Carrying out severity and adverse psychological impact, terrorist groups are the biggest threat to civilization itself. Their unparalleled barbarism aided by their contorted understanding of religion and politics puts nearly all of them high on the most wanted list by governments across the world.
1. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
This Marxist-Leninist terrorist group of Colombia is better known by its acronym – FARC and is considered as the kingpin of illegal drug trade across the world and terrorist activities in the Latin American country. This organization was established in 1964 and currently it constitutes approximately 12 thousand combatants with thousands of supporters from the rural areas. The obtained extortion money from multinational corporations and wealthier classes is invested for the betterment of poor peoples.
2. Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)
Known by its Kurdish initials, PKK, this group was established on November 27, 1978, in Turkey and has since been fighting for the sake of an independent Kurdish state. Officially designated as an international terror group, PKK’s working region constitutes Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq. The PKK is currently the biggest belligerent in the world’s battle against the Islamic State and is being hailed even by Western powers for the same. This, however, does not reduce its official status, at least not in the eyes of the Turkish government.
Acronym for “Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia”, Hamas is a socio-political terrorist group of Palestine, which was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization was established with the aim of carrying out Jihad against Israel, and to secure the freedom of Palestine from Israeli ‘occupation’. Known for its suicide bombers, this terrorist group is significantly supported by Hezbollah in its operations against Israeli government and civilians. A top EU court has recently ruled that Hamas be removed from terror group lists of EU countries.
Backed up by Iran and Syria, this Lebanese terror group emerged from the Lebanese civil war of 1982 and is considered the biggest foe of Israel and Sunni Arab countries. According to a CIA report, this organization boasts of support from 41 percent of Lebanese population and is involved in multiple humanitarian and social activities within the country.
5. al-Nusra Front
al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra, which means “The Support Front for the People of Al-Sham” in Arabic, is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon. Headed by Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the significance of this terror group lies in it being the strongest supporter of Syrian rebels fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War. Although hailed by experts as “one of the most effective rebel forces” in Syria, the group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the UN, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey. One of its main opponents is, however, the Islamic State.
6. Boko Haram
This Nigerian terror group was notorious for its acts of barbarism but it became a very serious threat after the abduction of over 250 Nigerian schoolgirls, which led the most powerful of world leaders take notice of its brutality. Boko Haram, which translates to ‘Western education is sin’ in English, continues to operate without much resistance because of the failure of the Nigerian government in tackling socio-economic issues in the region of its operation.
7. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
Located in the federally administered tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghan border, this terrorist organization comprises several Islamist militant groups. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (also called the Pakistani Taliban), was established in December 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud, a notorious Pakistani militant who died on August 23, 2009. Pakistani Taliban, however, targets elements of the Pakistani state, but according to several intelligence agencies, top cities of the United States are conceived as its main target. It rewrote a chapter on cowardice by attacking a school in Peshawar, killing children as young as nine.
Derived from the Pashto word for “students”, Taliban is well-known for being one of the few militant organizations to have been in charge of a country – Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Founded by Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban took Afghanistan back into the middle ages with their strict imposition of Sharia and Islamic laws. It received active support of the Al-Qaeda and was overthrown in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
The biggest “brand name” among all terrorist groups in the world, this extremist Islamic group was established in 1989 by Osama Bin Laden. Under his leadership, the Al-Qaeda carried out the 9/11 attacks on the US, which led to the Afghan war culminating with the death of bin Laden in May 2012. Now headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Al-Qaeda is notorious for its integrated network and powerful strategies. Al-Qaeda constitutes thousands of individuals who have accomplished proper military training.
10. Islamic State
Al Qaeda is a brand name, but Islamic State is the devil itself. Officially known as ISIL or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Syria), the Islamic State controls northern parts of Iraq and the Western parts of Syria, within which it has formed its own government. Founded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State has carried out acts of barbarism so brutal that even the Al Qaeda had to condemn it. The IS constitutes of fighters from all over the world, with British Muslims the highest from any Western nation. The group is known for organizing slave markets, where they trade off captured women of their enemies, particularly of the Yazidi sect, and killing of children.