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Communist Paramilitary Groups

Left wing militancy did not vanish with the fall of the Soviet Union. Though deprived of a major source of inspiration and funding, and subsequently eclipsed by Islamic militancy, left wing paramilitary groups are still active around the world. It is a little difficult to know exactly what to call these groups:

  • "Leftist" - way too vague
  • "Marxist" - probably a bit too generic, and also includes many who would not take up arms
  • "Marxist-Leninist" - Lenin was a bit too focused on urban vanguardism
  • "Maoist" - a bit too specific to rural guerillas, and a bit quaint, now that capitalism has been restored in China
  • "Communist" - the countries which achieved "actually existing socialism" regarded Communism as a future goal

During the Cold War, many in the West saw terrorism as a problem of Communism. Hearings Before the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism, June 11 and 12, 1981 were focued on "Historical Antecedents of Soviet Terrorism". James Billington, director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, documented advocacy of terrorism as a political strategy in the writings and practices of Lenin. The use of violence to destabilize noncommunist societies is stated to be a principal ingredient for implementing the Soviet commitment to the expansion of loyal communist regimes throughout the world.

Terrorists were generally profiled as persons strongly influenced by a subculture of political ideology similar to a religion in the yoking of behavior to faith in and commitment to the establishment of a new order. The tools of the faith are weapons and the acts of faith are violent acts against representatives of those societies and political systems that bar the way to the creation of the new order.

Stefan Possony, senior fellow (emeritus) of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, also traced the central roots of contemporary terrorism to the political ideology perpetuated primarily by the Soviet Union. The Soviet's KGB and GRU are indicated to have the organization, personnel, and the capability to mount and run terror campaigns in many areas of the world, as well as to observe most of the existing terror groups of various political orientations and to influence and penetrate many of these groups; however, the search for a single Soviet command of terrorism is futile, because there are many focal points and interlocking networks. The imprint of the Soviet Union on various terrorist groups and operations was unmistakable, according to Possony.

  1. 17N (17 November)
  2. Armed Peasant Association (ACA)
  3. Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA)
  4. Carlos the Jackal
  5. Communist Party of India (Maoist) [Naxalite]
  6. Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) [Naxalite]
  7. Democratic Union Party [PYD] Syria
  8. Ethnikos Laikos Apeleftherotikos Stratos ELAS
  9. Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN)
  10. Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia - FARC
  11. Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacin Nacional (FALN) PR
  12. Guatemalan Labor Party (PGT)
  13. Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP)
  14. International Brigades
  15. Kangleipak Communist Party
  16. Lautaro Popular Rebel Forces (FRPL)
  17. Lautaro Youth Movement (MJL)
  18. Liga dos Camponeses Pobres (LCP)
  19. Manuel Rodrguez Patriotic Front (FPM)
  20. Maoist Communist Centre [Naxalite]
  21. Narodnaya Volya
  22. National Liberation Army (ELN)--Bolivia
  23. National Liberation Army (ELN)--Colombia
  24. New Peoples Army
  25. October 20th Front
  26. Organisation of Arab Armed Struggle
  27. Partido Nacionalista PR
  28. People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak
  29. People's Liberation Army
  30. Peoples Protection Unit [YPG] Syria
  31. Peoples War Group [Naxalite]
  32. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
  33. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command
  34. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - Special Command
  35. POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista)
  36. Rebel Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes FAR)
  37. Revolutionary Movement -November 13 (MR-13)
  38. RPF Revolutionary People's Front
  39. Revolutionary Organization of Armed People (ORPA)
  40. Sendero Luminoso (SL)
  41. Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) [Peru]
  42. Tupamaro [Uruguay]
  43. Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatematelca (URNG)
  44. United Popular Action Movement Lautaro Faction (MAPU/L)
  45. Workers' Party of Kurdistan [PKK] Turkey



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