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Japanese Red Army (JRA)
Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB)


An international terrorist group formed around 1970 after breaking away from Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. Led by Fusako Shigenobu, believed to be in hiding outside Japan. Stated goals are to overthrow Japanese Government and monarchy and to help foment world revolution. Organization unclear but may control or at least have ties to Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB). Details released following arrest in November 1987 of leader Osamu Maruoka indicate that JRA may have been organizing cells in Asian cities, such as Manila and Singapore. Has had close and longstanding relations with Palestinian terrorist groups--based and operating outside Japan--since its inception.


During the 1970s, JRA carried out a series of attacks around the world, including the massacre in 1972 at Lod Airport in Israel, two Japanese airliner hijackings, and an attempted takeover of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. In April 1988, JRA operative Yu Kikumura was arrested with explosives on the New Jersey Turnpike, apparently planning an attack to coincide with the bombing of a USO club in Naples, a suspected JRA operation that killed five, including a US servicewoman. Kikumura was convicted of these charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United States. In March 1995, Ekita Yukiko, a longtime JRA activist, was arrested in Romania and subsequently deported to Japan.

The Japanese Red Army has stopped operating in Japan, though some of its members are in Lebanese camps. Others have joined revolutionary movements in Latin America, including in Peru and Colombia.


About seven hardcore members; undetermined number of sympathizers.

Location/Area of Operation

Formerly based in Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon; current location of members and cells unclear.

External Aid


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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:40:56 ZULU