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Current List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Other Terrorist Organizations

Author(s): Mark Burgess

The U.S. State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) began in 1997 as a method of tracking down and striking back against specific terrorist groups around the world.  FTOs are designated as such based on a demonstrated capability and/or willingness to engage in terrorist methods that threaten the U.S. national security interests.  These methods include attacks on U.S. nationals, and American national defense, military, diplomatic, and economic interests.  The FTO list provides the U.S. government with the legal authority to conduct prosecutions against U.S. citizens, or foreign nationals within the country, for aiding — financially, ideologically or logistically — any designated FTO.  FTO designation can also mean certain members or representatives of the designated terror group can be denied entry to the United States through visa rejection or other means.  The United States also maintains the authority to compel U.S. financial institutions to freeze any assets linked to an FTO and to report them to the U.S. Department of the Treasury pursuant to Executive Order 13244.

Below is the current alphabetical listing of FTOs (as of May 5, 2004) with links to the CDI Spotlight articles for each group.  Following that is a list of Other Terrorist Groups -again including links to CDI Terrorism Project Spotlights on each group.  The compilation of these Spotlights is ongoing, and, when completed, will compliment the list of such articles already completed for FTOs.


As of May 5, 2004 , the U.S. State Department has not provided an official definition as to the specific reasoning behind the designation of those terrorist groups as Other Terrorist Groups, but it is inferred that these groups are of lesser consequence than designated FTOs and thus considered ancillary.  Such groups are also potentially noteworthy as an upsurge in their activities could lead to them being designated (and in some cases, re-designated) as FTOs.

Please refer to the bottom of the page for links to other lists pertaining to terrorist organizations.

All organization names marked with an * link to an associated CDI article.

Foreign Terrorist Organizations

* Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)

* Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

* Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

* Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)

* Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)

* Al-Qaida (The Base)

* Ansar al-Islam

* Armed Islamic Group

* Asbat al-Ansar (Band of Partisans)

* Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

* Communist Party of Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)

Continuity Irish Republican Army

* HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)

* Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)

* Hezbollah (Party of God)

* Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
* Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)

Jama'at al-Tawid wa'al Jihad

* Jemaah Islamiah (JI)

* Kahane Chai (Kach)

* Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) a.k.a. Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK)

* Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT)

* Lashkar I Jhangvi (LJ)

* Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE)

* Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO)

* National Liberation Army (ELN-Columbia)

* Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

* Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)

* Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

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

* Real IRA (RIRA)

* Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC)

* Revolutionary Nuclei

* Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)

* Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (RPLP/F)

* Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)

* Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path or SL)

* United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Columbia (AUC)

Other Terrorist Groups

* Al-Badr

* Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB)

Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI)

Anti-Imperialist Territorial Nuclei (NTA)

Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR)

* Aum Shinrikyo

Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF)

* Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M)

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)

* Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement

* First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO)

* Great East Islamic Raiders- Front (IBDA - C)

* Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HuJI)

Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)

Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin

Hizb ul-Mujahedin

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)

Irish Republican Army (IRA)

* Islamic Army of Aden (IAA)

* Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade

Jamiat ul-Mujahedin

* Japanese Red Army (JRA)

Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)

* Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)

* Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

* Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)

Maoist Communist Center of India

* Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)

New Red Brigades/Communist Combatant Party (BR/PCC)

People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)

Peoples War

* Red Hand Defenders (RHD)

Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei (NIPR)

* Riyadus-Salikhin (Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs)

* Sipah-I-Sahaba

* Special Purpose Islamic Regiment

* The New Red Brigades/Communist Combatant Party

The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)

* Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)

* Turkish Hizballah

Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF)

Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)

For more information about terrorists and terrorist organizations refer to the following:

Immigration and Nationality Act

Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996

U.S. Treasury list pursuant to Executive Order 13244

Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), which is in incorporated in the list of Specifically Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons. (Adobe Acrobat format)

Terrorism Exclusion List

FBI list of Most Wanted Terrorists

United Nations list pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1333, and 1390

U.S. State Department FTO list