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Terrorists: Who They Are and What They Do


Terrorists. Who are they and what do they want? Here, find terrorist groups organized by country, type, tactic and time period; profiles of history's most notorious terrorists and terrorist attacks, and timely news about currently active terrorists and groups throughout the world.
  1. National Liberation
  2. Left Wing Revolutionary
  3. Islamist
  4. State Sponsors of Terrorism

National Liberation

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The individuals and groups here are associated with national liberation movements. Some aim to achieve independence from a perceived occupation, such as of Ireland or Kashmir. Others want to establish autonomous territory, or to achieve political representation in an existing state, as Hezballah does.

Left Wing Revolutionary

Leftist ideals and ideologies, such as anarchism and socialism, drove most terrorist activity in the late 19th and 20th century. Today, although the specific historic context has been lost to us, the names of the most famous and destructive groups have not, such as Germany's Baader-Meinhof Gang and the American Black Panthers.


These groups are frequently categorized as Islamist. However, nearly every group on this list has a more complex makeup and set of motivations than the label suggests. Most are grounded in local or regional territorial and political disputes, and a few have criminal ties as well.

State Sponsors of Terrorism

In 1979, the United State established a list of countries providing either direct or indirect support to terrorist groups. There are currently four states on the list: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria. North Korea was removed in October, 2008.

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