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HIZBALLAH

 

aka the Party of God; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad Organization; Revolutionary Justice Organization; Organization of the Oppressed on Earth; Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; Organization of Right Against Wrong; Ansar Allah; Followers of the Prophet Muhammed

Description: Hizballah was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997. Formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Lebanese-based radical Shia group takes its ideological inspiration from the Iranian revolution and the teachings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. The group generally follows the religious guidance of Khomeini’s successor, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Hizballah is closely allied with Iran and the two often work together on shared initiatives, though Hizballah also acts independently. Hizballah shares a close relationship with Syria, and like Iran, the group is providing assistance to Syrian regime forces in the Syrian conflict.

Hizballah has strong influence in Lebanon, especially with the Shia community. Hizballah plays an active role in Lebanese politics, and the group holds 13 seats in the 128-member Lebanese Parliament and two seats in the 30-member Council of Ministers. Hizballah’s political strength grew in the wake of the 2006 war with Israel and the group’s 2008 takeover of West Beirut, though its reputation and popularity have been significantly undermined by the group’s active support for the Asad regime.

Hizballah provides support to several Palestinian terrorist organizations, as well as a number of local Christian and Muslim militias in Lebanon. Besides overt political support, support includes the covert provision of weapons, explosives, training, funding, and guidance.

Activities: Hizballah’s terrorist attacks have included the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983; the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in 1984; and the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, during which a U.S. Navy diver was murdered. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping, detention, and murder of Americans and other Westerners in Lebanon in the 1980s. Hizballah was implicated, along with Iran, in the 1992 attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and on the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires. In 2000, Hizballah operatives captured three Israeli soldiers in the Shebaa Farms area and, separately, kidnapped an Israeli non-combatant in Dubai. Though the non-combatant survived, on November 1, 2001, Israeli Army Rabbi Israel Weiss pronounced the soldiers dead. The surviving non-combatant and the bodies of the IDF soldiers were returned to Israel in a prisoner exchange with Hizballah in 2004.

Hizballah and a Palestinian group affiliated with al-Qa’ida blamed each other for a May 2011 roadside bomb attack that wounded six Italian soldiers with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Two other attacks against UNIFIL peacekeepers – an attack in late July that wounded six French citizens and a second attack days later that injured three other French soldiers – were believed to have been carried out by Hizballah. Also in 2011, four Hizballah members were indicted by the U.N.-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), an international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The four Hizballah members indicted by the STL were Mustafa Badreddine Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra, and Hassan Anise. Identified as the primary suspect in Hariri’s assassination, Badreddine is believed to have replaced his cousin, Imad Mugniyeh, as Hizballah’s top military commander after Mugniyeh’s 2008 death. Hizballah denounced the trial and vowed to retaliate, saying the four indicted Hizballah members would not be handed over.

On January 12, Thai police detained a Hizballah operative on immigration charges as he was attempting to depart Thailand from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. He led police to nearly 10,000 pounds of urea-based fertilizer and 10 gallons of liquid ammonium nitrate in a commercial building about 20 miles south of Bangkok. It was unclear if the materials were intended to be used to carry out terrorist attacks in Thailand – possibly against Israeli tourists – or if they were to be transported to another country. The Hizballah operative was awaiting trial at year’s end.

In 2012, Hizballah stepped up the pace of its terrorist plotting, and was implicated in several terrorist plots around the world. In Cyprus, a suspected Lebanese Hizballah operative was detained by the Cypriot authorities on July 7 for allegedly helping plan an attack against Israeli tourists in Cyprus. The trial began in September 2012, and on March 21, 2013, a Cyprus court found a Hizballah operative guilty of charges stemming from his surveillance activities of Israeli tourist targets.

In Bulgaria, on July 18, a terrorist attack was carried out on a passenger bus carrying 42 Israeli tourists at the Sarafovo Airport near the Bulgarian city of Burgas. The explosion killed five Israelis and injured 32, and also killed the Bulgarian bus driver. On February 5, 2013, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetan Tsevtanov, publically linked Hizballah to the Burgas bombing, citing the involvement of two Hizballah operatives in the plot.

Strength: Several thousand supporters and members.

Location/Area of Operation: Hizballah is based in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, and southern Lebanon. However, as evidenced by Hizballah’s activities during the course of 2012, the group is capable of operating around the globe.

Funding and External Aid: Iran continues to provide Hizballah with training, weapons, and explosives, as well as political, diplomatic, monetary, and organizational aid; Syria furnished training, weapons, diplomatic, and political support. Hizballah also receives funding from private donations and profits from legal and illegal businesses. Hizballah receives financial support from Lebanese Shia communities in Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Asia. As illustrated by the Lebanese Canadian bank case, Hizballah supporters are often engaged in a range of criminal activities that benefit the group financially. These have included smuggling contraband goods, passport falsification, trafficking in narcotics, money laundering, and credit card, immigration, and bank fraud.

HARAKAT UL-MUJAHIDEEN

 

aka HUM; Harakat ul-Ansar; HUA; Jamiat ul-Ansar; JUA; al-Faran; al-Hadid; al-Hadith; Harakat ul-Mujahidin

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997, Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) seeks the annexation of Indian Kashmir and the expulsion of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. Reportedly under pressure from the Government of Pakistan, HUM’s long-time leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil stepped down and was replaced by Dr. Badr Munir as the head of HUM in January 2005. HUM operated terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan until Coalition air strikes destroyed them in 2001. Khalil was detained by Pakistani authorities in mid-2004 and subsequently released in late December of the same year. In 2003, HUM began using the name Jamiat ul-Ansar (JUA). Pakistan banned JUA in November 2003.

Activities: HUM has conducted a number of operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir. It is linked to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran, which kidnapped five Western tourists in Kashmir in July 1995; the five reportedly were killed later that year. HUM was responsible for the hijacking of an Indian airliner in December 1999 that resulted in the release of Masood Azhar, an important leader in the former Harakat ul-Ansar, who was imprisoned by India in 1994 and then founded Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) after his release. Another former member of Harakat ul-Ansar, Ahmed Omar Sheik was also released by India as a result of the hijackings and was later convicted of the abduction and murder in 2002 of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.

HUM targets Indian security and civilian targets in Kashmir. In 2005, such attacks resulted in the deaths of 15 people. In November 2007, two Indian soldiers were killed in Kashmir while engaged in a firefight with a group of HUM militants. Indian police and army forces have engaged with HUM militants in the Kashmir region, killing a number of the organization’s leadership in April, October, and December 2008. In February 2009, Lalchand Kishen Advani, leader of the Indian opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, received a death threat that was attributed to HUM. In December 2012, Pakistani police disrupted militants associated with HUM and Lashkar i Jhangvi who were planning an attack on a congregation hall in Karachi, Pakistan.

Strength: HUM has several hundred armed supporters located in Pakistan-administered Kashmir; India’s southern Kashmir and Doda regions; and in the Kashmir valley. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris, but also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. After 2000, a significant portion of HUM’s membership defected to JEM.

Location/Area of Operation: Based in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, and several other cities in Pakistan, HUM conducts insurgent and terrorist operations primarily in Kashmir and Afghanistan. HUM trains its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Funding and External Aid: HUM collects donations from wealthy and grassroots donors in Pakistan. HUM’s financial collection methods include soliciting donations in magazine advertisements and pamphlets.

HARAKAT UL-JIHAD-I-ISLAMI/BANGLADESH

 

aka HUJI-B, Harakat ul Jihad e Islami Bangladesh; Harkatul Jihad al Islam; Harkatul Jihad; Harakat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad Islami Bangladesh; Islami Dawat-e-Kafela; IDEK

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 5, 2008, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) was formed in April 1992 by a group of former Bangladeshi Afghan veterans to establish Islamic rule in Bangladesh. In October 2005, Bangladeshi authorities banned the group. HUJI-B has connections to Pakistani terrorist groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba, which advocate similar objectives. The leaders of HUJI-B signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Laden that declared American civilians legitimate targets.

Activities: In December 2008, three HUJI-B members were convicted for the May 2004 grenade attack that wounded the British High Commissioner in Sylhet, Bangladesh. In 2011, Bangladeshi authorities formally charged multiple suspects, including HUJI-B leader Mufti Abdul Hannan, with the killing of former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria of Awami League in a grenade attack on January 27, 2005. Though HUJI-B committed no known attacks in 2012, there were indications that the group continued to recruit members, particularly women. Authorities arrested several HUJI-B members.

Strength: HUJI-B leaders claim that up to 400 of its members are Afghan war veterans, but its total membership is unknown.

Location/Area of Operation: The group operates primarily in Bangladesh and India. HUJI-B trains and has a network of madrassas in Bangladesh.

Funding and External Aid: HUJI-B funding comes from a variety of sources. Several international Muslim NGOs may have funneled money to HUJI-B and other Bangladeshi militant groups.

HARAKAT-UL JIHAD ISLAMI

 

aka HUJI, Movement of Islamic Holy War; Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami; Harkat-al-Jihad-ul Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad-e-Islami; Harakat-ul Jihad Islami

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on August 6, 2010, Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was founded in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight against the former Soviet Union. Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, the organization re-focused its efforts on India. HUJI seeks the annexation of Indian Kashmir and expulsion of Coalition Forces from Afghanistan. It also has supplied fighters for the Taliban in Afghanistan. In addition, some factions of HUJI espouse a more global agenda and conduct attacks in Pakistan. HUJI is composed of militant Pakistanis and veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war. HUJI has experienced a number of internal splits and a portion of the group has aligned with al-Qa’ida (AQ) in recent years, including training its members in AQ training camps. Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, one of HUJI’s top leaders who also served as an AQ military commander and strategist, was killed on June 3, 2011.

Activities: HUJI has been involved in a number of terrorist attacks in recent years. On March 2, 2006, a HUJI leader was behind the suicide bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, which killed four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy, and injured 48 others. HUJI was also responsible for terrorist attacks in India including the May 2007 Hyderabad mosque attack, which killed 16 and injured 40; and the March 2007 Varanasi attack, which killed 25 and injured 100. HUJI claimed responsibility for the September 7, 2011 bombing of the New Delhi High Court, which left at least 11 dead and an estimated 76 wounded. HUJI sent an email to the press stating that the bomb was intended to force India to repeal a death sentence of a HUJI member. While HUJI continued its recruitment efforts in 2012, the organization also had several members arrested by authorities.

Strength: HUJI has an estimated strength of several hundred members.

Location/Area of Operation: HUJI’s area of operation extends throughout South Asia, with its terrorist operations focused primarily in India and Afghanistan. Some factions of HUJI conduct attacks within Pakistan.

Funding and External Aid: Unknown

HAQQANI NETWORK

 

aka HQN

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 19, 2012, the Haqqani Network (HQN) has its roots in an offensive formed in the late 1970s, around the time of the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Jalaluddin Haqqani, HQN’s founder, established a relationship with Usama bin Laden in the mid-1980s, and joined the Taliban in 1995. After the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, Jalaluddin retreated to Pakistan where, under the leadership of Jalaluddin’s son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the group began participating in the insurgency and became known as the Haqqani Network.

Activities: HQN has planned and carried out a number of significant attacks against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, as well as Afghan government targets and civilians. HQN’s most notorious attacks include a January 2008 attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, during which the attackers killed eight individuals, including one U.S. citizen; a May 2010 attack on Bagram Airbase using suicide bombers, rockets, and grenades, which killed an American contractor and wounded nine U.S. soldiers; an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in June 2011, which killed 11 civilians and two Afghan policemen; a September 2011 truck bombing in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, which wounded 77 U.S. soldiers; and the 19-hour attack on the U.S. Embassy and ISAF headquarters in Kabul in September 2011, which killed 16 Afghans, including at least six children.

In 2012, HQN’s attacks continued. Attacks included a June suicide bomb attack against Forward Operating Base Salerno, which killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded more than 100; and a 12-hour siege of the Spozhmai Hotel in Kabul, which resulted in the death of at least 18 Afghans, including 14 civilians. Despite HQN’s violent attacks, the group suffered a major setback in August with the death of senior leader Badruddin Haqqani.

HQN has also been involved in numerous kidnappings in Afghanistan, including that of New York Timesreporter David Rohde in November 2008, who escaped in June 2009. HQN was also behind the June 2009 kidnapping of Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier in the U.S. Army, who remained in captivity throughout 2012.

Strength: HQN is believed to have several hundred core members, but it is estimated that the organization is also able to draw upon a pool of upwards of 10,000 fighters with varying degrees of affiliation. HQN also draws strength through cooperation with other terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban, al-Qa’ida, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Lashkar-e Jhangvi, and Jaish-e Mohammad.

Location/Area of Operation: HQN is active along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and across much of southeastern Afghanistan. The group’s leadership maintains a power base in Miram Shah, North Waziristan, Pakistan.

Funding and External Aid: In addition to the support it receives through its connections to other terrorist organizations, HQN receives much of its funds from donors in Pakistan and the Gulf, as well as through criminal activities such as kidnapping, extortion, smuggling, and other licit and illicit business ventures.

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