US Country Reports on Terrorism 2015


+50 International Terrorist Organizations under the Terrorism Act!

The total number of terrorist attacks in 2015 decreased by 13 percent when compared to 2014. Total fatalities due to terrorist attacks decreased by 14 percent. us-state2015This represents the first decline in total terrorist attacks and resulting fatalities worldwide since 2012. At the same time, there were several countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey, where terrorist attacks and total deaths increased in 2015. At the same time, violent extremist groups espousing left-wing and nationalist ideologies, such as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, continued to operate in Europe.

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Europe continued to face terrorist threats from a variety of sources throughout 2015, including from foreign terrorist organizations operating out of Iraq and Syria, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusrah Front (ANF), and from foreign terrorist fighters who returned home to Europe to plot and carry out attacks. Significant numbers of foreign terrorist fighters came from Western European and Balkan countries. At the same time, violent extremist groups espousing left-wing and nationalist ideologies, such as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, continued to operate in Europe.

Turkey was also the site of numerous terrorist attacks, attributed variously to ISIL, the PKK, and the DHKP/C. Terrorist incidents were reported in a number of other European countries, including ISIL-89 inspired attacks in Denmark and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

By virtue of its location, the presence of international transport hubs on its territory, and its long difficult-to-control border with Syria and Iraq, Turkey remained the main transit route for foreign terrorist fighters. Turkey continued to increase its cooperation with foreign terrorist fighter source countries to counter the threat. It developed and implemented an extensive banned-from-entry list of known or suspected terrorists; established additional “risk analysis units” to detect suspected foreign terrorist fighters at airports, seaports, bus terminals, and border cities; deployed additional military units to the border; and made physical improvements to the security infrastructure along the border. Turkey also reintroduced visa requirements for Libyans wishing to travel to Turkey.

Turkey has voiced increasing concern about terrorist groups near its border, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusrah Front. In 2015, Turkey continued to face significant internal terrorist threats – including the deadliest attack in Turkey’s history on October 10 – attributed to ISIL – and took strong action in response. Turkey is a source and transit country for foreign terrorist fighters wishing to join these and other groups in Syria and Iraq. The Government of Turkey intensified efforts to interdict the travel of suspected foreign terrorist fighters through Turkey to and from Syria and Iraq. These efforts included the development and implementation of a “banned from entry list;” standing up additional “Risk Analysis Units” to detect suspected foreign terrorist fighters at airports, seaports, bus terminals, and border cities; deploying additional military units to the border; and undertaking physical improvements to the security infrastructure along the border. Cooperation with other source countries increased during the year in response to the foreign terrorist fighter threat, with both Turkey and source countries seeking to improve information sharing. The United States and Turkey also improved their sharing of counterterrorism information. Turkey deported 2,337 suspected foreign terrorist fighters from 85 countries in 2015.

Turkey is an active member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. It served as a co-chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), with the United States and later with the Netherlands, and also co-chaired the Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (WGFTF) with the Netherlands. The WGFTF held three meetings in 2015, in Istanbul April 7, in The Hague June 9, and in Ankara November 23. Turkey opened Incirlik Air Base to Coalition partners in July and formally joined the Coalition’s air operations against ISIL in August.

Prominent among terrorist groups in Turkey is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Following three decades of conflict with the PKK, in late 2012 the Government of Turkey and PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan began talks for a peace process. The PKK called for a ceasefire in March of 2013, which both sides largely observed until July 2015. From January to mid-July 2015, the PKK carried out small-scale armed attacks against Turkey’s security forces and military bases, which killed at least two security personnel. From mid-July to the end of 2015, more than 180 security personnel died from PKK-attributed attacks. On July 24, Turkish security forces launched large-scale operations against the PKK, as well as operations against ISIL-affiliated targets. Turkish military airstrikes against PKK camps, shelters, underground bunkers and weapon emplacements in Turkey’s southeast and Northern Iraq continued through year’s end.

In 2015, Turkey continued to face significant internal terrorist threats and took strong action in response. Activity by the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a terrorist Marxist-Leninist group with anti-U.S. and anti-NATO views that seeks the violent overthrow of the Turkish state, threatened the security of both U.S. and Turkish interests. So too did the actions of the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons/Hawks (TAK).

Another terrorist group in Turkey is Turkish (Kurdish) Hizballah (unrelated to the similarly-named Hizballah that operates in Lebanon). The Government of Turkey considers the Turkish Workers’ and Peasants’ Liberation Army, and the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), although largely inactive, to be threats. Turkey also considers the Syria-based Democratic Union Party and its military wing, The People’s Protection Units, to be terrorist organizations.The Government of Turkey continued to engage diplomatically with Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Meshaal. According to Turkey’s semi-official news agency, the Anadolu Agency, from July 24 to November 20, the Turkish National Police (TNP) carried out counterterrorism operations against 7,303 suspects belonging to PKK, ISIL, and other terrorist organizations. Of the 5,624 PKK suspects detained and officially questioned, 1,602 were arrested, while 2,908 were released by judicial order and 1,114 were released under judicial control. Of the 1,132 ISIL suspects detained, 346, including 63 non-Turkish foreign nationals were arrested, while 588 were released by judicial order and 198 were released on judicial control. Of the 386 DHKP/C, MLKP, and other terrorist suspects detained, 122 suspects were arrested, while 167 were released by judicial order and 97 were released on judicial control. Turkey is a long-standing counterterrorism partner of the United States. It continued to receive U.S. assistance to address the terrorist threat posed by the PKK in 2015. The ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government ended in July. In October and November, the PKK issued a unilateral declaration of inaction, but small-scale incidents continued.

Turkey increased its cooperation with European countries regarding the activities of members of the DHKP/C. It also worked with countries from Asia, Europe, North Africa, North America and the Middle East to interdict the travel of potential foreign terrorist fighters planning to travel through Turkey to Syria. Turkey – Page: 156 – 160

Terrorist Organizations

Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)
Ansar al-Dine (AAD)
Ansar al-Islam (AAI)
Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi (AAS-B)
Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah (AAS-D)
Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T)
Army of Islam (AOI)
Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)
Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
Boko Haram (BH)
Communist Party of Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)
Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG)
Hamas Haqqani Network (HQN)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM)
Hizballah Indian Mujahedeen (IM)
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
ISIL Sinai Province (ISIL-SP)
Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
Jaysh Rijal Al-Tariq Al-Naqshabandi (JRTN)
Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)
Jemaah Islamiya (JI)
Jundallah Kahane Chai Kata’ib Hizballah (KH)
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
Lashkar e-Tayyiba Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC)
Al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB)
National Liberation Army (ELN)
Al-Nusrah Front (ANF)
Palestine Islamic Jihad – Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ)
Palestine Liberation Front – Abu Abbas Faction (PLF)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
Al-Qa’ida (AQ)
Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Real IRA (RIRA) Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
Revolutionary Struggle (RS)
Al-Shabaab (AS)
Shining Path (SL)
Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Full Report – 2015

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