Terrorist Threat Blog

by Antiterrorism Consulting

Terrorist Group




aka Continuity Army Council; Continuity IRA; Republican Sinn Fein

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on July 13, 2004, the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) is a terrorist splinter group formed in 1994 as the clandestine armed wing of Republican Sinn Fein; it split from Sinn Fein in 1986. “Continuity” refers to the group’s belief that it is carrying on the original Irish Republican Army’s (IRA) goal of forcing the British out of Northern Ireland. CIRA cooperates with the larger Real IRA (RIRA).

In 2012, CIRA released a statement claiming it had new leadership, after previous leadership was ousted over allegations that it was acting to the detriment of the organization.

Activities: CIRA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland, where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets have included the British military, Northern Ireland security forces, and Loyalist paramilitary groups. CIRA did not join the Provisional IRA in the September 2005 decommissioning and remained capable of effective, if sporadic, terrorist attacks. On April 21, 2011, authorities defused an explosive device planted by CIRA near a statue of the Duke of Wellington in Trim, Meath, Ireland.

In December 2012, a plot by CIRA to murder an Irish national serving in the British army was foiled by Irish police.

Strength: Membership is small, with possibly fewer than 50. Police counterterrorism operations have reduced the group’s strength.

Location/Area of Operation: Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Funding and External Aid: CIRA supported its activities through criminal activities, including smuggling.



aka CPP/NPA; Communist Party of the Philippines; the CPP; New People’s Army; the NPA

Description: The Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on August 9, 2002. The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), is a Maoist group formed in March 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the government through protracted guerrilla warfare. Jose Maria Sison, the Chairman of the CPP’s Central Committee and the NPA’s founder, reportedly directs CPP and NPA activity from the Netherlands, where he lives in self-imposed exile. Luis Jalandoni, a fellow Central Committee member and director of the CPP’s overt political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), also lives in the Netherlands and has become a Dutch citizen. Though primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA had an active urban infrastructure to support its terrorist activities and, at times, used city-based assassination squads.

Activities: The CPP/NPA primarily targeted Philippine security forces, government officials, local infrastructure, and businesses that refused to pay extortion, or “revolutionary taxes.” The CPP/NPA charged politicians running for office in CPP/NPA-influenced areas for “campaign permits.” Despite its focus on Philippine governmental targets, the CPP/NPA has a history of attacking U.S. interests in the Philippines. In 1987, the CPP/NPA conducted direct actions against U.S. personnel and facilities killing three American soldiers in four separate attacks in Angeles City. In 1989, the CPP/NPA issued a press statement claiming responsibility for the ambush and murder of Colonel James Nicholas Rowe, chief of the Ground Forces Division of the Joint U.S.-Military Advisory Group.

For many years, the CPP/NPA carried out killings, raids, acts of extortion, and other forms of violence. In 2011 and 2012, the CPP/NPA’s attacks and kidnappings continued unabated. In 2011, the CPP/NPA was responsible for detonating a landmine improvised explosive device in Illuro Sur, Philippines, that killed five and injured two police officers; killing two civilians when 50 CPP/NPA assailants fired upon a police checkpoint in Trento, Philippines; and kidnapping the Mayor of Lingig and two of his bodyguards before releasing the hostages in a prisoner swap.

In early January 2012, the group attacked a Philippine Army Patrol Base on the island of Mindanao. In May, an attack resulted in the CPP/NPA capturing one Philippine soldier and wounding four civilians, including one child. Further clashes between the CPP/NPA and government caused the displacement of approximately 700 individuals from their homes. Peace talks between the government and CPP/NPA were halted in the summer of 2012.

Strength: The Philippines government estimates there are 4,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation: The CPP/NPA operates in rural Luzon, Visayas, and parts of northern and eastern Mindanao. There are also cells in Manila and other metropolitan centers.

Funding and External Aid: The CPP/NPA raises funds through extortion.