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The Investigative Project on Terrorism
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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Updated August 24, 2007

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

Description
Formerly a part of the PLO, the Marxist-Leninist PFLP was founded by George Habash when it broke away from the Arab Nationalist Movement in 1967. The PFLP does not view the Palestinian struggle as religious, seeing it instead as a broader revolution against Western imperialism. The group earned a reputation for spectacular international attacks, including airline hijackings, that have killed at least 20 U.S. citizens.

Activities
The PFLP committed numerous international terrorist attacks during the 1970s. Since 1978, the group has conducted attacks against Israeli and moderate Arab targets, including the killing of an Israeli settler and her son in December 1996. The PFLP has stepped up its operational activity since the start of the current intifada, highlighted by at least two suicide bombings since 2003, multiple joint operations with other Palestinian terrorist groups, and the assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minster in 2001 to avenge Israel's killing of the PFLP Secretary General earlier that year.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

External Aid
Receives safe haven and some logistical assistance from Syria.