United States State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" (FTO) is a designation for non-United States-based organizations deemed by the United States Secretary of State, in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (INA), to be involved in what US authorities define as terrorist activities. Most of the organizations on the list are Islamist extremist groups, nationalist/separatist groups or Marxist militant groups.
The Department of State, along with the Treasury Department, also has the authority to designate individuals and entities as subject to counter-terrorism sanctions according to Executive Order 13224. The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains a separate list of such individuals and entities.
Identification of candidates
The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) in the US State Department continually monitors the activities of groups it does not support active around the world considered[by whom?] potentially "terrorist" to identify targets for designation. When reviewing potential targets, S/CT looks not only at the actual attacks that a group has carried out, but also at whether the group has engaged in planning and preparations for possible future acts of violence or retains the capability and intent to carry out such acts.
Once a target is identified, the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism prepares a detailed "administrative record," which is a compilation of information, typically including both classified and open sources information, demonstrating that the statutory criteria for designation have been satisfied. If the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, decides to make the designation, the United States Congress is notified of the Secretary's intent to designate the organization and given seven days to review the designation, as the INA requires. Upon the expiration of the seven-day waiting period, notice of the designation is published in the Federal Register, at which point the designation takes effect. An organization designated as an FTO may seek judicial review of the designation in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not later than 30 days after the designation is published in the Federal Register.
Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the FTO may file a petition for revocation two years after the designation date (or in the case of redesignated FTOs, its most recent redesignation date) or two years after the determination date on its most recent petition for revocation. In order to provide a basis for revocation, the petitioning FTO must provide evidence that the circumstances forming the basis for the designation are sufficiently different as to warrant revocation. If no such review has been conducted during a five-year period with respect to a designation, then the Secretary of State is required to review the designation to determine whether revocation would be appropriate.
The procedural requirements for designating an organization as an FTO also apply to any redesignation of that organization. The Secretary of State may revoke a designation or redesignation at any time upon a finding that the circumstances that were the basis for the designation or redesignation have changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation, or that the national security of the United States warrants a revocation. The same procedural requirements apply to revocations made by the Secretary of State as apply to designations or redesignations. A designation may also be revoked by an Act of Congress, or set aside by a Court order.
Legal criteria for designation
(Reflecting Amendments to Section 219 of the INA in the 2001 Patriot Act)
- It must be a foreign organization.
- 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.
- 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.
Legal ramifications of designation
- It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide "material support or resources" to a designated FTO. (The term "material support or resources" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b) as "currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.")
- Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).
- Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which a designated FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Other effects of designation
The U.S. Department of State lists the following items as additional considered beneficial effects of designation:
- Supports efforts to curb terrorism financing and to encourage other nations to do the same.
- Stigmatizes and isolates designated terrorist organizations internationally.
- Deters donations or contributions to and economic transactions with named organizations.
- Heightens public awareness and knowledge of terrorist organizations.
- Signals to other governments U.S. concern about named organizations.
Groups designated as FTOs
List is current as of September 24, 2017, organized by region and country of origin:
The following groups have been removed from the State Department list, as of June 1, 2017,
|Date Added||Date Removed||Name||Region||Location of Operations||Notes|
|October 8, 1997||October 8, 1999||DFLP-Hawatmeh Faction (DFLP)||Middle East||Palestinian Territories||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||October 8, 1999||Khmer Rouge||Asia||Cambodia||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||October 8, 1999||Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front – Dissidents (FPMR-D)||South America||Chile||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||October 8, 2001||Japanese Red Army (JRA)||Asia||Japan||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||October 8, 2001||Tupac Amaru Revolution Movement (MRTA)||South America||Peru||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||October 8, 2001||Revolutionary Nuclei||Europe||Greece||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||October 15, 2010||Armed Islamic Group (GIA)||Arab World, Africa||Algeria||62 FR 52650|
|October 8, 1997||September 28, 2012||Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK)||Asia, Middle East||Iraq, Iran||62 FR 52650|
|October 11, 2005||May 28, 2013||Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (MICG)||Arab World, Africa||Morocco|
|September 10, 2001||July 15, 2014||United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)||South America||Colombia|
|October 8, 1997||September 3, 2015||Revolutionary Organization 17 November||Europe||Greece||62 FR 52650|
|March 27, 2002||December 9, 2015||Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)||Africa||Libya|
|October 8, 1997||June 1, 2017||Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)||Middle East||Palestinian Territories||62 FR 52650|
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue noted in a 2006 report that third parties play no role in the designation process, and that designated organizations only learn of the designation once it has occurred, with no chance of rebuttal. Listed entities may request reviews, or challenge the listing in court, but success is limited.
Why should we even take the terrorist list seriously? What's the terrorist list? The executive branch of the government simply determines you're a terrorist. I put you on the list. No review. No judicial review. No defense. It's just an executive act of an authoritarian state. Why should the state have the right to determine unilaterally who's a terrorist? Do they have that right? No, they don't.
The 2012 delisting of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) was supported by numerous US lawmakers, and defense and foreign policy officials, but was criticized by the National Iranian American Council. The Treasury Department investigated allegations that payments to former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, on behalf of his lobbying for the MEK, had violated the legal ban on material support for an FTO.
In November 2013, the State Department listed the Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram as an FTO. In 2014, Republican members of Congress criticized the State Department for not designating the group as an FTO earlier.
In August, 2014 the Christian Science Monitor reported that U.S. military was coordinating with Kurdish forces in Iraq, including elements of the PKK, seemed to be in violation of the ban on assistance to a designated FTO.
- Executive Order 13224
- List of terrorist organizations
- Specially Designated Global Terrorist
- U.K. List of Proscribed Groups
- Bureau of Counterterrorism (May 14, 2014). "Individuals and Entities Designated by the State Department Under E.O. 13224". state.gov. U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Zarate, Juan C. (2013). Treasury's War. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781610391153.
- Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (April 10, 2014). "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". state.gov. U.S. State Department. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- Office of the Spokesman (Sep 1, 2010). "Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation". state.gov. US Department of State. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Office of the Spokesman (September 1, 2010). "Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation". state.gov. US Department of State. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Lindsey Boerma (May 9, 2014). "Hillary Clinton's Handling of Boko Haram: Are Critics Justified?". cbsnews.com. CBS News. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (December 9, 2015). "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". state.gov. U.S. State Department. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Office of the Spokesperson (December 11, 2012). "State Dept. on Designation of Al-Nusrah Front as Terrorist Group". state.gov. U.S. State Department. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- "US Designates Iran's Jundallah as Terrorist Organization". CNN.com. November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- "Designation of Army of Islam". State.gov. May 5, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- "US places Indian Mujahideen on terror list". Express Tribune. September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- SCHMITT, ERIC. "U.S. Backs Blacklisting Militant Organization". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- "Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Dine". United States Department of State. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Terrorist Designations of Boko Haram and Ansaru". United States Department of State. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "U.S. State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations". United States Department of State. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Terrorist Designation of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis". United States Department of State. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Designations of Foreign Terrorist Fighters". United States Department of State. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- "US designates Hafiz Saeed's MML as LeT affiliate in FTO list - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- Chiara Giorgetti (April 2006). "Listing and De-listing of Terrorist Organizations" (PDF). hdcentre.org/en/. Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Noam Chomsky | Talks at Google Google on YouTube 50:00-52:00
- Scott Shane (September 21, 2012). "Iranian Opposition Group Wins Removal from US Terrorist List". nytimes.com. New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Glenn Kessler (May 19, 2014). "Boko Haram: Inside the State Department debate over the 'terrorist' label". Washington Post.
- Dan Murphy (August 15, 2014). "Are the US, France, and UK lining up to support the 'terrorist' PKK in Iraq?". csmonitor.com. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
- Terrorist Designations and State Sponsors of Terrorism at the United States Department of State.web site
- US Department of State's Foreign Terrorist Organizations, released April 8, 2008 Fact Sheet, upon which this article is based, which also contains the legal references.
- US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, 'What you need to know about U.S. Sanctions'
- European Union list of terrorist groups and individuals, 2007
- European Union list of terrorist groups and individuals, january 2009
- Kurth Cronin, Audrey; Huda Aden, Adam Frost, and Benjamin Jones (2004-02-06) (PDF). Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Congressional Research Service. https://fas.org/irp/crs/RL32223.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-03-04.