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Foreign Terrorist Organizations

NCJ Number
Audrey Kurth Cronin; Huda Aden; Adam Frost; Benjamin Jones
Date Published
February 2004
111 pages
This report analyzes the status of 36 of the major foreign terrorist organizations posing a threat to the United States.
All of the terrorist groups analyzed in this report were identified as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” by the Secretary of State. The report is organized alphabetically by terrorist organization. The following information is provided for each organization: name, goals and objective, brief history, favored tactics, anti-American activities, areas of operation, strength and composition, connections with other terrorist groups, supporters and other sources of funding, year originally designated as a terrorist organization, date re-designated, issues of interest to Congress, and references in other Congressional Research Service (CRS) publications. For example, the analysis of HAMAS indicates that the organization’s name is Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia or Islamic Resistance Movement or HAMAS. The brief history indicates that HAMAS split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in 1987 and now contains two wings, a social service wing that purportedly runs clinics, kindergartens, and the like, and a terrorist wing that carries out attacks against Israeli targets. The favored tactic of HAMAS since 1994 has been suicide bombings. Under the categories of anti-American activities, the report indicates that although some United States citizens have died as a result of HAMAS bombings in Israel, the group has not intentionally targeted United States interests. Areas of HAMAS operations are in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Under the category of strength and composition, it is reported that members of HAMAS are Palestinian Islamic radicals of unknown numbers. HAMAS has connections with other terrorist organizations, most notably the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (also analyzed in this report). Sources of funding include the country of Iran and Palestinian expatriates around the world. HAMAS was originally designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization October 8, 1997, and was re-designated as such both October 8, 1999, and October 5, 2001. Issues of concern for Congress regarding HAMAS include their significant financial resources and extensive international ties. HAMAS is discussed in some capacity in seven additional CRS reports; references provided. Footnotes