Officially Blacklisted Extremist/Terrorist (Support) Organizations: a Comparison of Lists from six Countries and two International Organizations

Officially Blacklisted Extremist/Terrorist (Support) Organizations: a Comparison of Lists from six Countries and two International Organizations

by Benjamin Freedman

Abstract

Since 9/11, international cooperation against international terrorism has improved. However, the global community is still far from a situation in which one country's terrorist group is all countries' public enemy. This comparative list enumerates 120 extremist/terrorist groups blacklisted by six countries and two international organizations. The listings highlight the security interests, priorities, and outlook of particular countries and international organizations. Each individual list reflects regional or, in some instances, global, security concerns of the designating country/body and, therefore, there is less overlap than anticipated.

Introduction

Currently, the United States has officially designated 45 foreign organizations as "terrorist" (FTO). Another 60 organizations and support groups/entities are on its Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL). Other countries have developed such lists as well. The United Kingdom, for instance, has one of the most extensive lists, blacklisting 55 organizations. Canada blacklists 41 organizations, India 34, Australia 18, and Russia 16. International organizations also hold such lists: the European Union has blacklisted 29 organizations while the list of the United Nations contains 24 entities.[1]

It is instructive to compare these lists. In the following, we look at 120 extremist/terrorist groups blacklisted by six major countries (AUS, CAN, IND, RU, UK, & US) and two major international organizations (EU, UN). Surprisingly, there is far less overlap than one would expect. Most notably, al-Qaeda is blacklisted by all six of the countries included, as well as by the United Nations. Strangely, however, it is not featured on the European Union's list.

To a large degree, these lists of officially designated extremist/terrorist organizations and suspected support groups highlight the security interests, priorities, and outlook of the particular countries and international organizations. Each individual list reflects regional or, in some instances, global, security concerns of the designating country/body. Several of the groups included on the Indian designation list, for instance, are Pakistani and operate within the immediate South Asian region. The United States' designation list, on the other hand, approaches the terrorist threat from a global, rather than regional, perspective. As such, the American list includes organizations deemed threatening to American security or personnel abroad, regardless of geographic location. [2]

Table: 120 Officially Designated Extremist/Terrorist Organizations and Suspected Support Groups: a Comparison of UN, EU, US, UK, Russian, Canadian, Australian and Indian Lists.[3] (Link opens in new window)

About the Author: Benjamin Freedman is Editorial Assistant of 'Perspectives on Terrorism.' He served as a Research Intern for the Stein Program on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and as a Consular Intern for the US Department of State in Marseille, France. He has done research on terrorist and extremist "drop-outs," al-Qaida/terrorist financing as well as narco-terrorism. He graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College, with a degree in government and legal studies, focusing on comparative and Middle East politics.

Notes

[1] The full UN Al-Qaeda/Taliban Monitoring Group's consolidated list has some 300 names and includes "individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with [Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden, and the Taliban]". For the purposes of this comparative list, however, UN-designated charities, banks, and generally non-violent support groups have been excluded. Only non-state armed groups are included, as this provides a clearer comparison with those terrorist organizations designated by individual states. The Indian list is about to be expanded by mainly al-Qaeda-linked groups, almost tripling the number of currently proscribed groups.

[2] The United States List considered here includes only the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), not those on the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL).

[3] A note on spelling/transliteration and translation: The spellings, transliterations, and translations used come from official governmental and intergovernmental lists, except for organizations from the Russian designation list which were translated into English independently. Organizations are listed in absolute alphabetical order (e.g. al-Qaeda figures under "A" rather than "Q") and every attempt has been made to list organizations by their most commonly known name, regardless of language. Where notable discrepancies in spelling and/or translation exist between lists, an effort has been made to include such variants alongside the organization's most-commonly known name.

These lists can be found on the following websites:

Australia: http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/agd/www/nationalsecurity.nsf/AllDocs/95FB057CA3DECF30CA256FAB001F7FBD?OpenDocument

Canada: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/ns/le/cle-eng.aspx

EU:http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=3&ved=0CBUQFjAC&url= http%3A%2F%2Feur- lex.europa.eu%2FLexUriServ%2FLexUriServ.do%3Furi%3DOJ%3AL%3A2009%3A023%3A0037%3A0042%3AEN%3APDF&ei=63Z4S9XPO5WG_Aa51LS2Cg&usg=AFQjCNGgpbJjidRciGkpy9ukBJzdk2waxQ&sig2=ePMV9lHfYf_1a6fciQOHSQ

 



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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

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