Major Outbreaks - Major Groups
- ETA (Eukasadi ta Askatasuna) - The ETA is a militant group that hopes to form an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwest France. ETA is considered a terrorist establishment by the United States as well as the European Union. Spain has long been embroiled in conflict with this organization because it does not want to offer the Basque their own homeland. The ETA target national and regional authority figures as well as government buildings in Spain. They have also been responsible for the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco, successor of the previous dictator, and Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister of Spain. This group was formed as a result of the dictator Franco’s oppressive policies that disregarded the language and culture of the Basques.
IRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) -The provisional IRA is an extension of the original group that gained its independence from Britain. This terrorist group arose when the northern district of Ireland, Ulster, did not receive independence along with the southern regions. From that time, many nationalists supported the IRA’s pursuit of a united Ireland, whereas the loyalists want to stay loyal to England. Thus much violence has erupted between these two groups as each backs its opinions by its own paramilitaries. The IRA has killed approximately 1800 people since the 1960s. Now the IRA is no longer considered a terrorist institution even though the United States considered it to be until 2000. Even now, some extensions of the IRA, such as the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, still use terrorism as a tool to advance their political ends.
Al-Qaeda - Al-Qaeda is an international terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden. Its purpose is to eradicate all traces of western influence from traditional Islamic life and restore the fundamental Islamic regimes to the government. United States recently launched a war in Afghanistan to annihilate the terrorist organization and defeat its ally, the Taliban. Al-Qaeda is connected to many terrorist networks throughout the world including those in Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, and Algeria. Investigators have no clear idea of how large Al-Qaeda is because it is a decentralized organization. Several qualities of this terrorist association make it especially hard to destroy. It has no single headquarter and has autonomous centers in roughly 100 countries.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - Started in 1964, the FARC had the major goal of replacing Colombia’s current government with a Marxist administration. It is centered mostly around Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador. FARC is responsible for engulfing Colombia in a civil war for many decades. The U.S. has aided Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in reducing the significance and terror of this group. The FARC obtains most of its money from drug trade, approximately $200- $300 million annually. It is classified as a terrorist institution because it makes ransom kidnappings of wealthy landowners, and important domestic authorities as well as international officials. Although peace talks have been commenced, they have not made any significant progress.