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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

Updated August 24, 2007

From: "Chapter 8; Foreign Terrorist Organizations," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

a.k.a. Islamic Jihad of Palestine;
PIJ-Shaqaqi Faction;
PIJ-Shallah Faction;
Al-Quds Brigades

Description
Formed by militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s, Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is committed to the creation of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine and the destruction of Israel through attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets.

Activities
PIJ terrorists have conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets. In 2005, the group increased operational activity over the previous year and claimed several attacks against Israeli interests, including five suicide bombings. PIJ continues to plan and direct attacks against Israelis both inside Israel and in the Palestinian territories. Although U.S. citizens have died in attacks mounted by the PIJ, the group has not directly targeted U.S. interests.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Primarily Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The group's central leadership resides in Syria. Other leadership elements reside in Lebanon, and official representatives are scattered throughout the Middle East.

External Aid
Receives financial assistance primarily from Iran. Syria provides the group with a safe haven.