Things Never Change!
The intention of this web page is to provide thumbnail sketches about some of the various Arab-Palestinian terrorist groups which function within the Near-East/ Middle-East lands.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
This is the Grandfather of known Arab-Palestinian terror organizations. Besides being committed to terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli citizens, the PLO was the most important member of the international terrorist network. It provided training, money, intelligence and weaponry for terrorist movements in Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Africa, Asia and Latin America! The PLO left behind a trail of blood and an atmosphere poisoned with racist hatred over all corners of the world. In any conceivable trouble spot on Earth, they were always there, fanning the fires of death and destruction. While at it, the PLO, together with their Arab allies, have been methodically and diligently spread the virus of anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism.
Note that its emblem, like that of other Palestinian terrorist groups, displays a map of all of the State of Israel -- not just those areas administered by Israel since 1967.
Though the PLO claims that it recognizes Israel's right to exist and wants to found a state only in Gaza and the West Bank, its official stationery, bearing its official emblem, betrays its true goals. As PLO officials have indicated repeatedly, the organization has designs on conquering all of Israel. These aims have been incorporated into the PLO Charter and the PLO's "phased plan" for Israel's destruction.
The PLO was actually an umbrella organization for various other factions:
the largest, was founded in 1956 by a group of young Gazans. It was then,
and still is now, the military arm of the P.L.O. Among the young
terrorists was Yasser Arafat and, by 1968, he was Fatah's leader.
Among one of the many the Fatah offshoots was the infamous Black
September which massacred the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich
Olympics. It was Yasser Arafat who gave the final "O.K." for
Palestinian Authority (PA)
In 1993, as part of the Oslo Accord between Israel and the PLO, Arafat and his fellow terrorists were "sanitized" and allowed to enter Judea-Samaria and Gaza to represent the Arab- Palestinian people. Many, however, believe that the PLO tiger never planned to change the color of its stripes. Its goal now is exactly what it has always been... the total destruction of the State of Israel. The only change is that they now will do it via the violence AND diplomatic route. First create another Arab-Palestinian State (Jordan was the first) and then use that state to launch a final assault against Israel.
In recent days we find that these once separate terrorist groups are both cooperating and competing with each other in their mission to maximize the killing of Israelis. Their individual identities are becoming blurred, with Force 17 and the Tanzim planning combined operations, and Hamas lending a helping hand. Pulling all the major strings is the Godfather himself... Yasser Arafat! And the extent to which the Palestinian Authority is dedicated to harboring, aiding, abetting, equipping and financing the various Palestinian terror groups united under the PA's umbrella can only be surmised. That the cost must run into many hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, is clearly evident. The Palestine Authority is father and mother to more than ten terrorist organizations which carry out their mission to kill Jews. Only Arafat and his henchmen control the huge sums of money that pour in to sustain the Authority and the terrorists who fight its battle. The European Community is among the PA’s biggest and most regular financial contributors. Even the US administration is a contributor, though not a particularly generous one.
This is an inernational terrorist organization led by Sabri al-Banna. He changed his name to Abu Nidal, which means "Father of the Struggle." Abu Nidal split from the PLO in 1974 and went under various names such as Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, and Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims. It is made up of various functional committees, including political, military, and financial.
Abu Nidal 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 December 1985, the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul and the Pan Am flight 73 hijacking in Karachi in September 1986, and the City of Poros day-excursion ship attack in Greece in July 1988. Suspected of assassinating PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief Abu Hul in Tunis in January 1991. Abu Nidal terrorists assassinated a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in January 1994 and has even been linked to the killing of the PLO representative there.
On December 27, 1985 terrorists, under the masterminding leadership of Abu Nidal, attack Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport and Vienna's Schwechat Airport and kill nineteen people, including five U.S. citizens with suicide squads. Many innocent children are mercilessly gunned down by the attackers. Victims include: Natasha Simpson, age 11, daughter of Victor L. Simpson of New York, the Associated Press news editor in Rome. It is suspected that the Egyptian Government has been sheltering Abu Nidal from U.S. prosecution.
The Abu Nidal group, once defined by the US State Department as “the most dangerous terrorist organization in existence,” has not been active in the past decade. This is due to lessened support from Iraq and later of Libya, as well as the serious illness of its leader Sabri Khalil al-Bana (a.k.a. “Abu Nidal.”). In the period of 1973-1994 the group carried out numerous terrorist operations, in which more than 200 people were killed and about 700 wounded. Over the years, Abu Nidal has received considerable support, including safe haven, training, logistic assistance, and financial aid from Iraq, Libya, and Syria in addition to close support for selected operations. The targets of this group included Israel, Jewish individuals and institutions, Arab individuals and institutions, Palestinian leaders and foreign individuals... in other words, Israel and Jews or those Arab/Palestinians who have not been vigorous enough in killing them!
HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
HAMAS was formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the "Muslim Brotherhood." The ultimate goal of HAMAS, as with all the other Palestinian terror groups, is the elimination of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic Arab Palestinian State. HAMAS uses both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue this goal. HAMAS is loosely structured. Some elements working clandestinely while others working openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda. HAMAS's strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and a few areas of the West Bank. To gather a semblance of "legitimacy," HAMAS also has engaged in peaceful political activity, such as running candidates in Gaza and West Bank elections. But their goal is the same... the violent destruction of Israel. Sheik Ahmed Yassin has long been the spiritual leader of this hard-line terrorist group.
HAMAS receives funding from Palestinian expatriates, Iran, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other "moderate!" Arab states. Some fundraising and propaganda activities take place in Western Europe and North America.
(Party of God)
This extremely radical and deadly Arab-Palestinian Shi'ite terror group was formed in Lebanon. It is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and ALL peace negotiations with her. It is closely allied with the Islamic Republic of Iran and often takes orders directly from Iran. All these groups share a fundamentalist Islamic ideology which espouses holy war, or Jihad, against the infidels, and which is under the powerful ideological-religious influence of the Islamic revolution in Iran Islamic Jihad / Hizballah is one of the most complex and dangerous of the Arab terrorist organizations, with cells in many Middle Eastern countries and, apparently, in Europe as well.
These terrorist groups not only receive aid and guidance from Iran but also enjoy generous support from other Arab and Islamic countries such as Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf oil states. They also cooperate extensively with other Palestinian organizations. In addition to destroying Israel, the Islamic Jihad even aspires to overthrow secular Arab regimes in order to establish a pan-Arab Islamic empire. It regards Israel as "the spearhead of the West and Imperialism in the region" and as an initial, essential step toward fulfilling the worldwide Spread of Islam.
The Islamic Jihad recruits young Arabs by means of religious indoctrination, and bases its terror strategy on the willingness of these young people to lay down their lives for what they see as a divine command--the war against the infidels. Many of the Jihad's terrorist attacks are designed as suicide operations, in which the terrorist attempts to cause as many casualties as possible without planning his own escape. It is this suicidal strategy that makes the Islamic Jihad one of the most dangerous organizations of our times.
It was the Islamic revolution in Iran that triggered the growth of Islamic Jihad groups in the Arab countries. In the late 1970s, after establishing their status firmly in Iran itself, the Iranian fundamentalist revolutionaries began to "export" the Islamic revolution from their bastion to areas heavily populated by Shiites and to other Arab countries generally. With the help of local supporters and sermons delivered in the mosques, they worked to recruit young people into the Islamic Jihad. Some of these new recruits travel to Iran to acquire a military-terrorist education, and then returned to establish additional cells in their own countries.
Known or suspected to have been involved in numerous anti-US terrorist attacks, including the suicide truck bombing of the US Embassy and US Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983 and the US Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping and detention of US and other Western hostages in Lebanon. The group also attacked the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and is a suspect in the 1994 bombing of the Israeli cultural center in Buenos Aires. They are also responsible for many suicide bombings in Israel. On August 9, 2001, fifteen Israelis were killed, including 7 children, and about 130 injured in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in the center of Jerusalem.
Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
Islamic Jihad is a mysterious presence among militant Palestinian groups. Unlike the far bigger Hamas, which runs schools and hospitals, Islamic Jihad has no real social or political role. The group is based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and its financial backing is believed to come from there and Iran. As with other Arab-Palestinian terrorist groups, they are committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war. It also opposes pro-Western Arab governments.
Originated among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s, it is committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war, or Jihad. Because of its strong support for Israel, the United States has been identified as an enemy of the PIJ, but the group has not specifically conducted attacks against US interests in the past. In July 2000, however, it publicly threatened to attack US interests if the US Embassy is moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been tainted by Western secularism. It receives financial assistance from Iran and limited logistic assistance from Syria.
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
The Popular Liberation Front is a break-away from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command in mid-1970s. It later split again into pro-PLO, pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions. The pro-PLO faction is led by Muhammad Abbas (Abu Abbas), who became member of PLO Executive Committee in 1984 but left it in 1991. The Abu Abbas-led faction is known for aerial hang glider attacks against Israel. Abbas's group also was responsible for the attack in 1985 on the cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of US citizen Leon Klinghoffer. The PLF is now based in Iraq.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
This is a Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash.. Joined the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principles signed in 1993 and suspended participation in the PLO. It later broke away from the APF, along with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in 1996 over ideological differences. It continues to oppose current negotiations with Israel and targets both Arab and non-Arabs who hint at negotiations with Israel. It continues to receive safe haven and some logistic 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. It violently opposes even Arafat's PLO, non of which are angels! Led by Ahmad Jibril, a former captain in the Syrian Army, it is closely tied to both Syria and Iran. It carried out dozens of attacks in Europe and the Middle East during 1970s-80s. It is known for cross-border terrorist attacks into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders. Its primary focus now is on guerrilla operations in southern Lebanon and small-scale attacks in Israel, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Al-Qaida was established by the Saudi Arabian Arab, Usama Bin Ladin, in the late 1980s to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. He is the son of a billionaire Saudi familyand is said to have inherited approximately $300 million that he uses to finance the group. Al-Qaida also maintains moneymaking front organizations, solicits donations from like-minded supporters, and illicitly siphons funds from donations to Muslim charitable organizations.
He helped finance, recruit, transport, and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Current goal is to establish a pan-Islamic Nation throughout the world by working with allied Islamic extremist groups (including Arab-Palestinian terror groups). Al-Qaida's goal is to overthrow all regimes it deems "non-Islamic" and expelling Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries. Under the banner of the "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders," al-Qaida claims it is the duty of all Muslims to kill Jews and Christians (especially US citizens) and their allies everywhere. Al-Qaida more recently planned the attack against New York City's World Trade Center.
In 1998 this Arab-Islamic terror group conducted the bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tanzania that killed at least 301 persons and injured more than 5,000 others. It also 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 and Yemen in December 1992. It has been linked to several plans that were not carried out... to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to Manila in late 1994, simultaneous bombings of the US and Israeli Embassies in Manila and other Asian capitals in late 1994, the midair bombing of a dozen US trans-Pacific flights in 1995, and a plot to kill President Clinton during a visit to the Philippines in early 1995. Despite the America War Against Terrorism against the main al-Qaida center within Afghanistan, it still has a worldwide reach and still continues to train, finance, and provide logistic support to terrorist groups around the world.
[Al-Aqsa is the Arab name for the Jewish Temple Mount upon which the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque were built.]
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade is an armed Palestinian group associated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah organisation. The group, which has emerged in the last year or so, has carried out operations against Israeli soldiers and settlers, largely in the West Bank and Gaza, and most recently on civilians in Tel Aviv. Its main modus operandi is drive-by shootings. In recent days, the group has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in which more than 20 Israelis were killed - the latest, an attack on a Tel Aviv nightclub early on Tuesday. On March 2, 2002, ten Israelis were killed and over 50 were injured, 4 critically, in a suicide bombing at 19:15 on Saturday evening near a yeshiva in the ultra-Orthodox Beit Yisrael neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem where people had gathered for a bar-mitzva celebration. The terrorist detonated the bomb next to a group of women waiting with their baby carriages for their husbands to leave the nearby synagogue. These are only but a few of the vicious attacks by the al-Aqsa Brigade.
The brigade is neither officially recognized nor openly backed by Arafat and Fatah, though brigade members tend also to be members of Fatah. This armed militias members are called the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and include most of the fighters within the Fatah (PLO). The power bases in the movement's leadership are located in Nablus and Ramallah in the Judea-Samaria ("West Bank"). The direct involvement of Marwan Barghouti, who heads the PLO in Judea & Samaria, in directing Brigade's attacks, was recently exposed.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades work in close cooperation with other terrorist organizations (particularly the Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front) operating in Judea & Samaria and the Gaza Strip. This cooperation includes: setting the policy of attacks, carrying out the attacks by joint terrorist cells, the purchase and transfer of weapons and explosives, sharing know-how and information. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, armed with a variety of weapons (including mortars and anti-tank missiles) have in recent months carried out hundreds of terror attacks (shooting from automatic and semi-automatic weapons, planting explosive devices, firing mortars) against Israel.
("Organization") is part of the FATAH organization and operates
as an armed militia for enforcing order on the Palestinian street. It is
also Arafat's personal body guard corps but also as a tool for maintaining
violent friction with Israel without focusing the blame on himself or
having to use his own security apparatus.