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The designation of state sponsors of terrorism by the United States -- and the imposition of sanctions -- is a mechanism for isolating nations that use terrorism as a means of political expression. U.S. policy seeks to pressure and isolate state sponsors so they will renounce the use of terrorism, end support to terrorists, and bring terrorists to justice for past crimes.

Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria continue to be the seven governments that the U.S. Secretary of State has designated as state sponsors of international terrorism.

The following list of terrorist groups is presented in two sections. The first section lists the 28 groups designated by the Secretary of State on October 5, 2001 as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The designations carry legal consequences:

  • It is unlawful to provide funds or other material support to a designated FTO.
  • Representatives and certain members of a designated FTO can be denied visas or excluded from the United States.
  • U.S. financial institutions must block funds of designated FTOs and their agents and must report the blockage to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The second section lists other terrorist groups that were active during 2000. Terrorist groups whose activities were limited in scope in 2000 are not included.

I. Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

  1. Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
  2. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
  3. Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
  4. Aum Shinrikyo (Aum)
  5. Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
  6. Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group, IG)
  7. HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
  8. Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
  9. Hizballah (Party of God)
  10. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
  11. al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
  12. Kahane Chai (Kach)
  13. Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
  14. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
  15. Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)
  16. National Liberation Army (ELN) -- Colombia
  17. Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
  18. Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
  19. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
  20. PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)
  21. al-Qa'ida
  22. Real IRA (RIRA)
  23. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
  24. Revolutionary Nuclei (formerly ELA)
  25. Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)
  26. Revolutionary People's Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C)
  27. Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
  28. United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Colombia (AUC-Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia)

Legal Criteria for Designation

  1. The organization must be foreign.
  2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity as defined in Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  3. The organization's activities must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

II. Other Terrorist Groups

  1. Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB)
  2. Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR)
  3. Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
  4. First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO)
  5. Irish Republican Army (IRA)
  6. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed)
  7. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) (Army of the Righteous)
  8. Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
  9. New People's Army (NPA)
  10. Orange Volunteers (OV)
  11. People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)
  12. Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
  13. Revolutionary United Front (RUF)


Source: "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000" annual report, "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" (FTOs) 2001 biennial report, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State.

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