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Background: Terrorist Organizations

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the major Mideastern terrorist organizations:

Abu Nidal Organization (ANO):
Founded: 1974
Origin: split from Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
Leader: Sabri al-Banna
Location: Lebanon and possibly Iraq
Supported by: Iraq, Libya and Syria
Targets: United States, United Kingdom, France and Israel


al-Jihad:
Founded: 1970's
Origin: Egyptian Islamic extremist group
Leaders: Ayman al-Zawahiri and Ahmad Hussayn Agiza
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Network: Afghanistan, Pakistan, United Kingdom and Sudan
Target: Overthrow Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state.


Gama'a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group, IG):
Founded: late 1970's
Location: Southern Egypt with support in Cairo and Alexandria
Supported by: Iranian, Sudanese and Afghan militant groups
Target: Overthrow Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state.


HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement):
Founded: 1987
Origin: Outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood;
Location: Gaza Strip, West Bank, Israel and Jordan
Supported by: Palestinian expatriates, Iran and private funding from moderate Islamic states
Target: Establish an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel.


Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM):
Origin: Islamic militant group
Leader: Faziur Rehman Khalil
Location: Pakistan; operates in Kashmir; trains in Afghanistan
Target: Revenge on the United States for missile attacks in Khowst in August 1998.


Hezbollah (Party of God):
Founded: early 1980's
Origin: Radical Shia group
Location: southern Lebanon
Network: Europe, Africa, South American and North America
Supported by: Iran and Syria
Target: Create an Iranian-style Islamic state in Lebanon and remove all non-Islamic influences; anti-West; anti-Israel


Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK):
Founded: 1960's
Origin: Formed by college-educated young Iranian men;
Location: Iraq
Supported by: Expatriate Iranian communities through front organizations
Target: Western influence under the deposed Shah's regime.


Palestinian Islamic Jihad-Shaqaqi Faction:
Founded: 1970's
Origin: militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
Location: Israel and occupied territories
Network: Jordan, Lebanon and Syria
Target: Establish an Islamic Palestinian state through a holy war and destruction of Israel; Revenge for the murder of leader Fathi Shaqaqi in October 1995