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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

PFLP-GC

Updated August 24, 2007

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

Description
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC) split from the PFLP in 1968, claiming it wanted to focus more on fighting and less on politics. Originally, the group was violently opposed to the Arafat-led PLO. Ahmad Jibril, a former captain in the Syrian Army whose son Jihad was killed by a car bomb in May 2002, has led the PFLP-GC since its founding. The PFLP-GC is closely tied to both Syria and Iran.

Activities
The PFLP-GC carried out dozens of attacks in Europe and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s. The organization was known for cross-border terrorist attacks into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders. The group's primary focus now is on guerrilla operations in southern Lebanon, training of other Palestinian terrorist groups, and small-scale attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Ahmad Jibril denied accusations made in a United Nations investigation that PFLP-GC members were involved in the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

Strength
Several hundred.

Location/Area of Operation
Headquartered in Damascus with bases in Lebanon.

External Aid
Receives logistical and military support from Syria and financial support from Iran.