Extremist Groups

The Counter Extremism Project maintains a database of information about extremist groups, including their leaders, history, financing, violent activities, government designations, and rhetoric.
Learn more about each group below.

Abu Sayyaf Group

Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is an Islamist terrorist organization that seeks to establish an Islamic state in the southern Philippines. The historically al-Qaeda affiliated ASG is led by Radulan Sahiron, a breakaway faction in Basilan has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

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Al-Mourabitoun

Al-Mourabitoun is a violent terrorist group that seeks to establish an Islamic state in West Africa. The group has claimed responsibility for numerous terror attacks, including the deadly November 2015 gun and hostage attack in Mali’s capital, Bamako. 

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Al Qaeda USS Cole
Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks was the deadliest ever on American soil, killing nearly 3,000 people. Since the fall of the Taliban, al-Qaeda has established operations worldwide, including in Syria, the Gulf, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

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Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

AQAP is the union of al-Qaeda’s affiliated branches in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. AQAP has claimed responsibility for terror attacks and plots worldwide, including the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

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Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

AQIS is al-Qaeda’s newest branch, founded in September 2014. Reportedly operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Burma, Bangladesh, and Kashmir, the group seeks to wage jihad in order to establish an Islamic state. 

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Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)

Al-Qaeda’s North African branch, AQIM, operates in Algeria, Mali, Niger, Libya, Mauritania, and Tunisia. The group has executed numerous violent attacks in North and West Africa. The group is also known for its extensive history of kidnapping and extortion. 

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Al Shabab
Al-Shabab

Al-Qaeda’s Somali-based branch, al-Shabab, seeks to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state. The group has carried out a score of violent terror attacks, including the September 2013 Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL)

ASL is a violent terrorist group that seeks to implement sharia in Libya. In 2012, ASL’s predecessor groups attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

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Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST)

AST is a violent jihadist group that seeks to implement sharia (Islamic law) in Tunisia. The group has initiated several violent protests, including the September 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Tunis. 

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Asaib Ahl al-Haq

AAH is an Iranian-backed Shiite militia and political party operating primarily in Iraq, as well as in Syria and Lebanon. Until the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq in December 2011, AAH had launched more than 6,000 attacks on American and Iraqi forces.

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Badr Organization

The Badr Organization is a Shiite political party and paramilitary force that acts as Iran’s oldest proxy in Iraq. Given the group’s deep ties to Iran and its political and military preeminence, analysts have compared the Badr Organization in Iraq to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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Boko Haram

Boko Haram is an ISIS-aligned jihadist group based in Nigeria. For years, Boko Haram has been conducting a lethal jihadist insurgency in the country’s north to drive out government forces and establish an Islamic state.

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Golden Dawn
Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn is a neo-Nazi party that came third in Greece’s January 2015 elections. Many of Golden Dawn’s government leaders are currently on trial in Athens on charges of establishing a criminal organization.

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Hamas

Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization which has killed hundreds of Israeli citizens, as well as Americans, in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since it violently expelled the Palestinian Authority in 2007. 

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Haqqani Network

Haqqani Network is a militant Islamist group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group is affiliated with the Afghan Taliban, though the group retains its own command structure.

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Hezbollah

Hezbollah is an Iranian-sponsored, internationally sanctioned terrorist group with an anti-Israel and anti-U.S. agenda. Hezbollah is primarily based in Lebanon, but has carried out terrorist and criminal operations around the world.

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Hizb ut-Tahrir

HT is an international Islamist movement seeking to unite Muslims under one Islamic caliphate. HT members have been linked to violent acts in multiple countries. The group itself has been banned in at least 13 countries, including many Muslim-majority countries.

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Houthis

The Houthis are an Iranian-backed, Shiite Muslim armed religious and political movement in Yemen. The Houthis waged a series of bloody insurgencies against the Yemeni government for over a decade, leading to that regime’s overthrow in 2015.

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ISIS Flag
ISIS

ISIS is a violent jihadist group based in Iraq and Syria. The group has declared wilayas (provinces) in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the North Caucasus. ISIS has also waged attacks in Turkey, Lebanon, France, Belgium, Iraq, Bangladesh, Indonesia...

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Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

The IRGC is an Iranian government agency tasked with defending the regime against internal and external threats. The IRGC uses secret police methods against its opponents within Iran, and terrorist tactics against its enemies abroad.

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Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)

JI is a jihadist group in Southeast Asia that seeks to establish a caliphate in the region through violent means. The group is led by its co-founder, Abu Bakar Bashir, who pledged loyalty to ISIS in July 2014. 

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Jobbik

Jobbik is a neo-Nazi, neo-fascist political party in Hungary that combines militant ethno-nationalism with anti-Semitism and anti-Roma racism. 

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Kata’ib Hezbollah

KH is a U.S.-designated anti-American Shiite militia operating in Iraq with ancillary operations in Syria. During the U.S.-led war in Iraq that began in 2003, KH earned a reputation for planting deadly roadside bombs to attack U.S. and coalition forces.

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Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan

The KKK is the oldest and most notorious hate group in the United States. Today, the KKK is no longer a single, cohesive organization, but has instead splintered into at least four main offshoots and dozens of smaller factions, each of which identify as members of “the Klan” and...

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Lashkar-e-Taiba

LeT is one of Pakistan’s largest militant Islamist organizations. The group has instigated terrorist attacks in Kashmir and collaborated with other militant groups, such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda. It is believed to be the only Islamist militant group in Pakistan to...

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Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational Sunni Islamist movement that seeks to implement sharia (Islamic law) under a global caliphate. Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood is the country’s oldest Islamist organization and has branches throughout the world.

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NPD
National Democratic Party of Germany

Germany’s NPD is a far-right political party founded in the 1960s that has propagated racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant messages. The German government has sought to ban the NPD as recently as March 2016.

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Nusra Front (Jabhat Fateh al-Sham)

The Nusra Front is al-Qaeda’s formal affiliate in Syria and one of the most powerful rebel groups fighting Assad. The group conducts formal military campaigns, assassinations, hostage missions, and ‘lone wolf’ operations, including al-Qaeda’s trademark suicide...

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad

PIJ is a Palestinian Islamist terrorist group sponsored by Iran and Syria. Founded in 1979 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, PIJ is the second-largest terrorist group in Gaza today (after Hamas).

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Taliban

The Taliban once was the ruling government in Afghanistan. Today, the Taliban conducts a violent insurgency in Afghanistan (Afghan Taliban) and Pakistan (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan or TTP). The group is closely affiliated with al-Qaeda.

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