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BlackEagle/BlackEagle Logistics & Procurement Branch, Data Support Section
Results of Criminal Organizations Database Search: Popular Forces 25 April
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Popular Forces 25 April #CR0002476 (Also... Some alternate names are aliases, other are names for specific subgroups or cells). FP-25 Forces Populares 25 de Abril Autonomus Revolutionary Groups GAR Armed Revolutionary Organization ORA Source: CIA, EuroTer, Interpol, MI-6 Type: Political terrorist organization Scope: A terrorist organization either defunct or in a deep period of reorganization. FP-25 was a fairly active, but rarely successful terrorist organization attacking mainly NATO and U.S. interests. [EuroTer] Affiliations: The group is not known to have any ties with sponsoring states or other terrorist groups, although it has been speculated that FP-25 has collaborated with Euskadi Ta Askuatasuna 2000 [#CR0000998] and the Red Army Faction [#CR0001960] and that it has received some support from Libya. [Interpol] Believed to share intelligence with the 1st of October Anti-Fascist Group [#CR0002231]. [MI-6] Personnel: Six to ten hard-core members and 100-200 sympathizers. Operating Since: 1980 Structure: Scattered cells of operatives each lead by a single hard-core member. This places a high degree of emphasis on security. Reportedly, only armed militants are allowed to assume leadership positions. Support elements are kept at arm's length to minimize infiltration by the police. [CIA] Leaders: Lieutenant Colonel Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho [#LL4781936], currently serving a 15 year sentence after being convicted of leading the group). Current leadership is unknown. Legitimate Connections: No major foreign sponsors or known legitimate connections, although Libya reportedly has provided some support. Resources: Smallarms, explosives and some military equipment. Moderate intelligence and support, poor funding. There is no evidence of extensive foreign support for the FP-25. Press reports have claimed that Portuguese authorities are aware of some financial support from Libya. There also is no evidence of direct ties to other European terrorist groups despite the fact that the FP-25 has conducted acts of terrorism directed at US, British, French, and West German targets to express solidarity with various groups. In recent years the FP-25 has chosen to focus more of its energy on attacking US and NATO targets. [EuroTer] Suspected Criminal Activity: The terrorist attacks of FP-25 began in May 1980 which involved the killing of a guard outside the home of the Minister of Finance in an abortive kidnapping attempt. Three more attacks occurred within the same month, the murder of a Portuguese businessman after failing in efforts to extort money from him and the bombing of the British Airways office in Oporto and rocket attack on the Royal Club in Lisbon as a show of support for the Provisional Irish Republican Army. In 1983 over a six week period FP-25 detonated a series of bombs around Lisbon to protest labor policies. Their first attack upon a U.S. target, the Embassy in Lisbon was a failure due to the terrorists accidentally damaging the firing circuit of two antitank rockets during loading. A series of moderately successful attacks occurred on 25 November 1984, the ninth anniversary of the failed communist coup attempt, they fired four mortar rounds at the U.S. Embassy, hitting two vehicles, on 9 December 1984, they fired four mortar rounds at NATO's Iberian Atlantic Command headquarters outside Lisbon, damaging some buildings and one car, and again on 28 January 1985, they fired three mortar rounds at six NATO ships at anchor in Lisbon harbor, failing to hit any of them. Success for the group began in February of 1985, which involved detonating eight incendiary bombs under cars belonging to West Germany Air Force personnel assigned to a Portuguese airbase outside Beja. The explosions injured one person and caused considerable damage. Throughout the year FP-25 managed to assassinate a key witness at the FP-25 trial, a former member, as well as freeing ten members of their organization from a Lisbon jail. The last attack believed attributed to FP-25 was the bombing of several tourist resorts in Southern Portugal. There were no injuries. The bombings were claimed by the Armed Revolutionary Organization (ORA). Additional Commentary: The Forcas Populares do 25 Abril is a Portuguese communist terrorist group formed in 1980 dedicated to overthrowing the current Portuguese government in favor of some sort of revolutionary Marxist state. It also opposes Portugal's participation in NATO and is anti-American. The stated goals of the FP-25 are to use armed force against imperialism" and lead a workers' assault on bourgeois power. The group was named after the 25 April 1974 military coup that ousted the rightwing regime that had ruled Portugal since 1926. It claims to be a workers' organization dedicated to a struggle against exploitation, misery, and repression, as well as to the violent overthrow of the Portuguese Government. The FP-25 also is viamently anti-US and anti-NATO. The group has committed a series of assassinations, bombings, and rocket attacks against Portuguese Government and economic targets. In addition, the group has targeted the interests of the United States and the NATO Alliance in Portugal. The FP-25's capabilities were damaged by a series of Portuguese counterterrorist successes, including the arrest of 56 members in 1984. In July 1985, however, the key prosecution witness, a defecting FP-25 member, was murdered before he could testify, and in September 1985, 10 imprisoned members managed to escape. In the following year, the group made another attempt to bomb the U.S. Embassy and to bombard the NATO Iberian Atlantic Command with mortars but without success. In September 1986, the group calling itself the "Armed Revolutionary Organization" appeared, which authorities believed to be the FP-25 group under a new name.
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