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BlackEagle/BlackEagle Logistics & Procurement Branch, Data Support Section 
Results of Criminal Organizations Database Search:Hamas
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Hamas #CR0002211 (Also... Some alternate names are aliases, other are names for specific subgroups or cells). Islamic Resistance Movement Izz al-Din al-Qassam Forces Harakat al Muqawama al Islamiyya Source: CIA, EuroTer, Interpol, MI-6 Type: Political terrorist organization Scope: Highly active and violent terrorist organization carrying out actions of all types against mainly Israeli targets worldwide. Affiliations: As part of the Worldwide Islamic Jihad's [#CR0001716] umbrella organization, they receive much of their training and support from them. Links also exist with Hizbullah [#CR0001132] and the Muslim Brotherhood [#CR0001983]. [Interpol] Recent information revealed possible links with Al Dawa [#CR0000944] and Al Gama'a al Islamiya [#CR0002113]. [CIA] Believed to have exchanged training of members with the Irish Republican Army [#CR0000632]. [MI-6] Personnel: Unknown number of hardcore members; tens of thousands of supporters and sympathizers. (200 believed) [CIA] Operating Since: 1988 Structure: Scattered cells of eight to ten members, with some elements working openly through mosques and social service institutions. Leaders: Sheikh Ahmad Yasin [#LL], spiritual leader, Other leaders unknown. Legitimate Connections: Hamas has excellent funding resources, receiving money from a wide variety of sponsors. The majority of funding and support is funneled through mosques and relief organizations. Resources: Smallarms, explosives and all variety of military equipment. High level of support and intelligence. Excellent funding. Suspected Criminal Activity: Hamas activists, especially those in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Forces, have conducted many attacks against Israeli civilian and military targets, suspected Palestinian collaborators, and Fatah rivals. Its armed militant wing known as Iza al-Din, carries out continued bombings (including a large number of suicide bombings), assassinations, and kidnappings of those opposed to its existence. Primary targets are Jewish settlers as they are usually unarmed and traveling in buses. A number of attacks have been carried out by individual Palestinian Hamas members, usually stabbings of individual Israelis. For a one-week period beginning 3 July 1992, Hamas clashed with followers of Yasir Arafat's Al Fatah group in the Gaza Strip in which one child was killed and over 150 people injured. Additional Commentary: Hamas is the Arabic acronym for the "Islamic Resistance Movement," (Harakat al Muqawama al Islamiyya). Hamas was formed in late 1987, but is in fact continuous with the Ikhwan al Muslimin or Muslim Brotherhood [#CR0001983] branch that established itself in Palestine in 1946 and that remained active in Gaza and the West Bank after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Until 1984 the Ikhwan had concentrated mainly on the education of Arab youth in Gaza and the West Bank and its politics seldom strayed beyond a belief in piecemeal Islamic reformism. On 17 September 1984, however, a leader of the Palestinian Ikhwan in the Gaza Strip, Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, and four other Ikhwan members were convicted of stockpiling automatic weapons and plotting to kill 300 prominent persons. Yasin is regarded now as the spiritual mentor of Hamas. In October and November 1987, the Ikhwan collaborated and competed with both the Palestine Liberation Organization [#CR0000318] and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [#CR0002691] in creating demonstrations in the occupied territories that precipitated the intifada uprising. Hamas has become Fatah's [#CR0002091] principal political rival in the occupied territories. Hamas officially announced its existence with the publication of the "Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement" on 18 August 1988. It was at this time that the "Intifada" began to explode throughout the occupied territories, and Hamas' message was made available to the masses. Founded on Islamic nationalism, this group inherently more in common with the PLO than not, and the decision was made (partly in response to Israeli efforts to pit the two against one another) that by the leaders of Hamas that while the two perhaps could not work together, any harm to one inherently detracted from the other. They were different in one important respect. While the PLO maintained a gradual, phased approach to the creation of a Palestinian homeland, Hamas felt and acted, quite differently. Their plan of action was an immediate and unrelenting frontal assault against the Israeli nation. Militant elements of Hamas, operating clandestinely, have advocated and used violence to advance their goals. Hamas's strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and a few areas of the West Bank. It has also engaged in peaceful political activity, such as running candidates in West Bank chamber of commerce elections. As Hamas' course of action provided immediate results, its membership continued to grow. Nowhere was this more true than with the disgruntled young males of the slums and lower class neighborhoods who, analysts believe, had grown disillusioned with the slower and more acquiescent PLO. By 1991, Hamas has gained enough prestige to represent a number of Palestinian groups at a major peace conference in Tehran. Following this meeting, Hamas split entirely with the PLO when the latter refused to accept the former's request that it be granted a significant presence on the Palestine National Council. This division in Palestinian leadership spilled into the streets and was marked by open armed conflict between members of the two groups. Soon after this, a series of setbacks befell Hamas, in the form of deportations of many of its members by the Israelis and arrested others. Hamas never fully recovered from this blow, however known ties to Iran and suspected ties to individuals in the United States and Western Europe are at the very least maintaining the groups financial existence. This, coupled with an eager youth movement and a replenished leadership have caused terrorism watchers worldwide to acknowledge Hamas once again as one of the leading organizations of its kind. Hamas opposed Fatah's participation in the October 1991 Arab-Israeli peace talks in Madrid and feared the PLO would accept newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's proposal for limited Palestinian autonomy on the West Bank. Speculation is rampant that the group may be altering its focus from Islamic nationalism to the creation of an Islamic society. Whatever their new goals, it is acknowledged that the future of Hamas lies in the results of the PLO-Israeli peace accords. If the PLO is able to accomplish its goals, it will grow stronger and Hamas weaker. If, however, the negotiations break down, Hamas is situated perfectly to challenge the PLO for the Palestinian leadership role. Hamas' existence has been complicated slightly by the January 24, 1995 Executive Order, signed by President Clinton which prohibits transactions with the group due to their potential for disrupting the Middle East peace process.