Other terrorist groups



Description and activities
Strenght, Location and External Aid
Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
Extremist terrorist group formed in 1998 and composed largely of Protestant hardliners from loyalist groups observing a cease-fire. Red Hand Defenders 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 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.
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 Catholic teenager—that were later claimed by the UDA-UFF, further blurring distinctions between the groups. In 2001, RHD claimed responsibility for killing five persons.
Up to 20 members, some of whom have experience in terrorist tactics and bombmaking. Police arrested one member in June 2001 for making a hoax bomb threat.
Northern Ireland.
Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei (NIPR)
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 their declarations. Opposes Italy’s foreign and labor polices. Has targeted property interests rather than personnel in its attacks.
Did not claim responsibility for an attack in 2002. Claimed responsibility for bomb attack in April 2001 on building housing a US-Italian relations association and an international affairs institute in Rome’s historic center. Claimed to have carried out May 2000 explosion in Rome at oversight committee facility for implementation of the law on strikes in public services. Claimed responsibility for explosion in February 2002 on Via Palermo adjacent to Interior Ministry in Rome.
Approximately 12 members.
Mainly in Rome, Milan, Lazio, and Tuscany.
None evident.
Revolutionary United Front (RUF)
The RUF is a loosely organized force that fought a ten-year civil war to seize control of the lucrative diamond-producing regions of the country. The group funds itself largely through the extraction and sale of diamonds obtained in areas of Sierra Leone under its control.
The RUF was virtually dismantled by the imprisonment of RUF leader Foday Sankoh in 2001; a Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration program begun in mid-2001; and the official end to the civil war in January 2002. The group’s poor showing in the May 2002 Presidential elections and the possibility of prosecution if the impending UN-sponsored Sierra Leone Special Court for war crimes have further weakened organizational cohesion. From 1991 to 2000, they used guerrilla, criminal, and terror tactics, such as murder, torture, and mutilation, to fight the government, intimidate civilians, and keep UN peacekeeping units in check. In 2000, they held hundreds of UN peacekeepers hostage until their release was negotiated, in part, by the RUF’s chief sponsor, Liberian President Charles Taylor. The group also has been accused of attacks in Guinea at the behest of President Taylor.

Once estimated at several thousand supporters and sympathizers, the group has dwindled to several hundred, although many of the demobilized fighters have not been reintegrated into society and could take up arms against the government again.
Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
A UN experts’ panel report on Sierra Leone said President Charles Taylor of Liberia provided support and leadership to the RUF. The UN also identified Libya, Gambia, and Burkina Faso as conduits for weapons and other materiel for the RUF.
Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM)
One of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on 23 October 2002. The suicide attackers took more than 800 hostages, whom they threatened to kill if the Russian Government did not meet their demands, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. The RSRSBCM—whose name translates into English as “Requirements for Getting into Paradise”—was not known to Western observers before the seizure. Chechen extremist leader Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for ordering the seizure, continues to lead the RSRSBCM.
Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces.

Probably no more than 50 fighters at any given time.
Primarily Chechnya.
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahidin.
Sipah-I-Sahaba/Pakistan (SSP)
The Sipah-I-Sahaba/Pakistan (SSP) is a Sunni sectarian group that follows the Deobandi school. Violently anti-Shi’a, 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.
The group’s activities range from organizing political rallies calling for Shi’as to be declared non-Muslims to assassinating prominent Shi’a leaders.

Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR)
One of three terrorist groups affiliated with Chechen guerrillas that furnished personnel to carry out the seizure of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on 23 October 2002. The suicide attackers took more than 800 hostages, whom they threatened to kill if the Russian Government did not meet their demands, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. Movzar Barayev commanded the SPIR until he was killed in the October seizure, which he led. The SPIR has continued to carry out guerrilla operations in Chechnya under the leadership of another Chechen leader, Khamzat, whose true identity is not known.
Primarily guerrilla operations against Russian forces. Has also been involved in various hostage and ransom operations, as well as the execution of ethnic Chechens who have collaborated with Russian authorities.
Probably no more than 100 fighters at any given time.
Primarily Chechnya.
May receive some external assistance from foreign mujahidin.
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG), also known as the Jama’a Combattante Tunisienne, reportedly is seeking to establish an Islamic regime in Tunisia and targets US and Western interests. Probably founded in 2000 by Tarek Maaroufi and Saifallah Ben Hassine, the loosely organized group has come to be associated with al-Qaida and other North African extremist networks that have been implicated in terrorist plots during the past two years. The group was designated for sanctions under UNSCR 1333 in December 2000. Belgian authorities continue to hold Maaroufi, whom they arrested in December 2001.
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 are suspected of planning an attack against the US, Algerian, and Tunisian diplomatic missions in Rome in January 2001. Some members reportedly maintain ties to the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

Western Europe, Afghanistan.
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
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. 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 carry out terrorist attacks, and the MRTA has suffered from infighting, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and loss of leftist support. In 2002, several MRTA members remained imprisoned in Bolivia.
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.

Believed to be no more than 100 members, consisting largely of young fighters who lack leadership skills and experience.
Peru with supporters throughout Latin America and Western Europe. Controls no territory.
Turkish Hizballah
Turkish Hizballah is a Kurdish Islamic (Sunni) extremist organization that arose in the late 1980s in response to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) 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 that the organization considered “anti-Islamic.” In January 2000, Turkish security forces killed Huseyin Velioglu, the leader of (Turkish) Hizballah, in a shootout at a safehouse in Istanbul. The incident sparked a yearlong 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 2002.
Possibly a few hundred members and several thousand supporters.
Turkey, primarily the Diyarbakir region of southeastern Turkey.
Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF)
The Ulster Defense Association (UDA), the largest loyalist 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 (UPRG) to serve in a similar capacity.
The UDA/UFF has evolved into a criminal organization involved in drug trafficking and other moneymaking criminal activities. In January 2002, the UDA/UFF called for an end to sectarian violence; in the preceding months, the UDA had been blamed for more than 300 bombings and shootings against Catholics in Belfast. Nevertheless, the UDA/ UFF continued its attacks against Catholics, as well as those seen as a threat to its criminal enterprises. The UDA/UFF admitted responsibility for the murder of a Catholic postman in January, an attack also claimed by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a group used as a cover name by some UDA/UFF elements. The UDA also was blamed for a drive-by shooting that wounded three Catholics in September. Later in the year, three deaths were attributed to the group’s escalating feud with the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF). Johnny Adair, the only person ever convicted of directing terrorism in Northern
Ireland, was a leading UDA member until September when he was expelled from the group because of his growing ties to the LVF. In 2000, a feud between the UDA/UFF and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) resulted in the deaths of seven men.
Estimates vary from 2,000 to 5,000 members, with several hundred active in paramilitary operations.
Northern Ireland.
Probably obtains weapons from abroad.