi in September. The Government also cracked down on several groups that had been active in the Kashmir insurgency, detaining the head of Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM) for several months and arranging the extradition of the head of Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI).
Pursuant to its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 and subsequent resolutions, Pakistan continues to work with the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee to freeze the assets of individuals and groups identified as terrorist entities linked to al-Qa'ida and the Taliban. Pakistan's Parliament passed an amendment to the 1997 Anti-terrorism Act that increased penalties and prohibited bail for those who finance terrorism. Pakistan also drafted and won agreement for a regional convention against terrorist financing. However, the Government's failure to pass an anti-money laundering or counterterrorist financing law that meets international standards has inhibited Pakistan's ability to cooperate internationally on counterterrorism finance issues.
Pakistan's Antiterrorism Courts continue to prosecute terrorism cases. In 2004, the courts convicted a suspect in the 2003 bombing of the US Consulate in Karachi, several suspects in the assassination attempts against President Musharraf, seven suspects in the 2002 attack on a Christian school, and nine suspects in the bombing of the Mace-donian Consulate in Karachi.
US-Pakistan joint counterterrorism efforts have been extensive. They include cooperative efforts in border security and criminal investigations, as well as several long-term training projects. A Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement, established in 2002, met in September to assess joint efforts and discuss enhanced cooperation.
Sri Lanka supports the global war on terror and continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to combating terrorism. The Sri Lankan Government has cooperated with US efforts to track terrorist financing, although no assets have been identified in Sri Lanka to date. The United States has worked with the Government of Sri Lanka to develop anti-money laundering legislation, develop a Sri Lankan financial intelligence unit, and provide training for relevant Government agencies and the banking sector. Sri Lankan police provided investigative assistance in response to US requests.
The 2002 ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, continued to hold despite lack of progress in resuming the negotiations broken off by the LTTE in April 2003. The Sri Lankan Army remains deployed across the country for counter-insurgency purposes. The paramilitary Special Task Force police (STF) is deployed in the east.
Numerous violations of the ceasefire agreement were reportedly committed, primarily by the LTTE, during the year. Fighting broke out between a dissident LTTE faction, led by eastern military commander Karuna, and the mainstream LTTE in March, leading initially to the deaths of at least 120 LTTE cadres and civilians in the east. Following the split, the LTTE began a campaign of targeted assassinations against political opponents, members of the Karuna faction, and suspected Sri Lankan Army informants, killing at least another 80 individuals during the year. In addition, at least 26 members of the mainstream LTTE were killed by suspected Karuna sympathizers, while six members of the Sri Lankan security forces were killed in isolated incidents by suspected LTTE terrorists. On July 7, a suspected LTTE suicide bomber detonated herself while being questioned inside a Colombo police station, killing herself and four policemen. Her intended target was believed to be the Minister of Hindu Affairs, a Tamil politician opposed to the LTTE.
The renewed violence in Sri Lanka has done much to dissipate the cautious optimism that surrounded the process last year. In September, State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Cofer Black affirmed that the United States would maintain the designation of the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organization until it unequivocally renounces terrorism in both word and deed.
Terrorism in the Western Hemisphere historically has been perpetrated by groups advocating internal political change and by criminal organizations seeking to intimidate society and governments to allow them to exist and operate unfettered. The focus of terrorist groups has been primarily domestic. In the last year alone, Colombia's three US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)—were responsible for murdering approximately 3,000 people, mostly Colombians. Shining Path's bloody 30-year campaign in the 1980s and early 1990s left over 35,000 Peruvians dead.
Terrorists in the region are becoming increasingly active in illicit transnational activities, including the drug trade, arms trafficking, money laundering, contraband smuggling, and document and currency fraud. The Western Hemisphere's lightly-defended "soft" targets—its tourism industry, large American expatriate communities, thriving aviation sector, and busy ports—as well as systemic disparities between countries in border security, legal and financial regulatory regimes, and the difficulty of maintaining an effective government presence in remote areas–represent targets and opportunities for domestic and foreign terrorists to exploit.
Although the threat of international terrorism in the Western Hemisphere remained relatively low during 2004 compared to other world regions, terrorists may seek safe-haven, financing, recruiting, illegal travel documentation, or access to the United States from the area and pose serious threats. International terrorists have not hesitated to make the Western Hemisphere a battleground to advance their causes. The attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States and the bombings of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and the Argentine-Jewish Cultural Center in 1994 are stark reminders of this. Americans have fallen victim to terrorists elsewhere in the region; since 1992, the FARC has murdered at least 10 US citizens and currently holds three US Government civilian contractors hostage.
Various countries participated in joint counterterrorism training and simulations during 2004, including "Panama 2004" in August and "Fuerzas Comando 2004" (El Salvador) in July. Many countries in the Western Hemisphere are also active participants in the Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG) meetings hosted by local US embassies. An initiative coming out of the US Government's chairmanship of CTAG in 2004, these meetings bring together local representatives of the G8, host government, and other regional governments to discuss counterterrorism capacity-building assistance. The countries of the hemisphere are also active in the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (Spanish acronym, CICTE). More information on the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE).can be found at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45322.pdf
Significant developments in specific countries and subregions:
Colombia suffered continued terrorist violence as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and other narcoterrorist groups conducted car bombings, kidnappings, and political murders, as well as targeted critical infrastructure (water, oil, gas, electricity) and transportation systems. Three Americans, whose plane made an emergency crash landing in southern Colombia on February 13, 2003, continue to be held hostage by the FARC.
At the time of the crash, the FARC murdered a fourth American and a Colombian soldier. Under President Uribe, the Colombian military, police, and intelligence forces continued successfully to disrupt the activities of Colombian terrorist groups. Acts of terrorism, homicides, massacres, and kidnappings dropped significantly in 2004, while the Colombian Government captured FARC leaders, including Nayibe Rojas Cabrera (aka "Sonia") and Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmera (aka "Simon Trinidad") who were extradited to the United States. Colombia demobilized thousands of AUC members, and continued aggressive coca and poppy eradication.
The United States continued strong cooperative relationships with Canada and Mexico on a range of counterterrorism issues, including border, aviation, maritime, and transportation security. In September 2004, Canada hosted a border symposium for the 34 OAS member states in Vancouver to demonstrate US-Canada cooperation on border security and encourage more active border security measures by CICTE members.
The primary focus in 2004 for many of the countries in the region was to strengthen capabilities to prevent or disrupt possible terrorist fundraising activity in their territories, and to bolster their ability to combat transnational crime, including activities that terrorists could undertake to support terrorism. In Central America, governments concentrated on strengthening intelligence collection and sharing capabilities, and on their ability to respond to terrorist threats and incidents. Efforts were made more difficult by widespread, unfounded media reports alleging formal links between transnational criminal gangs and Islamic extremists in the region.
The United States strengthened its cooperative dialogue with the "Three Plus One" partners Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, and provided advice and training support to El Salvador after Islamic terrorists threatened attacks to punish El Salvador's participation in the Coalition fighting to liberate Iraq. In the Caribbean, the US Government began a series of assessments requested by countries to determine ways to improve their counterterrorism regimes, and assisted countries to comply with new international norms for port security. Governments stepped up efforts to tighten border security and in general, vigilance against the development of Islamic extremism or other potential misuse of their territories, whether from within or from abroad.
Despite considerable political and economic instability in 2004, Bolivia continued to work closely with the US Government to combat terrorism both domestic and foreign. In late 2004, Bolivia's Financial Investigation Unit collaborated with the US Government to share information about possible terrorist-linked financial transactions and enhance the monitoring and enforcement of financial networks. The Bolivian Government established in 2004 a counterterrorism coordination unit in the Ministry of the Presidency, including elements of the Bolivian National Police and military, to develop national counterterrorism policy, manage terrorism-related information, and coordinate Bolivian Government agencies (military, police, diplomatic, intelligence) to address terrorist threats and activities. The Bolivian Government is an active participant in Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG) meetings.
Although no significant acts of international terrorism occurred in Bolivia in 2004, domestic terrorism related mainly to the drug trade continued to be a threat, though relatively less than in 2003. Bolivia remains vulnerable to terrorists seeking to exploit its porous borders, resource constraints, corruption, and lack of investigative expertise to disrupt recruiting and fundraising. Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Peru's Shining Path (SL, in Spanish) and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) have at times been identified in Bolivia; FARC and SL are US Government-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). More than 300 members of Shining Path and MRTA have been resettled in El Alto under United Nations auspices. Many maintain contacts in Peru and may have contributed to politically motivated violence in Bolivia. The widespread availability of explosives and miners skilled in detonation techniques has complicated Bolivia's counterterrorism efforts. On at least two occasions, domestic groups planned to attack the Congress with dynamite and small arms. Police acted quickly to quell the threats, although one distraught miner in March 2004 detonated charges inside the parliament, killing two policemen and himself, while injuring bystanders.
Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) member Francisco "Pacho" Cortes—arrested in 2003 on espionage and terrorism charges while attempting to create an ELN-Bolivia branch—remains in custody, but the presiding judge in the case has ruled Cortes eligible for bail. NGOs and Cortes'supporters are attempting to raise funds for his release. The Bolivian Government continues to hunt for organized crime head Marco Marino Diodato, who escaped from prison in early 2004. Diodato is suspected of orchestrating the fatal car bombing of Bolivian prosecutor Monica von Borries in mid-2004, and has reportedly made threats against members of the US Embassy and other Americans in Bolivia. Little progress was made in the investigation of the 2000 torture and murder of police officer David Andrade and his wife, and the suspects remain at large.
Bolivia maintained its policy of forced coca eradication in the Chapare growing region, despite continued threats of violence against Government eradicators there. Violence in the Chapare dropped off, however, after the Government and coca grower syndicates signed an accord in October 2004 allowing for a limited exception of 3,200 hectares to remain untouched for one year. At the same time, there were incidents of violence in the Yungas growing region, a lawless area of both legal and illegal coca cultivation. Coca growers dynamited USAID alternative development projects, threatened police and other government officials, and delayed construction of a police checkpoint.
Bolivia has signed the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the August 2003 Asuncion Declaration, in which several South American nations committed themselves to support the Colombian Government in its ongoing struggle against terrorism and drug trafficking.
The Canadian Government continued in 2004 to be a strong ally of the United States in the fight against international terrorism. Counterterrorism cooperation with Canada remains excellent. The Canadian Government has responded quickly to requests from the United States for assistance in areas ranging from information-sharing to disrupting terrorism activities.
Day-to-day cooperation between US and Canadian law enforcement agencies is close and continuous. Canada's 2001 Antiterrorism Act strengthened its ability to identify, deter, disable, prosecute, convict, and punish terrorist groups. It also provides investigative tools for Canadian law enforcement agencies, while providing substantial safeguards to privacy and due process. In December 2003, the Canadian Government established Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC), a counterpart of the US Department of Homeland Security, and gave it the mandate of protecting Canadians from criminals and terrorists.
Canada cooperates closely with the United States on investigations. There is a heavy volume of extradition requests between the two countries. Canadian privacy laws, limited resources, and criminal procedures limit a fuller and more timely exchange of information with the United States.
The diplomatic engagement between the United States and Canada on counterterrorism issues remains strong, maintained in long-standing bilateral fora. For over 15 years, the US-Canada Bilateral Consultative Group (BCG) has brought together government officials to develop ways to enhance cooperation on a broad range of counterterrorism issues, including technical research and development, terrorist designations, threat alerts, and cross-border crime. Canada plans to host the next round of the BCG in 2005.
On December 12, 2001, the United States and Canada signed the Smart Border Declaration, which sets forth a 30-point (later expanded to 32-point) action plan based on four pillars: the secure flow of people, the secure flow of goods, secure infrastructure, and coordination and in-formation-sharing in the enforcement of these objectives. Under the Smart Border Declaration, 15 Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETS) are coordinating US and Canadian efforts to disrupt cross-border criminal and potential terrorist activity. Canada and the United States cooperate on shared immigration issues through the Border Vision process, which began in 1997 and seeks to develop a joint regional approach to migration through information and intelligence sharing, policy coordination, joint overseas operations, and border cooperation.
Canada and the United States coordinate judicial efforts at the US-Canadian Cross-Border Crime Forum, which last met in Ottawa in October 2004 and has a sub-group on counterterrorism. Through the 1995 Shared Border Accord, Canada and the United States continue to streamline processes for legitimate travelers and commercial goods, provide enhanced protection against drug smuggling and the illegal entrance of people, and promote international trade. Canada was the first country to join the United States in developing the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to screen incoming container shipments, and Canada has been an active participant in the Proliferation Security Initiative.
Canada and the United States also work multilaterally, in fora such as in the G8's Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG) and the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), to build legal and financial counterterrorism capacity globally and to strengthen security at ports, airports, and land borders around the world. In September 2004, Canada hosted a border symposium, which brought representatives from the 34 OAS member states to Vancouver to view US-Canada cooperation on border security (land, air, and sea). Participants are expected to report on their border security programs to CICTE.
Canada implements terrorist finance listings in compliance with UN requirements and coordinates closely with the United States on plans to freeze assets. Efforts to counter terrorist financing include implementing the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1373, promoting the Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and actively participating in the G7, G8, and G20. Under Canadian law, all terrorist entities listed by the United Nations are automatically designated on a domestic basis within Canada as well. Although they are subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code of Canada, the law remains untested and no prosecutions have yet taken place.
Chile is a steadfast ally in the global war on terrorism. In 2004 Chile served as chair of the UN's al-Qa'ida and Taliban sanctions committee, and moved to address the potential threat from Islamic extremist fundraising in its free trade zone of Iquique. As host of the 2004 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Chile emphasized security and counterterrorism issues on the agenda.
There were no significant incidents of international terrorism in Chile in 2004, although various domestic groups firebombed a McDonald's restaurant and planted or detonated low-powered bombs outside banks, ATM machines, a subway, and in a restroom in the Brazilian consulate in Santiago. There were no injuries or deaths.
Chilean law enforcement agencies were consistently cooperative in investigating links to international terrorism, but, hampered by a restrictive law, the Investigative Police were unable to bring any investigation to prosecution. Chile has a 200-person designated counterterrorist force in the national uniformed police. In October 2004, a new National Intelligence Agency became fully operational as the coordinator of intelligence gathering for Chile. A number of Chilean Government entities and officials benefited from US-sponsored training during 2004, including the Chilean Air Force and law enforcement personnel at various levels.
Chile's money laundering statute covers terrorist financing and expands the Government's ability to freeze and seize assets, although the Government has yet to charge anyone under that law or to apply it against terrorist assets identified by other governments or international institutions. Chile launched in June 2004 its financial analysis unit (UAF) charged with investigating suspicious transactions. However, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled some of the UAF provisions to be unconstitutional. Efforts are underway to amend the laws to provide the UAF with greater investigative authority.
Colombia remained a steadfast ally of the United States in the fight against narcoterrorism in 2004. The Colombian Government, through bilateral, multilateral, military, and economic activities, continued to assist US Government counterterrorism efforts and to disrupt terrorist acts, block terrorist finances, and extradite terrorists to face justice in the United States.
The US Government has designated three Colombian armed groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs): the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). In February 2004, the US Government also designated the FARC and the AUC as significant foreign narcotics traffickers under the Kingpin Act. All three Colombian FTOs are primarily focused on domestic change in Colombia and on maintaining their own influence and viability but recently have been suspected of assisting violent groups in other countries such as Paraguay. In 2004, the three FTOs conducted car bombings, kidnappings, political murders, and the indiscriminate use of landmines. They also targeted critical infrastructure (water, oil, gas, electricity), public recreational areas, and modes of transportation.
Some examples in 2004 included the FARC's Christmas Eve kidnapping of seven people in Antioquia Department (Province) and New Year's Eve massacre of at least 17 people for suspected affiliation with the AUC; the FARC's bombing in May of a popular nightclub in Apartado, Antioquia, which killed five and injured almost 100; the suspected FARC bombing in August of Medellin's annual flower festival that injured approximately 38; the FARC's attempted mass kidnapping in February in a condominium complex in Neiva, Huila Department (one hostage was released two months later and three hostages remain in captivity); and the ELN's July kidnapping of the Bishop of Yopal, Casanare Department. Paramilitaries continued to displace forcibly civilians who resided along drug and weapons transit corridors or who were suspected of being guerrilla sympathizers. In late June, the AUC kidnapped former Senator Jose Eduardo Gnecco and his family. Both FARC and the ELN continued attacks against the country's infrastructure and oil pipelines, albeit at reduced levels. Many more attacks were thwarted nationwide by the Colombian Government's excellent intelligence and security work.
All three FTOs carried out attacks in and around major urban areas in Colombia, including at supermarkets, places of entertainment, and other areas frequented by US citizens and expatriates. Colombia's FTOs continued to threaten and target US citizens in 2004. Historically, American victims of kidnappings and murders have included journalists, missionaries, scientists, human rights workers, US Government employees, and business people, as well as tourists and family visitors, and even small children. On February 13, 2003, a plane carrying five crew members (four US citizens who were US Government defense contractors and one Colombian citizen) crashed in a remote section of Colombia. Two crew members (the Colombian and one of the Americans) were killed by the FARC and the remaining crew members were taken hostage. The FARC continues to hold captive the three US citizens. In the past four years, 30 American citizens have been reported kidnapped in Colombia.
President Uribe's Government has made significant progress in achieving the goals of his national security strategy: to regain control of national territory from Colombia's FTOs, promote desertion and reintegration of former illegal armed militants, and demobilize AUC blocs. Colombian statistics for 2004 indicate that acts of terrorism fell by 42 percent, homicides by 13.2 percent, massacres by 43.5 percent, and kidnappings by 42.4 percent. At least 20 mid-level FARC leaders and financiers and at least 11 paramilitary field commanders have been killed or captured.
Nayibe Rojas Cabrera (aka "Sonia"), who managed the finances and drug trafficking of the FARC's Southern Bloc, was captured in February 2004 and later extradited to the United States. In November, the Colombian Army killed FARC's Teofilo Forero Mobile Column Deputy and Operations Chief Humberto Valbuena (aka "Yerbas"), who had replaced Victor Hugo Navarro (aka "El Mocho") after he was killed by the Colombian Army in October 2003. On December 13, the Colombian Government arrested Rodrigo Granda Escobar, a reported FARC General Staff member, considered the FARC's "foreign minister." Nearly 7,000 insurgents and paramilitaries have been captured and more than 4,000 terrorists have deserted their FTOs. Approximately 1,100 extortionists and 400 kidnappers have been captured and 120 civilian hostages have been rescued. Government presence has been restored in all municipalities and internal displacement is down 50 percent.
The US-Colombian extradition relationship continues to be one of the most successful in the world; President Uribe's administration has extradited more than 180 individuals to the United States through the end of 2004. On December 31, the Colombian Government extradited senior FARC commander Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmera (aka "Simon Trinidad") to the United States on charges of kidnapping, providing material support to terrorists, and narcotics trafficking. The threat of extradition has been cited as a significant concern of the FARC, ELN, and AUC leaders.
The Colombian Government's peace process with the AUC, involving AUC demobilization, made substantial progress in 2004 with the removal of nearly 3,000 AUC paramilitaries from combat in November and December 2004. This effort should further reduce overall violence and atrocities, disrupt drug trafficking, and serve as a model for future peace processes with the FARC and ELN.
Although kidnappings have declined, Colombia still suffers from the world's highest kidnapping rate (over 1,500 in 2004). The US Government has provided $25 million to support the Colombian Government's Anti-Kidnapping Initiative, which trains and equips Colombian Army and Colombian National Police anti-kidnapping units (GAULAs); is developing an anti-kidnapping database to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on kidnappings; and has established a training facility near Bogota. US-trained GAULA units have rescued over 48 hostages, arrested over 200 hostage takers, and seized over $7 million paid as ransom money.
In September, Colombia's Constitutional Court struck down the 2003 Antiterrorism Bill (proposed by President Uribe) that would have allowed the Colombian Government to conduct wiretaps, search residences, and detain suspects more easily.
Colombia continued to cooperate internationally in the war against terror. On December 16, 2004, the Bogota Appeals Court reversed an earlier decision to acquit three IRA members of providing support to the FARC, sentenced them to 17 years in prison, levied heavy fines, and ordered their recapture. It is unclear, however, whether they are still in Colombia, having been released under conditional parole based on earlier acquittal. This case reportedly came from an exchange of information by Interpol in 2000 about a possible three-way link among the FARC, the IRA, and ETA. Less than a year later, Colombian authorities arrested the IRA members, who had been preparing to leave the country; one of the three was the official Sinn Fein representative to Havana. Even though the IRA-ETA link is well established, there is little indication that ETA has ever actively engaged with the FARC.
Counterterrorism cooperation has paid dividends for Colombia, as illustrated by Ecuador's capture and deportation to Colombia in January 2004 of "Simon Trinidad." Canada and the European Union have added the FARC, ELN, and AUC to their terrorist lists. Mexico closed the official FARC office there in April 2002. Colombia continued to take an active role in the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) to enhance hemispheric counterterrorism cooperation, information-sharing, and capacity-building. In August 2003, the Chiefs of State of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay signed the Asuncion Declaration supporting Colombia's struggle against terrorism and condemning terrorism and narcotic trafficking.
The use of areas along Colombia's porous border by the FARC, ELN, and AUC to find logistical support and rest, as well as to transship arms and drugs, poses a serious challenge to Colombia. Colombia seeks to cooperate with its neighbors to enhance border security. The situation on the Venezuelan side of the Colombian border, which all three Colombian FTO's exploit, is especially disconcerting. Even though the Colombian Government repeatedly made offers to Venezuela to enhance counterterrorism cooperation, the level and quality of cooperation from Venezuela has been very limited. This is despite the issuance by the Colombian Government of a strong statement condemning an alleged paramilitary plot against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in May 2004, and the release of prison records and criminal information on all individuals arrested.
Colombia continued to cooperate fully with the United States in blocking terrorist assets. The Colombian Financial Information and Analysis Unit collaborated with the US Government to close suspicious bank accounts. In August, the Colombian military, police, and investigative units produced an estimate of FARC finances. The Government plans to continue this research and expand it to include other terrorist groups in Colombia, which will assist in further developing strategies to cut off the FARC's financial resources. In September, US Secret Service and Colombian National Police seized $3.6 million counterfeit dollars from the FARC, which had planned to use them to purchase weapons and explosives. The Government also took steps to reorganize and streamline its Inter-Institutional Committee Against Subversive Finances.
Colombia made significant strides in combating narcotrafficking, the primary source of revenue for Colombia's terrorist organizations. Eradication programs targeting coca and opium poppies continued throughout the year with record results for the third straight year. Interdiction operations also resulted in record seizures this year.
The Ecuadorian Government continued in 2004 to support US efforts to combat terrorism. Ecuadorian security forces were receptive to US requests to investigate domestic terrorist incidents and assist with international terrorism investigations. Ecuador shared terrorism-related information with US counterparts. Ecuador's Banking Superintendency cooperated in requesting that Ecuadorian financial institutions report transactions involving known terrorists, as designated by the US Government or by the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee.
In 2004, the Ecuadorian Armed Forces (FFAA) and National Police (ENP) sustained an aggressive campaign to prevent Colombia's narcoterrorism from spreading to Ecuador, and in doing so, disrupted several Colombian narcoterrorist encampments in Ecuador. The FFAA in January and November conducted large-scale operations in Sucumbios province near the Colombian border, capturing several FARC members.
FFAA has reportedly tripled its force posture to approximately 8,000 soldiers along its northern border with Colombia. Since 2003, Ecuadorian armed forces have interdicted thousands of gallons of smuggled petroleum ether, a precursor used in Colombian cocaine laboratories. The US Government provides assistance to Ecuadorian security forces to enhance border security along its northern border with Colombia.
Although no significant international acts of terrorism occurred in Ecuador in 2004, Ecuadorian police suspect several groups of domestic subversion and probable involvement in a dozen pamphlet and incendiary bombs. Prime among the suspected groups is the "Popular Combatants Group" (GCP, in Spanish), which reportedly numbers roughly 200 and is an armed faction of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador.
Ecuador's porous borders, endemic corruption, and well-established illegal migrant networks may serve as attractive gateways for terrorists to exploit. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, continues to utilize Ecuador for resupply, rest, and recuperation. However, the FARC realizes that Ecuador is less hospitable than before. Limited law enforcement (especially prosecutorial capacity) and military resources limit Ecuador's counterterrorism capabilities.
High rates of migrant smuggling from Ecuador to the United States remain a concern. In response, the Ecuadorian Government operates a US Government-supported antismuggling police unit (COAC, in Spanish), which supplied information that led to the 2004 conviction in the United States of an Iranian smuggler, Mehrzade Arbade, whom the COAC had arrested in Ecuador in 2003. In December 2004, the Ecuadorian Government sought US Government assistance and technology to establish a comprehensive entry/exit control system. Ecuador's four international ports met International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) technical requirements in 2004.
Cooperation between Colombian and Ecuadorian police forces improved in 2004. On January 3, Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmera (aka "Simon Trinidad"), the most senior FARC official to be captured in decades, was detained by the ENP in Quito and deported to Colombia. Cooperation between the two countries continued to grow through the year, leading to a meeting of Colombian and Ecuadorian law enforcement in Pasto, Colombia, in December 2004.
The Ecuadorian Government has signed and submitted for ratification to its Congress the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism. In 2004, the Ecuadorian Government also submitted comprehensive anti-money laundering legislation that is moving through its legislature.
Mexico is a key ally of the United States in combating terrorism. The Mexican Government works closely with the US Government to enhance aviation, border, maritime, and transportation security; protect US citizens, businesses, and Government facilities and personnel in Mexico; secure critical infrastructure; and combat terrorism financing.
The Mexican and US Governments have participated in a range of bilateral fora that sought to address shared counterterrorism-related concerns, including the US-Mexico Border Partnership Action Plan, Senior Law Enforcement Plenary, the Bi-National Commission, and the Mexico-US Committee on Transborder Critical Infrastructure Protection. On the multilateral front, Mexico hosted the Special Summit of the Americas in Monterrey on January 12-13, 2004, during which issues of regional counterterrorism cooperation were advanced.
In 2004, Mexico continued to offer outstanding cooperation in improving border security. The United States and Mexico continued to follow through on implementation of the US-Mexico Border Partnership Action Plan, signed in March 2002 in Monterrey, to improve infrastructure at ports of entry, expedite legitimate travel, and increase security related to the movement of goods. The US Government has provided $25 million in support. Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border participated in a workshop on emergency responses to chemical incidents and terrorist attacks. Mexico's Plan Centinela, initiated in 2003, continued to integrate security efforts to manage issues along the northern and southern Mexican border, to protect infrastructure, and to enhance airport security.
The Mexican military continued to take steps to improve the capabilities of their counterterrorism forces with additional training and equipment. The Secretariat of the Navy increased security operations for passenger cruise ships and military vessels calling on Mexican ports. The Mexican Navy also established an offshore rapid response base for the protection of oil production infrastructure. Mexico has effectively undertaken implementation of International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) and related port security efforts.
A continuing issue of strategic concern in 2004 to US-Mexico counterterrorism efforts remained the existence and continued exploitation of smuggling channels traversing the US-Mexico border. Despite active and prolonged cooperation by the Mexican Government to address these smuggling routes, many smugglers have avoided prosecution. The Mexican Government continued in 2004 to step up efforts to address the flow of illegal migrants into Mexico, many of whom sought eventually to reach the United States. In October and November, a comprehensive operation targeting gangs and migrant smugglers began along Mexico's southern border that resulted in hundreds of arrests.
Panama is a stalwart supporter of the United States in the war on terror. As the custodian of key infrastructure astride a strategic location, Panama takes the threat of terror seriously, and is taking appropriate measures. There were no significant incidents of international terrorism in Panama in 2004.
Panama's immediate terrorism concern is incursions by Colombian narcoterrorists into Panama's remote Darien region. Following the murder of four Panamanians by narcoterrorists in 2003, Panama entered into a border security cooperation agreement with Colombia and strengthened police presence in Darien, and along the frontier. To confront challenges in the medium and longer term, Panama is taking other steps.
Panama's new antiterrorism legislation mandates severe penalties for a variety of activities in support of terrorists. Heavy caseloads, lack of expertise for complex international investigations, and extra-legal influence hinder the police and judicial system, however. Panama's security and anti-money laundering authorities have taken good advantage of US-provided training opportunities and equipment. The Government could bolster its already strong political will to combat terrorism by devoting more of its own resources to counterterrorism efforts.
Panama has increased the security of its key infrastructure and of the Panama Canal significantly. The Government has installed surveillance technology at critical points, such as the Bridge of the Americas and container ports. The Panama Canal Authority has improved its collection of information on ships that use the Canal and has modernized its incident management center. Panama has also strengthened the capabilities of its national security authorities to collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence. Anti-money laundering authorities are extremely cooperative in preventing terror financing through Panamanian institutions.
In 2004, Panama signed an agreement with the United States under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) that facilitates boarding procedures to search vessels suspected of carrying cargoes of proliferation concern. Panama also provided enhanced force protection for US warships transiting the Canal.
Shortly before leaving office in September 2004, President Moscoso pardoned four foreigners arrested in 2000 and jailed for illegal possession of explosives. The Government of Cuba alleged that the suspects were plotting to kill Fidel Castro, who was attending the Ibero-American summit in Panama, and sought their extradition. Panama refused, on grounds that they would not be accorded a fair trial in Cuba. Upon their release, the Cuban Government suspended diplomatic relations with Panama. Relations were later restored.
Panama has a significant Muslim population, augmented recently by an influx of South Asian immigrants, that has traditionally remained apolitical and focused on business interests centered around the Colon Free Trade Zone and provincial towns. While rumors persist of ties between Panama's Muslim community and terrorist groups in the Middle East, there has been no credible evidence to support such speculation. The Panamanian Government remains cognizant of the potential threat posed by immigrants from countries associated with Islamic extremism.
Peru remained a supporter of US counterterrorism efforts in 2004. Even though the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, or SL), a US Government-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), remains small and isolated, SL continues to pose a threat to US and Peruvian interests. SL conducted several deadly attacks in remote Peruvian areas in 2004. SL has a few hundred armed members concentrated in the coca-growing valleys where they reportedly are increasing their involvement in the drug trade, gaining more resources for terrorist activities. Lack of an effective Government presence in these areas has complicated efforts to disrupt SL activity. A purported SL leader threatened attacks against US and Peruvian coca eradication efforts in Huanaco Department (Province). Armed terrorist incidents fell to 40 in 2004 from 100 in 2003. Reports suggest that SL is trying to rebuild support in the universities where they exercised considerable influence in the 1980s. The Peruvian Government arrested 161 suspected SL members, including alleged key leader Gavino Mendoza. Peru successfully extradited from Spain suspected SL leader Adolfo Olaechea in 2003; his case will be tried in 2005.
The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) was significantly reduced in numbers in recent years, but it appears to be quietly trying to rebuild its membership. The MRTA has not conducted a significant terrorist attack since the December 1996 hostage siege at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, and posed a very limited threat in 2004. The Peruvian Communist Party (Patria Roja) has not engaged in terrorist acts but has been suspected of advocating violent confrontation with Peruvian security forces.
There is only limited evidence of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) or Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) operating inside Peru or working with SL. In January 2004, a FARC member and several Peruvians were arrested for arms trafficking in northern Peru. In 2004, Peru, Colombia, and Brazil signed a border security agreement to enhance cooperation to combat terrorism and arms trafficking.
President Toledo has pledged increased funding for security forces and social development projects in areas where SL and other terrorist groups operate. The Peruvian Congress approved the President's request to create a National Defense and Security Fund, totaling $40 million for 2005. The Peruvian Congress created a national security system designed to improve inter-governmental cooperation and strengthen prosecutors. The National Police (PNP) Directorate of Counterterrorism (DIRCOTE) is the primary Peruvian agency coordinating counterterrorism efforts, along with the Peruvian Army, which operates approximately 75 bases.
President Toledo has repeatedly extended a state of emergency, which suspends some civil liberties and gives the Armed Forces authority to maintain order, for successive periods of up to 60 days in parts of Peru's five departments where SL is believed still to have armed members. The Peruvian Government and civil society are working to implement the 2002 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal wounds from the terrorist conflict of the 1990s. President Toledo's Peace and Development Commissions, formed in 2002, continued to promote cooperation between police, military, and residents in the areas where SL and MRTA conflicts had been the greatest.
The Government continued to prosecute terrorist suspects aggressively. Peru's special antiterrorism court is retrying around 750 of the 1,900 overturned convictions, in conformance with the findings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), of SL and MRTA defendants who had been tried on Fujimori-era decree laws on terrorism. All the cases must be re-tried by January 2006 or the defendants will be released in accordance with Peruvian law. A retrial ("megatrial") of SL founder Abimael Guzman and 15 co-defendants began in November 2004. The retrial of 13 MRTA leaders, including its founder Victor Polay, together in another "megatrial" began in December 2004. Six SL members remain in various stages of trials and appeals for complicity in the March 2002 bombing near the US Embassy that killed ten people; two defendants were released for lack of evidence. A principal SL leader, Osman Morote, was acquitted of charges relating to a 1992 television station bombing, although three other SL members were convicted and sentenced. Morote continues to serve an 18-year sentence on a previous terrorism conviction and is one of the "megatrial" defendants.
In May 2004, the IACHR issued its decision in the case brought by Lori Berenson, a US citizen and convicted MRTA member, who claimed that the terrorism law enacted to deal with the overturned terrorist convictions still violated international due process of law. While the Court found against Peru on some claims, the Court did not invalidate Berenson's conviction or 20-year sentence.
Peru passed legislation in July 2004 to strengthen and expand the authorities of its financial intelligence unit (FIU). The new legislation included counterterrorist finance activities among the FIU's functions; greatly expanded the FIU's capacity to engage in joint investigations and information-sharing with foreign FIU's; enhanced the FIU's capacity to exchange information and pursue joint cases with other agencies of the Peruvian Government; and required that individuals and entities transporting more than $10,000 in currency or monetary instruments into or out of Peru file reports with Peruvian Customs. The US Government continued to provide assistance, including a technical advisor and funding for hardware and software, to help Peru fight money laundering and other financial crimes. All of Peru's major seaports achieved UN and private sector security certifications. The US Government supports a port security program in Peru that focuses on narcotrafficking but also counters terrorist threats and arms smuggling. Airport security in Peru has been enhanced with US assistance.
Peru has ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and signed the August 2003 Asuncion Declaration, by which several South American nations committed themselves to support the Colombian Government in its ongoing struggle against terrorism and drug trafficking. Peru has been an active participant in the United Nations and OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE).
Triborder Area (Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay)
The countries of the Triborder Area (TBA)—Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay—have long been concerned about the pervasiveness of transnational crime in the region where the three nations converge. In the early 1990s, the countries established a mechanism for addressing jointly arms and drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, document and currency fraud, money laundering, and the manufacture and movement of pirated goods. In 2002, at their invitation, the United States joined them in a consultative mechanism—the "Three Plus One" Group on Triborder Area Security—to strengthen the capabilities to fight cross-border crime and thwart money laundering and terrorist fundraising activities.
The United States remains concerned that Hizballah and HAMAS raise funds among the sizable Muslim communities in the region, and that the high incidence of illicit activity could tempt terrorist groups to seek to establish safe havens in this largely uncontrolled area. Persons suspected of ties to terrorist groups have been spotted in the TBA, but no operational activities of terrorism have been detected.
In December 2004, the United States hosted the fourth high-level meeting of the "Three Plus One," at which the partners exchanged views on measures taken and progress confronting the region's security challenges. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay agreed to develop guidelines for detecting and monitoring potentially illegal flights in the TBA, to exchange information on cargo flights, and to explore the feasibility of conducting joint patrols on Iguacu waterways. They also agreed to meet in 2005 to strengthen institutional ties among prosecutors, to consider integrated border and customs controls, to enhance cooperation among their financial analysis units, and to begin looking at charities to prevent their abuse of fundraising.
Brazil announced the creation of a Regional Intelligence Center in Foz do Iguacu, and Argentina and Paraguay committed to designate liaisons to it. The parties agreed to continue to work among themselves and with the United States to confront transnational crime and continue to deny the TBA to terrorists. Individually, the TBA countries maintained strong stances against international terrorism.
Argentina continued to cooperate with the United Nations, the OAS, its neighbors, and the United States on a number of counterterrorism initiatives. Argentine security forces have been especially vigilant in monitoring illicit activity and its potential links to Islamic radical groups in the TBA. There is no credible evidence that operational Islamic terrorist cells exist in Argentina. Argentina maintains a leading role in the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), established on Argentina's initiative in the 1990s.
There were no significant acts of international terrorism in Argentina in 2004. In November, small explosive devices set to detonate after hours at three foreign bank branches (one US) killed a security guard and injured a policeman. No group has claimed responsibility. In September, a three-judge panel acquitted all 22 Argentine defendants charged in connection with the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center, in which at least 85 persons were killed. The panel faulted the investigation of the original judge and prosecutors and called for an investigation of their handling of the case and trial.
An Argentine criminal court judge reconfirmed the validity of international arrest warrants against 12 Iranian nationals, including diplomats stationed in Buenos Aires in 1994, and one Lebanese official believed to head Hizballah's terrorist wing. There were no new developments in the investigation of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy, in which at least 29 persons were killed.
Draft legislation to criminalize terrorist financing introduced in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies in 2003 remained stalled through 2004. The draft provides penalties for violations of international conventions, including the UN's Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Argentina's lower legislative chamber will consider the new legislation once it ratifies the UN pact, as well as the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism.
Argentine executive branch officials and the Central Bank continued to be extremely cooperative in 2004, responding quickly and effectively to ensure that the assets of terrorist groups identified by the United States or the UN would be frozen if detected in Argentine financial institutions. New regulations require travelers to report the cross-border transport of currency in excess of $10,000, whether inbound or outbound and the country is establishing an automated entry/exit system at ports of entry.
Brazil continues to extend practical and effective support for US counterterrorism efforts on all fronts, including intelligence, law enforcement, and finance. There were no international terrorism incidents of significance in Brazil in 2004, and no credible evidence of the existence of operational terrorist cells. The United States remained concerned about the possible use of Brazilian territory for transit by terrorists using established illegal migrant smuggling groups or for fundraising for terrorist groups.
In May 2004, the Government of Brazil created a technical team from five key ministries and the Armed Forces to formulate a national policy to combat terrorism. The group's recommendations are intended as the basis of a bill to establish a national authority for combating terrorism. By the end of 2004, however, the administration of President Lula da Silva had yet to submit a bill to the legislature. Also awaiting legislative action were a bill introduced in 2003 aimed at preventing terrorist attacks on Brazil's cyber infrastructure and measures to update Brazil's money laundering law that dates back to 1978. There are no significant impediments to the prosecution or extradition of suspected terrorists by Brazil, although Brazil's legal procedures can be protracted.
Brazil is increasingly capable of monitoring domestic financial operations and effectively utilizes its Financial Activities Oversight Council (COAF, in Portuguese) to identify possible funding sources for terrorist groups. The United States recently provided assistance and training to COAF to upgrade its database and data collection mechanism. In January 2005, the Brazilian Federal Police will inaugurate a regional field office in Foz do Iguacu to coordinate its law enforcement efforts in the TBA.
Paraguay has cooperated in the global war against terrorism by actively supporting counterterrorism initiatives at the UN and the OAS. In December 2004, at the fourth meeting of the "Three Plus One", Paraguay offered to host a conference of TBA financial intelligence units in the first half of 2005.
In September 2004, Cecilia Cubas, the daughter of a former president of Paraguay, was abducted and subsequently murdered. The Paraguayan Government charged, credibly, that what appeared as a kidnap for profit gone awry was really the work of a radical leftist group with possible ties to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Paraguay remained vigilant throughout 2004 against extremists seeking to raise funds among Paraguay's Muslim community for terrorist activities outside Paraguay. There was no credible evidence of operational Islamic terrorist cells in Paraguay.
The executive branch's strong political will to combat terrorism notwithstanding, the Government remained hampered by weak or non-existent legislation and by limited law enforcement and intelligence capabilities. In particular, Paraguay lacks an antiterrorism law that would afford authorities the special powers needed to investigate and prosecute terrorism-related crimes. Lacking such a law, and adequate money laundering legislation, the Government is only able to prosecute suspected terrorist financiers for tax evasion or other crimes.
To address these deficiencies, the Government in 2004 prepared for consideration by the legislature draft legislation to strengthen Paraguay's anti-money laundering regime and an antiterrorism bill that would outlaw support for terrorists. Both need to be adopted by the legislature. These initiatives are key to Paraguay meeting its international counterterrorism obligations as set forth in UN Security Council Resolutions.
Despite the lack of specific antiterrorist statutes, Paraguay has actively prosecuted suspected terrorist fundraisers under other statutes. Hizballah fundraisers Sobhi Fayad and Ali Nizar Dahroug were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in November 2002 and August 2003, respectively, for tax evasion. A major accomplishment in 2004 was the successful prosecution and conviction in May of Hizballah fundraiser Assad Ahmad Barakat on charges of tax evasion, following his extradition from Brazil. He was sentenced to six and one-half years.
The Government is considering additional charges of bank fraud, pending concurrence by Brazil. (The terms of the Paraguay-Brazil extradition treaty prohibit prosecution of extradited suspects on charges other than those that were the basis for extradition.) Separately, in March Paraguay opened a case of tax evasion against a money exchange house and 46 individuals suspected of involvement in money laundering. In August, Paraguay brought charges of document fraud against Barakat's brother Hatem Barakat, also a suspected terrorist financier. Paraguay's anti-terrorist police Secretariat for the Prevention of International Terrorism (SEPRINTE) continued to provide excellent support in these and other investigations.
The Government of Uruguay cooperates fully with the United States and international institutions in the war on terrorism, but has not devoted great resources to the effort. There were no significant incidents of international terrorism in Uruguay in 2004.
Uruguayan banking and law enforcement agencies profess to search for financial assets, individuals, and groups with links to terrorism, but they have not discovered any terrorist assets in Uruguayan financial institutions, nor any terrorist operatives in Uruguay. The Government has occasionally assisted in monitoring the possibility of extremists raising funds for terrorist groups from Muslim communities in the Triborder area and along Uruguay's northern frontier with Brazil.
In September 2004, Uruguay approved legislation that significantly strengthened its anti-money laundering regime. It also signed the Asuncion Declaration in support of Colombia's efforts against terrorism and drug trafficking. Uruguay seconded personnel to the Executive Secretariat of the Organization of American States'Committee to Combat Terrorism (CICTE) and, as CICTE Chair, hosted the annual meeting in Montevideo in January 2004.
In 2004, Venezuelan-US counterterrorism cooperation continued to be inconsistent at best. Public recriminations against US counterterrorism policies by President Chavez and his close supporters overshadowed and detracted from the limited cooperation that exists among specialists and technicians of the two nations.
Venezuela continued in 2004 to be unwilling or unable to assert control over its 1,400-mile border with Colombia. Consequently, Colombia's three US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)—continued to regard Venezuelan territory near the border as a safe area to conduct cross-border incursions, transship arms and drugs, rest, and secure logistical supplies, as well as to commit kidnappings and extortion for profit. Weapons and ammunition—some from official Venezuelan stocks and facilities—continued flowing from Venezuelan suppliers and intermediaries into the hands of Colombia's FTOs. It is unclear to what extent and at what level the Venezuelan Government approves of or condones material support to Colombian terrorists. President Chavez's close ties to Cuba, a US-designated state sponsor of terrorism, continue to concern the US Government.
Current Venezuelan law does not specifically mention crimes of terrorism, although the UN Convention on Terrorist Bombings of 1997 and the UN Convention on Terrorism Financing of 1999 became law in Venezuela in July 2003. Venezuela neither maintains a foreign terrorist list nor designates groups as such. Venezuela signed the OAS Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism in June 2002 and ratified it in January 2004. Legislation considered throughout 2004—including the organized crime bill, anti-terrorism bill, and proposed changes to the penal code—defined terrorist activities, established punishments, facilitated investigation and prosecution, and froze the assets of terrorism financiers. However, other proposed changes to the penal code would undercut political freedoms. The law modifying the penal code passed in the Assembly on January 6, 2005, and is awaiting Chavez's signature.
President Chavez's stated ideological affinity with FARC and ELN—both US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)—further limited Venezuelan counterterrorism cooperation with Colombia, which in 2004 continued to receive less cooperation from Venezuela than from its other neighbors. Venezuelan and Colombian military and police cooperated on some terrorism and drug-related cases. Moreover, the September 17 murder of at least six Venezuelan National Guard members and a civilian engineer near the border with Colombia, reportedly by FARC forces, publicly upset Chavez and raised expectations that border policing would be stepped up with additional resources and political will.
However, President Chavez's and the Venezuelan Government's acerbic reaction to the December 13 detention of Rodrigo Granda Escobar, a reported FARC General Staff member who is considered the FARC's "foreign minister," complicated efforts to enhance Venezuelan-Colombian counterterrorism cooperation. Granda had reportedly been captured in Venezuela by bounty hunters, and then brought to Cucuta, Colombia (near the Venezuelan border), where he was detained by Colombian officials. President Chavez and the Venezuelan Government publicly accused the Colombian Government of infringing on Venezuela's sovereignty, suspended trade and business accords with Colombia, and recalled Venezuela's Ambassador to Colombia. President Chavez rejected Colombian President Uribe's offer to meet face-to-face to resolve the impasse and conditioned any meeting with Uribe—as well as the resumption of trade relations and return of Venezuela's Ambassador to Colombia—on Uribe's apologizing to Chavez and accepting responsibility for violating Venezuela's sovereignty. In early 2005, Chavez and Uribe resolved to move past this incident. However, future counterterrorism cooperation between Venezuela and Colombia remains uncertain.
Following the killing of prosecutor Danilo Anderson on November 18, 2004, President Chavez ordered Venezuela's National Defense Council to define an antiterrorism strategy to include tighter border and communications security. At President Chavez's instruction, the National Assembly formed a committee to develop an antiterrorism law, and the Supreme Court designated a group of judges to handle terrorism cases. Nevertheless, there are concerns within Venezuela, based on preliminary details of the antiterrorism law, that Chavez's recent attention to "terrorism" may be intended to target domestic opponents of his Government. An increasingly politicized judiciary and the recent appointment of Venezuelan Government supporters to fill the 12 new seats added to the Supreme Court (plus five vacancies) cast serious doubts on the judges'independence and impartiality.
Terrorist tactics were employed throughout 2004 by unidentified domestic groups attempting to influence the tenuous political situation, particularly in Caracas. A series of small bombs and threats throughout the year were in some cases blamed on supporters of President Chavez or on the Government's political opponents. The Venezuelan Government alleged in 2004 that exile groups and the US Government sought to overthrow or assassinate President Chavez, but offered no proof to support its claims. The Government claimed on May 8 that some 100 Colombian paramilitaries were training secretly near Caracas; those detained turned out to be unarmed Colombian agricultural workers.
Venezuela's limited document security, especially for citizenship, identity, and travel documents, makes it an attractive venue for persons involved in criminal activities, including terrorism. Venezuela could serve as a transit point for those seeking illegal entry into the United States, Europe, or other destinations.
Most examples of positive counterterrorism cooperation with the United States pre-date 2004. In the wake of 9/11, Venezuela supported the invocation of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance ("The Rio Treaty"), which calls for the collective self-defense of OAS member states in response to an attack on any member. Venezuela had provided limited cooperation to the US Government on counterterrorism and counterterrorist finance efforts, as well as US Government counternarcotics initiatives. In November 2002, a US Financial Systems Assessment Team (FSAT) visited Venezuela and met with Venezuelan Government officials to assess Venezuela's counterterrorism finance regime. Venezuelan officials have participated in various US Government counterterrorism finance courses, identified by the FSAT. The Venezuelan military has received anti-kidnapping training from the US military. Venezuela helped provide evidence that led to the indictment of FARC members for the 1999 murder of three American indigenous activists. Future counterterrorism cooperation with the United States remains uncertain, especially given President Chavez's and the Venezuelan Government's actions in 2004.
STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM
Iraq, as it transitioned to democracy, ceased to support terrorism and its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was rescinded in October 2004. Libya and Sudan took significant steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism in 2004. Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, however, continued to maintain their ties to terrorism. Although some countries in this latter group have taken steps to improve cooperation with global counterterrorism efforts in some areas, all have also continued the actions that led them to be designated as state sponsors.
State sponsors of terrorism impede the efforts of the United States and the international community to fight terrorism. These countries provide a critical foundation for terrorist groups. Without state sponsors, terrorist groups would have a much more difficult time obtaining the funds, weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations. Most worrisome is that these countries also have the capabilities to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and other destabilizing technologies that could fall into the hands of terrorists. The United States will continue to insist that these countries end the support they give to terrorist groups.
Throughout 2004, Cuba continued to actively oppose the US-led coalition prosecuting the global war on terrorism. Cuba continues to maintain at the UN and other fora that acts by legitimate national liberation movements cannot be defined as terrorism, and has sought to characterize as "legitimate national liberation movements" a number of groups that intentionally target innocent civilians to advance their political, religious, or social agendas. The Cuban Government claims, despite the absence of evidence, that it is a principal victim of terrorism sponsored by Cuban-Americans in the United States. The Cuban Government's actions and public statements run contrary to the spirit of the UN conventions on terrorism that it has signed.
In 2004, Cuba continued to provide limited support to designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, as well as safe haven for terrorists. The Cuban Government refuses to turn over suspected terrorists to countries that have charged them with terrorist acts, alleging that the receiving government would not provide a fair trial on charges that are "political." Havana permitted various ETA members to reside in Cuba, despite a November 2003 public request from the Spanish Government to deny them sanctuary, and provided safe haven and some degree of support to members of the Colombian FARC and ELN guerilla groups.
Many of the over seventy fugitives from US justice that have taken refuge on the island are accused of committing violent acts in the Unites States that targeted innocents in order to advance political causes. They include Joanne Chesimard, who is wanted for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973. On a few rare occasions the Cuban government has transferred fugitives to the United States, although it maintains that fugitives would not receive a fair trial in the United States.
Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2004. Its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups to use terrorism in pursuit of their goals.
Iran continued to be unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa'ida members it detained in 2003. Iran has refused to identify publicly these senior members in its custody on "security grounds." Iran has also resisted numerous calls to transfer custody of its al-Qa'ida detainees to their countries of origin or third countries for interrogation and/or trial. Iranian judiciary officials claimed to have tried and convicted some Iranian supporters of al-Qa'ida during 2004, but refused to provide details. Iran also continued to fail to control the activities of some al Qa'ida members who fled to Iran following the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
During 2004, Iran maintained a high-profile role in encouraging anti-Israeli terrorist activity, both rhetorically and operationally. Supreme Leader Khamenei praised Palestinian terrorist operations, and Iran provided Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups—notably HAMAS, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command—with funding, safe haven, training, and weapons. Iran provided an unmanned aerial vehicle that Lebanese Hizballah sent into Israeli airspace on November 7, 2004.
Iran pursued a variety of policies in Iraq during 2004, some of which appeared to be inconsistent with Iran's stated objectives regarding stability in Iraq as well as those of the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) and the Coalition. Senior IIG officials have publicly expressed concern over Iranian interference in Iraq, and there were reports that Iran provided funding, safe transit, and arms to insurgent elements, including Muqtada al-Sadr's forces.
Following Libya's December 19, 2003, announcement that it would eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and non-Missile Technology Control Regime class missiles, the United States, the United Kingdom, and relevant international agencies worked with Libya to eliminate these weapons in a transparent and verifiable manner. In recognition of Libya's actions, the United States and Libya began the process of improving diplomatic relations. On February 26, the United States lifted its restriction on the use of US passports for travel to Libya and eased some economic sanctions. On April 23, the United States eased more sanctions and terminated the applicability of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act provisions to Libya. On June 28, the United States reestablished direct diplomatic relations with Libya by upgrading its Interests Section to a US Liaison Office. On September 20, the President terminated the state of emergency declared in 1986 and revoked the related executive orders. This rescinded the remaining economic sanctions against Libya under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
Libya remains designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and is still subject to the related sanctions. In 2004, Libya held to its practice in recent years of curtailing support for international terrorism, although there are outstanding questions over its residual contacts with some past terrorist clients. Libya has provided cooperation in the global war on terrorism, and Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi continued his efforts to identify Libya with the international community in the war on terrorism. Prior to the January 30, 2005, elections in Iraq, senior Libyan officials made statements that defended insurgent attacks on US and Coalition forces; following strong US protests, Libya encouraged Iraqi participation in the elections, indicating its intent to recognize the upcoming Transitional Iraqi Government, and support reciprocal diplomatic missions with Iraq.
Following Libya's steps to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and the September 20 revocation of US economic sanctions related to the national emergency, Libya authorized a second payment of $4 million per family to the families of the 270 victims of the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. This payment was part of a deal concluded in 2003 between Libya and the families in which Libya agreed to pay $10 million per family, or $2.7 billion, contingent upon the lifting of UN and US sanctions and removal of Libya from the state sponsors of terrorism list. By year's end, UN and US sanctions were lifted and the families had received a total of $8 million each, even though Libya remained designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. A remaining $2 million per family remained in a third-country escrow account, pending Libya's removal from the terrorism list.
Libya resolved two other outstanding international disputes stemming from terrorist attacks that Libya conducted during the 1980s. In January, the Qadhafi Foundation agreed to pay $170 million to the non-US families of victims of the 1989 bombing of a French UTA passenger aircraft. Separate cases for compensation filed by US victims'families are still pending in the US courts. In 2001, a German court issued a written opinion finding that the Libyan intelligence service had orchestrated the 1986 bombing of the La Belle nightclub in Berlin, in which two US servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed and 229 people were injured.
The Court convicted four individuals for carrying out the attack. In August, the Qadhafi Foundation agreed to pay $35 million to compensate non-US victims of the La Belle attack. In reaching the agreement to pay compensation, Libya stressed that it was not acknowledging responsibility for the attack, but was making a humanitarian gesture. The families of the US victims are pursuing separate legal cases, and Libyan officials publicly called for compensation for their own victims of the 1986 US air strikes in Libya.
In October, Libya was instrumental in the handover of Amari Saifi, also known as Abderrazak al-Para, the number two figure in the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), to Algeria. Al-Para, responsible for the kidnapping of 32 Western tourists in Algeria in 2003, had been held by a Chadian rebel group, the Movement for Democracy and Justice, for several months. In August, Abdulrahman Alamoudi pled guilty to one count of unlicensed travel and commerce with Libya. Alamoudi stated that he had been part of a 2003 plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at the behest of Libyan officials. The United States expressed its serious concerns about these allegations and continues to evaluate Libya's December 2003 assurances to halt all use of violence for political purposes.
In December 2004, the US designated the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987.
At a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi in Pyongyang in September 2002, National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il acknowledged the involvement of DPRK "special institutions" in the kidnapping of Japanese citizens and said that those responsible had already been punished. Pyongyang in 2003 allowed the return to Japan of five surviving abductees, and in 2004 of eight family members, mostly children, of those abductees.
Questions about the fate of other abductees remain the subject of ongoing negotiations between Japan and the DPRK. In November, the DPRK returned to Japan what it identified as the remains of two Japanese abductees whom the North had reported as having died in North Korea. Subsequent DNA testing in Japan indicated that the remains were not those of Megumi Yokota or Kaoru Matsuki, as Pyongyang had claimed, and the issue remained contentious at year's end. Four Japanese Red Army members remain in the DPRK following their involvement in a jet hijacking in 1970; five of their family members returned to Japan in 2004.
Although it is a party to six international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, Pyongyang has not taken substantial steps to cooperate in efforts to combat international terrorism.
In 2004, despite serious strains in US-Sudanese relations regarding the ongoing violence in Darfur, US-Sudanese counterterrorism cooperation continued to improve. While Sudan's overall cooperation and information sharing improved markedly and produced significant progress in combating terrorist activity, areas of concern remain. In May, the US Government certified to Congress a list of countries not fully cooperating in US antiterrorism efforts. For the first time in many years, this list did not include Sudan.
Sudan increased cooperation with Ugandan authorities to diminish the capabilities of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan group which has terrorized civilians in northern Uganda and has claimed that it wants to over-throw the current Ugandan Government. The Ugandan military, with Sudanese Government cooperation, inflicted a series of defeats on the LRA at its hideouts in southern Sudan, forcing its leaders to flee into Uganda and engage in peace talks with the Ugandan Government.
Domestically, the Government of Sudan stepped up efforts to disrupt extremist activities and deter terrorists from operating in Sudan. In March 2004, a new HAMAS representative arrived in Khartoum. According to some press reports, he was received by Sudanese officials in an official capacity. In response to ongoing US concern, the Sudanese Government closed a HAMAS office in Khartoum in September.
In August, Sudanese authorities arrested, prosecuted, and convicted Eritreans who had hijacked a Libyan aircraft and forced it to land in Khartoum. In October, the United States designated the Khartoum-based NGO Islamic African Relief Agency as a supporter of terrorism under EO 13224 for its support of Usama bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida.
The Sudanese Government also took steps in 2004 to strengthen its legislative and bureaucratic instruments for fighting terrorism. In January, Sudan co-hosted a three-day workshop on international cooperation on counterterrorism and the fight against transnational organized crime with the United Nations Office of Drug Control. Neighboring countries from the Horn of Africa and member states of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) attended the workshop, which culminated in the "Khartoum Declaration on Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime," in which IGAD member states reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against terrorism. The Khartoum Declaration also focused on the technical assistance needs of the IGAD member states with regard to implementing the 12 international conventions and protocols against terrorism.
The Syrian Government in 2004 continued to provide political and material support to both Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups. HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), among others, continue to operate from Syria, although they have lowered their public profiles since May 2003, when Damascus announced that the groups had voluntarily closed their offices.
Many of these Palestinian groups, in statements originating from both inside and outside of Syria, claimed responsibility for anti-Israeli terrorist attacks in 2004. The Syrian Government insists that these Damascus-based offices undertake only political and informational activities. Syria also continued to permit Iran to use Damascus as a transshipment point for resupplying Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon.
Syrian officials have publicly condemned international terrorism, but make a distinction between terrorism and what they consider to be the legitimate armed resistance of Palestinians in the occupied territories and of Lebanese Hizballah. The Syrian Government has not been implicated directly in an act of terrorism since 1986, although Israeli officials accused Syria of being indirectly involved in the August 31, 2004, Beersheva bus bombings that left 16 dead.
Damascus has cooperated with the United States and other foreign governments against al-Qa'ida and other terrorist organizations and individuals; it also has discouraged signs of public support for al-Qa'ida, including in the media and at mosques.
In September 2004, Syria hosted border security discussions with the Iraqis and took a number of measures to improve the physical security of the border and establish security cooperation mechanisms. Although these and other efforts by the Syrian Government have been partly successful, more must be done in order to prevent the use of Syrian territory by those individuals and groups supporting the insurgency in Iraq.
FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS
Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f, which requires the Department of State to provide an annual report to Congress on terrorism, requires the report to include, inter alia, information on terrorist groups and umbrella groups under which any terrorist group falls, known to be responsible for the kidnapping or death of any US citizen during the preceding five years; groups known to be financed by state sponsors of terrorism about which Congress was notified during the past year in accordance with Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act; and any other known international terrorist group that the Secretary of State determined should be the subject of the report. The list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) below is followed by a list of other selected terrorist groups also deemed of relevance in the global war on terrorism.
a.k.a. Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri Revolutionary Organization 17 November
17 November is a radical leftist group established in 1975 and named for the student uprising in Greece in November 1973 that protested the ruling military junta. 17 November is an anti-Greek establishment, anti-United States, anti-Turkey, and anti-NATO group that seeks the ouster of US bases from Greece, the removal of Turkish military forces from Cyprus, and the severing of Greece's ties to NATO and the European Union (EU).
Initial attacks were assassinations of senior US officials and Greek public figures. They began using bombings in the 1980s. Since 1990, 17 November has expanded its targets to include EU facilities and foreign firms investing in Greece and has added improvised rocket attacks to its methods. It supported itself largely through bank robberies. A failed 17 November bombing attempt in June 2002 at the Port of Piraeus in Athens, coupled with robust detective work, led to the arrest of 19 members—the first 17 November operatives ever arrested. In December 2003, a Greek court convicted 15 members—five of whom were given multiple life terms—of hundreds of crimes. Four other alleged members were acquitted for lack of evidence. In September 2004, several jailed members serving life sentences began hunger strikes to attain better prison conditions.
Unknown but presumed to be small.
Location/Area of Operation
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
a.k.a. Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims
The ANO international terrorist organization was founded by Sabri al-Banna (a.k.a. Abu Nidal) after splitting from the PLO in 1974. The group's previous known structure consisted of various functional committees, including political, military, and financial. In November 2002 Abu Nidal died in Baghdad; the new leadership of the organization remains unclear.
The ANO 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 1985, the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi in 1986, and the City of Poros day-excursion ship attack in Greece in 1988. The ANO is suspected of assassinating PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief Abu Hul in Tunis in 1991. The ANO assassinated a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in 1994 and has been linked to the killing of the PLO representative there. The group has not staged a major attack against Western targets since the late 1980s.
Few hundred plus limited overseas support structure.
Location/Area of Operation
Al-Banna relocated to Iraq in December 1998 where the group maintained a presence until Operation Iraqi Freedom, but its current status in country is unknown. Known members have an operational presence in Lebanon, including in several Palestinian refugee camps. Authorities shut down the ANO's operations in Libya and Egypt in 1999. The group has demonstrated the ability to operate over a wide area, including the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. However, financial problems and internal disorganization have greatly reduced the group's activities and its ability to maintain cohesive terrorist capability.
The ANO received considerable support, including safe haven, training, logistical assistance, and financial aid from Iraq, Libya, and Syria (until 1987), in addition to close support for selected operations.
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
The ASG is primarily a small, violent Muslim terrorist group operating in the southern Philippines. Some ASG leaders allegedly fought in Afghanistan during the Soviet war and are students and proponents of radical Islamic teachings. The group split from the much larger Moro National Liberation Front in the early 1990s under the leadership of Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, who was killed in a clash with Philippine police in December 1998. His younger brother, Khadaffy Janjalani, replaced him as the nominal leader of the group and appears to have consolidated power.
The ASG engages in kidnappings for ransom, bombings, beheadings, assassinations, and extortion. The group's stated goal is to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago (areas in the southern Philippines heavily populated by Muslims) but the ASG has primarily used terror for financial profit. Recent bombings may herald a return to a more radical, politicized agenda, at least among certain factions. The group's first large-scale action was a raid on the town of Ipil in Mindanao in April 1995. In April of 2000, an ASG faction kidnapped 21 persons, including 10 Western tourists, from a resort in Malaysia. On May 27, 2001, the ASG kidnapped three US citizens and 17 Filipinos from a tourist resort in Palawan, Philippines. Several of the hostages, including US citizen Guillermo Sobero, were murdered. During a Philippine military hostage rescue operation on June 7, 2002, US hostage Gracia Burnham was rescued, but her husband Martin Burnham and Filipina Deborah Yap were killed. Philippine authorities say that the ASG had a role in the bombing near a Philippine military base in Zamboanga in October 2002 that killed a US serviceman. In February 2004, Khadaffy Janjalani's faction bombed SuperFerry 14 in Manila Bay, killing approximately 132, and in March, Philippine authorities arrested an ASG cell whose bombing targets included the US Embassy in Manila.
Estimated to have 200 to 500 members.
Location/Area of Operation
The ASG was founded in Basilan Province and operates there and in the neighboring provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the Sulu Archipelago. The group also operates on the Zamboanga peninsula, and members occasionally travel to Manila. In mid-2003, the group started operating in the major city of Cotobato and on the coast of Sultan Kudarat on Mindanao. The group expanded its operational reach to Malaysia in 2000 when it abducted foreigners from a tourist resort.
Largely self-financing through ransom and extortion; has received support from Islamic extremists in the Middle East and may receive support from regional terrorist groups. Libya publicly paid millions of dollars for the release of the foreign hostages seized from Malaysia in 2000.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (al-Aqsa)
a.k.a. al-Aqsa Martyrs Battalion
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade consists of an unknown number of small cells of terrorists associated with the Palestinian Fatah organization. Al-Aqsa emerged at the outset of the 2000 Palestinian intifadah to attack Israeli targets with the aim of driving the Israeli military and settlers from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem, and to establish a Palestinian state.
Al-Aqsa has carried out shootings and suicide operations against Israeli civilians and military personnel in Israel and the Palestinian territories, rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip, and the killing of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. Al-Aqsa has killed a number of US citizens, the majority of them dual US-Israeli citizens, in its attacks. In January 2002, al-Aqsa was the first Palestinian terrorist group to use a female suicide bomber.
Location/Area of Operation
Al-Aqsa operates in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip, and has only claimed attacks inside these three areas. It may have followers in Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon.
In the last year, numerous public accusations suggest Iran and Hizballah are providing support to al-Aqsa elements, but the extent of external influence on al-Aqsa as a whole is not clear.
Ansar al-Islam (AI)
a.k.a. Ansar al-Sunnah Partisans of Islam, Helpers of Islam, Kurdish Taliban
Ansar al-Islam (AI) is a radical Islamist group of Iraqi Kurds and Arabs who have vowed to establish an independent Islamic state in Iraq. The group was formed in December 2001. In the fall of 2003, a statement was issued calling all jihadists in Iraq to unite under the name Ansar al-Sunnah (AS). Since that time, it is likely that AI has posted all claims of attack under the name AS.
AI is closely allied with al-Qa'ida and Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's group, Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (QJBR) in Iraq. Some members of AI trained in al-Qa'ida camps in Afghanistan, and the group provided safe haven to al-Qa'ida fighters before Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Since OIF, AI has become one of the leading groups engaged in anti-Coalition attacks in Iraq and has developed a robust propaganda campaign.
AI continues to conduct attacks against Coalition forces, Iraqi Government officials and security forces, and ethnic Iraqi groups and political parties. AI members have been implicated in assassinations and assassination attempts against Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) officials and Coalition forces, and also work closely with both al-Qa'ida operatives and associates in QJBR. AI has also claimed responsibility for many high profile attacks, including the simultaneous suicide bombings of the PUK and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) party offices in Ibril on February 1, 2004, and the bombing of the US military dining facility in Mosul on December 21, 2004.
Approximately 500 to 1,000 members.
Location/Area of Operation
Primarily central and northern Iraq.
The group receives funding, training, equipment, and combat support from al-Qa'ida, QJBR, and other international jihadist backers throughout the world. AI also has operational and logistic support cells in Europe.
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
An Islamist extremist group, the GIA aims to overthrow the Algerian regime and replace it with a fundamentalist Islamic state. The GIA began its violent activity in 1992 after the military government suspended legislative elections in anticipation of an overwhelming victory by the Islamic Salvation Front, the largest Islamic opposition party.
The GIA has engaged in attacks against civilians and government workers. Starting in 1992, the GIA conducted a terrorist campaign of civilian massacres, sometimes wiping out entire villages in its area of operation, and killing tens of thousands of Algerians. GIA's brutal attacks on civilians alienated them from the Algerian populace. Since announcing its campaign against foreigners living in Algeria in 1992, the GIA has killed more than 100 expatriate men and women, mostly Europeans, in the country. Many of the GIA's members have joined other Islamist groups or been killed or captured by the Algerian Government. The GIA's most recent significant attacks were in August, 2001.
Precise numbers are unknown, but probably fewer than 100.
Location/Area of Operation
Algeria, Sahel (i.e. northern Mali, northern Mauritania, and northern Niger), and Europe.
The GIA has members in Europe that provide funding.
Asbat al-Ansar, the League of the Followers or Partisans'League, is a Lebanon-based Sunni extremist group, composed primarily of Palestinians with links to Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qa'ida organization and other Sunni extremist groups. The group follows an extremist interpretation of Islam that justifies violence against civilian targets to achieve political ends. Some of the group's goals include overthrowing the Lebanese Government and thwarting perceived anti-Islamic and pro-Western influences in the country.
Asbat al-Ansar has carried out multiple terrorist attacks in Lebanon since it first emerged in the early 1990s. The group assassinated Lebanese religious leaders and bombed nightclubs, theaters, and liquor stores in the mid1990s. The group raised its operational profile in 2000 with two attacks against Lebanese and international targets. It was involved in clashes in northern Lebanon in December 1999 and carried out a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the Russian Embassy in Beirut in January 2000. Asbat al-Ansar's leader, Abu Muhjin, remains at large despite being sentenced to death in absentia for the 1994 murder of a Muslim cleric.
Suspected Asbat al-Ansar elements were responsible for an attempt in April 2003 to use a car bomb against a McDonald's in a Beirut suburb. By October, Lebanese security forces arrested Ibn al-Shahid, who is believed to be associated with Asbat al-Ansar, and charged him with masterminding the bombing of three fast food restaurants in 2002 and the attempted attack on a McDonald's in 2003. Asbat forces were involved in other violence in Lebanon in 2003, including clashes with members of Yassir Arafat's Fatah movement in the 'Ayn al-Hilwah refugee camp and a rocket attack in June on the Future TV building in Beirut.
In 2004, no successful terrorist attacks were attributed to Asbat al-Ansar. However, in September, operatives with links to the group were believed to be involved in a planned terrorist operation targeting the Italian Embassy, the Ukrainian Consulate General, and Lebanese Government offices. The plot, which reportedly also involved other Lebanese Sunni extremists, was thwarted by Italian, Lebanese, and Syrian security agencies. In 2004, Asbat al-Ansar remained vocal in its condemnation of the United States'presence in Iraq, and in April the group urged Iraqi insurgents to kill US and other hostages to avenge the death of HAMAS leaders Abdul Aziz Rantisi and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In October, Mahir al-Sa'di, a member of Asbat al-Ansar, was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for plotting to assassinate former US Ambassador to Lebanon David Satterfield in 2000. Until his death in March 2003, al-Sa'di worked in cooperation with Abu Muhammad al-Masri, the head of al-Qa'ida at the 'Ayn al-Hilwah refugee camp, where fighting has occurred between Asbat al-Ansar and Fatah elements.
The group commands about 300 fighters in Lebanon.
Location/Area of Operation
The group's primary base of operations is the 'Ayn al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon in southern Lebanon.
Probably receives money through international Sunni extremist networks and possibly Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qa'ida network.
Aum Shinrikyo (Aum)
a.k.a. Aum Supreme Truth, Aleph
A cult established in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, the Aum aimed 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 the 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 it. A 1999 law continues to give the Japanese Government authorization to maintain police surveillance of the group due to concerns that the Aum might launch future terrorist attacks. Under the leadership of Fumihiro Joyu, the Aum changed its name to Aleph in January 2000 and tried to distance itself from the violent and apocalyptic teachings of its founder. However, in late 2003, Joyu stepped down, pressured by members who wanted to return fully to the worship of Asahara.
On March 20, 1995, Aum members simultaneously released the chemical nerve agent sarin on several Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 persons and injuring up to 1,500. The group was responsible for other mysterious events involving 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 authorities sentenced him in February 2004 to death for his role in the attacks of 1995. Since 1997, the cult has continued to recruit new members, engage in commercial enterprise, and acquire property, although it scaled back these activities significantly in 2001 in response to public outcry. In July 2001, Russian authorities arrested a group of Russian Aum followers who had planned to set off bombs near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as part of an operation to free Asahara from jail and smuggle him to Russia.
The Aum's current membership in Japan is estimated to be about 1,650 persons. At the time of the Tokyo subway attack, the group claimed to have 9,000 members in Japan and as many as 40,000 worldwide.
Location/Area of Operation
The Aum's principal membership is located in Japan, but a residual branch comprising about 300 followers has surfaced in Russia.
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
a.k.a. Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna, Batasuna
ETA was founded in 1959 with the aim of establishing an independent homeland based on Marxist principles and encompassing the Spanish Basque provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, and Alava, as well as the autonomous region of Navarra and the southwestern French Departments of Labourd, Basse-Navarra, and Soule. Spanish and French counterterrorism initiatives since 2000 have hampered the group's operational capabilities. Spanish police arrested scores of ETA members and accomplices in Spain in 2004, and dozens were apprehended in France, including two key group leaders. These arrests included the capture in October of two key ETA leaders in southwestern France. ETA's political wing, Batasuna, remains banned in Spain. Spanish and French prisons are estimated to hold over 700 ETA members.
Primarily involved in bombings and assassinations of Spanish Government officials, security and military forces, politicians, and judicial figures, but has also targeted journalists and tourist areas. Security service scrutiny and a public outcry after the Islamic extremist train bombing on March 11, 2004, in Madrid limited ETA's capabilities and willingness to inflict casualties. ETA conducted no fatal attacks in 2004, but did mount several low-level bombings in Spanish tourist areas during the summer and 11 bombings in early December, each preceded by a warning call. The group has killed more than 850 persons and injured hundreds of others since it began lethal attacks in the 1960s. ETA finances its activities primarily through extortion and robbery.
Unknown; 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 attacked Spanish and French interests elsewhere.
Has received training at various times in the past in Libya, Lebanon, and Nicaragua. Some ETA members allegedly fled to Cuba and Mexico while others reside in South America. ETA members have operated and been arrested in other European countries, including Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany.
Communist Party of Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA)
The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA is a Maoist group formed in March 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the Government through protracted guerrilla warfare. The chairman of the CPP's Central Committee and the NPA's founder, Jose Maria Sison, reportedly directs CPP and NPA activity from The Netherlands, where he lives in self-imposed exile. Fellow Central Committee member and director of the CPP's overt political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), Luis Jalandoni also lives in The Netherlands and has become a Dutch citizen. Although primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA has an active urban infrastructure to support its terrorist activities and uses city-based assassination squads. The rebels have claimed that the FTO designation has made it difficult to obtain foreign funding and forced them to step up extortion of businesses and politicians in the Philippines.
The NPA primarily targets Philippine security forces, politicians, judges, government informers, former rebels who wish to leave the NPA, rival splinter groups, alleged criminals, Philippine infrastructure, and businesses that refuse to pay extortion, or "revolutionary taxes." The NPA opposes any US military presence in the Philippines and attacked US military interests, killing several US service personnel, before the US base closures in 1992. Press reports in 1999 and in late 2001 indicated the NPA was again targeting US troops participating in joint military exercises, as well as US Embassy personnel. The NPA has claimed responsibility for the assassination of two congressmen from Quezon in May 2001 and Cagayan in June 2001 and for many other killings. In January 2002, the NPA publicly expressed its intent to target US personnel if discovered in NPA operating areas.
Estimated at less than 9,000, a number significantly lower than its peak strength of around 25,000 in the 1980s.
Location/Area of Operations
Operates in rural Luzon, Visayas, and parts of Mindanao. Has cells in Manila and other metropolitan centers.
Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
a.k.a. Continuity Army Council, Republican Sinn Fein
CIRA is a terrorist splinter group formed in the mid 1990s as the clandestine armed wing of Republican Sinn Fein, which split from Sinn Fein in 1986. "Continuity" refers to the group's belief that it is carrying on the original Irish Republican Army's (IRA) goal of forcing the British out of Northern Ireland. CIRA's aliases, Continuity Army Council and Republican Sinn Fein, were also designated as FTOs. CIRA cooperates with the larger Real IRA.
CIRA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland, where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include British military, Northern Ireland security forces, and Loyalist paramilitary groups. Unlike the Provisional IRA, CIRA is not observing a cease-fire. CIRA has continued its activities with a series of hoax bomb threats, low-level improvised explosive device attacks, kidnapping, intimidation, and socalled "punishment beatings."
Membership is small, with possibly fewer than 50 hardcore activists. Police counterterrorist operations have reduced the group's strength, but CIRA continues to recruit, train, and plan operations.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic. Does not have an established presence in Great Britain.
Suspected of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers in the United States. May have acquired arms and materiel from the Balkans in cooperation with the Real IRA.
Gama'a al-Islamiyya (IG)
a.k.a. Islamic Group, al-Gama'at
The IG, Egypt's largest militant group, has been active since the late 1970s, and is a loosely organized network. It has an external wing with supporters in several countries. The group's issuance of a cease-fire in 1997 led to a split into two factions: one, led by Mustafa Hamza, supported the cease-fire; the other, led by Rifa'i Taha Musa, called for a return to armed operations. The IG issued another cease-fire in March 1999, but its spiritual leader, Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, sentenced to life in prison in January 1996 for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and incarcerated in the United States, rescinded his support for the cease-fire in June 2000. IG has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since the Luxor attack in 1997, which killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians and wounded dozens more. In February 1998, a senior member signed Usama Bin Ladin's fatwa calling for attacks against the United States.
In early 2001, Taha Musa published a book in which he attempted to justify terrorist attacks that would cause mass casualties. Taha Musa disappeared several months thereafter, and there is no information as to his current whereabouts. In March 2002, members of the group's historic leadership in Egypt declared use of violence misguided and renounced its future use, prompting denunciations by much of the leadership abroad. The Egyptian Government continues to release IG members from prison, including approximately 900 in 2003; likewise, most of the 700 persons released in 2004 at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were IG members.
For IG members still dedicated to violent jihad, their primary goal is to overthrow the Egyptian Government and replace it with an Islamic state. Disaffected IG members, such as those inspired by Taha Musa or Abd al-Rahman, may be interested in carrying out attacks against US interests.
IG conducted armed attacks against Egyptian security and other Government officials, Coptic Christians, and Egyptian opponents of Islamic extremism before the cease-fire. After the 1997 cease-fire, the faction led by Taha Musa launched attacks on tourists in Egypt, most notably the attack in November 1997 at Luxor. IG also claimed responsibility for the attempt in June 1995 to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Unknown. At its peak IG probably commanded several thousand hard-core members and a like number of sympathizers. The 1999 cease-fire, security crackdowns following the attack in Luxor in 1997 and, more recently, security efforts following September 11 probably have resulted in a substantial decrease in the group's numbers.
Location/Area of Operation
Operates mainly in the al-Minya, Asyut, Qina, and Sohaj 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 in the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Yemen, and various locations in Europe.
Unknown. There is some evidence that Usama bin Ladin and Afghan militant groups support the organization. IG also may obtain some funding through various Islamic non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
a.k.a. Islamic Resistance Movement
HAMAS was formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various HAMAS elements have used both violent and political means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel. It is loosely structured, with some elements working clandestinely and others operating openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda. HAMAS'strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
HAMAS terrorists, 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. HAMAS maintained the pace of its operational activity in 2004, claiming numerous attacks against Israeli interests. HAMAS has not yet directly targeted US interests, although the group makes little or no effort to avoid targets frequented by foreigners. HAMAS continues to confine its attacks to Israelis inside Israel and the occupied territories.
Unknown number of official members; tens of thousands of supporters and sympathizers.
Location/Area of Operation
HAMAS currently limits its terrorist operations to Israeli military and civilian targets in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel. Two of the group's most senior leaders in the Gaza Strip, Shaykh Ahmad Yasin and Abd al Aziz al Rantisi, were killed in Israeli air strikes in 2004. The group retains a cadre of senior leaders spread throughout the Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and the Gulf States.
Receives some funding from Iran but primarily relies on donations from Palestinian expatriates around the world and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. Some fundraising and propaganda activity take place in Western Europe and North America.
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
a.k.a. Harakat ul-Ansar
HUM is an Islamist militant group based in Pakistan that operates primarily in Kashmir. It is politically aligned with the radical political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F). The long-time leader of the group, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, in mid-February 2000 stepped down as HUM emir, turning the reins over to the popular Kashmiri commander and his second-in-command, Farooqi Kashmiri. Khalil, who has been linked to Usama Bin Ladin and signed his fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks on US and Western interests, assumed the position of HUM Secretary General. HUM operated terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan until Coalition air strikes destroyed them during fall 2001. Khalil was detained by the Pakistanis in mid-2004 and subsequently released in late December. In 2003, HUM began using the name Jamiat ul-Ansar (JUA), and Pakistan banned JUA in November 2003.
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. HUM was responsible for the hijacking of an Indian airliner on December 24, 1999, which resulted in the release of Masood Azhar. Azhar, an important leader in the former Harakat ul-Ansar, was imprisoned by the Indians in 1994 and founded Jaish-e-Muhammad after his release. Also released in 1999 was Ahmed Omar Sheik, who was convicted of the abduction/murder in January-February 2002 of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
Has several hundred armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions and in the Kashmir valley. 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. HUM lost a significant share of its membership in defections to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) in 2000.
Location/Area of Operation
Based in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, and several other towns in Pakistan, but members conduct insurgent and terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. HUM trained its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Collects donations from Saudi Arabia, other Gulf and Islamic states, Pakistanis and Kashmiris. HUM's financial collection methods also include soliciting donations in magazine ads and pamphlets. The sources and amount of HUM's military funding are unknown. In anticipation of asset seizures in 2001 by the Pakistani Government, the HUM withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and production of consumer goods. Its fundraising in Pakistan has been constrained since the Government clamp-down on extremist groups and freezing of terrorist assets.
a.k.a. Party of God, Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine
Formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, this Lebanon-based radical Shia group takes its ideological inspiration from the Iranian revolution and the teachings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. The Majlis al-Shura, or Consultative Council, is the group's highest governing body and is led by Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah. Hizballah is dedicated to liberating Jerusalem and eliminating Israel, and has formally advocated ultimate establishment of Islamic rule in Lebanon. Nonetheless, Hizballah has actively participated in Lebanon's political system since 1992. Hizballah is closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran but has the capability and willingness to act independently. Though Hizballah does not share the Syrian regime's secular orientation, the group has been a strong ally in helping Syria advance its political objectives in the region.
Known or suspected to have been involved in numerous anti-US and anti-Israeli terrorist attacks, including the suicide truck bombings of the US Embassy and US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the US Embassy annex in Beirut in 1984. Three members of Hizballah, 'Imad Mughniyah, Hasan Izz-al-Din, and Ali Atwa, are on the FBI's list of 22 Most Wanted Terrorists for the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 during which a US Navy diver was murdered. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping and detention of Americans and other Westerners in Lebanon in the 1980s. Hizballah also attacked the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and the Israeli cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994. In 2000, Hizballah operatives captured three Israeli soldiers in the Shab'a Farms and kidnapped an Israeli noncombatant. Hizballah also provides guidance and financial and operational support for Palestinian extremist groups engaged in terrorist operations in Israel and the occupied territories.
In 2004, Hizballah launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that left Lebanese airspace and flew over the Israeli town of Nahariya before crashing into Lebanese territorial waters. Ten days prior to the event, the Hizballah Secretary General said Hizballah would come up with new measures to counter Israeli Air Force violations of Lebanese airspace. Hizballah also continued launching small scale attacks across the Israeli border, resulting in the deaths of several Israeli soldiers. In March 2004, Hizballah and HAMAS signed an agreement to increase joint efforts to perpetrate attacks against Israel. In late 2004, Hizballah's al-Manar television station, based in Beirut with an estimated ten million viewers worldwide, was prohibited from broadcasting in France. Al-Manar was placed on the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) in the United States, which led to its removal from the program offerings of its main cable service provider, and made it more difficult for al-Manar associates and affiliates to operate in the United States.
Several thousand supporters and a few hundred terrorist operatives.
Location/Area of Operation
Receives financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran, and diplomatic, political, and logistical support from Syria. Hizballah also receives funding from charitable donations and business interests.
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is a group of Islamic militants from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states. The IMU is closely affiliated with al-Qa'ida and, under the leadership of Tohir Yoldashev, has embraced Usama Bin Ladin's anti-US, anti-Western agenda. The IMU also remains committed to its original goals of overthrowing Uzbekistani President Karimov and establishing an Islamic state in Uzbekistan.
The IMU in recent years has participated in attacks on US and Coalition soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and plotted attacks on US diplomatic facilities in Central Asia.
In November 2004, the IMU was blamed for an explosion in the southern Kyrgyzstani city of Osh that killed one police officer and one terrorist. In May 2003, Kyrgyzstani security forces disrupted an IMU cell that was seeking to bomb the US Embassy and a nearby hotel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The IMU was also responsible for explosions in Bishkek in December 2002 and Osh in May 2003 that killed eight people. The IMU primarily targeted Uzbekistani interests before October 2001 and is believed to have been responsible for five car bombs in Tashkent in February 1999. IMU militants also took foreigners hostage in 1999 and 2000, including four US citizens who were mountain climbing in August 2000 and four Japanese geologists and eight Kyrgyzstani soldiers in August 1999.
Probably fewer than 500.
Location/Area of Operation
IMU militants are scattered throughout South Asia, Tajikistan, and Iran. The area of operations includes Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.
The IMU receives support from other Islamic extremist groups and patrons in the Middle East and Central and South Asia.
a.k.a. Army of Mohammed Tehrik ul-Furqaan, Khuddam-ul-Islam
The Jaish-e-Mohammed is an Islamic extremist group based in Pakistan that was formed in early 2000 by Masood Azhar upon his release from prison in India. The group's aim is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. It is politically aligned with the radical political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F). By 2003, JEM had splintered into Khuddam ul-Islam (KUI), headed by Azhar, and Jamaat ul-Furqan (JUF), led by Abdul Jabbar, who was released in August 2004 from Pakistani custody after being detained for suspected involvement in the December 2003 assassination attempts against President Musharraf. Pakistan banned KUI and JUF in November 2003. Elements of JEM and Lashkar e-Tayyiba combined with other groups to mount attacks as "The Save Kashmir Movement."
The JEM's leader, Masood Azhar, was released from Indian imprisonment in December 1999 in exchange for 155 hijacked Indian Airlines hostages. The Harakat-ul-Ansar (HUA) kidnappings in 1994 of US and British nationals by Omar Sheik in New Delhi and the HUA/al-Faran kidnappings in July 1995 of Westerners in Kashmir were two of several previous HUA efforts to free Azhar. On October 1, 2001, JEM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly building in Srinagar that killed at least 31 persons but later denied the claim. The Indian Government has publicly implicated JEM, along with Lashkar e-Tayyiba, for the December 13, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament that killed nine and injured 18. Pakistani authorities suspect that perpetrators of fatal anti-Christian attacks in Islamabad, Murree, and Taxila during 2002 were affiliated with JEM. The Pakistanis have implicated elements of JEM in the assassination attempts against President Musharraf in December 2003.
Has several hundred armed supporters located in Pakistan and in India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions and in the Kashmir valley, including a large cadre of former HUM members. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris and also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war.
Location/Area of Operation
Pakistan. JEM maintained training camps in Afghanistan until the fall of 2001.
Most of JEM's cadre and material resources have been drawn from the militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI) and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM). JEM had close ties to Afghan Arabs and the Taliban. Usama bin Ladin is suspected of giving funding to JEM. JEM also collects funds through donation requests in magazines and pamphlets. In anticipation of asset seizures by the Pakistani Government, JEM withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and production of consumer goods.
Jemaah Islamiya Organization (JI)
Jemaah Islamiya Organization is responsible for numerous high-profile bombings, including the bombing of the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta on August 5, 2003, and the Bali bombings on October 12, 2002. Members of the group have also been implicated in the September 9, 2004, attack outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. The Bali attack, which left more than 200 dead, was reportedly the final outcome of meetings in early 2002 in Thailand, where attacks in Singapore and against soft targets such as tourist spots were also considered. In June 2003, authorities disrupted a JI plan to attack several Western embassies and tourist sites in Thailand.
In December 2001, Singaporean authorities uncovered a JI plot to attack the US and Israeli Embassies and British and Australian diplomatic buildings in Singapore. JI is also responsible for the coordinated bombings of numerous Christian churches in Indonesia on Christmas Eve 2000 and was involved in the bombings of several targets in Manila on December 31, 2000. The capture in August 2003 of Indonesian Riduan bin Isomoddin (a.k.a. Hambali), JI leader and al-Qa'ida Southeast Asia operations chief, damaged the JI, but the group maintains its ability to target Western interests in the region and to recruit new members through a network of radical Islamic schools based primarily in Indonesia. The emir, or spiritual leader, of JI, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, was on trial at year's end on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, and for his links to the Bali and Jakarta Marriott bombings and to a cache of arms and explosives found in central Java.
Exact numbers are unknown, but Southeast Asian authorities continue to uncover and arrest JI elements. Estimates of total JI members vary widely from the hundreds to the thousands.
Location/Area of Operation
JI is believed to have cells spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Investigations indicate that JI is fully capable of its own fundraising, although it also receives financial, ideological, and logistical support from Middle Eastern and South Asian contacts, non-governmental organizations, and other groups.
a.k.a. Jihad Group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, EIJ
This Egyptian Islamic extremist group merged with Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qa'ida organization in 2001. Usama Bin Ladin's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was the former head of AJ. Active since the 1970s, AJ's primary goal has been the overthrow of the Egyptian Government and the establishment of an Islamic state. The group's primary targets, historically, have been high-level Egyptian Government officials as well as US and Israeli interests in Egypt and abroad. Regular Egyptian crackdowns on extremists, including on AJ, have greatly reduced AJ capabilities in Egypt.
The original AJ was responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. It claimed responsibility for the attempted assassinations of Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi in August 1993 and Prime Minister Atef Sedky in November 1993. AJ has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since 1993 and has never successfully targeted foreign tourists there. The group was responsible for the Egyptian Embassy bombing in Islamabad in 1995 and a disrupted plot against the US Embassy in Albania in 1998.
Unknown, but probably has several hundred hard-core members inside and outside of Egypt.
Location/Area of Operation
Historically AJ operated in the Cairo area. Most AJ members today are outside Egypt in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, and Yemen. AJ activities have been centered outside Egypt for several years under the auspices of al-Qa'ida.
Unknown. Since 1998 AJ received most of its funding from al-Qa'ida, and these close ties culminated in the eventual merger of the groups. Some funding may come from various Islamic non-governmental organizations, cover businesses, and criminal acts.
Kahane Chai (Kach)
Kach's stated goal is to restore the biblical state of Israel. Kach, founded by radical Israeli-American rabbi Meir Kahane, and its offshoot Kahane Chai, (translation: "Kahane Lives"), founded by Meir Kahane's son Binyamin following his father's 1990 assassination in the United States, were declared to be terrorist organizations in 1994 by the Israeli Cabinet under its 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. Palestinian gunmen killed Binyamin Kahane and his wife in a drive-by shooting in December 2000 in the West Bank.
The group has organized protests against the Israeli Government. Kach has harassed and threatened Arabs, Palestinians, and Israeli Government officials, and has vowed revenge for the death of Binyamin Kahane and his wife.
Kach is suspected of involvement in a number of low-level attacks since the start of the al-Aqsa intifadah in 2000. Known Kach sympathizers are becoming more vocal and active against the planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in mid-2005.
Location/Area of Operation
Israel and West Bank settlements, particularly Qiryat Arba'in Hebron.
Receives support from sympathizers in the United States and Europe.
a.k.a. Kurdistan Workers'Party, PKK, Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress, KADEK, Kurdistan People's Congress, Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan
The Kongra-Gel was founded by Abdullah Ocalan in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist separatist organization and formally named the Kurdistan Workers'Party in 1978. The group, composed primarily of Turkish Kurds, began its campaign of armed violence in 1984, which has resulted in some 30,000 casualties. The PKK's goal has been to establish an independent, democratic Kurdish state in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, and parts of Iran and Syria. In the early 1990s, the PKK moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to include urban terrorism. Turkish authorities captured Ocalan in Kenya in early 1999, and the Turkish State Security Court subsequently sentenced him to death. In August 1999, Ocalan announced a "peace initiative," ordering members to refrain from violence and requesting dialogue with Ankara on Kurdish issues. At a PKK Congress in January 2000, members supported Ocalan's initiative and claimed the group now would use only political means to achieve its public goal of improved rights for Kurds in Turkey. In April 2002 at its 8th Party Congress, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) and proclaimed a commitment to non-violent activities in support of Kurdish rights. In late 2003, the group sought to engineer another political face-lift, renaming itself Kongra-Gel (KGK) and promoting its "peaceful" intentions while continuing to conduct attacks in "self-defense" and to refuse disarmament. After five years, the group's hard-line militant wing, the People's Defense Force (HPG), renounced its self-imposed cease-fire on June 1, 2004. Over the course of the cease-fire, the group had divided into two factions–politically-minded reformists, and hardliners who advocated a return to violence. The hardliners took control of the group in February 2004.
Primary targets have been Turkish Government security forces, local Turkish officials, and villagers who oppose the organization in Turkey. It 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 then-PKK bombed tourist sites and hotels and kidnapped foreign tourists in the early-to-mid-1990s. While most of the group's violence in 2004 was directed toward Turkish security forces, KGK was likely responsible for an unsuccessful July car bomb attack against the governor of Van Province, although it publicly denied responsibility, and may have played a role in the August bombings of two Istanbul hotels and a gas complex in which two people died.
Approximately 4,000 to 5,000, 3,000 to 3,500 of whom currently are located in northern Iraq. The group has thousands of sympathizers in Turkey and Europe. In November, Dutch police raided a suspected KGK training camp in The Netherlands, arresting roughly 30 suspected members.
Location/Area of Operation
Operates primarily in Turkey, Iraq, Europe, and the Middle East.
Has received safe haven and modest aid from Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Syria and Iran appear to cooperate with Turkey against KGK in a limited fashion when it serves their immediate interests. KGK uses Europe for fundraising and conducting political propaganda.
Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LT)
a.k.a. Army of the Righteous, Lashkar-e-Toiba, al Monsooreen, al-Mansoorian, Army of the Pure, Army of the Righteous, Army of the Pure and Righteous
LT is the armed wing of the Pakistan-based religious organization, Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), an anti-US Sunni missionary organization formed in 1989. LT is led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and is one of the three largest and best trained groups fighting in Kashmir against India. It is not connected to any political party. The Pakistani Government banned the group and froze its assets in January 2002. Elements of LT and Jaish-e-Mohammed combined with other groups to mount attacks as "The Save Kashmir Movement."
LT has conducted a number of operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Jammu and Kashmir since 1993. LT claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in 2001, including an attack in January on Srinagar airport that killed five Indians; an attack on a police station in Srinagar that killed at least eight officers and wounded several others; and an attack in April against Indian border security forces that left at least four dead. The Indian Government publicly implicated LT, along with JEM, for the attack on December 13, 2001, on the Indian Parliament building, although concrete evidence is lacking. LT is also suspected of involvement in the attack on May 14, 2002, on an Indian Army base in Kaluchak that left 36 dead. Senior al-Qa'ida lieutenant Abu Zubaydah was captured at an LT safe house in Faisalabad in March 2002, suggesting some members are facilitating the movement of al-Qa'ida members in Pakistan.
Has several thousand members in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, in the southern Jammu and Kashmir and Doda regions, and in the Kashmir valley. Almost all LT members are Pakistanis from madrassas across Pakistan or Afghan veterans of the Afghan wars.
Location/Area of Operation
Based in Muridke (near Lahore) and Muzaffarabad.
Collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic NGOs, and Pakistani and other Kashmiri business people. LT also maintains a Web site (under the name Jamaat ud-Daawa), through which it solicits funds and provides information on the group's activities. The amount of LT funding is unknown. LT maintains ties to religious/militant groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya through the fraternal network of its parent organization Jamaat ud-Dawa (formerly Markaz Dawa ul-Irshad). In anticipation of asset seizures by the Pakistani Government, the LT withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and production of consumer goods.
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) is the militant offshoot of the Sunni sectarian group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. LJ focuses primarily on anti-Shia attacks and was banned by Pakistani President Musharraf in August 2001 as part of an effort to rein in sectarian violence. Many of its members then sought refuge in Afghanistan with the Taliban, with whom they had existing ties. After the collapse of the Taliban, LJ members became active in aiding other terrorists with safe houses, false identities, and protection in Pakistani cities, including Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi. In January 2003, the United States added LJ to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
LJ specializes in armed attacks and bombings. The group attempted to assassinate former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shabaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab Province, in January 1999. Pakistani authorities have publicly linked LJ members to the kidnap and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in early 2002. Police officials initially suspected LJ members were involved in the two suicide car bombings in Karachi in 2002 against a French shuttle bus in May and the US Consulate in June, but their subsequent investigations have not led to any LJ members being charged in the attacks. Similarly, press reports have linked LJ to attacks on Christian targets in Pakistan, including a grenade assault on the Protestant International Church in Islamabad in March 2002 that killed two US citizens, but no formal charges have been filed against the group. Pakistani authorities believe LJ was responsible for the bombing in July 2003 of a Shiite mosque in Quetta, Pakistan. Authorities have also implicated LJ in several sectarian incidents in 2004, including the May and June bombings of two Shiite mosques in Karachi that killed over 40 people.
Probably fewer than 100.
Location/Area of Operation
LJ is active primarily in Punjab and Karachi. Some members travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
a.k.a. The Tamil Tigers, The Ellalan Force
Founded in 1976, the LTTE is the most powerful Tamil group in Sri Lanka. It began its insurgency against the Sri Lankan Government in 1983 and has relied on a guerrilla strategy that includes the use of terrorist tactics. The LTTE currently is observing a cease-fire agreement with the Sri Lankan Government.
The LTTE has integrated a battlefield insurgent strategy with a terrorist program that targets key personnel in the countryside and senior Sri Lankan political and military leaders in Colombo and other urban centers. The LTTE is most notorious for its cadre of suicide bombers, the Black Tigers. Political assassinations and bombings were commonplace tactics prior to the cease-fire.
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 3,000 to 6,000 trained fighters. The LTTE also has a significant overseas support structure for fundraising, weapons procurement, and propaganda activities.
Location/Area of Operations
The LTTE controls most of the northern and eastern coastal areas of Sri Lanka but has conducted operations throughout the island. Headquartered in northern Sri Lanka, 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's overt organizations support Tamil separatism by lobbying foreign governments and the United Nations. The LTTE also uses its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) emerged in the early 1990s among Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan and against the Qadhafi regime in Libya. The LIFG declared the Government of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi un-Islamic and pledged to overthrow it. Some members maintain a strictly anti-Qadhafi focus and organize against Libyan Government interests, but others are aligned with Usama Bin Ladin and believed to be part of al-Qa'ida's leadership structure or active in the international terrorist network.
Libyans associated with the LIFG are part of the broader international jihadist movement. The LIFG is one of the groups believed to have planned the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003. The LIFG claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt against Qadhafi in 1996 and engaged Libyan security forces in armed clashes during the 1990s. It continues to target Libyan interests and may engage in sporadic clashes with Libyan security forces.
Not known, but probably has several hundred active members or supporters.
Location/Area of Operation
Probably maintains a clandestine presence in Libya, but since the late 1990s many members have fled to various Asian, Persian Gulf, African, and European countries, particularly the United Kingdom.
Not known. May obtain some funding through private donations, various Islamic non-governmental organizations, and criminal acts.
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)
a.k.a. The National Liberation Army of Iran, The People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), National Council of Resistance (NCR), The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Muslim Iranian Students' Society
The MEK philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. Formed in the 1960s, the organization was expelled from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and its primary support came from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein starting in the late 1980s. The MEK conducted anti-Western attacks prior to the Islamic Revolution. Since then, it has conducted terrorist attacks against the interests of the clerical regime in Iran and abroad. The MEK advocates the overthrow of the Iranian regime and its replacement with the group's own leadership.
The group's worldwide campaign against the Iranian Government stresses propaganda and occasionally uses terrorism. During the 1970s, the MEK killed US military personnel and US civilians working on defense projects in Tehran and supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran. In 1981, the MEK detonated bombs in the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Premier's office, killing some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei, and Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. Near the end of the 19801988 war with Iran, Baghdad armed the MEK with military equipment and sent it into action against Iranian forces. In 1991, the MEK assisted the Government of Iraq in suppressing the Shia and Kurdish uprisings in southern Iraq and the Kurdish uprisings in the north. In April 1992, the MEK conducted near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and installations in 13 countries, demonstrating the group's ability to mount large-scale operations overseas.
In April 1999, the MEK targeted key military officers and assassinated the deputy chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff. In April 2000, the MEK attempted to assassinate the commander of the Nasr Headquarters, Tehran's interagency board responsible for coordinating policies on Iraq. The normal pace of anti-Iranian operations increased during "Operation Great Bahman" in February 2000, when the group launched a dozen attacks against Iran. One of those attacks included a mortar attack against the leadership complex in Tehran that housed the offices of the Supreme Leader and the President. In 2000 and 2001, the MEK was involved regularly in mortar attacks and hitand-run raids on Iranian military and law enforcement units and Government buildings near the Iran-Iraq border, although MEK terrorism in Iran declined toward the end of 2001. After Coalition aircraft bombed MEK bases at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the MEK leadership ordered its members not to resist Coalition forces, and a formal cease-fire arrangement was reached in May 2003.
Over 3,000 MEK members are currently confined to Camp Ashraf, the MEK's main compound north of Baghdad, where they remain under the Geneva Convention's "protected person" status and Coalition control. As a condition of the cease-fire agreement, the group relinquished its weapons, including tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery. A significant number of MEK personnel have "defected" from the Ashraf group, and several dozen of them have been voluntarily repatriated to Iran.
Location/Area of Operation
In the 1980s, the MEK's leaders were forced by Iranian security forces to flee to France. On resettling in Iraq in 1987, almost all of its armed units were stationed in fortified bases near the border with Iran. Since Operation Iraqi Freedom, the bulk of the group is limited to Camp Ashraf, although an overseas support structure remains with associates and supporters scattered throughout Europe and North America.
Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, the group received all of its military assistance, and most of its financial support, from the former Iraqi regime. The MEK also has used front organizations to solicit contributions from expatriate Iranian communities.
National Liberation Army (ELN)
The ELN is a Colombian Marxist insurgent group formed in 1965 by urban intellectuals inspired by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. It is primarily rural-based, although it possesses several urban units. In May 2004, Colombian President Uribe proposed a renewal of peace talks, but by the end of the year talks had not commenced.
Kidnapping, hijacking, bombing, and extortion. Minimal conventional military capability. Annually conducts hundreds of kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreign employees of large corporations, especially in the petroleum industry. Derives some revenue from taxation of the illegal narcotics industry. Frequently assaults energy infrastructure and has inflicted major damage on pipelines and the electric distribution network.
Approximately 3,000 armed combatants and an unknown number of active supporters.
Location/Area of Operation
Mostly in rural and mountainous areas of northern, northeastern, and southwestern Colombia, and Venezuelan border regions.
Cuba provides some medical care and political consultation. Venezuela continues to provide a hospitable environment.
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
a.k.a. PLF-Abu Abbas Faction
The Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) broke away from the PFLP-GC in the late 1970s and later split again into pro-PLO, pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions. The pro-PLO faction was led by Muhammad Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Abbas) and was based in Baghdad prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Abbas'group was responsible for the attack in 1985 on the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of US citizen Leon Klinghoffer. Abu Abbas died of natural causes in April 2004 while in US custody in Iraq. Current leadership and membership of the relatively small PLF appears to be based in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. The PLF has become more active since the start of the al-Aqsa intifadah and several PLF members have been arrested by Israeli authorities for planning attacks in Israel and the West Bank.
Location/Area of Operation
Based in Iraq since 1990, has a presence in Lebanon and the West Bank.
Received support mainly from Iraq; has received support from Libya in the past.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
a.k.a. Islamic Jihad of Palestine, PIJ-Shaqaqi Faction, PIJ-Shalla Faction, Al-Quds Brigades
Formed by militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets inside Israel and the Palestinian territories.
PIJ militants have conducted many attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets. The group maintained operational activity in 2004, claiming numerous attacks against Israeli interests. PIJ has not yet directly targeted US interests; it continues to direct attacks against Israelis inside Israel and the territories, although US citizens have died in attacks mounted by the PIJ.
Location/Area of Operation
Primarily Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The group's primary leadership resides in Syria, though other leadership elements reside in Lebanon, as well as other parts of the Middle East.
Receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistical assistance from Syria.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Formerly a part of the PLO, the Marxist-Leninist PFLP was founded by George Habash when it broke away from the Arab Nationalist Movement in 1967. The PFLP does not view the Palestinian struggle as religious, seeing it instead as a broader revolution against Western imperialism. The group earned a reputation for spectacular international attacks, including airline hijackings, that have killed at least 20 US citizens.
The PFLP committed numerous international terrorist attacks during the 1970s. Since 1978, the group has conducted attacks against Israeli or moderate Arab targets, including killing a settler and her son in December 1996. The PFLP has stepped up its operational activity since the start of the current intifadah, highlighted by at least two suicide bombings since 2003, multiple joint operations with other Palestinian terrorist groups, and assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minster in 2001 to avenge Israel's killing of the PFLP Secretary General earlier that year.
Location/Area of Operation
Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Receives safe haven and some logistical assistance from Syria.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP-GC)
The PFLP-GC split from the PFLP in 1968, claiming it wanted to focus more on fighting and less on politics. Originally it was violently opposed to the Arafat-led PLO. The group is led by Ahmad Jabril, a former captain in the Syrian Army, whose son Jihad was killed by a car bomb in May 2002. The PFLP-GC is closely tied to both Syria and Iran.
Carried out dozens of attacks in Europe and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s. Known for cross-border terrorist attacks into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders. Primary focus is now on guerrilla operations in southern Lebanon and small-scale attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Location/Area of Operation
Headquartered in Damascus with bases in Lebanon.
Receives logistical and military support from Syria and financial support from Iran.
a.k.a. Usama Bin Ladin Organization
Al-Qa'ida was established by Usama Bin Ladin in 1988 with Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Goal is to unite Muslims to fight the United States as a means of defeating Israel, overthrowing regimes it deems "non-Islamic," and expelling Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries.
Eventual goal would be establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate throughout the world. Issued statement in February 1998 under the banner of "The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders" saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill US citizens, civilian and military, and their allies everywhere. Merged with al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) in June 2001, renaming itself "Qa'idat al-Jihad." Merged with Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's organization in Iraq in late 2004, with al-Zarqawi's group changing its name to "Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn" (al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers).
In 2004, the Saudi-based al-Qa'ida network and associated extremists launched at least 11 attacks, killing over 60 people, including six Americans, and wounding more than 225 in Saudi Arabia. Focused on targets associated with US and Western presence and Saudi security forces in Riyadh, Yanbu, Jeddah, and Dhahran. Attacks consisted of vehicle bombs, infantry assaults, kidnappings, targeted shootings, bombings, and beheadings. Other al-Qa'ida networks have been involved in attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2003, carried out the assault and bombing on May 12 of three expatriate housing complexes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 30 and injured 216. Backed attacks on May 16 in Casablanca, Morocco, of a Jewish center, restaurant, nightclub, and hotel that killed 33 and injured 101. Probably supported the bombing of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 5, that killed 12 and injured 149. Responsible for the assault and bombing on November 9 of a housing complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 17 and injured 122.
The suicide bombers and others associated with the bombings of two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 15 that killed 20 and injured 300 and the bombings in Istanbul of the British Consulate and HSBC Bank on November 20 that resulted in 41 dead and 555 injured had strong links to al-Qa'ida. Conducted two assassination attempts against Pakistani President Musharraf in December 2003. Was involved in some attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2002, carried out bombing on November 28 of a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killing 15 and injuring 40. Probably supported a nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia, on October 12 by Jemaah Islamiya that killed more than 200. Responsible for an attack on US military personnel in Kuwait on October 8 that killed one US soldier and injured another. Directed a suicide attack on the tanker M/V Limburg off the coast of Yemen on October 6 that killed one and injured four. Carried out a firebombing of a synagogue in Tunisia on April 11 that killed 19 and injured 22. On September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qa'ida suicide attackers hijacked and crashed four US commercial jets
— two into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon near Washington, DC, and a fourth into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania—leaving nearly 3,000 individuals dead or missing. Directed the attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, on October 12, 2000, killing 17 US Navy sailors and injuring another 39.
Conducted the bombings in August 1998 of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed at least 301 individuals 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 that targeted US troops in Aden, Yemen, in December 1992.
Al-Qa'ida is linked to the following plans that were disrupted or not carried out: to bomb in mid-air a dozen US trans-Pacific flights in 1995, and to set off a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. Also plotted to carry out terrorist operations against US and Israeli tourists visiting Jordan for millennial celebrations in late 1999 (Jordanian authorities thwarted the planned attacks and put 28 suspects on trial). In December 2001, suspected al-Qa'ida associate Richard Colvin Reid attempted to ignite a shoe bomb on a trans-Atlantic flight from Paris to Miami. Attempted to shoot down an Israeli chartered plane with a surface-to-air missile as it departed the Mombasa, Kenya, airport in November 2002.
Al-Qa'ida's organizational strength is difficult to determine in the aftermath of extensive counterterrorist efforts since 9/11. However, the group probably has several thousand extremists and associates worldwide inspired by the group's ideology. The arrest and deaths of mid-level and senior al-Qa'ida operatives have disrupted some communication, financial, and facilitation nodes and interrupted some terrorist plots. Al-Qa'ida also serves as a focal point or umbrella organization for a worldwide network that includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups, including some members of Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin.
Location/Area of Operation
Al-Qa'ida has cells worldwide and is reinforced by its ties to Sunni extremist networks. It was based in Afghanistan until Coalition forces removed the Taliban from power in late 2001. Al-Qa'ida has dispersed in small groups across South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and probably will attempt to carry out future attacks against US interests.
Al-Qa'ida maintains moneymaking front businesses, solicits donations from like-minded supporters, and illicitly siphons funds from donations to Muslim charitable organizations. US and international efforts to block al-Qa'ida funding have hampered the group's ability to obtain money.
Real IRA (RIRA)
a.k.a. 32-County Sovereignty Committee
RIRA was formed in the late 1990s as the 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 RIRA also seeks to disrupt the Northern Ireland peace process. The 32-County Sovereignty Movement opposed Sinn Fein's adoption in September 1997 of the Mitchell principles of democracy and non-violence; it also opposed the amendment in December 1999 of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution, which had claimed the territory of Northern Ireland. Despite internal rifts and calls by some jailed members—including the group's founder Michael "Mickey" McKevitt—for a ceasefire and disbandment, RIRA has pledged additional violence and continues to conduct attacks.
Bombings, assassinations, and robberies. Many Real IRA members are former Provisional Irish Republican Army members who left that organization after the Provisional IRA renewed its cease-fire in 1997. These members brought a wealth of experience in terrorist tactics and bomb making to RIRA. Targets have included civilians (most notoriously in the Omagh bombing in August 1998), British security forces, police in Northern Ireland, and local Protestant communities. RIRA's most recent fatal attack was in August 2002 at a London army base that killed a construction worker. In 2004, RIRA conducted several postal bomb attacks and made threats against prison officers, people involved in the new policing arrangements, and senior politicians.
RIRA also planted incendiary devices in Belfast shopping areas and conducted a serious shooting attack against a Police Service of Northern Ireland station in September. The organization reportedly wants to improve its intelligence-gathering ability, engineering capacity, and access to weaponry; it also trains members in the use of guns and explosives. RIRA continues to attract new members, and its senior members are committed to launching attacks on security forces. Arrests in the spring led to the discovery of incendiary and explosive devices at a RIRA bomb making facility in Limerick. The group also engaged in smuggling and other non-terrorist crime in Ireland.
The number of activists may have fallen to less than 100. The organization may receive limited support from IRA hardliners and Republican sympathizers dissatisfied with the IRA's continuing cease-fire and Sinn Fein's involvement in the peace process. Approximately 40 RIRA members are in Irish jails.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and Irish Republic.
Suspected of receiving funds from sympathizers in the United States and of attempting to buy weapons from US gun dealers. RIRA also is reported to have purchased sophisticated weapons from the Balkans, and to have taken materials from Provisional IRA arms dumps in the later 1990s.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Established in 1964 as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party, the FARC is Latin America's oldest, largest, most capable, and best-equipped insurgency of Marxist origin. Although only nominally fighting in support of Marxist goals today, the FARC is governed by a general secretariat led by long-time leader Manuel Marulanda (a.k.a. "Tirofijo") and six others, including senior military commander Jorge Briceno (a.k.a. "Mono Jojoy"). Organized along military lines but includes some specialized urban fighting units. A Colombian military offensive targeting FARC fighters in their former safe haven in southern Colombia has experienced some success, with several FARC mid-level leaders killed or captured. On December 31, 2004, FARC leader Simon Trinidad, the highest-ranking FARC leader ever captured, was extradited to the United States on drug charges.
Bombings, murder, mortar attacks, kidnapping, extortion, and hijacking, as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets. In March 1999, the FARC executed three US indigenous rights activists on Venezuelan territory after it kidnapped them in Colombia. In February 2003, the FARC captured and continues to hold three US contractors and killed one other American when their plane crashed in Florencia. Foreign citizens often are targets of FARC kidnapping for ransom. The FARC has well-documented ties to the full range of narcotics trafficking activities, including taxation, cultivation, and distribution.
Approximately 9,000 to 12,000 armed combatants and several thousand more supporters, mostly in rural areas.
Location/Area of Operation
Primarily in Colombia with some activities—extortion, kidnapping, weapons sourcing, logistics, and R&R—suspected in neighboring Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, and Ecuador.
Cuba provides some medical care, safe haven, and political consultation. In December 2004, a Colombian Appeals Court declared three members of the Irish Republican Army—arrested in Colombia in 2001 upon exiting the former FARC-controlled demilitarized zone (despeje)—guilty of providing advanced explosives training to the FARC. The FARC often uses the Colombia/Venezuela border area for cross-border incursions and consider Venezuelan territory as a safe haven.
Revolutionary Nuclei (RN)
a.k.a. Revolutionary Cells, Revolutionary Popular Struggle, ELA
Revolutionary Nuclei (RN) emerged from a broad range of antiestablishment and anti-US/NATO/EU leftist groups active in Greece between 1995 and 1998. The group is believed to be the successor to or offshoot of Greece's most prolific terrorist group, Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA), which has not claimed an attack since January 1995. Indeed, RN appeared to fill the void left by ELA, particularly as lesser groups faded from the scene. RN's few communiqués show strong similarities in rhetoric, tone, and theme to ELA proclamations. RN has not claimed an attack since November 2000, nor has it announced its disbandment.
Since it began operations in January 1995, the group has claimed responsibility for some two dozen arson attacks and low-level bombings against a range of US, Greek, and other European targets in Greece. In its most infamous and lethal attack to date, the group claimed responsibility for a bomb it detonated at the Intercontinental Hotel in April 1999 that resulted in the death of a Greek woman and injured a Greek man. Its modus operandi includes warning calls of impending attacks, attacks targeting property instead of individuals, use of rudimentary timing devices, and strikes during the late-evening to early-morning hours. RN may have been responsible for two attacks in July 2003 against a US insurance company and a local bank in Athens.
RN's last confirmed attacks against US interests in Greece came in November 2000, with two separate bombings against the Athens offices of Citigroup and the studio of a Greek-American sculptor. Greek targets have included judicial and other Government office buildings, private vehicles, and the offices of Greek firms involved in NATO-related defense contracts in Greece. Similarly, the group has attacked European interests in Athens. The group did not conduct an attack in 2004.
Group membership is believed to be small, probably drawing from the Greek militant leftist or anarchist milieu.
Location/Area of Operation
Primary area of operation is in the Athens metropolitan area.
Unknown but believed to be self-sustaining.
Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
a.k.a. Devrimci Sol, Dev Sol, Revolutionary Left
This group originally formed in Turkey in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, a splinter faction of Dev Genc (Revolutionary Youth). Renamed in 1994 after factional infighting. "Party" refers to the group's political activities, while "Front" is a reference to the group's militant operations. The group espouses a Marxist-Leninist ideology and is vehemently anti-US, anti-NATO, and anti-Turkish establishment. Its goals are the establishment of a social-ist state and the abolition of one- to three-man prison cells, called F-type prisons. DHKP/C finances its activities chiefly through donations and extortion.
Since the late 1980s the group has targeted primarily current and retired Turkish security and military officials. It began a new campaign against foreign interests in 1990, which included attacks against US military and diplomatic personnel and facilities. To protest perceived US imperialism during the Gulf War, Dev Sol assassinated two US military contractors, wounded an Air Force officer, and bombed more than 20 US and NATO military, commercial, and cultural facilities. In its first significant terrorist act as DHKP/C in 1996, the group assassinated a prominent Turkish businessman and two others. DHKP/C added suicide bombings to its repertoire in 2001, with successful attacks against Turkish police in January and September. Since the end of 2001, DHKP/C has typically used improvised explosive devices against official Turkish targets and soft US targets of opportunity; attacks against US targets beginning in 2003 probably came in response to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operations and arrests against the group have weakened its capabilities. DHKP/C did not conduct any major terrorist attacks in 2003, but on June 24, 2004—just days before the NATO summit—an explosive device detonated, apparently prematurely, aboard a passenger bus in Istanbul while a DHKP/C operative was transporting it to another location, killing the operative and three other persons.
Probably several dozen terrorist operatives inside Turkey, with a large support network throughout Europe. On April 1, 2004, authorities arrested more than 40 suspected DHKP/C members in coordinated raids across Turkey and Europe. In October, 10 alleged members of the group were sentenced to life imprisonment, while charges were dropped against 20 other defendants because of a statute of limitations.
Location/Area of Operation
Turkey, primarily Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Adana. Raises funds in Europe.
Widely believed to have training facilities or offices in Lebanon and Syria.
Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
a.k.a. Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, Le Groupe Salafiste pour la Predication et le Combat
The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), a splinter group of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), seeks to overthrow the Algerian Government with the goal of installing an Islamic regime. GSPC eclipsed the GIA in approximately 1998, and is currently the most effective and largest armed group inside Algeria. In contrast to the GIA, the GSPC pledged to avoid civilian attacks inside Algeria.
The GSPC continues to conduct operations aimed at Algerian Government and military targets, primarily in rural areas, although civilians are sometimes killed. The Government of Algeria scored major counterterrorism successes against GSPC in 2004, significantly weakening the organization, which also has been plagued with internal divisions. Algerian military forces killed GSPC leader Nabil Sahraoui and one of his top lieutenants, Abbi Abdelaziz, in June 2004 in the mountainous area east of Algiers. In October, the Algerian Government took custody of Abderazak al-Para, who led a GSPC faction that held 32 European tourists hostage in 2003. According to press reporting, some GSPC members in Europe and the Middle East maintain contact with other North African extremists sympathetic to al-Qa'ida. In late 2003, the GSPC leader issued a communiqué announcing the group's support of a number of jihadist causes and movements, including al-Qa'ida.
Several hundred fighters with an unknown number of facilitators outside Algeria.
Location/Area of Operation
Algeria, the Sahel (i.e. northern Mali, northern Mauritania, and northern Niger), Canada, and Western Europe.
Algerian expatriates and GSPC members abroad, many residing in Western Europe, provide financial and logistical support. GSPC members also engage in criminal activity.
Shining Path (SL)
a.k.a. Sendero Luminoso People's Liberation Army
Former university professor Abimael Guzman formed SL in Peru in the late 1960s, and his teachings created the foundation of SL's militant Maoist doctrine. In the 1980s, SL became one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 30,000 persons have died since Shining Path took up arms in 1980. The Peruvian Government made dramatic gains against SL during the 1990s, but reports of recent SL involvement in narcotrafficking and kidnapping for ransom indicate it may be developing new sources of support. Its stated goal is to destroy existing Peruvian institutions and replace them with a communist peasant revolutionary regime. It also opposes any influence by foreign governments. Peruvian Courts in 2003 granted approximately 1,900 members the right to request retrials in a civilian court, including the imprisoned top leadership. The trial of Guzman, who was arrested in 1992, was scheduled for November 5, 2004, but was postponed after the first day, when chaos erupted in the courtroom.
Conducted indiscriminate bombing campaigns and selective assassinations.
Unknown but estimated to be some 300 armed militants.
Location/Area of Operation
Peru, with most activity in rural areas.
Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (QJBR)
a.k.a. Al-Zarqawi Network, Al-Qa'ida in Iraq, Al-Qa'ida of Jihad Organization in the Land of The Two Rivers, Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad
The Jordanian Palestinian Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi (Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalaylah, a.k.a. Abu Ahmad, Abu Azraq) established cells in Iraq soon after the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), formalizing his group in April 2004 to bring together jihadists and other insurgents in Iraq fighting against US and Coalition forces. Zarqawi initially called his group "Unity and Jihad" (Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad, or JTJ). Zarqawi and his group helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Iraqi resistance. The group adopted its current name after its October 2004 merger with Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qa'ida. The immediate goal of QJBR is to expel the Coalition—through a campaign of bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and intimidation—and establish an Islamic state in Iraq. QJBR's longer-term goal is to proliferate jihad from Iraq into "Greater Syria," that is, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.
In August 2003, Zarqawi's group carried out a major international terrorist attack in Iraq when it bombed the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, followed 12 days later by a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack against the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, killing 23, including the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Also in August the group conducted a VBIED attack against Shi'a worshippers outside the Imam Ali Mosque in Al Najaf, killing 85—including the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). It kept up its attack pace throughout 2003, striking numerous Iraqi, Coalition, and relief agency targets such as the Red Cross. Zarqawi's group conducted VBIED attacks against US military personnel and Iraqi infrastructure throughout 2004, including suicide attacks inside the Green Zone perimeter in Baghdad. The group successfully penetrated the Green Zone in the October bombing of a popular café and market. Zarqawi's group fulfilled a pledge to target Shi'a; its March attacks on Shi'a celebrating the religious holiday of Ashura, killing over 180, was its most lethal attack to date. The group also killed key Iraqi political figures in 2004, most notably the head of Iraq's Governing Council. The group has claimed responsibility for the videotaped execution by beheading of Americans Nicholas Berg (May 8, 2004), Jack Armstrong (September 20, 2004), and Jack Hensley (September 21, 2004). The group may have been involved in other hostage incidents as well.
Zarqawi's group has been active in the Levant since its involvement in the failed Millennium plot directed against US, Western, and Jordanian targets in Jordan in late 1999. The group assassinated USAID official Laurence Foley in 2002, but the Jordanian Government has successfully disrupted further plots against US and Western interests in Jordan, including a major arrest of Zarqawi associates in 2004 planning to attack Jordanian security targets.
QJBR's numerical strength is unknown, though the group has attracted new recruits to replace key leaders and other members killed or captured by Coalition forces. Zarqawi's increased stature from his formal relationship with al-Qa'ida could attract additional recruits to QJBR.
Location/Area of Operation
QJBR's operations are predominately Iraq-based, but the group maintains an extensive logistical network throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.
QJBR probably receives funds from donors in the Middle East and Europe, local sympathizers in Iraq, and a variety of businesses and criminal activities. In many cases, QJBR's donors are probably motivated by support for jihad rather than affiliation with any specific terrorist group.
United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Colombia (AUC)
a.k.a. Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia
The AUC, commonly referred to as "the paramilitaries," is an umbrella organization formed in April 1997 to coordinate the activities of local paramilitary groups and develop a cohesive paramilitary effort to combat insurgents. The AUC is supported by economic elites, drug traffickers, and local communities lacking effective Government security, and claims its primary objective is to protect its sponsors from Marxist insurgents. The AUC's affiliate groups and other paramilitary units are in negotiations with the Government of Colombia and in the midst of the largest demo-bilization in modern Colombian history. To date, approximately 3,600 AUC-affiliated fighters have demobilized since November 2003.
AUC operations vary from assassinating suspected insurgent supporters to engaging guerrilla combat units. As much as 70 percent of the AUC's operational costs are financed with drug-related earnings, with the rest coming from "donations" from its sponsors. The AUC generally avoids actions against US personnel or interests.
Estimated 8,000 to 11,000, with an unknown number of active supporters.
Location/Area of Operation
AUC forces are strongest in the northwest of Colombia in Antioquia, Cordoba, Sucre, Atlantico, Magdelena, Cesar, La Guajira, and Bolivar Departments, with affiliate groups in the coffee region, Valle del Cauca, and in Meta Department.
OTHER SELECTED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS
Al Badhr Mujahedin (al-Badr)
The Al Badhr Mujahedin split from Hizbul-Mujahedin (HM) in 1998. Traces its origins to 1971, when a group named Al Badr attacked Bengalis in East Pakistan. Later operated as part of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-I Islami (HIG) in Afghanistan and, from 1990, as a unit of HM in Kashmir. The group was relatively inactive until 2000. Since then, it has increasingly claimed responsibility for attacks against Indian military targets.
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir.
Perhaps several hundred.
Location/Area of Operation
Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI)
AIAI rose to prominence in the Horn of Africa in the early 1990s, following the downfall of the Siad Barre regime and the subsequent collapse of the Somali nation state into anarchy. AIAI was not internally cohesive and suffered divisions between factions supporting moderate Islam and more puritanical Islamic ideology. Following military defeats in 1996 and 1997, AIAI evolved into a loose network of highly compartmentalized cells, factions, and individuals with no central control or coordination. AIAI elements pursue a variety of agendas ranging from social services and education to insurgency activities in the Ogaden. Some AIAI-associated sheikhs espouse a radical fundamentalist version of Islam, with particular emphasis on a strict adherence to Sharia (Islamic law), a view often at odds with Somali emphasis on clan identity. A small number of AIAI-associated individuals have provided logistical support to and maintain ties with al-Qa'ida; however, the network's central focus remains the establishment of an Islamic government in Somalia.
Elements of AIAI may have been responsible for the kidnapping and murder of relief workers in Somalia and Somaliland in 2003 and 2004, and during the late 1990s. Factions of AIAI may also have been responsible for a series of bomb attacks in public places in Addis Ababa in 1996 and 1997. Most AIAI factions have recently concentrated on broadening their religious base, renewed emphasis on building businesses, and undertaking "hearts and minds" actions, such as sponsoring orphanages and schools and providing security that uses an Islamic legal structure in the areas where it is active.
The actual membership strength is unknown.
Location/Area of Operations
Primarily in Somalia, with a presence in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, Kenya, and possibly Djibouti.
Receives funds from Middle East financiers and Somali diaspora communities in Europe, North America, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB)
The ABB, the breakaway urban hit squad of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army, was formed in the mid-1980s. The ABB was added to the Terrorist Exclusion list in December 2001.
Responsible for more than 100 murders, including the murder in 1989 of US Army Col. James Rowe in the Philippines. In March 1997, the group announced it had formed an alliance with another armed group, the Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA). In March 2000, the group claimed credit for a rifle grenade attack against the Department of Energy building in Manila and strafed Shell Oil offices in the central Philippines to protest rising oil prices.
Location/Area of Operation
The largest RPA/ABB groups are on the Philippine islands of Luzon, Negros, and the Visayas.
Anti-Imperialist Territorial Nuclei (NTA)
a.k.a. Anti-Imperialist Territorial Units
The NTA is a clandestine leftist extremist group that first appeared in Italy's Friuli region in 1995. Adopted the class struggle ideology of the Red Brigades of the 1970s and 1980s and a similar logo—an encircled five-point star—for their declarations. Seeks the formation of an "anti-imperialist fighting front" with other Italian leftist terrorist groups, including Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei and the New Red Brigades. Opposes what it perceives as US and NATO imperialism and condemns Italy's foreign and labor polices. In a leaflet dated January 2002, NTA identified experts in four Italian Government sectors—federalism, privatizations, justice reform, and jobs and pensions—as potential targets.
To date, NTA has conducted attacks only against property. During the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999, NTA members threw gasoline bombs at the Venice and Rome headquarters of the then-ruling party, Democrats of the Left. NTA claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in September 2000 against the Central European Initiative office in Trieste and a bomb attack in August 2001 against the Venice Tribunal building. In January 2002, police thwarted an attempt by four NTA members to enter the Rivolto Military Air Base. In 2003, NTA claimed responsibility for the arson attacks against three vehicles belonging to US troops serving at the Ederle and Aviano bases in Italy. There has been no reported activity by the group since the arrest in January 2004 of NTA's founder and leader.
Accounts vary from one to approximately 20 members.
Location/Area of Operation
Primarily northeastern Italy and near US military installations in northern Italy.
Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF)
a.k.a. Cholana Kangtoap Serei Cheat Kampouchea
The Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF) emerged in November 1998 in the wake of political violence that saw many influential Cambodian leaders flee and the Cambodian People's Party assume power. With an avowed aim of overthrowing the Government, the group is led by a Cambodian-American, a former member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party. The CFF's membership reportedly includes Cambodian-Americans based in Thailand and the United States, and former soldiers from the Khmer Rouge, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and various political factions.
The Cambodian Government arrested seven CFF members who were reportedly planning an unspecified terrorist attack in southwestern Cambodia in late 2003, but there were no successful CFF attacks that year. Cambodian courts in February and March 2002 prosecuted 38 CFF members suspected of staging an attack in Cambodia in 2000. The courts convicted 19 members, including one US citizen, of "terrorism" and/or "membership in an armed group" and sentenced them to terms of five years to life imprisonment. The group claimed responsibility for an attack in late November 2000 on several Government installations that killed at least eight persons and wounded more than a dozen. In April 1999, five CFF members were arrested for plotting to blow up a fuel depot outside Phnom Penh with anti-tank weapons.
Exact strength is unknown, but totals probably never have exceeded 100 armed fighters.
Location/Area of Operation
Northeastern Cambodia near the Thai border, and the United States.
US-based leadership collects funds from the Cambodian-American community.
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Formerly Maoist Communist Center of India (MCCI) and People's War (PW)
The Indian groups known as the Maoist Communist Center of India and People's War (a.k.a. People's War Group) joined together in September 2004 to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist), or CPI (Maoist). The MCCI was originally formed in the early 1970s, while People's War was founded in 1975. Both groups are referred to as Naxalites, after the West Bengal village where a revolutionary radical Left movement originated in 1967. The new organization continues to employ violence to achieve its goals—peasant revolution, abolition of class hierarchies, and expansion of Maoist-controlled "liberated zones," eventually leading to the creation of an independent "Maoist" state. The CPI (Maoist) reportedly has a significant cadre of women. Important leaders include Ganapati (the PW leader from Andhra Pradesh), Pramod Mishra, Uma Shankar, and P.N.G. (alias Nathuni Mistry, arrested by Jharkhand police in 2002).
Prior to its consolidation with the PW, the MCCI ran a virtual parallel government in remote areas, where it collected a "tax" from the villagers and, in turn, provided infrastructure improvements such as building hospitals, schools, and irrigation projects. It ran a parallel court system wherein allegedly corrupt block development officials and landlords—frequent MCCI targets—had been punished by amputation and even death. People's War conducted a low-intensity insurgency that included attempted political assassination, theft of weapons from police stations, kidnapping police officers, assaulting civilians, extorting money from construction firms, and vandalizing the property of multinational corporations. Together the two groups were reportedly responsible for the deaths of up to 170 civilians and police a year.
Although difficult to assess with any accuracy, media reports and local authorities suggest the CPI (Maoist)'s membership may be as high as 31,000, including both hard-core militants and dedicated sympathizers.
Location/Area of Operations
The CPI (Maoist), believed to be enlarging the scope of its influence, operates in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and parts of West Bengal. It also has a presence on the Bihar-Nepal border.
The CPI (Maoist) has loose links to other Maoist groups in the region, including the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists). The MCCI was a founding member of the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA).
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) CPN/M
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) insurgency grew out of the radicalization and fragmentation of left-wing parties following Nepal's transition to democracy in 1990. The United People's Front—a coalition of left-wing parties—participated in the elections of 1991, but the Maoist wing failed to win the required minimum number of votes, leading to its exclusion from voter lists in the elections of 1994 and prompting the group to launch the insurgency in 1996. The CPN/M's ultimate objective is the overthrow of the Nepalese Government and the establishment of a Maoist state. In 2003, the United States designated Nepal's Maoists under Executive Order (EO) 13224 as a supporter of terrorist activity.
The Maoists have utilized traditional guerrilla warfare tactics and engage in murder, torture, arson, sabotage, extortion, child conscription, kidnapping, bombings, and assassinations to intimidate and coerce the populace. In 2002, Maoists claimed responsibility for assassinating two Nepalese US Embassy guards, citing anti-Maoist spying, and in a press statement threatened foreign embassies, including the US mission, to deter foreign support for the Nepalese Government. Maoists are suspected in the September 2004 bombing at the American Cultural Center in Kathmandu. The attack, which caused no injuries and only minor damage, marked the first time the Maoists had damaged US Government property.
Probably several thousand full-time cadres.
Location/Area of Operation
Operations are conducted throughout Nepal. Press reports indicate some Maoist leaders reside in India.
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)
a.k.a. Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR), Ex-FAR/Interahamwe
The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in 2001 supplanted the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR), which is the armed branch of the PALIR, or the Party for the Liberation of Rwanda. ALIR was formed from the merger of the Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR), the army of the ethnic Hutu-dominated Rwandan regime that orchestrated the genocide of 500,000 or more Tutsis and regime opponents in 1994, and Interahamwe, the civilian militia force that carried out much of the killing, after the two groups were forced from Rwanda into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC-then Zaire) that year. Though directly descended from those who organized and carried out the genocide, identified FDLR leaders are not thought to have played a role in the killing. They have worked to build bridges to other opponents of the Kigali regime, including ethnic Tutsis.
ALIR sought to topple Rwanda's Tutsi-dominated Government, reinstitute Hutu domination, and, possibly, complete the genocide. In 1996, a message—allegedly from the ALIR—threatened to kill the US ambassador to Rwanda and other US citizens. In 1999, ALIR guerrillas critical of US-UK support for the Rwandan regime kidnapped and killed eight foreign tourists, including two US citizens, in a game park on the Democratic Republic of Congo-Uganda border. Three suspects in the attack are in US custody awaiting trial. In the 1998-2002 Congolese war, the ALIR/FDLR was allied with Kinshasa against the Rwandan invaders. FDLR's political wing mainly has sought to topple the Kigali regime via an alliance with Tutsi regime opponents. It established the ADRN Igihango alliance in 2002, but it has not resonated politically in Rwanda.
Exact strength is unknown, but several thousand FDLR guerrillas operate in the eastern DRC close to the Rwandan border. In 2003, the United Nations, with Rwandan assistance, repatriated close to 1,500 FDLR combatants from the DRC. The senior FDLR military commander returned to Rwanda in November 2003 and has been working with Kigali to encourage the return of his comrades.
Location/Area of Operation
Mostly in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo provided training, arms, and supplies to ALIR forces to combat Rwandan armed forces that invaded the DRC in 1998. Kinshasa halted that support in 2002, though allegations persist of continued support from several local Congolese warlords and militias (including the Mai Mai).
East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)
The East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a small Islamic extremist group based in China's western Xinjiang Province. It is the most militant of the ethnic Uighur separatist groups pursuing an independent "Eastern Turkistan," an area that would include Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China. ETIM is linked to al-Qa'ida and the international mujahedin movement. In September 2002 the group was designated under EO 13224 as a supporter of terrorist activity.
ETIM militants fought alongside al-Qa'ida and Taliban forces in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. In October 2003, Pakistani soldiers killed ETIM leader Hassan Makhsum during raids on al-Qa'ida–associated compounds in western Pakistan. US and Chinese Government information suggests ETIM is responsible for various terrorist acts inside and outside China. In May 2002, two ETIM members were deported to China from Kyrgyzstan for plotting to attack the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan as well as other US interests abroad.
Unknown. Only a small minority of ethnic Uighurs supports the Xinjiang independence movement or the formation of an Eastern Turkistan.
Location/Area of Operation
Xinjiang Province and neighboring countries in the region.
ETIM has received training and financial assistance from al-Qa'ida.
First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO)/Grupo de Resistencia Anti-Fascista Primero de Octubre
GRAPO was formed in 1975 as the armed wing of the illegal Communist Party of Spain during the Franco era. Advocates the overthrow of the Spanish Government and its replacement with a Marxist-Leninist regime. GRAPO is vehemently anti-American, seeks the removal of all US military forces from Spanish territory, and has conducted and attempted several attacks against US targets since 1977. The group issued a communiqué following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, expressing its satisfaction that "symbols of imperialist power" were decimated and affirming that "the war" has only just begun. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.
GRAPO did not mount a successful terrorist operation in 2004, marking the third consecutive year without an attack. The group suffered more setbacks in 2004, with several members and sympathizers arrested and sentences upheld or handed down in April in the appellate case for GRAPO militants arrested in Paris in 2000. GRAPO has killed more than 90 persons and injured more than 200 since its formation. The group's operations traditionally have been designed to cause material damage and gain publicity rather than inflict casualties, but the terrorists have conducted lethal bombings and close-range assassinations.
Fewer than two dozen activists remain. Police have made periodic large-scale arrests of GRAPO members, crippling the organization and forcing it into lengthy rebuilding periods. In 2002, Spanish and French authorities arrested 22 suspected members, including some of the group's reconstituted leadership. More members were arrested throughout 2003 and 2004.
Location/Area of Operation
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI) (Movement of Islamic Holy War)
HUJI, a Sunni extremist group that follows the Deobandi tradition of Islam, was founded in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight in the jihad against the Soviets. It also is affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's Fazlur Rehman faction (JUI-F) of the extremist religious party Jamiat Ulema-I-Islam (JUI). The group, led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar and chief commander Amin Rabbani, is made up primarily of Pakistanis and foreign Islamists who are fighting for the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir and its accession to Pakistan. The group has links to al-Qa'ida. At present, Akhtar remains in detention in Pakistan after his August 2004 arrest and extradition from Dubai.
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir. Linked to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran that kidnapped five Western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1995; one was killed in August 1995, and the other four reportedly were killed in December of the same year.
Exact numbers are unknown, but there may be several hundred members in Kashmir.
Location/Area of Operation
Pakistan and Kashmir. Trained members in Afghanistan until autumn of 2001.
Specific sources of external aid are unknown.
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
The mission of HUJI-B, led by Shauqat Osman, is to establish Islamic rule in Bangladesh. HUJI-B has connections to the Pakistani militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI) and Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM), which advocate similar objectives in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir. These groups all maintain contacts with the al-Qa'ida network in Afghanistan. The leaders of HUJIB and HUM both signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Ladin that declared American civilians to be legitimate targets for attack.
HUJI-B was accused of stabbing a senior Bangladeshi journalist in November 2000 for making a documentary on the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh. HUJI-B was suspected in the assassination attempt in July 2000 of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The group may also have been responsible for indiscriminate attacks using improvised explosive devices against cultural gatherings in Dhaka in January and April 2001.
Unknown; some estimates of HUJI-B cadre strength suggest several thousand members.
Location/Area of Operation
The group operates and trains members in Bangladesh, where it maintains at least six camps.
Funding of the HUJI-B comes primarily from madrassas in Bangladesh. The group also has ties to militants in Pakistan that may provide another funding source.
Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)
Gulbuddin Hikmatyar founded Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) as a faction of the Hizb-I Islami party in 1977, and it was one of the major mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long-established links with Usama Bin Ladin. In the early 1990s, Hikmatyar ran several terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and was a pioneer in sending mercenary fighters to other Islamic conflicts. Hikmatyar offered to shelter Bin Ladin after the latter fled Sudan in 1996. In a late 2004 press release, Hikmatyar reiterated his commitment to fight US and Coalition forces.
HIG has staged small attacks in its attempt to force US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan Transitional Administration, and establish an Islamic fundamentalist state. In 2004, several US soldiers were killed in attacks in Konar, Afghanistan, the area in which HIG is most active.
Unknown, but possibly could have hundreds of veteran fighters on which to call.
Location/Area of Operation
Eastern Afghanistan (particularly Konar and Nurestan Provinces) and adjacent areas of Pakistan's tribal areas.
Hizbul-Mujahedin (HM), the largest Kashmiri militant group, was founded in 1989 and officially supports the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir and its accession to Pakistan, although some cadres favor independence. The group is the militant wing of Pakistan's largest Islamic political party, the Jamaat-i-Islami, and targets Indian security forces, politicians and civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. It reportedly operated in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s and trained with the Afghan Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) in Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover. The group, led by Syed Salahuddin, is comprised primarily of ethnic Kashmiris.
HM has conducted a number of operations against Indian military targets in Jammu and Kashmir. The group also occasionally strikes at civilian targets, but has not engaged in terrorist acts outside India. HM claimed responsibility for numerous attacks within Kashmir in 2004.
Exact numbers are unknown, but estimates range from several hundred to possibly as many as 1,000 members in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
Location/Area of Operation
Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
Specific sources of external aid are unknown.
Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
The INLA is a terrorist group formed in 1975 as the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), which split from the Official IRA (OIRA) because of OIRA's cease-fire in 1972. The group's primary aim is to end British rule in Northern Ireland, force British troops out of the province, and unite Ireland's 32 counties into a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary state. Responsible for some of the most notorious killings of "The Troubles," including the bombing of a Ballykelly pub that killed 17 people in 1982. Bloody internal feuding has repeatedly torn the INLA. The INLA announced a cease-fire in August 1998 but continues to carry out occasional attacks and punishment beatings.
The INLA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland, where it has conducted bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. It is also involved in drug trafficking. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include the British military, Northern Ireland security forces, and Loyalist paramilitary groups. The INLA continues to observe a cease-fire, because—in the words of its leadership in 2003—a return to armed struggle is "not a viable option at this time." However, members of the group were accused of involvement in a robbery and kidnapping in December 2004, which the group denies.
Unclear, but probably fewer than 50 hard-core activists. Police counterterrorist operations and internal feuding have reduced the group's strength and capabilities.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic. Does not have a significant established presence on the UK mainland.
Suspected in the past of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers in the United States.
Irish Republican Army (IRA)
a.k.a. Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), the Provos
Formed in 1969 as the clandestine armed wing of the political movement Sinn Fein, the IRA is devoted both to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and to unifying Ireland. The IRA conducted attacks until its cease-fire in 1997 and agreed to disarm as a part of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which established the basis for peace in Northern Ireland. Dissension within the IRA over support for the Northern Ireland peace process resulted in the formation of two more radical splinter groups: Continuity IRA (CIRA), and the Real IRA (RIRA) in mid to late 1990s. The IRA, sometimes referred to as the PIRA to distinguish it from RIRA and CIRA, is organized into small, tightlyknit cells under the leadership of the Army Council.
Traditional IRA activities have included bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, punishment beatings, extortion, smuggling, and robberies. Before the cease-fire in 1997, the group had conducted bombing campaigns on various targets in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, including senior British Government officials, civilians, police, and British military targets. The group's refusal in late 2004 to allow photographic documentation of its decommissioning process was an obstacle to progress in implementing the Belfast Agreement and stalled talks. The group previously had disposed of light, medium, and heavy weapons, ammunition, and explosives in three rounds of decommissioning. However, the IRA is believed to retain the ability to conduct paramilitary operations. The group's extensive criminal activities reportedly provide the IRA and the political party Sinn Fein with millions of dollars each year; the IRA was implicated in two significant robberies in 2004, one involving almost $50 million.
Several hundred members and several thousand sympathizers despite the defection of some members to RIRA and CIRA.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, Great Britain, and Europe.
In the past, the IRA has received aid from a variety of groups and countries and considerable training and arms from Libya and the PLO. Is suspected of receiving funds, arms, and other terrorist-related materiel from sympathizers in the United States. Similarities in operations suggest links to ETA and the FARC. In August 2002, three suspected IRA members were arrested in Colombia on charges of helping the FARC improve its explosives capabilities.
Islamic Army of Aden (IAA)
a.k.a. Aden-Abyan Islamic Army (AAIA)
The Islamic Army of Aden (IAA) emerged publicly in mid1998 when the group released a series of communiqués that expressed support for Usama Bin Ladin, appealed for the overthrow of the Yemeni Government, and called for operations against US and other Western interests in Yemen. IAA was first designated under EO 13224 in September 2001.
IAA has engaged in small-scale operations such as bombings, kidnappings, and small arms attacks to promote its goals. The group reportedly was behind an attack in June 2003 against a medical assistance convoy in the Abyan Governorate. Yemeni authorities responded with a raid on a suspected IAA facility, killing several individuals and capturing others, including Khalid al-Nabi al-Yazidi, the group's leader. Before that attack, the group had not conducted operations since the bombing of the British Embassy in Sanaa in October 2000. In 2001, Yemeni authorities found an IAA member and three associates responsible for that attack. In December 1998, the group kidnapped 16 British, American, and Australian tourists near Mudiyah in southern Yemen. Although Yemeni officials previously have claimed that the group is operationally defunct, their recent attribution of the attack in 2003 against the medical convoy and reports that al-Yazidi was released from prison in mid-October 2003 suggest that the IAA, or at least elements of the group, have resumed activity. Speculation after the attack on the USS Cole pointed to the involvement of the IAA, and the group later claimed responsibility for the attack. The IAA has been affiliated with al-Qa'ida. IAA members are known to have trained and served in Afghanistan under the leadership of seasoned mujahedin.
Location/Area of Operation
Operates in the southern governorates of Yemen—primarily Aden and Abyan.
Islamic Great East Raiders–Front (IBDA-C)
The Islamic Great East Raiders–Front (IBDA-C) is a Sunni Salafist group that supports Islamic rule in Turkey and believes that Turkey's present secular leadership is "illegal." It has been known to cooperate with various opposition elements in Turkey in attempts to destabilize the country's political structure. The group supports the establishment of a "pure Islamic" state, to replace the present "corrupt" Turkish regime that is cooperating with the West. Its primary goal is the establishment of a "Federative Islamic State," a goal backed by armed terrorist attacks primarily against civilian targets. It has been active since the mid1970s.
IBDA-C has engaged in activities such as bombings, throwing Molotov cocktails, and sabotage. The group has announced its actions and targets in publications to its members, who are free to launch independent attacks. IBDA-C typically has attacked civilian targets, including churches, charities, minority-affiliated targets, television transmitters, newspapers, pro-secular journalists, Ataturk statues, taverns, banks, clubs, and tobacco shops. In May 2004, Turkish police indicted seven members of the group for the assassination of retired Colonel Ihsan Guven, the alleged leader of the "Dost" (Friend) sect, and his wife. One of IBDA-C's more renowned attacks was the killing of 37 people in a firebomb attack in July 1993 on a hotel in Sivas. Turkish police believe that IBDA-C has also claimed responsibility for attacks carried out by other groups to elevate its image.
Location/Area of Operation
Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB)
The IIPB is a terrorist group affiliated with the Chechen separatist movement demanding a single Islamic state in the North Caucasus. Chechen extremist leader Shamil Basayev established the IIPB—consisting of Chechens, Arabs, and other foreign fighters—in 1998, which he led with Saudi-born mujahedin leader Ibn al-Khattab until the latter's death in March 2002. The IIPB was one of three groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that seized Moscow's Dubrovka Theater and took more than 700 hostages in October 2002. While this group has not been identified as conducting attacks since their designation two years ago, those Arab mujahedin still operating in Chechnya now fall under the command of Abu Hafs al-Urduni, who assumed the leadership in April 2004 after the death of Khattab's successor, Abu al-Walid. Designated under EO 13224 in February 2003.
Involved in terrorist and guerilla operations against Russian forces, pro-Russian Chechen forces, and Chechen noncombatants.
Up to 400 fighters, including as many as 100 Arabs and other foreign fighters.
Location/Area of Operation
Primarily in Russia and adjacent areas of the north Caucasus, particularly in the mountainous south of Chechnya, with major logistical activities in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.
The IIPB and its Arab leaders appear to be a primary conduit for Islamic funding of the Chechen guerrillas, in part through links to al-Qa'ida-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula.
Islamic Jihad Group (IJG)
The Islamic Jihad Group (IJG), probably founded by former members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, made its first appearance in early April 2004 when it claimed responsibility for a string of events—including shootouts and terrorist attacks—in Uzbekistan in late March and early April that killed approximately 47 people, including 33 terrorists. The claim of responsibility, which was posted to multiple militant Islamic websites, raged against the leadership of Uzbekistan. In late July 2004, the group struck again with near-simultaneous suicide bombings of the US and Israeli Embassies and the Uzbek Prosecutor General's office in Tashkent. The IJG again claimed responsibility via an Islamic website and stated that martyrdom operations by the group would continue. The statement also indicated the attacks were done in support of their Palestinian, Iraqi, and Afghan brothers in the global jihad.
The IJG claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in 2004 against Uzbekistani, American, and Israeli entities. The attackers in the March and April 2004 attacks, some of whom were female suicide bombers, targeted the local government offices of the Uzbekistani and Bukhara police, killing approximately 47 people, including 33 terrorists. These attacks marked the first use of female suicide bombers in Central Asia. On July 30, 2004, the group launched a set of same-day attacks against the US and Israeli Embassies and the Uzbek Prosecutor General's office. These attacks left four Uzbekistanis and three suicide operatives dead. The date of the latter attack corresponds to the start of a trial for individuals arrested for their participation in earlier attacks.
Location/Area of Operation
Militants are scattered throughout Central Asia and probably parts of South Asia.
Jamiat ul-Mujahedin (JUM)
The JUM is a small, pro-Pakistan militant group formed in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990. Followers are mostly Kashmiris, but the group includes some Pakistanis.
Has conducted a number of operations against Indian military and political targets in Jammu and Kashmir, including two grenade attacks against political targets in 2004.
Location/Area of Operation
Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
Japanese Red Army (JRA)
a.k.a. Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB)
The JRA is an international terrorist group formed around 1970 after breaking away from the Japanese Communist League–Red Army Faction. The JRA's historical goal has been to overthrow the Japanese Government and monarchy and to help foment world revolution. JRA's leader, Fusako Shigenobu, claimed that the forefront of the battle against international imperialism was in Palestine, so in the early 1970s she led her small group to the Middle East to support the Palestinian struggle against Israel and the West. After her arrest in November 2000, Shigenobu announced she intended to pursue her goals using a legitimate political party rather than revolutionary violence, and the group announced it would disband in April 2001.
During the 1970s, JRA carried out a series of attacks around the world, including the massacre in 1972 at Lod Airport in Israel, two Japanese airliner hijackings, and an attempted takeover of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. During the late 1980s, JRA began to single out American targets and used car bombs and rockets in attempted attacks on US Embassies in Jakarta, Rome, and Madrid. In April 1988, JRA operative Yu Kikumura was arrested with explosives on the New Jersey Turnpike, apparently planning an attack to coincide with the bombing of a USO club in Naples, a suspected JRA operation that killed five, including a US servicewoman. He was convicted of the charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United States. Tsutomu Shirosaki, captured in 1996, is also jailed in the United States. In 2000, Lebanon deported to Japan four members it arrested in 1997, but granted a fifth operative, Kozo Okamoto, political asylum. Longtime leader Shigenobu was arrested in November 2000 and faces charges of terrorism and passport fraud. Four JRA members remain in North Korea following their involvement in a hijacking in 1970; five of their family members returned to Japan in 2004.
About six hard-core members; undetermined number of sympathizers. At its peak, the group claimed to have 30 to 40 members.
Location/Area of Operation
Location unknown, but possibly in Asia and/or Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon.
Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)
Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) favors the overthrow of the Malaysian Government and the creation of an Islamic state comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, and the southern Philippines. Malaysian authorities believe an extremist wing of the KMM has engaged in terrorist acts and has close ties to the regional terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiya (JI). Key JI leaders, including the group's spiritual head, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, and JI operational leader Hambali, reportedly had great influence over KMM members. The Government of Singapore asserts that a Singaporean JI member assisted the KMM in buying a boat to support jihad activities in Indonesia.
Malaysia is holding a number of KMM members under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for activities deemed threatening to Malaysia's national security, including planning to wage jihad, possession of weaponry, bombings and robberies, the murder of a former state assemblyman, and planning attacks on foreigners, including US citizens. A number of those detained are also believed to be members of Jemaah Islamiya. Several of the arrested KMM militants have reportedly undergone military training in Afghanistan, and some fought with the Afghan mujahedin during the war against the former Soviet Union. Some members are alleged to have ties to Islamic extremist organizations in Indonesia and the Philippines. In September 2003, alleged KMM leader Nik Adli Nik Abdul Aziz's detention was extended for another two years. In March 2004, Aziz and other suspected KMM members went on a hunger strike as part of an unsuccessful bid for freedom, but the Malaysian court rejected their applications for a writ of habeas corpus in September. One alleged KMM member was sentenced to 10 years in prison for unlawful possession of firearms, explosives, and ammunition, but eight other alleged members in detention since 2001 were released in July and in November. The Malaysian Government is confident that the arrests of KMM leaders have crippled the organization and rendered it incapable of engaging in militant activities. Malaysian officials in May 2004 denied Thailand's charge that the KMM was involved in the Muslim separatist movement in southern Thailand.
KMM's current membership is unknown.
Location/Area of Operation
The KMM is reported to have networks in the Malaysian states of Perak, Johor, Kedah, Selangor, Terengganu, and Kelantan. They also operate in Kuala Lumpur. According to press reports, the KMM has ties to radical Indonesian Islamic groups and has sent members to Ambon, Indonesia, to fight against Christians and to the southern Philippines for operational training.
Largely unknown, probably self-financing.
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
The LRA was formally established in 1994, succeeding the ethnic Acholi-dominated Holy Spirit Movement and other insurgent groups. LRA leader Joseph Kony has called for the overthrow of the Ugandan Government and its replacement with a regime run on the basis of the Ten Commandments. More frequently, however, he has spoken of the liberation and honor of the Acholi people, whom he sees as oppressed by the "foreign" Government of Ugandan President Museveni. Kony is the LRA's undisputed leader. He claims to have supernatural powers and to receive messages from spirits, which he uses to formulate the LRA's strategy.
The Acholi people, whom Kony claims to be fighting to liberate, are the ones who suffer most from his actions. Since the early 1990's, the LRA has kidnapped some 20,000 Ugandan children, mostly ethnic Acholi, to replenish its ranks. Kony despises Acholi elders for having given up the fight against Museveni and relies on abducted children who can be brutally indoctrinated to fight for the LRA. The LRA forces kidnapped children and adult civilians to become soldiers, porters, and "wives" for LRA leaders. The LRA prefers to attack camps for internally displaced persons and other civilian targets, avoiding direct engagement with the Ugandan military. Victims of LRA attacks sometimes have their hands, fingers, ears, noses, or other extremities cut off. The LRA stepped up its activities from 2002 to 2004 after the Ugandan army, with the Sudanese Government's permission, attacked LRA positions inside Sudan. By late 2003, the number of internally displaced had doubled to 1.4 million, and the LRA had pushed deep into non-Acholi areas where it had never previously operated. During 2004, a combination of military pressure, offers of amnesty, and several rounds of negotiation markedly degraded LRA capabilities due to death, desertion, and defection of senior commanders.
Estimated in early 2004 at between 500 and 1,000 fighters, 85 percent of whom are abducted children and civilians, but numbers have since declined significantly.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Uganda and southern Sudan.
Although the LRA has been supported by the Government of Sudan in the past, the Sudanese now appear to be cooperating with the Government of Uganda in a campaign to eliminate LRA sanctuaries in Sudan.
Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
An extreme Loyalist group formed in 1996 as a faction of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), the LVF did not emerge publicly until 1997. Composed largely of UVF hardliners who have sought to prevent a political settlement with Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland by attacking Catholic politicians, civilians, and Protestant politicians who endorse the Northern Ireland peace process. LVF occasionally uses the Red Hand Defenders as a cover name for its actions but has also called for the group's disbandment. In October 2001, the British Government ruled that the LVF had broken the cease-fire it declared in 1998 after linking the group to the murder of a journalist. According to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, the LVF decommissioned a small amount of weapons in December 1998, but it has not repeated this gesture. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.
Bombings, kidnappings, and close-quarter shooting attacks. Finances its activities with drug money and other criminal activities. LVF attacks have been particularly vicious; the group has murdered numerous Catholic civilians with no political or paramilitary affiliations, including an 18-year-old Catholic girl in July 1997 because she had a Protestant boyfriend. The terrorists also have conducted successful attacks against Irish targets in Irish border towns. From 2000 to 2004, the LVF has been engaged in a violent feud with other Loyalists, which has left several men dead.
Small, perhaps dozens of active members.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)
The goals of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) include establishing an Islamic state in Morocco and supporting al-Qa'ida's jihad against the West. The group appears to have emerged in the 1990s and is comprised of Moroccan recruits who trained in armed camps in Afghanistan and some who fought in the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation. GICM members interact with other North African extremists, particularly in Europe. On November 22, 2002, the United States designated the GICM for asset freeze under EO 13224 following the group's submission to the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee.
Moroccans associated with the GICM are part of the broader international jihadist movement. GICM is one of the groups believed to be involved in planning the May 2003 Casablanca suicide bombings, and has been involved in other plots. Members work with other North African extremists, engage in trafficking falsified documents, and possibly arms smuggling. The group in the past has issued communiqués and statements against the Moroccan Government. In the last year, a number of arrests in Belgium, France, and Spain have disrupted the group's ability to operate, though cells and key members still remain throughout Europe. Although the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, among others, claimed responsibility on behalf of al-Qa'ida, Spanish authorities are investigating the possibility that GICM was involved in the March 11, 2004, Madrid train bombings.
Location/Area of Operation
Morocco, Western Europe, Afghanistan, and Canada.
Unknown, but believed to include criminal activity abroad.
New Red Brigades/Communist Combatant Party (BR/PCC)
a.k.a. Brigate Rosse/Partito Comunista Combattente
This Marxist-Leninist group is a successor to the Red Brigades, active in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to ideology, both groups share the same symbol, a five-pointed star inside a circle. The group is opposed to Italy's foreign and labor policies and to NATO.
In 2004, the BR/PCC continued to suffer setbacks, with their leadership in prison and other members under pressure from the Italian Government. The BR/PCC did not claim responsibility for a blast at an employment agency in Milan in late October, although the police suspect remnants of the group are responsible. In 2003, Italian authorities captured at least seven members of the BR/PCC, dealing the terrorist group a severe blow to its operational effectiveness. Some of those arrested are suspects in the assassination in 1999 of Labor Ministry adviser Massimo D'Antona, and authorities are hoping to link them to the assassination in 2002 of Labor Ministry advisor Marco Biagi. The arrests in October came on the heels of a clash in March 2003 involving Italian Railway Police and two BR/PCC members, which resulted in the deaths of one of the operatives and an Italian security officer. The BR/PCC has financed its activities through armed robberies.
Fewer than 20.
Location/Area of Operation
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD) and its ally Qibla (an Islamic fundamentalist group that favors political Islam and takes an anti-US and anti-Israel stance) view the South African Government as a threat to Islamic values. The two groups work to promote a greater political voice for South African Muslims. PAGAD has used front names such as Muslims Against Global Oppression and Muslims Against Illegitimate Leaders when launching anti-Western protests and campaigns.
PAGAD formed in November 1995 as a vigilante group in reaction to crime in some neighborhoods of Cape Town. In September 1996, a change in the group's leadership resulted in a change in the group's goal, and it began to support a violent jihad to establish an Islamic state. Between 1996 and 2000, PAGAD conducted a total of 189 bomb attacks, including nine bombings in the Western Cape that caused serious injuries. PAGAD's targets included South African authorities, moderate Muslims, synagogues, gay nightclubs, tourist attractions, and Western-associated restaurants. PAGAD is believed to have masterminded the bombing on August 25, 1998, of the Cape Town Planet Hollywood. Since 2001, PAGAD's violent activities have been severely curtailed by law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts against leading members of the organization. Qibla leadership has organized demonstrations against visiting US dignitaries and other protests, but the extent of PAGAD's involvement is uncertain.
Early estimates were several hundred members. Current operational strength is unknown, but probably vastly diminished.
Location/Area of Operation
Operates mainly in the Cape Town area.
May have ties to international Islamic extremists.
Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
The RHD is an extremist terrorist group formed in 1998 and composed largely of Protestant hardliners from Loyal-ist groups observing a cease-fire. RHD seeks to prevent a political settlement with Irish nationalists by attacking Catholic civilian interests in Northern Ireland. In January 2002, the group announced all staff at Catholic schools in Belfast and Catholic postal workers were legitimate targets. Despite calls in February 2002 by the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) to announce its disbandment, RHD continued to make threats and issue claims of responsibility. RHD is a cover name often used by elements of the banned UDA and LVF. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.
In early 2003, the RHD claimed responsibility for killing two UDA members as a result of what is described as Loyalist internecine warfare. It also claimed responsibility for a bomb that was left in the offices of Republican Sinn Fein in West Belfast, although the device was defused and no one was injured. In recent years, the group has carried out numerous pipe bombings and arson attacks against "soft" civilian targets such as homes, churches, and private businesses. In January 2002, the group bombed the home of a prison official in North Belfast. Twice in 2002 the group claimed responsibility for attacks—the murder of a Catholic postman and a Catholic teenager—that were later claimed by the UDAUFF, further blurring distinctions between the groups. In 2001, RHD claimed responsibility for killing five persons. The RHD has claimed responsibility for hoax bomb devices, and recently has set off petrol bombs and made death threats against local politicians.
Up to 20 members, some of whom have experience in terrorist tactics and bomb making. Police arrested one member in June 2001 for making a hoax bomb threat.
Location/Area of Operation
Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei (NIPR)
The NIPR is a clandestine leftist extremist group that appeared in Rome in 2000. Adopted the logo of the Red Brigades of the 1970s and 1980s—an encircled five point star—for its declarations. Opposes Italy's foreign and labor policies. Has targeted property interests rather than personnel in its attacks.
The NIPR has not claimed responsibility for any attacks since an April 2001 bomb attack on a building housing a US-Italian relations association and an international affairs institute in Rome's historic center. The NIPR claimed to have carried out a bombing in May 2000 in Rome at an oversight committee facility for implementation of the law on strikes in public services. The group also claimed responsibility for an explosion in February 2002 on Via Palermo adjacent to the Interior Ministry in Rome.
Possibly 12 members.
Location/Area of Operations
Mainly in Rome, Milan, Lazio, and Tuscany.
Revolutionary Struggle (RS)
RS is a radical leftist group that is anti-Greek establishment and ideologically aligns itself with the organization 17 November. Although the group is not specifically anti-US, its anti-imperialist rhetoric suggests it may become so.
First became known when the group conducted a bombing in September 2003 against the courthouse at which the trials of alleged 17 November members were ongoing. In May 2004, the group detonated four improvised explosive devices at a police station in Athens. These two attacks were notable for their apparent attempts to target and kill first responders—the first time a Greek terrorist group had used this tactic. RS is widely regarded as the most dangerous indigenous Greek terrorist group at this time.
Likely less than 50 members.
Location/Area of Operation
Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM)
Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM), led by Chechen extremist leader Shamil Basayev, uses terrorism as part of an effort to secure an independent Muslim state in the North Caucasus. Basayev claimed the group was responsible for the Beslan school hostage crisis of September 1-3, 2004, which culminated in the deaths of about 330 people; simultaneous suicide bombings aboard two Russian civilian airliners in late August 2004; and a third suicide bombing outside a Moscow subway that same month. The RSRSBCM, whose name translates into English as "Requirements for Getting into Paradise," was not known to Western observers before October 2002, when it participated in the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow. Designated under EO 13224 in February 2003.
Primarily terrorist and guerilla operations against Russian forces, pro-Russian Chechen forces, and Russian and Chechen non-combatants.
Probably no more than 50 fighters at any given time.
Location/Area of Operations
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahedin.
The Sipah-I-Sahaba/Pakistan (SSP) is a Sunni sectarian group that follows the Deobandi school. Violently anti-Shia, the SSP emerged in central Punjab in the mid-1980s as a response to the Iranian Revolution. Pakistani President Musharraf banned the SSP in January 2002. In August 2002, the SSP renamed itself Millat-i-Islami Pakistan, and Musharraf re-banned the group under its new name in November 2003. The SSP also has operated as a political party, winning seats in Pakistan's National Assembly.
The group's activities range from organizing political rallies calling for Shia to be declared non-Muslims to assassinating prominent Shia leaders. The group was responsible for attacks on Shia worshippers in May 2004, when at least 50 people were killed.
The SSP may have approximately 3,000 to 6,000 trained activists who carry out various kinds of sectarian activities.
Location/Area of Operation
The SSP has influence in all four provinces of Pakistan. It is considered to be one of the most powerful sectarian groups in the country.
The SSP reportedly receives significant funding from Saudi Arabia through wealthy private donors in Pakistan. Funds also are acquired from other sources, including other Sunni extremist groups, madrassas, and contributions by political groups.
Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR)
The SPIR is one of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow in October 2002. The SPIR has had at least seven commanders since it was founded in the late 1990s. Movsar Barayev, who led and was killed during the theater standoff, was the first publicly identified leader. The group continues to conduct guerrilla operations in Chechnya under the leadership of the current leader, Amir Aslan, whose true identity is not known. Designated under EO 13224 in February 2003.
Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces. Has also been involved in various hostage and ransom operations, including the execution of ethnic Chechens who have collaborated with Russian authorities.
Probably no more than 100 fighters at any given time.
Location/Area of Operations
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahedin.
Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG), also known as the Jama'a Combattante Tunisienne, seeks to establish an Islamic regime in Tunisia and has targeted US and Western interests. The group is an offshoot of the banned Tunisian Islamist movement, an-Nahda. Founded around 2000 by Tarek Maaroufi and Saifallah Ben Hassine, the TCG has drawn members from the Tunisian diaspora in Europe and elsewhere. It has lost some of its leadership, but may still exist, particularly in Western Europe. Belgian authorities arrested Maaroufi in late 2001 and sentenced him to six years in prison in 2003 for his role in the assassination of anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud two days before 9/11. The TCG was designated under EO 13224 in October 2002. Historically, the group has been associated with al-Qa'ida as well. Members also have ties to other North African extremist groups. The TCG was designated for sanctions under UNSCR 1333 in December 2000.
Tunisians associated with the TCG are part of the support network of the broader international jihadist movement. According to European press reports, TCG members or affiliates in the past have engaged in trafficking falsified documents and recruiting for terror training camps in Afghanistan. Some TCG associates were suspected of planning an attack against the US, Algerian, and Tunisian diplomatic missions in Rome in April 2001. Some members reportedly maintain ties to the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat.
Location/Area of Operation
Western Europe and Afghanistan.
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
MRTA is a traditional Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movement formed in 1983 from remnants of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, a Peruvian insurgent group active in the 1960s. It aims to establish a Marxist regime and to rid Peru of all imperialist elements (primarily US and Japanese influence). Peru's counterterrorist program has diminished the group's ability to conduct terrorist attacks, and the MRTA has suffered from infighting, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and the loss of leftist support.
Previously conducted bombings, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations, but recent activity has fallen drastically. In December 1996, 14 MRTA members occupied the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima and held 72 hostages for more than four months. Peruvian forces stormed the residence in April 1997, rescuing all but one of the remaining hostages and killing all 14 group members, including the remaining leaders. The group has not conducted a significant terrorist operation since and appears more focused on obtaining the release of imprisoned MRTA members, although there are reports of low-level rebuilding efforts.
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.
Turkish Hizballah is a Kurdish Sunni Islamic terrorist organization that arose in the early 1980s in response to the Kurdistan Workers'Party (PKK)'s secularist approach of establishing an independent Kurdistan. Turkish Hizballah spent its first 10 years fighting the PKK, accusing the group of atrocities against Muslims in southeastern Turkey, where Turkish Hizballah seeks to establish an independent Islamic state.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Turkish Hizballah, which is unrelated to Lebanese Hizballah, expanded its target base and modus operandi from killing PKK militants to conducting low-level bombings against liquor stores, bordellos, and other establishments the organization considered "anti-Islamic." In January 2000, Turkish security forces killed Huseyin Velioglu, the leader of Turkish Hizballah, in a shootout at a safe house in Istanbul. The incident sparked a year-long series of counterterrorist operations against the group that resulted in the detention of some 2,000 individuals; authorities arrested several hundred of those on criminal charges. At the same time, police recovered nearly 70 bodies of Turkish and Kurdish businessmen and journalists that Turkish Hizballah had tortured and brutally murdered during the mid-to-late 1990s. The group began targeting official Turkish interests in January 2001, when its operatives assassinated the Diyarbakir police chief in the group's most sophisticated operation to date. Turkish Hizballah did not conduct a major operation in 2003 or 2004 and probably is focusing on recruitment, fundraising, and reorganization.
Possibly a few hundred members and several thousand supporters.
Location/Area of Operation
Primarily the Diyarbakir region of southeastern Turkey.
It is widely believed that Turkey's security apparatus originally backed Turkish Hizballah to help the Turkish Government combat the PKK. Alternative views are that the Turkish Government turned a blind eye to Turkish Hizballah's activities because its primary targets were PKK members and supporters, or that the Government simply had to prioritize scarce resources and was unable to wage war on both groups simultaneously. Allegations of collusion have never been laid to rest, and the Government of Turkey continues to issue denials. Turkish Hizballah also is suspected of having ties with Iran, although there is not sufficient evidence to establish a link.
Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF)
The Ulster Defense Association (UDA), the largest Loyal-ist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, was formed in 1971 as an umbrella organization for Loyalist paramilitary groups such as the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). Today, the UFF constitutes almost the entire UDA membership. The UDA/UFF declared a series of cease-fires between 1994 and 1998. In September 2001, the UDA/UFF's Inner Council withdrew its support for Northern Ireland's Good Friday Agreement. The following month, after a series of murders, bombings, and street violence, the British Government ruled the UDA/UFF's cease-fire defunct. The dissolution of the organization's political wing, the Ulster Democratic Party, soon followed. In January 2002, however, the UDA created the Ulster Political Research Group to serve in a similar capacity. Designated under EO 13224 in December 2001.
The UDA/UFF has evolved into a criminal organization deeply involved in drug trafficking and other moneymaking criminal activities through six largely independent "brigades." It has also been involved in murder, shootings, arson, and assaults. According to the International Monitoring Commission, "the UDA has the capacity to launch serious, if crude, attacks." Some UDA activities have been of a sectarian nature directed at the Catholic community, aimed at what are sometimes described as 'soft'targets, and often have taken place at the interface between the Protestant and Catholic communities, especially in Belfast. The organization continues to be involved in targeting individual Catholics and has undertaken attacks against retired and serving prison officers. The group has also been involved in a violent internecine war with other Loyalist paramilitary groups for the past several years. In February 2003, the UDA/UFF declared a 12-month ceasefire, but refused to decommission its arsenal until Republican groups did likewise and emphasized its continued disagreement with the Good Friday accords. The cease-fire has been extended. Even though numerous attacks on Catholics were blamed on the group, the UDA/UFF did not claim credit for any attacks, and in August 2003 reiterated its intention to remain militarily inactive.
Estimates vary from 2,000 to 5,000 members, with several hundred active in paramilitary operations.
Location/Area of Operation
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
The UVF is a Loyalist terrorist group formed in 1966 to oppose liberal reforms in Northern Ireland that members feared would lead to unification of Ireland. The group adopted the name of an earlier organization formed in 1912 to combat Home Rule for Ireland. The UVF's goal is to maintain Northern Ireland's status as part of the UK; to that end it has killed some 550 persons since 1966. The UVF and its offshoots have been responsible for some of the most vicious attacks of "The Troubles," including horrific sectarian killings like those perpetrated in the 1970s by the UVF-affiliated "Shankill Butchers." In October 1994, the Combined Loyalist Military Command, which included the UVF, declared a cease-fire, and the UVF's political wing, the Progressive Unionist Party, has played an active role in the peace process. Despite the cease-fire, the organization has been involved in a series of bloody feuds with other Loyalist paramilitary organizations. The Red Hand Commando is linked to the UVF.
The UVF has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland, where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. UVF members have been linked to recent racial attacks on minorities; however, these assaults were reportedly not authorized by the UVF leadership. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include nationalist civilians, Republican paramilitary groups, and, on occasion, rival Loyalist paramilitary groups. The UVF is a relatively disciplined organization with a centralized command. The UVF leadership continues to observe a cease-fire.
Unclear, but probably several hundred supporters, with a smaller number of hard-core activists. Police counterterrorist operations and internal feuding have reduced the group's strength and capabilities.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern Ireland. Some support on the UK mainland.
Suspected in the past of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers overseas.
United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)
Northeast India's most prominent insurgent group, ULFA—an ethnic secessionist organization in the Indian state of Assam, bordering Bangladesh and Bhutan—was founded on April 7, 1979 at Rang Ghar, during agitation organized by the state's powerful students'union. The group's objective is an independent Assam, reflected in its ideology of "Oikya, Biplab, Mukti" ("Unity, Revolution, Freedom"). ULFA enjoyed widespread support in upper Assam in its initial years, especially in 1985-1992. ULFA's kidnappings, killings and extortion led New Delhi to ban the group and start a military offensive against it in 1990, which forced it to go underground. ULFA began to lose popularity in the late 1990s after it increasingly targeted civilians, including a prominent NGO activist. It lost further support for its anti-Indian stand during the 1999 Kargil War.
ULFA trains, finances and equips cadres for a "liberation struggle" while extortion helps finance military training and weapons purchases. ULFA conducts hit and run operations on security forces in Assam, selective assassinations, and explosions in public places. During the 1980s-1990s ULFA undertook a series of abductions and murders, particularly of businessmen. In 2000, ULFA assassinated an Assam state minister. In 2003, ULFA killed more than 60 "outsiders" in Assam, mainly residents of the bordering state of Bihar.
Following the December 2003 Bhutanese Army's attack on ULFA camps in Bhutan, the group is believed to have suffered a setback. Some important ULFA functionaries surrendered in Assam, but incidents of violence, though of a lesser magnitude than in the past, continue. On August 14, one civilian was killed and 18 others injured when ULFA militants triggered a grenade blast inside a cinema hall at Gauripur in Dhubri district. The next day, at an Indian Independence Day event, a bomb blast in Dhemaji killed an estimated 13 people, including 6 children, and injured 21.
ULFA's earlier numbers (3,000 plus) dropped following the December 2003 attack on its camps in Bhutan. Total cadre strength now is estimated at 700.
Location/Area of Operations
ULFA is active in the state of Assam, and its workers are believed to transit (and sometimes conduct operations in) parts of neighboring Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland. All ULFA camps in Bhutan are reportedly demolished. The group may have linkages with other ethnic insurgent groups active in neighboring states.
ULFA reportedly procures and trades in arms with other Northeast Indian groups, and receives aid from unknown external sources..