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  Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1)


Other PFLP Symbols:
  Description: Inside a red circle, a black arrow points from a white semi-circle to a map of Israel and the territories. Below the arrow, on the right side, is a green dot.

Explanation: The arrow symbolizes the return of Palestinian refugees. Red symbolizes the group's Marxist-Leninist heritage.

| Name Variations | Overview | Focus of Operations | Major Attacks | Leaders | Ideology | Goals | Methods | Sponsors | U.S.- Related Activities |

Name Variations
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Founded by George Habash in 1967, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine combines Marxist-Leninism and Palestinian nationalism. The group became affiliated with Yasser Arafat's PLO in 1968, and during the next decade conducted several spectacular operations, primarily hijacking international airliners.

The rise of Islamist groups (Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad) during the first intifada, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the funding it provided, and the unfolding of the Oslo peace process marginalized the PFLP by the early 1990s. It regained influence with the second intifada in 2000; the organization's leadership followed new chief Abu Ali Mustafa to the Palestinian territories, where group members committed suicide bombings and other attacks, including the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi.

The PFLP remains active despite its relatively few numbers and the fact that its current leader, Ahmed Saadat, has been held in a PA jail since the killing of Zeevi.

Focus of Operations
West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Syria, Lebanon

Major Attacks
  • November 1, 2004: 16 year-old suicide bomber in Tel-Aviv: 3 dead, 38 wounded.
  • October 17, 2001: Assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi.
  • June 17, 1976: Collaborated with Baader-Meinhof Gang (a West German terrorist group) to hijack an Air France passenger plane and land it in Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli commandos stormed the plane, killing the terrorists and freeing the hostages: 1 commando killed.
  • May 30, 1972: PFLP and Japanese Red Army members opened fire and threw grenades in the passenger terminal at Lod (now Ben-Gurion) International Airport: 26 killed, 78 wounded.
  • Founder: George Habash
  • Former leader: Abu Ali Mustafa (killed)
  • Leader: Ahmed Saadat (jailed by the Palestinian Authority)
  • Senior member: Maher Taher
Marxist-Leninism, Palestinian nationalism

  • "Liberating all of Palestine and establishing a democratic socialist Palestinian state."
    • Destruction of Israel
    • Return of the Palestinian refugees
  • Hijackings, assassinations, car bombings, suicide bombings, paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets.
Syria, Libya

U.S.-Related Activities
  • Although the PFLP has no known formal infrastructure in the U.S. for recruiting or financing, it is politically supported by U.S. Palestinian and far-left organizations.
  • Designated by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

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