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TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS
National Liberation Army (ELN) - Colombia

Other Names
The Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional

Description
Marxist insurgent group formed in 1965 by urban intellectuals inspired by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Began a dialogue with Colombian officials in 1999 following a campaign of mass kidnappings--each involving at least one US citizen--to demonstrate its strength and continuing viability and to force the Pastrana administration to negotiate. Bogota and the ELN spent most of 2000 discussing where to establish an ELN safehaven in which to hold peace talks. A proposed location in north central Colombia faces stiff local and paramilitary opposition.

Activities
Kidnapping, hijacking, bombing, extortion, and guerrilla war. Modest conventional military capability. Annually conducts hundreds of kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreign employees of large corporations, especially in the petroleum industry. Frequently assaults energy infrastructure and has inflicted major damage on pipelines and the electric distribution network.

Strength
Approximately 3,000 to 6,000 armed combatants and an unknown number of active supporters.

Location/Area of Operation
Mostly in rural and mountainous areas of north, northeast, and southwest Colombia and Venezuela border regions.

External Aid
Cuba provides some medical care and political consultation.

Terrorist Organisations
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
* al-Qa'ida (Al-Qaeda)
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
Aum Shinrikyo
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group, IG)
* HAMAS
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
* Hizballah
Japanese Red Army (JRA)
al-Jihad
Kach and Kahane Chai
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE)
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO)
National Liberation Army (ELN)
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)
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)
Revolutionary People's Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C)
Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA)
Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
Individuals
Usama Bin Laden
Ramzi Yousef
 
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