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Designation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations

(February 27, 2023)

Designations of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) expose and isolate the designated terrorist organizations, deny them access to the U.S. financial system, and create significant criminal and immigration consequences for their members and supporters.  Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and governments.

In 2021 the Department of State designated Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) — of ISIS-Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC), ISIS-Mozambique, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) — and Segunda Marquetalia as FTOs.  The Department also amended the FTO designation of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) to add additional aliases.  The Department revoked the designations of Ansarallah, which had been designated earlier that year, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

On May 20, 2022, the Department announced revocation of five Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designations:  1) Basque Fatherland and Liberty, 2) Aum Shinrikyo, 3) Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, 4) Kahane Chai, and 5) Gama’a al-Islamiyya.  Although these revocations occurred outside of the reporting period for this report, they have been included in the 2021 Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT) to avoid confusion.  Please refer to previous editions of the CRT for further information about these groups.

Legal Criteria for Designation Under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as Amended

1. It must be a foreign organization.

2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.

3. The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations - The Middle East and North Africa

Abdallah Azzam Brigades

Also known as (aka) Abdullah Azzam Brigades; Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Yusuf al-’Uyayri Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Marwan Hadid Brigades; Marwan Hadid Brigade

Description:  Designated as an FTO on May 30, 2012, the Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB) formally announced its establishment in a 2009 video statement claiming responsibility for a rocket attack against Israel earlier that year.  The Lebanon-based group’s full name is Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, named after Lebanese citizen Ziad al-Jarrah, one of the planners of and participants in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Activities:  After its initial formation, AAB relied primarily on rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.  It is responsible for numerous rockets fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon, often targeting population centers.

In 2013, AAB began targeting Hizballah for the organization’s involvement in the Syrian conflict and support for Syrian regime forces.  That year, AAB claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 23 people and wounded more than 140.  In 2014, AAB claimed twin suicide bomb attacks against the Iranian cultural center in Beirut that killed four people.  Also, that year, AAB was blamed for a suicide bombing in the Beirut neighborhood of Tayyouneh that killed a security officer and wounded 25 people.

In 2015 the group released photos of a training camp for its “Marwan Hadid Brigade” camp in Syria, likely located in Homs province.  From 2016 through 2018, AAB continued its involvement in the Syrian conflict and was active in Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.  In 2017, AAB called for jihad by Muslims against the United States and Israel after the U.S. announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

AAB announced its dissolution in Syria in 2019 and did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Lebanon

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

al-Ashtar Brigades

Aka Saraya al-Ashtar; AAB

Description:  Al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)was designated as an FTO on July 11, 2018.  AAB is an Iran-backed terrorist organization established in 2013 with the goal of violently overthrowing the ruling family in Bahrain.  In 2018, AAB formally adopted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps branding and reaffirmed its loyalty to Tehran to reflect its role in an Iranian network of state and nonstate actors that operates against the United States and its allies in the region.

Activities:  Since 2013, AAB has claimed responsibility for more than 20 terrorist attacks against police and security targets in Bahrain.  In 2014, AAB conducted a bomb attack that killed two police officers and an officer from the United Arab Emirates.  In 2017, AAB shot and killed another local Bahraini officer.  AAB also has promoted violent activity against the British, Saudi Arabian, and U.S. governments over social media.  In 2019, AAB released a video statement promising more attacks in Bahrain to mark the anniversary of Bahrain’s Arab Uprising-inspired political uprising.

AAB did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Bahrain, Iran, and Iraq

Funding and External Aid:  AAB receives funding and support from the Government of Iran.

al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

Aka al-Aqsa Martyrs Battalion

Description:  Designated as an FTO on March 27, 2002, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) is composed of small cells of Fatah-affiliated activists who emerged at the outset of the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000.  AAMB strives to expel the Israeli military and settlers from the West Bank and establish a Palestinian state loyal to Fatah.

Activities:  During the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, AAMB primarily carried out small-arms attacks against Israeli military personnel and settlers.  By 2002 the group was striking at Israeli civilians inside Israel and claimed responsibility for the first female suicide bombing in the country.  In 2010 and 2011 the group launched numerous rocket attacks on Israeli communities.  In 2012, AAMB claimed that it had fired more than 500 rockets and missiles into Israel during an Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza.  In 2015, AAMB declared open war against Israel and asked Iran to help fund its efforts in a televised broadcast.

AAMB has claimed responsibility for multiple rocket attacks on Israel from the West Bank, including 2 rockets launched in 2017, 6 rockets launched in 2018, and at least 36 rockets launched in 2021.

Strength:  AAMB is estimated to have a few hundred members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  Iran has provided AAMB with funds and guidance, primarily through Hizballah facilitators.

Ansar al-Islam

Aka Ansar al-Sunna; Ansar al-Sunna Army; Devotees of Islam; Followers of Islam in Kurdistan; Helpers of Islam; Jaish Ansar al-Sunna; Jund al-Islam; Kurdish Taliban; Kurdistan Supporters of Islam; Partisans of Islam; Soldiers of God; Soldiers of Islam; Supporters of Islam in Kurdistan

Description:  Ansar al-Islam (AAI) was designated as an FTO on March 22, 2004.  AAI was established in 2001 in the Iraqi Kurdistan region through the merger of two Kurdish terrorist factions that traced their roots to the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan.  AAI seeks to expel western interests from Iraq and establish an independent Iraqi state based on its interpretation of Sharia.

Activities:  From 2003 to 2011, AAI conducted attacks against a wide range of targets including Iraqi government and security forces, and U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces.  The group also carried out numerous kidnappings, murders, and assassinations of Iraqi citizens and politicians.  In 2012, AAI claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Sons of Martyrs School in Damascus, which was occupied by Syrian security forces and pro-government militias; seven persons were wounded in the attack.

During 2014, part of AAI issued a statement pledging allegiance to ISIS, although later reports suggest that a faction of AAI opposed joining ISIS.  In 2019, AAI claimed its first attack in Iraq in five years, placing two IEDs in Iraq’s Diyala province.  AAI did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria

Funding and External Aid:  AAI receives assistance from a loose network of associates in Europe and the Middle East.

Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi

Aka Ansar al-Sharia in Libya; Ansar al-Shariah Brigade; Ansar al-Shari’a Brigade; Katibat  Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi; Ansar al-Shariah-Benghazi; Al-Raya Establishment for Media Production; Ansar al-Sharia; Soldiers of the Sharia; Ansar al-Shariah; Supporters of Islamic Law

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014, Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi (AAS-B) was created after the 2011 fall of the Qadhafi regime in Libya.  The group has been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets as well as the assassination and attempted assassination of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya.

Activities:  Members of AAS-B were involved in the 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya.  Four U.S. citizens were killed in the attack:  Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

Throughout 2016, AAS-B continued its fight against the “Libyan National Army” in Benghazi, resulting in the deaths of numerous Libyan security personnel and civilians.  Additionally, AAS-B controlled several terrorist training camps in Libya and trained members of other terrorist organizations operating in Iraq, Mali, and Syria.

In 2017, AAS-B announced its formal dissolution owing to suffering heavy losses, including the group’s senior leadership and defections to ISIS in Libya.  AAS-B did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Benghazi, Libya

Funding and External Aid:  AAS-B obtained funds from al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb as well as through charities, donations, and criminal activities.

Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah

Aka Supporters of Islamic Law; Ansar al-Sharia in Derna; Ansar al-Sharia in Libya; Ansar al-Sharia; Ansar al-Sharia Brigade in Darnah

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014, Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah (AAS-D) was created after the 2011 fall of the Qadhafi regime in Libya.  The group has been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets as well as the assassination and attempted assassination of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya.

Activities:  Members of AAS-D were involved in the 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya.  Four U.S. citizens were killed in the attack:  Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

Throughout 2013 and 2014, AAS-D was believed to have cooperated with Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi in multiple attacks and suicide bombings targeting Libyan security forces in that city.  In 2016, AAS-D continued fighting in and around Darnah.  Additionally, AAS-D maintained several terrorist training camps in Darnah and Jebel Akhdar, Libya, and trained members of other terrorist organizations operating in Iraq and Syria.

In 2018, there were unconfirmed reports that AAS-D was involved in clashes with the Libyan National Army.  AAS-D did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Darnah, Libya

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia

Aka Al-Qayrawan Media Foundation; Supporters of Islamic Law; Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia; Ansar al-Shari’ah; Ansar al-Shari’ah in Tunisia; Ansar al-Sharia

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014, Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T) was founded in 2011 by Seif Allah Ben Hassine.  AAS-T has been implicated in attacks against Tunisian security forces, assassinations of Tunisian political figures, and attempted suicide bombings of popular tourist locations.  AAS-T has also recruited Tunisians to fight in Syria.

Activities:  AAS-T was involved in the 2012 attack against Embassy Tunis and the American school in Tunis, which threatened the safety of more than 100 U.S. Embassy employees.  In 2013, AAS-T members were implicated in the assassination of Tunisian politicians Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.

Since 2016, Tunisian authorities have continued to confront and arrest AAS-T members.  AAS-T did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown

Location/Area of Operation:  Libya and Tunisia

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Army of Islam

Aka Jaysh al-Islam; Jaish al-Islam

Description:  Designated as an FTO on May 19, 2011, the Army of Islam (AOI), founded in late 2005, is a Gaza-based terrorist organization responsible for numerous terrorist acts against the Israeli and Egyptian governments and British, New Zealander, and U.S. citizens.  The group, led by Mumtaz Dughmush, subscribes to a violent Salafist ideology.

Note:  AOI is a separate and distinct group from the Syria-based Jaysh al-Islam, which is not a designated FTO.

Activities:  AOI is responsible for the 2006 and 2007 kidnappings of civilians, including a U.S. journalist.  AOI also carried out the 2009 attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis, Egypt, and planned the 2011 attack on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria that killed 25 persons and wounded 100.  In 2012, AOI announced that it had launched rocket attacks on Israel in a joint operation with the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem.  In 2013 an Israeli official reported that AOI leader Dughmush was running training camps in Gaza.

In 2015, AOI reportedly released a statement pledging allegiance to ISIS.  In a short post attributed to the group, AOI declared itself an inseparable part of ISIS-Sinai Province.  Since then, AOI has continued to express support for ISIS.  In 2017 the group released a video meant to encourage ISIS fighters defending Mosul.  In 2019, AOI shared another video praising ISIS that included training information for individuals to conduct suicide attacks.  In 2020, AOI published more than two dozen images of fighters conducting military training.  AOI did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt, Gaza, and Israel

Funding and External Aid:  AOI receives much of its funding from a variety of criminal activities in Gaza.

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq

Aka: AAH; Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq min Al-Iraq; Asaib al Haq; Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haqq; League of the Righteous; Khazali Network; Khazali Special Group; Qazali Network; the People of the Cave; Khazali Special Groups Network; Al-Tayar al-Risali; the Missionary Current

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 10, 2020, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq  (AAH) — led by Qays and Laith al-Khazali — is an Iran-backed, militant organization.  AAH remains ideologically aligned with Iran and loyal to its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  The group seeks to promote Iran’s political and religious influence in Iraq, maintain Shia control over Iraq, and expel any remaining western military forces from the country.

Activities:  AAH has claimed responsibility for more than 6,000 attacks against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces since its creation in 2006.  The group has carried out highly sophisticated operations, including mortar attacks on an American base, the downing of a British helicopter, and an attack on the Karbala Provincial Headquarters that resulted in the capture and murder of five U.S. soldiers.

In 2019, two 107-mm rockets were fired at the Taji military training complex, where U.S. personnel provide divisional training.  Iraqi security forces arrested two individuals assessed to be members of AAH in connection with the attack.

Also in 2019, AAH members opened fire on a group of protestors trying to set fire to the group’s office in the city of Nasiriya, killing at least six.  In February 2021, AAH launched a major rocket attack on the U.S. base in Erbil, in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, followed by additional rocket attacks on Balad Air Base.

Strength:  AAH membership is estimated at 10,000.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq, Syria

Funding and External Aid: AAH receives funding, logistical support, training, and weapons from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Hizballah.  AAH also receives funding through illicit activities such as kidnapping for ransom, smuggling, and “taxing”/extortion of economic activities in areas where the group is dominant.

Asbat al-Ansar

Aka AAA; Band of Helpers; Band of Partisans; League of Partisans; League of the Followers; God’s Partisans; Gathering of Supporters; Partisan’s League; Esbat al-Ansar; Isbat al-Ansar; Osbat al-Ansar; Usbat al-Ansar; Usbat ul-Ansar

Description:  Designated as an FTO on March 27, 2002, Asbat al-Ansar (AAA) is a Lebanon-based Sunni terrorist group composed primarily of Palestinians that first emerged in the early 1990s.  Linked to al-Qa’ida and other Sunni terrorist groups, AAA aims to thwart perceived anti-Islamic and pro-western influences in the country.  AAA’s base is largely confined to Lebanon’s refugee camps.

Activities:  Throughout the mid-1990s, AAA assassinated Lebanese religious leaders and bombed nightclubs, theaters, and liquor stores.  The group also plotted against foreign diplomatic targets.  Between 2005 and 2011, AAA members traveled to Iraq to fight Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces.  AAA has been reluctant to involve itself in operations in Lebanon, in part because of concerns of losing its safe haven in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp.  The group remained active in Lebanon but did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  AAA membership is estimated in the low hundreds.

Location/Area of Operation:  AAA’s primary base of operations is the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

Funding and External Aid:  AAA likely receives money through international Sunni violent extremist networks.

Gama’a al-Islamiyya

Aka al-Gama’at; Egyptian al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya; GI; Islamic Gama’at; IG; Islamic Group

Description:  Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Formed in the 1970s, IG was once Egypt’s largest terrorist group.  The group’s external wing, composed mainly of exiled members residing in several countries, maintained that its primary goal was to replace the Egyptian government with an Islamist state.  IG’s spiritual leader Omar Abd al-Rahman, or the “blind Sheikh,” served a life sentence in a U.S. prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and died in prison in 2017.

Activities:  During the 1990s, IG conducted armed attacks against Egyptian security, other government officials, and Coptic Christians.  IG claimed responsibility for the 1995 attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The group also launched attacks on tourists in Egypt, most notably the 1997 Luxor attack.  In 1999, part of the group publicly renounced violence.  IG is not known to have committed a terrorist attack in recent years; the group did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.


Aka the Islamic Resistance Movement; Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya; Izz al-Din al Qassam Battalions; Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades; Izz al-Din al-Qassam Forces; Students of Ayyash; Student of the Engineer; Yahya Ayyash Units

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, Hamas was established in 1987 at the onset of the first Palestinian uprising, or First Intifada, as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The armed element, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has conducted anti-Israeli attacks, including suicide bombings against civilian targets inside Israel.  Hamas also manages a broad, mostly Gaza-based, network of Dawa or ministry activities that include charities, schools, clinics, youth camps, fundraising, and political activities.  After winning Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006, Hamas gained control of significant Palestinian Authority (PA) ministries in Gaza, including the Ministry of Interior.  In 2007, Hamas expelled the PA and Fatah from Gaza in a violent takeover.  In 2017 the group selected a new leader, Ismail Haniyeh, who is based in Gaza.  Hamas remained in de facto control in Gaza in 2021.

Activities:  Before 2005, Hamas conducted numerous anti-Israeli attacks, including suicide bombings, rocket launches, IED attacks, and shootings.  U.S. citizens have died and been injured in the group’s attacks.  In 2007, after Hamas took control of Gaza from the PA and Fatah, the Gaza borders were closed, and Hamas increased its use of tunnels to smuggle weapons into Gaza through the Sinai and maritime routes.  Hamas fought a 23-day war with Israel beginning in 2008 and concluding in 2009.

During 2012, Hamas fought another war with Israel during which it claims to have launched more than 1,400 rockets into Israel.  Despite the Egypt-mediated cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that year, operatives from Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad coordinated and carried out a bus bombing in Tel Aviv later that year that wounded 29 people.

On July 8, 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza with the intent of preventing rocket fire into Israel; the rocket fire from Gaza had increased following earlier Israeli military operations that targeted Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, including 16-year-old U.S.-Israeli citizen Naftali Fraenkel.  In 2016 a Hamas member carried out a suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem, killing 20 people.

Hamas was responsible for numerous rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli territory in 2018, 2019, and 2020.  In 2020 the Israeli military accused Hamas of being responsible for launching incendiary devices tied to balloons into Israel, causing more than 400 blazes in southern Israel.

In May 2021, Hamas fought an 11-day war with Israel in which it and other militant groups launched more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli cities.  In June the Israeli military accused Hamas of launching incendiary balloons that sparked 20 fires in fields across southern Israel.

Strength:  Hamas comprises several thousand Gaza-based operatives.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon

Funding and External Aid:  Hamas has received funding, weapons, and training from Iran and raises funds in Persian Gulf countries.  The group receives donations from some Palestinians and other expatriates as well as from its own charity organizations.

Harakat Sawa’d Misr

Aka HASM; Harakah Sawa’id Misr; Harikat Souaid Misr; HASM Movement; Hassam Movement; Arms of Egypt Movement; Movement of Egypt’s Arms; Movement of Egypt’s Forearms; Hassm; Hamms; Hassam; Hasam

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 14, 2021, Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) was formed in Egypt in 2015.  With the goal of overthrowing the Egyptian government, HASM attacks Egyptian security officials and other government-affiliated targets.


In 2016, HASM claimed responsibility for an attack against police officers in Tameeya, Egypt, that killed two policemen and injured another.  Later that year, HASM also claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination of Egypt’s former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, as well as for an attack on a police checkpoint in Giza, killing six police personnel.

In 2017 the organization claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Egyptian security forces, including the assassination of Egyptian National Security Agency officer Ibrahim Azzazy, as well as for an attack on Burma’s embassy in Cairo.

In 2019, HASM claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack targeting security forces in Giza, killing or wounding 10 soldiers.  Later that year, HASM was held responsible for a car bombing on a government health institute in Cairo, killing at least 20 people and injuring dozens.  The Egyptian government blamed HASM, though the group denied responsibility.  HASM did not claim responsibility for any terrorist attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.


Aka 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; Lebanese Hizballah; Lebanese Hezbollah; LH; Foreign Relations Department; FRD; External Security Organization; ESO; Foreign Action Unit; Hizballah ESO: Hizballah International; Special Operations Branch; External Services Organization; External Security Organization of Hezbollah

Description:  Hizballah was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Formed in 1982 following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Lebanon-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 the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.  Hizballah is closely allied with Iran, and the two often work together on shared initiatives, although Hizballah also occasionally acts independently.  Hizballah shares a close relationship with the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad and, like Iran, provides assistance — including fighters — to Syrian regime forces in the Syrian conflict.

Activities:  Hizballah is responsible for multiple large-scale terrorist attacks, including the 1983 suicide truck bombings of Embassy Beirut and the U.S. Marine barracks; the 1984 attack on the U.S. Embassy Beirut annex; and the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, during which U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem was murdered.  Hizballah was also implicated, along with Iran, in the 1992 attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires.  Hizballah assisted Iraqi Shia militant and terrorist groups in Iraq, and in 2007 attacked the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center, killing five American soldiers.

In 2012, Hizballah was responsible for an attack on a passenger bus carrying 42 Israeli tourists at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria.  The explosion killed 5 Israelis and 1 Bulgarian and injured 32 others.  In 2013, Hizballah publicly admitted to playing a significant role in the ongoing conflict in Syria, rallying support for the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.  Hizballah’s support for Syria’s Assad regime continued into 2021.

In 2017, two Hizballah operatives were arrested in the United States.  One operative arrested in Michigan had identified the availability of explosives precursors in Panama in 2011 and surveilled U.S. and Israeli targets in Panama as well as the Panama Canal during 2011-12.  Another operative arrested in New York had surveilled U.S. military and law enforcement facilities from 2003 to 2017.

In 2018, Brazil arrested a Hizballah financier and extradited him to Paraguay for prosecution in 2020.  In 2019, Hizballah launched attacks directly on the Israeli military, firing antitank missiles targeting an army base and vehicles near the border.

In 2020, Hizballah fighters allegedly fired toward an Israel Defense Forces position in the Israeli town of Menara.  In 2020, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed the terrorist group had doubled the size of its Precision Guided Missiles arsenal.  Also in 2020, judges at the Netherlands-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon found Hizballah member Salim Ayyash guilty for his central role in the bomb attack in Beirut in 2005 that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

In August 2021, Hizballah claimed responsibility for firing a barrage of rockets over Israel’s northern frontier near the Lebanese border.

Strength:  Hizballah has tens of thousands of supporters and members worldwide.

Location/Area of Operation:  Lebanon and Syria

Funding and External Aid:  Iran continues to provide Hizballah with most of its funding, training, weapons, and explosives, as well as political, diplomatic, monetary, and organizational aid.  Iran’s annual financial backing to Hizballah — which has been estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars annually— accounts for the overwhelming majority of the group’s annual budget.  The Assad regime in Syria has provided training, weapons, and diplomatic and political support.  Hizballah also receives funding in the form of private donations from some Lebanese Shia diaspora communities worldwide, including profits from legal and illegal businesses.  These include smuggling contraband goods, passport falsification, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and credit card, immigration, and bank fraud.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Aka IRGC; the Iranian Revolutionary Guards; IRG; the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution; AGIR; Pasdarn-e Enghelab-e Islami; Sepah-e Pasdaran Enghelab Islami; Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Eslami; Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami; Pasdaran-e Inqilab; Revolutionary Guards; Revolutionary Guard; Sepah; Pasdaran; Sepah Pasdaran; Islamic Revolutionary Corps; Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps; Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps; Islamic Revolutionary Guards; Iran’s Revolutionary Guards; Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.

Description:  Designated as an FTO on April 15, 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), part of Iran’s military, has played a central role in Iran’s use of terrorism as a key tool of Iranian statecraft since its inception.  The IRGC has been directly involved in terrorist plotting; its support for terrorism is foundational and institutional, and it has killed U.S. citizens.

The IRGC was founded in 1979 and since then has gained a substantial role in executing Iran’s foreign policy and wields control over vast segments of the economy.  The organization’s ties to nonstate armed groups in the region, such as Hizballah in Lebanon, help Iran compensate for its relatively weak conventional military forces.  Answering directly to the supreme leader, the IRGC is also influential in domestic politics, and many senior officials have passed through its ranks.

The organization is composed of five primary branches: the IRGC Ground Forces, the IRGC Air Force, IRGC Navy, the Basij, and the IRGC-QF.

Activities:  The IRGC — most prominently through its Qods Force (QF) — directs and carries out a global terrorist campaign.  The IRGC in 2011 plotted a brazen attack against the Saudi ambassador to the United States on American soil.  In 2012, IRGC-QF operatives were arrested in Türkiye and Kenya for plotting attacks.

An IRGC operative was convicted in 2017 of espionage for a foreign intelligence service; he had been surveilling a German-Israeli group.  In 2018, Germany uncovered 10 IRGC operatives involved in a terrorist plot in Germany.  In 2018 a U.S. federal court found Iran and the IRGC liable for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 U.S. citizens.  The QF is active in Syria in support of the Assad regime.

The IRGC is Iran’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorist groups abroad.  The IRGC continues to provide financial and other material support, training, technology transfer, advanced conventional weapons, guidance, or direction to a broad range of terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Kata’ib Hizballah, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat al-Nujaba in Iraq, al-Ashtar Brigades and Saraya al-Mukhtar in Bahrain, and other terrorist groups in Syria and around the Persian Gulf.  Iran also provides up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

Strength:  The IRGC has upward of 125,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iran, Iraq, Syria, Europe, and the Gulf

Funding and External Aid:  The IRGC continues to engage in large-scale illicit financing schemes and money laundering to fund its malign activities.  In 2017 the IRGC engineered a plot to produce counterfeit currency by deceiving European suppliers to procure advanced printing machinery and other necessary materials.  It then printed counterfeit Yemeni bank notes, which were used to support its destabilizing activities in Yemen.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Aka al-Qa’ida in Iraq; al-Qa’ida Group of Jihad in Iraq; al-Qa’ida Group of Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida in Mesopotamia; al-Qa’ida in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida of Jihad in Iraq; al-Qa’ida of Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida of the Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Tawhid; Jam’at al-Tawhid Wa’al-Jihad; Tanzeem Qa’idat al Jihad/Bilad al Raafidaini; Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn; the Monotheism and Jihad Group; the Organization Base of Jihad/Country of the Two Rivers; the Organization Base of Jihad/Mesopotamia; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base in Iraq; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base in the Land of the Two Rivers; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base of Operations in Iraq; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base of Operations in the Land of the Two Rivers; the Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers; al-Zarqawi Network; Islamic State of Iraq; Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; ad-Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al-’Iraq wa-sh-Sham; Daesh; Dawla al Islamiya; Al-Furqan Establishment for Media Production; Islamic State; ISIL; ISIS; Amaq News Agency; Al Hayat Media Center; Al-Hayat Media Center; Al Hayat

Description:  Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) was designated as an FTO on December 17, 2004.  In the 1990s, Jordanian militant Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi organized a terrorist group called al-Tawhid wal-Jihad to oppose the presence of U.S. and western military forces in the Middle East as well as the West’s support for, and the existence of, Israel.  In late 2004, Zarqawi joined al-Qa’ida (AQ) and pledged allegiance to Usama bin Laden.  At that time, his group became known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI).  Zarqawi led the group in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom to fight against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces until his death in 2006.

That year, AQI publicly renamed itself the Islamic State in Iraq.  In 2013, it adopted the moniker of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to express its regional ambitions as it expanded operations to include the Syrian conflict.  ISIS was led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who declared an Islamic caliphate in 2014, but he was killed in 2019.  In 2017 the U.S. military fighting with local Syrian allies announced the liberation of Raqqa, the self-declared capital of ISIS’s so-called caliphate.  Also in 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  In 2018 the Syrian Democratic Forces, with support from the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, began a final push to oust ISIS fighters from the lower Middle Euphrates River Valley in Syria.  The year 2019 marked the full territorial defeat of ISIS’s so-called caliphate; however, ISIS in Syria remains a serious threat.  The group benefits from instability, demonstrates intent to cause attacks abroad, and continues to inspire terrorist attacks around the world.

Activities:  ISIS has conducted numerous high-profile attacks, including IED attacks against U.S. military personnel and Iraqi infrastructure, videotaped beheadings of U.S. citizens, suicide bombings against both military and civilian targets, and rocket attacks.  ISIS perpetrated these attacks using foreign, Iraqi, and Syrian operatives.  In 2014, ISIS was responsible for most of the 12,000 Iraqi civilian deaths that year.  ISIS was heavily involved in the fighting in Syria and had participated in numerous kidnappings of civilians, including aid workers and journalists.  In 2015 and 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks in Iraq and Syria.  In 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a popular shopping center in Baghdad that killed nearly 300 people, making it the single deadliest bombing in Iraq’s capital city since 2003.

Since at least 2015, the group has integrated local children and children of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) into its forces and used them as executioners and suicide attackers.  ISIS has systematically prepared child soldiers in Iraq and Syria using its education and religious infrastructure as part of its training and recruitment of members.  Further, since 2015, ISIS has abducted, raped, and abused thousands of women and children, some as young as 8 years old.  Women and children were sold and enslaved, distributed to ISIS fighters as spoils of war, forced into marriage and domestic servitude, or subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

ISIS also directs, enables, and inspires individuals to conduct attacks on behalf of the group around the world, including in the United States and Europe.  In 2015, ISIS carried out a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, including at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall, killing about 130 people and injuring more than 350 others; 23-year-old U.S. citizen Nohemi Gonzalez was among the dead.  In 2016, ISIS directed two simultaneous attacks in Brussels, Belgium — one at the Zaventem Airport and the other at a metro station.  The attacks killed 32 people, including 4 U.S. citizens, and injured more than 250 people.  In 2016 a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS killed 49 individuals and injured 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Also in 2016, ISIS claimed an attack in which a terrorist driving a cargo truck attacked a crowd in Nice, France, during Bastille Day celebrations, resulting in 86 deaths, including 3 U.S. citizens.  Also in 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility for a truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured 48 others.

In 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge when a man drove his car into pedestrians and stabbed others, killing five people.  In 2017 a man who claimed to be a member of ISIS drove a truck into a crowded shopping center in Stockholm, killing five and injuring many more.  Also in 2017, ISIS claimed a suicide bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people outside of a live concert.

In 2018, ISIS attacked the city of Suweida and nearby towns and villages in southwestern Syria, conducting multiple suicide bombings and simultaneous raids in a brutal offensive, killing more than 200 people.

In 2019, ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a restaurant in Manbij, Syria, that killed 19 persons, including 4 Americans.  On Easter Sunday 2019, more than 250 people were killed in Sri Lanka when ISIS-inspired terrorists carried out coordinated suicide bombings at multiple churches and hotels.  Later that year, ISIS claimed responsibility for killing a U.S. service member while he was participating in a combat operation in Ninewa province, Iraq.  Also, that year, ISIS claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack near the London Bridge in which a man killed two persons and injured three others.

In January 2021, ISIS claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in a busy market in Tayaran Square in Baghdad that killed at least 32 people and wounded at least 110 more.  In July, ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in a busy market in a predominantly Shia neighborhood in east Baghdad, Iraq that killed 30 people and wounded at least 50 others.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights concluded that throughout 2021, ISIS also launched more than 342 terrorist attacks in Syria.

Strength:  Estimates suggest ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria number between 11,000 and 18,000, including several thousand FTFs.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria, with branches and networks around the world

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS received most of its funding from a variety of criminal activities in Iraq and Syria.  Criminal activities included extortion of civilian economies, smuggling oil, and robberies.  The organization also maintains stockpiles of as much as hundreds of millions of dollars scattered across Iraq and Syria it looted during its occupation of those countries in 2013 to 2019.  ISIS continues to rely on trusted courier networks and money services businesses to move its financial resources within and outside of Iraq and Syria.  The territorial defeat of ISIS that eliminated its control of territory in Syria in 2019 reduced ISIS’s ability to generate, hold, and transfer its financial assets.  Despite this, ISIS continues to generate revenue from criminal activities through its many clandestine networks in Iraq and Syria and provides significant financial support and guidance to its network of global branches and affiliates.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya 

Aka Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya; Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya; Wilayat Barqa; Wilayat Fezzan; Wilayat Tripolitania; Wilayat Tarablus; Wilayat al-Tarabulus

Description:  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya (ISIL-Libya) was designated as an FTO on May 20, 2016.  In 2014, then-ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dispatched a group of ISIS operatives from Syria to Libya to establish a branch of the terrorist group.  In 2014, several hundred operatives set up a base in Darnah.  The following month, Baghdadi formally established the branch after announcing he had accepted oaths of allegiance from fighters in Libya.

Activities:  Since becoming established, ISIL-Libya has carried out multiple attacks throughout Libya and threatened to expand ISIS’s presence into other countries in Africa.

In 2015, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli that killed eight persons, including a U.S. contractor.  In 2015, ISIL-Libya released a propaganda video showing the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who had been kidnapped from Sirte, Libya, in two separate incidents in 2014 and 2015.

In 2018, ISIL-Libya was responsible for an attack on Libya’s electoral commission headquarters in Tripoli that killed 14 people; a suicide attack on Libya’s National Oil Company headquarters that left 2 dead and 10 others wounded; an attack on a town in central Libya that resulted in 5 killed and 10 others kidnapped; and an attack on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that killed 3 persons.  In 2019, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on the Libyan National Army (LNA).

In 2020, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for three attacks on LNA forces at an LNA checkpoint in southern Libya and a separate VBIED attack targeting an LNA checkpoint in Taraghin.

In June, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a police checkpoint in the southern city of Sabhā, Libya, that killed at least two LNA personnel.  Later that month, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for activating an IED against an LNA patrol near the city of Fuqaha that killed two persons.

Strength:  ISIL-Libya is estimated to have 100 to 200 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Libya

Funding and External Aid:  ISIL-Libya’s funding comes from a variety of sources, including criminal activity, such as smuggling and extortion, and external funding.  The group also receives support from ISIS.

Islamic State-Sinai Province

Aka Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis; Ansar Jerusalem; Supporters of Jerusalem; Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes; Ansar Beit al-Maqdis; Islamic State-Sinai Province; Islamic State in the Sinai; Jamaat Ansar Beit al-Maqdis fi Sinaa; Sinai Province; Supporters of the Holy Place; the State of Sinai; Wilayat Sinai

Description:  Originally designated as an FTO on April 9, 2014, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM, as it was known then) rose to prominence in 2011 following the uprisings in Egypt.  In 2014, ABM officially declared allegiance to ISIS.  In 2015 the Department of State amended ABM’s designation to add the aliases ISIL Sinai Province and Islamic State-Sinai Province (ISIS-SP), among others.

Activities:  Before pledging allegiance to ISIS, ABM claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Israeli and Egyptian interests from 2012 through 2014, including attacks on Israeli economic and military assets, as well as attacks on the Egyptian military and tourist sectors.  From 2015 through 2020, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the bombing of a Russian passenger plane, the abduction and killing of a Croatian citizen, rockets launched at Israeli cities, attacks on Egyptian Christians, and numerous attacks against Egyptian military and security personnel.   In 2020, ISIS-SP increased its attacks against Sinai tribal members, including the killing of a 75-year-old tribal elder who was strapped to a pole with explosives detonated next to him and a suicide bombing that targeted a tribal family gathering, killing at least three persons.

In 2021, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Egyptian security forces and civilians.  In February, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for activating an IED against an Egyptian Army patrol south of the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, killing three Egyptian soldiers.  In April, ISIL-SP claimed responsibility for the execution of a Coptic Christian and two tribesmen they accused of collaborating with the Egyptian Army.  In December, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for an IED attack that targeted a pro-government militia vehicle.

Strength:  ISIS-SP is estimated to have between 800 and 1,200 fighters in the Sinai Peninsula and affiliated cells in the Nile valley.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS-SP receives funding from external actors, including ISIS-core, and from smuggling.

Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi 

Aka Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order; Armed Men of the Naqshabandi Order; Naqshbandi Army; Naqshabandi Army; Men of the Army of al-Naqshbandia Way; Jaysh Rajal al-Tariqah al-Naqshbandia; JRTN; JRN; AMNO

Description:  Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) was designated as an FTO on September 30, 2015.  The group first announced insurgency operations against international forces in Iraq in 2006 in response to the execution of Saddam Hussein.  Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former vice president of Saddam Hussein’s Revolutionary Council, leads the group, which consists of former Baath Party officials, military personnel, and Sunni nationalists.  JRTN aims to overthrow the Government of Iraq, install a new Baathist regime, and end external influence in Baghdad.

Activities:  Between its founding in 2006 and the 2011 withdrawal of Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces from Iraq, JRTN claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on U.S. bases and forces.  JRTN also is known to have used VBIEDs against Iraqi government security forces.

In 2014, elements of JRTN joined military forces with ISIS in opposition to the Iraqi government.  JRTN played a major role in the capture of Mosul from Iraqi security forces in 2014.  However, fissures between ISIS and JRTN quickly emerged after ISIS’s advance in Baiji and Tikrit.  Although some elements of JRTN splintered off, most of the organization was subsumed by ISIS.  JRTN did not claim responsibility for any attacks between 2016 and 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq

Funding and External Aid:  JRTN has received funding from former regime members, major tribal figures in Iraq, and from Persian Gulf-based financiers of terrorism.

Kahane Chai

Aka American Friends of the United Yeshiva; American Friends of Yeshivat Rav Meir; Committee for the Safety of the Roads; Dikuy Bogdim; DOV; Forefront of the Idea; Friends of the Jewish Idea Yeshiva; Jewish Legion; Judea Police; Judean Congress; Kach; Kahane; Kahane Lives; Kahane Tzadak;;; Kfar Tapuah Fund; Koach; Meir’s Youth; New Kach Movement;; No’ar Meir; Repression of Traitors; State of Judea; Sword of David; the Committee Against Racism and Discrimination (CARD); the Hatikva Jewish Identity Center; the International Kahane Movement; the Jewish Idea Yeshiva; the Judean Legion; the Judean Voice; the Qomemiyut Movement; the Rabbi Meir David Kahane Memorial Fund; the Voice of Judea; the Way of the Torah; the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea; Yeshivat Harav Meir

Description:  Kahane Chai (KC) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Radical Israeli American Rabbi Meir Kahane founded Kach — the precursor to KC — with the aim of restoring Greater Israel (Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza) and expelling the Arabs who live there.  Its offshoot, Kahane Chai (translation: “Kahane Lives”), was founded by Meir Kahane’s son Binyamin, following his father’s 1990 assassination.  In 1994 the Israeli government banned both Kach and Kahane Chai, declaring them terrorist organizations.  The Cabinet’s decision was based on evidence, submitted by Israeli security services and police, that implicated the two groups in a series of unsolved murders of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  The banning followed the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinians in Hebron by a Kach activist.

Activities:  KC has harassed and threatened Arabs, especially Palestinians, and Israeli government officials and vowed revenge for the 2000 death of Binyamin Kahane and his wife.  The group is suspected of involvement in numerous low-level attacks dating to the start of the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.  KC was last linked to an attack in 2005, when one of its members killed four persons on a bus in Shfaram, Israel.

Strength:  KC’s core membership has been estimated to be fewer than 100.

Location/Area of Operation:  Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Funding and External Aid:  KC has received support from sympathizers in the United States and Europe.

Kata’ib Hizballah

Aka Hizballah Brigades; Hizballah Brigades in Iraq; Hizballah Brigades-Iraq; Kata’ib Hezbollah; Khata’ib Hezbollah; Khata’ib Hizballah; Khattab Hezballah; Hizballah Brigades-Iraq of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq; Islamic Resistance in Iraq; Kata’ib Hizballah Fi al-Iraq; Katibat Abu Fathel al-A’abas; Katibat Zayd Ebin Ali; Katibut Karbalah

Description:  Formed in 2006 as an anti-western Shia group, Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) was designated as an FTO on July 2, 2009.  Before the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, the group conducted attacks against U.S., Iraqi, and Defeat-ISIS Coalition targets in Iraq and threatened the lives of Iraqi politicians and civilians supporting the legitimate political process in Iraq.  KH is notable for its extensive use of media operations and propaganda, such as filming and releasing videos of attacks.  KH has ideological ties to and receives support from Iran.

Activities:  KH has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks since 2007, including IED attacks, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and sniper operations.  In 2007, KH gained notoriety for its attacks against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces in Iraq.  In 2011, five U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad when KH assailants fired multiple rockets at a U.S. military base, Camp Victory.

In 2019, KH members stormed the Bahraini Embassy in Baghdad in protest of Bahrain’s hosting the United States’ Israel-Palestine conference.  In 2019, KH was reportedly involved in sniper operations against Iraqi protestors.  Later that year, KH was blamed for a rocket attack on K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk that killed one U.S. citizen.  A few days later, members of KH broke into the U.S. Embassy compound and participated in a violent attack against the facility, setting fires inside, which destroyed security checkpoints and reception rooms.

In 2020, KH reportedly launched rockets at Camp Taji, an American-controlled military base near Baghdad, killing 2 Americans and 1 British soldier, and wounding 14 others.

In 2021, KH remained active in Iraq and Syria and continued to conduct rocket and drone attacks against U.S. military forces and U.S. facilities.  KH is believed to be responsible for a March rocket attack on Ain al-Asad Air Base, an Iraqi air base that hosts U.S. soldiers.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria

Funding and External Aid:  KH depends heavily on support from Iran.

Kurdistan Workers’ Party

Aka the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress; the Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan; KADEK; Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan; the People’s Defense Force; Halu Mesru Savunma Kuvveti; Kurdistan People’s Congress; People’s Congress of Kurdistan; KONGRA-GEL

Description:  Founded by Abdullah Ocalan in 1978 as a Marxist-Leninist separatist organization, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The group, composed primarily of Turkish Kurds, launched a campaign of violence in 1984.  The PKK’s original goal was to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Türkiye.

Activities:  In the early 1990s, the PKK moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to engage in urban terrorism.  Anatolia became the scene of significant violence, with some estimates suggesting at least 40,000 casualties.  The PKK foreswore violence from 1999 until 2004, when its hardline militant wing took control and renounced the self-imposed cease-fire.  In 2009 the Turkish government and the PKK resumed peace negotiations, but talks broke down after the PKK carried out an attack in 2011 that killed 13 Turkish soldiers.  Between 2012 and midyear 2015, the Turkish government and the PKK resumed peace negotiations, but the negotiations ultimately broke down — owing partly to domestic political pressures and the conflict in Syria.

In 2016 the group claimed a VBIED strike against Şırnak Province police headquarters, which killed 11 people and wounded more than 70 others.  In 2017, Turkish officials blamed the PKK for a car bomb and shooting outside of a courthouse that killed two persons and an attack on a military convoy that killed more than 20 soldiers.

In 2018, numerous attacks by the PKK were reported against Türkiye’s security forces, including an attack claimed by the PKK against a Turkish Army base, which resulted in dozens of causalities.  Also in 2018, a roadside bomb struck a bus carrying workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, killing 7 persons and wounding 13 in Diyarbakir Province’s Kulp district.  The government blamed the PKK for the attack.

In 2019 the PKK was accused of assassinating a senior Turkish diplomat in Erbil, Iraq.  Later that year, the PKK attacked a Turkish military vehicle in Hakkâri province, killing two soldiers and wounding another.

In 2020 a PKK-claimed rocket attack on the Gürbulak Customs Gate with Iran killed two Turkish Customs officials.  That same year a PKK affiliate claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a natural gas pipeline near the Turkish-Iranian border, taking the pipeline offline for months and PKK militants fired rockets at a Turkish military base in northern Iraq, killing two soldiers and wounding another.

In February the PKK was accused of killing 13 Turkish hostages in Iraq.

Strength:  The PKK is estimated to consist of 4,000 to 5,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Türkiye

Funding and External Aid:  The PKK receives financial support from the large Kurdish diaspora in Europe.

Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem

Aka MSC; Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem; Mujahideen Shura Council; Shura al-Mujahedin Fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis; Majlis Shura al-Mujahidin; Majlis Shura alMujahideen; Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin

Description:  The Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) was designated as an FTO on August 19, 2014.  The MSC is a consolidation of several Salafi terrorist groups based in Gaza that have claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Israel since the group’s founding in 2012.

Activities:  In 2013, MSC claimed responsibility for a rocket attack targeting the Israeli city of Eilat.  Previously, MSC claimed responsibility for the 2013 attack in which Gaza-based militants fired at least five rockets at Sderot, Israel, and the 2013 attack in which two rockets were fired at Eilat.  MSC did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  MSC is estimated to have several hundred fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

al-Nusrah Front

Aka Jabhat al-Nusrah; Jabhet al-Nusrah; the Victory Front; al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant; al-Nusrah Front in Lebanon; Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham min Mujahedi al-Sham fi Sahat al-Jihad; Support Front for the People of the Levant; Jabhat Fath al-Sham; Jabhat Fath al Sham; Jabhat Fatah al-Sham; Jabhat Fateh al-Sham; Front for the Conquest of Syria; the Front for Liberation of al Sham; Front for the Conquest of Syria/the Levant; Front for the Liberation of the Levant; Conquest of the Levant Front; Fatah al-Sham Front; Fateh al-Sham Front; Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham; Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham; Hayat Tahrir al-Sham; HTS; Assembly for the Liberation of Syria; Assembly for Liberation of the Levant; Liberation of al-Sham Commission; Liberation of the Levant Organization; Tahrir al-Sham; Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at

Description:  Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) was designated as an FTO on May 15, 2014, and is al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.  It is led by Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani.  The group was formed in 2011 when then-al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) — now ISIS — then-leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent al-Jawlani to Syria to organize terrorist cells.  In 2013 the group split from AQI and became an independent entity.  ANF’s stated goal is to oust Syria’s Assad regime and replace it with a Sunni Islamic state.  The group is concentrated in and controls a portion of territory in northwest Syria, where it is active as an opposition force and exerts varying degrees of influence over local governance and external plotting.

In 2017, ANF joined with four smaller Syrian factions and created Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as a vehicle to advance its position in the Syrian insurgency and further its own goals as al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.

Activities:  ANF has been active in operations against other factions in the Syrian conflict.  In 2016 the group carried out attacks in Aleppo and other parts of Syria controlled by the Syrian Army, killing both military officials and civilians.

Since 2017, ANF has continued to operate through HTS in pursuit of its objectives. In 2017 the group carried out multiple suicide bombings in Damascus, including suicide attacks using VBIEDs.  ANF took control of significant portions of Idlib from 2017 to 2019, exerting severe military pressure over other local groups such as Ahrar al-Sham and Nur ad-Din al-Zinki as it fought against the regime and continued plotting against U.S. and allied interests.

In 2019 the group suffered heavy casualties, estimated in the hundreds, from engagement with Russian-backed Syrian government forces.  Also that year, ANF bombed the Syrian town of Kafr Takharim, using heavy weaponry, and killing at least five persons.  In 2020 an ANF member threw a grenade and opened fire into a group of civilians in Idlib city, Syria, killing two persons and injuring others.

In 2021, ANF remained an active terrorist group in northwest Syria’s Idlib province.

Strength:  ANF has between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Syria

Funding and External Aid:  ANF receives funding from a variety of sources, including kidnapping-for-ransom payments, taxes and fees on border crossings it controls, and donations from external Persian Gulf-based donors.  The group also generates revenue by collecting fees from commercial traffic entering and exiting Idlib.

Palestine Islamic Jihad

Aka PIJ; PIJ-Shaqaqi Faction; PIJ-Shallah Faction; Islamic Jihad of Palestine; Islamic Jihad in Palestine; Abu Ghunaym Squad of the Hizballah Bayt al-Maqdis; Al-Quds Squads; Al-Quds Brigades; Saraya al-Quds; Al-Awdah Brigades

Description:  Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Formed by militant Palestinians in Gaza during the 1970s, PIJ is committed to the destruction of Israel and to the creation of an Islamic state in historic Palestine, including present-day Israel.

Activities:  PIJ has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets.  Throughout 2014, PIJ operatives carried out attacks on Israeli buses in Tel Aviv.  That year, PIJ carried out a wave of rocket attacks into Israeli territory; up to 60 rockets may have reached Israel.

In 2015, Israeli forces blamed PIJ for firing a rocket that landed in Gan Yazne, a region close to the Gaza border.  Also that year, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed PIJ operatives in Syria fired four rockets at the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee.

Throughout 2016, PIJ continued to strike Israel, primarily through light arms fire directed at IDF patrols.  That year, Israeli authorities arrested PIJ operative Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha upon his entry into Israel from Gaza, interrupting a PIJ plot to abduct and kill an IDF soldier and carry out a mass-casualty attack on a reception hall in Beersheba.  PIJ claimed responsibility for launching rockets into Israel throughout 2018 and 2020.

In 2021, PIJ continued its attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets.  In May, PIJ joined Palestinian militants in launching more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel.  During this period, PIJ claimed responsibility for launching rockets, mortar shells, and rocket-propelled grenades against Israel.  In December, PIJ claimed responsibility for a shooting attack near Homesh at an Israeli vehicle that killed one person and wounded two others.

Strength: Estimates of PIJ’s membership range from about 1,000 to several thousand.

Location/Area of Operation:  Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  PIJ receives financial assistance and training primarily from Iran.  PIJ has partnered with Iran- and Syria-sponsored Hizballah to carry out joint operations.

Palestine Liberation Front — Abu Abbas Faction

Aka PLF; PLF-Abu Abbas; Palestine Liberation Front

Description:  The Palestinian Liberation Front-Abu Abbas Faction (PLF) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  In the late 1970s the PLF splintered from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.  It later split into pro-Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions.  The pro-PLO faction was led by Muhammad Zaydan (aka Abu Abbas) and was based in Baghdad before Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Activities:  The PLF was responsible for the 1985 attack on the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer.  Throughout the 1990s the PLF was suspected of supporting terrorism against Israel by other Palestinian groups.  In 2004, Abu Abbas died of natural causes while in U.S. custody in Iraq.  After not claiming an attack for 16 years, the PLF claimed responsibility for the 2008 assault against an Israeli military bus in Huwarah, Israel, and the shooting of an Israeli settler.  In 2010 the PLF claimed responsibility for an IED attack against an IDF patrol, which caused minor injuries to a soldier; another IED was discovered during a search of the area.  The PLF has not claimed responsibility for any attacks since 2016 but continues to maintain a strong presence in many refugee camps in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Aka PFLP; Halhul Gang; Halhul Squad; Palestinian Popular Resistance Forces; PPRF; Red Eagle Gang; Red Eagle Group; Red Eagles; Martyr Abu-Ali Mustafa Battalion

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash after splitting from the Arab Nationalist Movement.  The group earned a reputation for committing large-scale international attacks in the 1960s and 1970s, including airline hijackings that killed more than 20 U.S. citizens.

Activities:  The PFLP increased its operational activity during the Second Palestinian Intifada.  During that time the group assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001, carried out at least two suicide operations, and launched multiple joint operations with other Palestinian terrorist groups.

In 2014, two Palestinians reportedly affiliated with the PFLP entered a Jerusalem synagogue and attacked Israelis with guns, knives, and axes, killing 5 persons — including three U.S. citizens — and injuring 12.  A month later the PFLP claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks along the Lebanese-Israel border.

In 2017, three Palestinian militants launched an attack near East Jerusalem’s Old City, stabbing and killing an Israeli border security agent.  Two of the militants were PFLP members, although ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.  In 2019, IDF and Israeli Border Patrol forces arrested four PFLP members allegedly responsible for remotely detonating an IED in the West Bank, killing an Israeli teenager and seriously wounding two others.

In 2020, Israeli security forces in the West Bank arrested approximately 50 members of a PFLP cell believed to be behind a string of deadly attacks in the area and seized a large number of weapons and bomb making materials.

In April the PFLP’s Ali Mustapha Brigade claimed responsibility for firing 36 rockets at Israel.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of support are unknown.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command


Description:  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The PFLP-GC split from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1968, claiming it wanted to concentrate more on resistance and less on politics.  Ahmad Jibril, a former captain in the Syrian Army, led the PFLP-GC until his death in 2021 and was succeeded by Talal Naji.  The PFLP-GC has close ties to both Syria and Iran.

Activities:  The PFLP-GC carried out dozens of attacks in Europe and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s.  The organization was known for conducting cross-border attacks into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders.  Since the early 1990s the group has focused primarily on supporting Hizballah’s attacks against Israel, training members of other Palestinian terrorist groups, and smuggling weapons.  More recently the PFLP-GC has been implicated by Lebanese security officials in several rocket attacks against Israel.  In 2009 the group was responsible for wounding two civilians in an armed attack in Nahariyya, Israel.

In 2012 the PFLP-GC claimed responsibility for a bus bombing in Tel Aviv that injured 29 people, although 4 Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hamas operatives later were arrested for the attack.  In 2015 the PFLP-GC reportedly began fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria, while also receiving logistical and military aid from Hizballah and Iran.  Separately that year, the PFLP-GC took responsibility for rocket fire aimed at Israeli territory.  In that attack, at least three rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel and landed near Shlomi, a small town near the Lebanese frontier with Israel.

Although the PFLP-GC did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021, the group remained active in Syria.

Strength:  The PFLP-GC has several hundred members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza

Funding and External Aid:  The PFLP-GC receives safe haven and logistical and military support from Syria as well as financial support from Iran.


Aka al-Qa’eda; al Qaida, al Qaeda, Islamic Army; Islamic Salvation Foundation; the Base; the Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites; the Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places; the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders; Usama Bin Laden Network; Usama Bin Laden Organization; al-Jihad; the Jihad Group; Egyptian al-Jihad; Egyptian Islamic Jihad; New Jihad; International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusades; Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Sites

Description:  Al-Qa’ida (AQ) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1999.  Established in 1988 the group helped finance, recruit, transport, and train fighters for the Afghan resistance against the former Soviet Union.  AQ strives to eliminate western influence from the Muslim world, topple “apostate” governments of Muslim countries, and establish a pan-Islamic caliphate governed by its own interpretation of Sharia that would ultimately be at the center of a new international order.  These goals remain essentially unchanged since the group’s 1996 public declaration of war against the United States.  AQ leaders issued a statement in 1998 under the banner of “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders,” saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill U.S. citizens — civilian and military — and their allies everywhere.  AQ merged with al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) in 2001.  While numerous AQ leaders have been killed in recent years, including Usama bin Laden in 2011, AQ’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, remains at large.

Activities:  AQ conducted three bombings targeting U.S. troops in Aden, Yemen, in 1992 and claimed responsibility for shooting down U.S. helicopters and killing U.S. soldiers in Somalia in 1993.  AQ also carried out the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing up to 300 people and injuring more than 5,000.  In 2000, AQ conducted a suicide attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden with an explosive-laden boat, killing 17 U.S. Navy sailors and injuring 39 others.

On September 11, 2001, 19 AQ members hijacked and crashed four U.S. commercial jets — two into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and the last into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Nearly 3,000 civilians, police, and first responders were killed.  The dead included U.S. and foreign citizens from at least 77 countries.

In a 2011 video, al-Zawahiri claimed AQ was behind the kidnapping of U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein in Pakistan.  Weinstein was held captive until his death in 2015.

In 2015, five senior AQ leaders were released from Iranian custody in exchange for an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen.  Of the five, Saif al Adel and Abu Mohammed al Masri are wanted for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

In 2016, al-Zawahiri publicly released two audio messages and one seven-page statement, condemning the Government of Saudi Arabia and its role in the Syrian conflict, encouraging AQ activity in Southeast Asia — especially Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines — and acknowledging support for its affiliate in Syria, al-Nusrah Front.

In 2017 a U.S. citizen was convicted in New York of charges related to abetting AQ’s 2009 attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan using two truck bombs.  The following month, al-Zawahiri released a video calling for jihadists around the world to conduct attacks against the United States.  Al-Zawahiri released multiple recordings and videos in 2018 in which he continued to call for jihad against the United States after the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In 2019 a man from Cleveland, Ohio, was arrested for allegedly making plans for an AQ-inspired bomb attack on the city’s downtown Independence Day parade.  Also in 2019, Zawahiri called for extremists in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to attack Indian forces and appealed to Muslims to attack U.S., European, Israeli, and Russian military targets in a video recording.

While AQ did not claim responsibility for any attacks, it remained active in 2021.

Strength:  In South Asia, AQ’s core has been seriously degraded.  The death or arrest of dozens of mid- and senior-level AQ operatives, including Usama bin Laden, has disrupted communication, financial support, facilitation nodes, and several terrorist plots.  AQ leaders oversee a network of affiliated groups.  Among them are al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Nusrah Front, al-Shabaab, al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and other terrorist groups, including the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad Union, Lashkar i Jhangvi, Harakat ul-Mujahideen, and Jemaah Islamiya.  Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Haqqani Network also have ties to AQ.  In addition, supporters and associates worldwide who are motivated by the group’s ideology may operate without direction from AQ central leadership.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Africa

Funding and External Aid:  AQ primarily depends on donations from likeminded supporters, and from individuals who believe that their money is supporting a humanitarian cause.  Some funds are diverted from Islamic charitable organizations.

al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula

Aka al-Qa’ida in the South Arabian Peninsula; al-Qa’ida in Yemen; al-Qa’ida of Jihad Organization in the Arabian Peninsula; al-Qa’ida Organization in the Arabian Peninsula; Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Jazirat al-Arab; AQAP; AQY; Ansar al-Shari’a; Ansar al-Sharia; Ansar al-Shariah, Ansar al Shariah, Partisans of Islamic Law, Sons of Abyan; Sons of Hadramawt; Sons of Hadramawt Committee; Civil Council of Hadramawt; and National Hadramawt Council

Description:  Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was designated as an FTO on January 19, 2010.  In 2009 the now-deceased leader of al-Qa’ida in Yemen, Nasir al-Wahishi, publicly announced that Yemeni and Saudi al-Qa’ida (AQ) operatives were working together under the banner of AQAP.  The announcement signaled the rebirth of an AQ franchise that previously carried out attacks in Saudi Arabia.  AQAP’s stated goals include establishing a caliphate and implementing Sharia in the Arabian Peninsula and the wider Middle East.

Activities:  AQAP has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against both local and foreign targets since its inception in 2009.  These include a 2009 attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan.  In 2010, AQAP claimed responsibility for a foiled plot to send explosive-laden packages to the United States on cargo planes.  In 2015, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people.  One of the brothers, who had traveled to Yemen in 2011 and met with now-deceased Anwar al-Aulaqi, claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of AQAP.

In 2017 a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in a raid against AQAP leaders in Yemen.  That same year, AQAP attacked a Yemeni Army camp, killing at least two soldiers.  In 2019, AQAP gunmen killed 19 soldiers in an attack on an army base in southern Yemen.  In 2020, AQAP released a video claiming “full responsibility” for Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani’s 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that killed three persons and injured eight others.

In 2021, AQAP claimed responsibility for several attacks throughout the year, including a March attack on a security forces checkpoint in Abyan province that killed eight soldiers and four civilians and a June kidnapping of six Yemen government security personnel.

Strength:  AQAP fighters are estimated to be in the low thousands.

Location/Area of Operation:  Yemen

Funding and External Aid:  AQAP’s funding has historically come from theft, robberies, oil and gas revenue, kidnap-for-ransom operations, and donations from likeminded supporters.

Source: Country Reports on Terrorism 2021, U.S. Department of State, (February 27, 2023).