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Terrorist Movements in the World

PLO ( Palestine Liberation Party) Arafat and the Middle East

Israel has

  • Christ’s Burial place
  • Mohammad rose to Heaven from a Shrine, here
  • And Remains of the Holy Temple of the Jews

Israel formed its own independent country. All Arab countries attacked Israel. Jordan (PLO) took over West Bank in Israel but Israel put up a strong fight and ousted them out of West Bank (year 1967 – 6 day war)

Arafat formed “Fedayeen” group of warriors in 1959. Militant arm of fedayeen ‘Fatah’ worked by

  • Sending ambush teams to Israel
  • Shelling Israeli settlements
  • Planting bombs

They attacked civilians, school children, apartments, farms, etc.

The aims of PLO were as follows

  • To gather disruntled Palestinians in Jordan
  • To form an alliance against Israel

In 1968, Israel fed up of PLO attacks in turn launched attack on Karamah, Arafats primary bases in Jordan. Then Arafat started getting public, by using hijacking, hostage taking incidents. Other terrorists all over the world joined the PLO and their training centers.

Arafat’s PLO splintered into parts. Now while Jordan was ruled by King Hussein, PLO joined hands with Syria and Iraqi sponsored organization in Jordan. King Hussein knew Syria & Iraqi intentions of expansion. Now King Hussein ordered PLO to stop attacking Israel to stop spread of rival influences in Jordan. PLO expanded & defied, so King Husein attacked PLO with all his might. Arafat fled to South Lebanon.

After Hussein’s September attack on Arafat, he created a new group –‘Black September’. Along with German terrorists’ help Arafat attacked Israeli Olympic team, took hostages and killed those who tried to escape in Munich. Spread of internal Arab terrorism was started by Iraqi President Bakr who resigned in 1979 under pressure by Saddam Hussein. Syria posed a threat to Iraqi leadership in the Arab world. The Fatah recruiter came to Iraq to open a training camp (Abu Nidal). Syria had designs on Lebanon and Israel. In response to Iraq’s move, it started encouraging breakup of PLO organizations. It also recruited splinter groups from PLO for attacking Iraqi and Lebanese forces opposing Syria influence.

Now Libya started financing PLO. Col Khadaffy wanted Libya as supreme control. Syria, Iraq and Libya fought each other via terrorism. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. PLO attacked back but Israeli Defence Force had strong attack with its tanks, aircrafts, infantry. Syria unable to tolerate Israel in Lebanon turned their tanks & aircrafts on to Israeli invaders. Arafat knew he had no chance against Israel & Syria also had no regard for him and would plant their own surrogates in place of PLO. So he fled with 14000 fedayeens to Tripoli (capital of Libya). Meanwhile terrorism in Lebanon continued daily. Syria showed no signs of negotiating. The UN intervened. American troops were involved in deployment (Arabs thought of them as Israelis under another flag). American Embassy & US Marine barracks in Beirut were bombed by suicide bombers.

Israel abandoned Lebanon by 2000. Now Abu Nidal focused on Israel. Meanwhile powerless Arafat negotiated with Israeli Government (newly started) Rabin. In 1993 they signed the “Oslo Accords”. Arafat became President of Palestinian National Council & Palestinians got a semiautonomous area in Israel (Palestine). Abu Nidal vowed to kill Arafat. Terrorism heightened, and Arafat vowed to end terrorism.

In 1995, Prime Minister Rabin was shot by a Jewish extremist. In 1998 the Wye Accords was signed and Arafat assumed complete power over Palestine. In Aug 2002, Abu Nidal was found dead in his home in Baghdad. Iraq announced it was a suicide, but his followers claim it was a premeditated murder by Iraqi intelligence.

History of Israel and The Middle East
The Chronological Evolution of Terrorism

Is presented below in chart form.
• 1914 – 1935 – Zionism in Palestine = Jews
• 1940 – Jews & Arabs in Palestine wanted British out.
• 1945 – After World War II, thousands of Jews displaced by
Nazis came to Palestine
• 1948 – British & UN (converted) partitioned Palestine into
Israel [for Zionists (Jews)], West bank & Gaza – Arab places
= small. Israel is born
• 1948 – Immediately Arab neighbours – Jordan , Syria ,
Lebanon , Egypt – [Palestine refers to parts of Israel, Jordan
• 1960 – Israel occupied [Golan & Sinai provinces of] Gaza &
West Bank
• 1967 – ‘SIX DAY WAR’ Israel v/s Arabs, Israel defeated Arab
• JDL = Jew Defence League formed by Jews • 1969 – Khadaffy seizes power (Libya) from British & French
occupation of Libya
• 1970 – Sadat becomes President Egypt
Hasad (Baath party) takes over power in Syria ( from French
• 1973 – Yom Kippur war, Egypt & Syria drove Israel out of
Golan & Sinai
• 1975 – Lebanon civil war
• 1979 – Iranian Revolution – Ayotollah Khomeni overthrew
Shah, made Iran a religious Islamic country. Saddam Hussain
comes to power in Iraq
• 1979 – Egypt signs agreement with Israel (Camp David
Peace Accord)
• 1980 – 1988 – Iran – Iraq war
• 1981 – US Navy aircraft destroy 2 Libyan Planes
• 1982 – Israel invades Lebanon
• 1985 – Terrorism in Europe by Libya
• 1986 – US strikes Libya
• 1987 – Terrorism in US
• 1990 – Iraq invades Kuwait
• 1991 – Persian Gulf war. Iraq – lost was driven out of Kuwait
• 1993 – Oslo Accords signed, Arafat became President of
PNC & Palestinians got a semiautonomous area in Israel
(Palestine). Abu Nidal vowed to kill Arafat.
• 1994 – Peace between Jews & Arabs initiated with Arafat
receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiations.
• 1995 – Rabin, PM Israel assassinated by Jews!
• 1998 the Wye Accords was signed and Arafat assumed
complete power.
• 2002 – Abu Nidal shot dead in Iraq.
• 2003 – Iraq – US war, to stop the stockpiling of weapons
of mass destruction by Saddam Hussain. His rule was overthrown, Saddam disappeared and a new government established with US support.
• 2004 – Arafat dies of unknown causes at age 75
• 2004-2005 – Israel’s Unilateral Disengagement Plan by PM
Ariel Sharon evicts Israeli from the Gaza Strip.
• 2006 – Israel and Lebanon Conflict – Hizbullah militants
attacked Israel border towns and Israel responded by massive air strikes and artillery fire. This resulted in the disarmament of the Hizbullah and withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon uner direction on the UN.
• 2006 – Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging by Iraqi Special Tribunal.
• 2008 – Ceasefire between Hamas and Israel ended.
• 2008-2009 – Gaza War – Three week armed conflict between
Hamas and Israeli forces.
• 2010 – Israel Commandos stop a civilian ship flotilla of
activists attempting to deliver aid to Gaza. Bottom Note:
• Shiasm prevalent in only 12% of 1 Billion (10 crores) Muslims
• In the Hizbullah, majority are Shias.
• In Iran and Lebanon, Shiites (shiaism) are the majority,
though they constitute only 10 % of total Muslims (Ayotollah Khomeni was in power in Iran)
• In Iran,there is Shiasm & Zorastrianism
• The Turks are Shiites.
• Iraq is made of mostly Sunnis and only some Shias.
• South West Asia is synonymous with the Middle East.
• Shiite muslims don’t favour Saddam who is a Sunni.

Other Organizations for Palestine

Yasser Arafat’s PLO was based in Tunis, Lebanon The Military Wing was Fatah (Black Sept) The following acts were carried out by Black September
1. Hijacking and bombing of Jumbo jets (1970)
2. Attack on the Israeli Athletes in Munich Olympics (1972)
In 1980, Hizbullah, an Iranian Organization (which aims for a secular Palestine) carried out
1. Western Terrorism – bombing of US Marine HQ & US embassy in Beirut
2. Terrorism in Israel
3. Acts to drive US and French forces away from Lebanon
In 1996, Hamas (Islamic Jihad for only a Islamic Palestine) came into spotlight, the Terrorist wing of which was called Qassam. They carried out suicide missions on buses moving to Jerusalem & in Tel Aviv.
In1993,the PLO renounced Terrorism. In1994 Hamas cooperated with Arafat and ANO wowed to kill Arafat. PFLP, FDFLP, ANO were small organizations initially with Arafat and later breaking away.
ANO Abu Nidal Organization Syria via ANO is Anti – Israel, Anti – Jordan, Anti – Iraq and Anti–Turkey

PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party)

• Is a Marxist – Lenin inspired Left wing working for Kurdistan
• Turks (Kurd) are a minority in Iraq, majority being Sunnis (Kurds 20% of Iraq population – fled to Turkey)
• The terrorists are trained in Lebanon with help from Syria, Iran and Iraq.
• They cause terrorist acts in Turkey, Germany, Europe where there are significant Kurds

IRA, Irish Republican Army (Marxist Socialist Group)

Terrorism in North Ireland against British rule, by both Catholics and Protestant groups fighting for a United Ireland.
In the UK, majority are Roman Catholics. The British had colonized Ireland. North Ireland was dominated by the British Scottish Protestants. In 1921, North Ireland was created as independent with Protestant domination, but was semi autonomous under British Rule. There was favouring of Protestants in North Ireland, and no jobs to catholics. This led to riots and terrorism. In 1921 in North Ireland, the Protestants formed IRA (originally Sinn Fein) for forming an independent Ireland, free from British rule, joined by Catholic terrorist groups. Both Northern and Southern Ireland wanted dominance in the new government of a united Ireland.
In 1919 – Michael Colins & Eaman DeValera (leaders) began fighting as leaders of the IRA. In 1921 DeValera murdered Collins and in 1927 DeValera became PM & at odds with IRA & then the IRA became the Provisional IRA & was ineffective till 1968.
In 1925, S.Ireland was made into the Republic of Ireland setting the Roman Catholics free from British, annoying the North Ireland protestants.
In 1960 to 1964 was the era of the Orange Terror, where the IRA terrorists enjoyed the back-up of the British Police & the military inflicted terror against the Catholics. In 1969, Protestants bombarded their Catholic neighbourhoods. British Peace Keeping Army was sent to North Ireland to create law and order.
Thus the IRA was reborn to eliminate the British Army from North Ireland.
Between 1969–1976:

  • Lord Mountbatten (Retd. Viceroy India) and Airey Neare (Retd. British Minister) were assassinated
  • Bombings in London and Manchester and
  • An attempt on Margaret Thatchers (PM) life took place.

1993 – 1996 saw the Treaty – Armistice, but in 1996 Terrorism restarted. In 1998 – British Labor Party came to power. The PM, Tony Blair made a peace agreement. The same year saw the formation of the ‘Real IRA’ which launched the bloodiest attacks. 2004 – IRA was implicated in significant robberies; one involving almost 50 million dollars. Terrorism has now faded out, though North Ireland is still part of the UK.

ETA (Basque Nation and Liberty) (Nationalistic Terrorism)

In Spain, majority are Roman Catholics. Basques are minority in Spain & France. In N.West Spain, the majority are the Gaelican people (French influence) whereas in the South – Moorish people (S. African influence).
• Between 1936 & 1939 there was a civil war, followed by Gen. Fransisco Franco’s dictator rule.
• From 1939 to 1975 Gen. Blanco ruled, who was assasinated by ETA.
• In 1950 the Basques wanting independence formed the ETA. ETA wants a Basque nation separate from France & Spain and fights Spaniards.
• In 1978 democracy was restored.
ETA–M was the military wing of ETA, responsible for 600 deaths from 1970 to 1976 in the form of assassinations. Now there is only sporadic violence in France. Basques in Spain do not want the ETA.

Libya & Col. Moamar Khadafi

The Libyan capital Tripoli, was ruled by the Emigrés at one time.
• In 1969 Khadafi seized power from British & French occupation declaring Libya to be an anti western state. • In 1980, he enlisted Carlos the Jackal, the International
terrorist, who was then enlisted with PLO. PLO & Arafat were on good terms. When PLO was ousted out of Libya & Khadafi supported ANO an anti PLO organization.
• In 1984, he was responsible for 25 attacks in Europe against Libyan political émigrés. Also the LaBelle discotheque in West Berlin in which 3 US soldiers were killed and 80 US soldiers were wounded along with 200 Germans. The attacks on Vienna & Rome Airports, TWA Plane bombing over Greece were also his doing.
• In 1986, USA retaliated by conducting an air strike on Libya, “El Dorado” canyon, where the damage was minimal, but the warning serious. Since then Libya was cautious and till 1989, there was a decline in terrorist acts.
• In the 1900’s, the bombing over Panam, Lockerbie (Scotland) of the UTA French flight over Chad was his doing.
• A UN resolution was passed asking Libya to hand over 2 terrorist agents & pay compensations. Libya refused and thereafter sanctions were imposed leading to decrease in oil sales and an aviation embargo.
By 1990, Khadafi was virtually ignored.

Iran (Tehran) and the Hizbullah

Iran is an anti western Islamic nation with a Shiite muslim majority (Sunnis are a majority in Iraq). In 1979 Ayotollah Khomeni took power by overthrowing the Shah of Iran. He
1. wanted to weaken Saudi Arabia & Kuwait, Bahrain , etc.
2. was anti – Israel
3. was anti Left wing, the Marxist Mujahideens
4. In Lebanon, was anti US via Hamas and Hizbullah
They were responsible
• for the Iraq embassy bombing in Beirut (62 killed)
• for the US embassy bombing in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1981
• the US & French military barracks (Lebanon) in 1984
• for attacks on the Embassies in Vienna & New Delhi
• for hijackings and helping kidnappers in negotiating and
obtaining concessions from US.
In 1984, Iran had successfully forced US to flee from Lebanon via its Terrorist organization Hizbullah but acted diplomatically as a champion of peace in the negotiations. In 1989, Salman Rushdie, Indian writer wrote ‘The Satanic Verses’ which contained anti prophet material. Ayotollah Khomeni issued a religious death sentence to him, the fatwa.

LTTE, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam

These are tamils fighting for an independent Ealam (homeland). In 1948, Sri Lanka got independent of British. Majority in Sri Lanka were Sinhalese. Less than 20 % were Tamil, with support from Tamil Nadu, as the government had tried to extradite Tamils to India.
In 1976, LTTE was formed by Guru Balasingham to fight for a homeland for the 30 lakh Tamils in Sri Lanka. The military wing was headed by Veluppillai Prabhakaran, who was influenced by the ideas of Subhash Chandra Bose, Vivekananda and the Left wing, Marxist Leninism.
In 1973-1987 Riots broke out in Sri lanka between the two factions. There were assassinations of both Sinhalese and Tamil leaders.


• In 1987 Indian Peace Keepers landed there directed by the PM, Rajiv Gandhi. In the ensuing battle,12,000 Tamils were killed & the Jaffna peninsula base got destroyed. The Tamils retreated into the jungle & the Indians withdrew.
• In 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE during the election propoganda.
• In 1995, the Sri Lankan government offered generous Autonomy to the LTTE. The offer was however rejected by Prabhakaran.
• In Jan 1996, 100 civilians were killed & 1400 injured in the Colombo bank
• In July 1996, 4000 LTTE seized govt military bases NE of Colombo and killed 1200 army men.
• In Sept 1996, LTTE lost its second base in Kilinochi with 1000 LTTE killed.
• 4 LTTE frogmen blew up 2 Sri Lankan gunboats. The Tiger Navy speedboats interfered with Indian, Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian Navy.
• 1999-2000 – Several bombs detonated in busses in separate incidents, wounding over 150 civilians.
• Jan 2000 – Suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside the PM’s Office after being detected by security personnel.
• June 2000 – The Minister for Industrial Development is
• 2002 – LTTE & Sri Lanka Government sign Ceasefire which
held for 20 months.
• 2006 – Riots broke out and LTTE attacked Naval Convoy.
• 2008 – Govt. formally abrogated Ceasefire with LTTE and
conflicts intensified.
• 2009 – Leader of LTTE Prabhakaran Velupillai killed by Sri
Lankan forces.

LTTE Financing

• Support from Tamil communities abroad and extortion (via
enforcers) raked in 8 million $, particularly from the Swiss
Tamil communities.
• Heroin smuggling from Asia to Europe was also another
major business.
Media and the LTTE
• They ran a foreign service in 38 countries, producing a
daily bulletin.
• They also ran an illegal radio station in Sri Lanka.
• They used the Internet extensively to release video clips.

Jammu & Kashmir – India

India and Pakistan have a border dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan cannot afford a war as it is militarily weaker & hence the terrorism. Pakistan helps JKLF (Islamic front) and HUA, Harakat ul Ansar organizations, which are responsible for bomb attacks in Delhi, etc and murders of Hindu Pundits. Part of the terrorists want Autonomy and part want merger with Pakistan. Also the secular Kashmiri muslims were offended by arrest of their leader Sheikh Abdullah.
ISI, the intelligence service of Pakistan, trains native Kashmiris in Pakistan with the help of Saudi Arabia, Libya, etc and provides money, instructors and other resources. After communal riots in Ayodhya, muslims became insecure and got enraged. Some of them come to get influenced by talks of Islamic Jihad and are recruited by the ISI.
• In 1990, 20,000 people were killed in Kashmir in the struggle. In 1998 India & Pak detonated Nuclear devices.
• 1990-2001 – 10,000 estimated Kasmiri youth crossover to Pakistan for ams training.
• Pakistan favours Hizb over JKLF
• 1994-97 – JKLF announced Unilateral Ceasefire and
now pursues political agenda under All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Umbrella
• 1995 – Since ‘95, foreign militant outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba
(LeT) and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) have dominated militancy besides indigenous Hizb. All are under the umbrell of the United Jehadi Council.
• 1999 – Indian Army patrol detects intruders from Pakistan in Kargil. India fights to regain lost territory and infiltrators are withdrawn by Pakistan.
• 2000 – India announces Unilateral Ceasefire in Kashmir which continued till 2001.
• 2001 – Islamic terrorists attack Indian Parliament.
• 2002 – 30 people killed in Indian Army camp in Jammu.
• Popular Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone assasinated.

In 1948, the Indian Muslim (Mohajirs) refugees moved to Pakistan, unwelcome by the local population. Thus the MQM (Mohajir Quawmi Movement), the terrorist organization of these refugees against Pakistan was born. Later it split into 2 factions & fought against each other. MQM (fought each other) and also fought the Pathans. Pathans fought with the Sindhis Population. Sunni Terrorists fought Shiites & vice versa.
• 1994 – terrorism in Karachi resulted in 1800 killed.
• 2004 – Bomb blasts in Multan killed 40.
• 2007 – 45 killed, 100 wounded in attack on Quetta
assasinating Iranian diplomats.
• 2007 – Karachi Bombings – 3 days of sectarian violence
between Shia & Sunni sects.
• 2007, December – Benazir Bhutto assassinated.
• 2008, December – Battle of Swat – Pakistan Army and
Islamic militants fought for control over the Swat district. Taliban militants re-entered Swat and now control over 80% of the Swat Valley.
• 2008, June – Danish Embassy Bombing
• 2008, September – Islamabad Marriot Hotel Bombing
• 2009, April – OP Black Thunderstorm – Pakistan Army
reclaim the Swat and Shangla district successfully.