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8 definitions by TerroristGroups

 
1.
(Ar. Students) Islamic fundamentalist militants who came to power in Afghanistan in 1995 and were expelled from the country a few years later by American and native forces.
The word “Taliban” comes from the Arabic word talib, which means “student.” The organization was founded by Mullah Mohammed Omar, an extremely enigmatic individual who went into hiding in 2001 after the organization's fall from power. Members of the Taliban were originally religious students who developed a very conservative interpretation of Islam and the Sharia, or Islamic law. During Afghanistan's long and bitter civil war, members of the Taliban began a slow rise to power, and the group ultimately took control of most of Afghanistan, promising to put a stop to infighting between various bands of mujahideen, or groups of soldiers led by warlords, to make Afghanistan a safer place.
by TerroristGroups January 16, 2011
 
2.
Hamas, the main Islamist movement in the Palestinian territories, was born soon after the previous intifada erupted in 1987. The organization opposes the Oslo peace process and its short-term aim is a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories. Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist. Its long-term aim is to establish an Islamic state on land originally mandated as Palestine - most of which has been contained within Israel's borders since its creation in 1948. The grass-roots organization - with a political and a military wing - has an unknown number of hard-core members but tens of thousands of supporters and sympathizers.
It has two main functions: 1) it is involved in building schools and hospitals in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and in helping the community in social and religious ways. 2) The military wing of Hamas - known as the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades - has carried out a series of bloody attacks against Israeli targets. In February and March 1996, Hamas carried out several bus bombings, killing nearly 60 Israelis. It was also blamed for attacks in 1997 in Jerusalem which killed 15 people, and brought the peace process grinding to a halt. Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) - the government-in-waiting if a Palestinian state is established - views Hamas as a serious rival, yet the Palestinian leader has tried to co-opt the movement into mainstream politics. But his insistence that Hamas recognize the PA as the only national authority in the Palestinian territories and cease military operations against Israel has been resisted. Hamas argues that to accept the PA would be to recognize the Oslo accords - which Islamist groups saw as nothing more than a security deal between the PA, Israel and the US, with the ultimate aim of wiping them out. Despite a fierce offensive against the group in 1996, when the PA arrested some 1,000 Palestinians and took over mosques in Gaza, the PA has been careful not to drive Hamas underground.
by TerroristGroups January 21, 2011
 
3.
A militant Islamist organization, formed by Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, that has adopted takfiri doctrines and has declared jihad against all Westerners and their Muslim supporters.
al Qaeda is most known for their attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
by TerroristGroups January 14, 2011
 
4.
Hezbollah - or the Party of God - is a powerful political and military organization in Lebanon made up mainly of Shia Muslims. It emerged with financial backing from Iran in the early 1980s and began a struggle to drive Israeli troops from Lebanon. Hostility to Israel has remained the party's defining platform since May 2000, when the last Israeli troops left Lebanon due in large part to the success of Hezbollah's military arm, the Islamic Resistance. Hezbollah's popularity peaked in the 2000s, but took a massive dent among pro-Western Lebanese people when it was at the center of a huge, destructive war with Israel following the capture of two Israeli soldiers in 2006. Hezbollah is the strongest member of Lebanon's pro-Syrian opposition bloc which has been pitted against the pro-Western government led by Saad Hariri. It has several seats in parliament and has ministers in a national unity government formed in late 2009. It also blocked the election of a new president by repeatedly boycotting sessions of parliament. The stalemate ended on 21 May 2008, when the group reached a deal with the government under which its power of veto was recognized.
Washington has long branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has accused it of destabilizing Lebanon in the wake of Syria's withdrawal of its troops from the country following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The movement long operated with neighboring Syria's blessing, protecting its interests in Lebanon and serving as a card for Damascus to play in its own confrontation with Israel over the occupation of the Golan Heights. Hezbollah leaders have continued to profess its support for Syria, while stressing Lebanese unity by arguing against "Western interference" in the country. As well as a political clout, Hezbollah has wide popular appeal by providing social services and health care. It also has an influential TV station, al-Manar. Hezbollah's biggest test came in mid-2006, when its fighters captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack, killing a number of others. The incident triggered a fierce month-long war with Israel, which ended in a ceasefire. Having survived a massive military onslaught, Hezbollah declared victory, enhancing its reputation among many in the Arab world.
by TerroristGroups January 30, 2011
 
5.
The Khmer Rouge killed nearly two million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979, spreading like a virus from the jungles until they controlled the entire country, only to systematically dismantle and destroy it in the name of a Communist agrarian ideal. Today, more than 30 years after Vietnamese soldiers removed the Khmer Rouge from power, the first genocide trials will start — a bittersweet note of progress in an impoverished nation still struggling to rehabilitate its crippled economic and human resources.
The Khmer Rouge took root in Cambodia's northeastern jungles as early as the 1960s, a guerrilla group driven by communist ideals that nipped the periphery of government-controlled areas. The flash point came when Cambodia's leader, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was deposed in a military coup in 1970 and leaned on the Khmer Rouge for support. The prince's imprimatur lent the movement legitimacy, although while he would nominally serve as head of state, he spent much of the Khmer Rouge's rule under house arrest. As the country descended into civil war, the Khmer Rouge presented themselves as a party for peace and succeeded in mobilizing support in the countryside.
by TerroristGroups June 18, 2011
 
6.
An Islamic organization that controls much of southern Somalia, excluding the capital, Mogadishu. It has waged an insurgency against Somalia's transitional government and its Ethiopian supporters since 2006. Originally the militant wing of the Islamic Courts Union, the group that controlled Somalia prior to the country's invasion by Ethiopian forces, al-Shabaab leaders have claimed affiliation with al-Qaeda since 2007. Though most analysts believe al-Shabaab's organizational links to al-Qaeda are weak, in February 2008 the United States added the group to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Al Shabaab's strength has grown since then, but many experts say the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from Somalia in January 2009 could diminish the group's basis for popular support. In what marked the group's first major attack outside of Somalia, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for twin bombings that killed more than seventy people in Kampala, Uganda (NYT) during the World Cup final on July 11, 2010.
by TerroristGroups June 18, 2011
 
7.
The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, operated in the north from bases in southern Sudan. The LRA committed numerous abuses and atrocities, including the abduction, rape, maiming, and killing of civilians, including children. In addition to destabilizing northern Uganda from bases in Sudan, the LRA congregated in the Bunia area in eastern Congo. They linked up with the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) and other rebel groups that were battling with forces from the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD).
The Lord's Resistance Army continued to kill, torture, maim, rape, and abduct large numbers of civilians, virtually enslaving numerous children. Although its levels of activity diminished somewhat compared with 1997, the area that the LRA targeted grew. The LRA sought to overthrow the Ugandan Government and inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda. LRA forces also targeted local government officials and employees. The LRA also targeted international humanitarian convoys and local NGO workers.
by TerroristGroups June 23, 2011