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Terrorist Organization - Assignment Example

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Most foreign terrorist organizations or FTO’s are identified by the Bureau of Counterterrorism based on the scope and the level of damages that these groups do within their home country, as well as their intent to compromise the US security. An example of a strong group is the…
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A OF A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION FROM COLUMBIA Most foreign terrorist organizations orFTO’s are identified by the Bureau of Counterterrorism based on the scope and the level of damages that these groups do within their home country, as well as their intent to compromise the US security. An example of a strong group is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which mostly uses illegal businesses to finance its military powers. The group is comparable to the Al-Qaeda group due to their similar causes of liberating the poor and condoning the support of the US government to their own home countries, however the similarities end there, as the Al-Qaeda is known to have greater connections than the FARC. Due to the paralysis that the FARC experienced after most of its guerilla leaders and some high-ranking officials were killed and sent to prison, respectively, it was initially labeled as a group with a low chance of committing terrorist acts. However, it was also highly-capable of resurgence, which keeps it in the official list of designated terrorist groups of the Bureau of Counterterrorism.
A Description of a Terrorist Organization from Columbia
Foreign Terrorist Organizations or FTO’s are defined as foreign organizations that were designated by the Secretary of State as groups that engage in terrorist activities, as well as having intentions of threatening and terrorizing regions or whole countries, including the US (Bureau of Counterterrorism, US State Department, 2012). There are currently 51 recognized and designated FTO’s around the world as of September this year, all of which are known to operate underground. While these FTO’s have various means of getting financial assistance, as well as having their own set of goals such as liberation from the current government in the home country, these groups are all known to pose large threats due to their military-like capabilities.
An example of a FTO that already has a long history is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC (Fuerzas Armada Revolucionarias de Colombia), which is one of the oldest and largest leftist groups in Latin America (Atkins, 2004). The founding leader of the group is Manuel Marulanda, and he established a group with some of his kin and separated from the state in 1949 after an uncle was killed during the civil war between liberals and conservatives. After being invaded by the army in May 1964, Marulanda and most of the members escaped and regrouped in the south, and combining his group with the Columbian Communist Party headed by Jacobo Arenas, a new group was formed, which was FARC (Atkins, 2004). The group aimed to represent the rural poor of Colombia, as well as those which suffered oppression from the wealthy and elitist members of society. However, it is contradictory with that aspect due to the income sources of the group, such as drug trades and extortions.
The FARC is an organization that aims to liberate the rural poor, as well as opposing the stand of the Colombian government of relying on foreign aid, such as the US (Atkins, 2004). The operations mostly involved guerilla tactics, kidnapping prominent people for a huge sum, murder of innocent passersby within the confines of their jungle territory, and exchanging fires with the Colombian army. Despite having peace talks around the early 2000’s, the FARC and the Colombian government were unable to make a compromise, ending possible chances for peace. In comparison with another FTO, the much more notorious Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan, they also share similar causes of equalizing the social inequalities in their home nation, using ideals that are indirectly related to the principles set by the Islamic religion. Much like the FARC, Al-Qaeda also functioned mostly like an independent state, enabling a small group to gather large members in just a few years, and is contrary to what most people believe, that the Al-Qaeda uses fundamentalist ideas of Islam to justify their acts of terrorism (Burke, 2004). However, the similarities end here, as the Al-Qaeda has a large network in other nearby Islamic nations, whereas the FARC mostly functions within Colombia.
Further progress of the group was slowed down greatly with the deaths of most senior guerilla leaders of the group, as well as capturing a high-ranking leader in 2003 (Atkins, 2004). However, the FARC is still considered to be an active FTO due to resurgence of terrorist attacks during election periods, and such capacities to perform acts of terrorism despite the removal of some prominent leaders in the group keeps it in the recent list of designated terrorist groups (Bureau of Counterterrorism, US State Department, 2012). At present the group is not known to pose a strong threat against the Colombian government, especially with the increased efforts of the latter by maintaining contacts with other international agencies, such as the INTERPOL, as well as providing a formalized debriefing process, counseling, relocation, and job replacement assistance to former rebel members, giving them better options than staying in the guerilla group (Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, 2012).
Atkins, S. (2004). Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Bureau of Counterterrorism, US State Department. (2012, September 28). Foreign terrorist organizations. Retrieved from Foreign Terrorist Organizations Web site:
Burke, J. (2004). Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam. New York, NY: I.B. Tauris & Co., Ltd.
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. (2012, July 31). Chapter 2. Country reports: western hemisphere overview. Retrieved from Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 Web site: Read More
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