Fighting Communist Organizations

From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Jump to: navigation, search

The Fighting Communist Organizations (FCO)is the name given to various Terrorist organizations who operated in western Europe, Japan and America and whose objective was to bring about a Socialist Revolution and install Communist governments. [1] These groups viewed Capitalism and Democracy as a corrupted system, which if attacked could be destroyed. [2] The FCO were seen as a major threat by NATO and also by the Italian, German and British governments.[3]

History and objectives

The FCO followed the tradition of "propaganda by the deed" as espoused by late 19th and early 20th century Anarchist groups. [4] The majority of the FCO`s were founded in the 1970`s with their objective being the overthrow of democratic forms of government and the formation of communist dictatorships throughout Europe.[5] These groups rose during the student union movement which was protesting against the Vietnam War and against the perceived exploitation of the Third World with the more militant minded splitting off to form the FCO. The founders of the FCO argued that it would take violence to achieve their idealistic goals and that legitimate protest was both ineffective and insufficient to attain them. [6][7] Dennis Pluchinsky identified 13 principles which he says forms the core of their ideology.

  • 1. The world is viewed through “dialectical materialism,” the Marxist-Leninist approach to the analysis of history.
  • 2. Capitalism is the root cause of all the problems of the proletariat.
  • 3. Capitalism can only be displaced by force.
  • 4. The proletariat does not currently possess the necessary revolutionary consciousness to carry out the violent overthrow of the capitalist system.
  • 5. The traditional communist parties have forfeited their right to represent the proletariat.
  • 6. The fighting communist organizations are forced to fill the revolutionary void of traditional communist parties.
  • 7. In order to survive its present crisis, capitalism must resort to industrial “restructuring.”
  • 8. Imperialism is also in crisis.
  • 9. Western Europe serves as the “imperialist center” that is composed of a “chain of states,” manufactured by the United States.
  • 10. The latent fascist tendencies of the capitalist, imperialist state must be exposed to the proletariat.
  • 11. The revolutionary war against imperialism will be a long, protracted armed struggle.
  • 12. The revolutionary armed struggle consists of two phases. The first phase would armed propaganda phase, with three components: a revolutionary strategy, communist organization, and initiation of armed combat. The second and final the revolutionary civil war. The “armed propaganda” phase reflects the anarchist propaganda by the deed” concept.
  • 13. The next revolutionary stage for an FCO is the “fighting Communist party.”"[8]

The groups were at the height of their power in 1984 to 1985 with seven FCO operating in six countries. At this time European governments feared the FCO were forming an alliance. During the late 1980`s however Italy, Belgium, France and Portugal had neutralized the groups operating within their respective countries. [9] The majority of FCO groups have now broken up due to arrests by local police forces and EUROPOL and the fall of the Soviet Union[10]

Tactics employed

These terrorist organizations have all used the following tactics, secrecy and the willingness to commit murder in the pursuit of their goals and a strict adherence to the Marxist-Leninist ideology. All use cellular compartmentalized structures and operate within an urban environment. There was an obvious decrease in the intellectual justification for their actions and increased recruitment from both the working classes and from criminal gangs. [11]

They have been held responsible for attacks on NATO facilities and personal, setting bombs in schools and with the kidnapping and murdering of NATO personnel. The kidnapping of James L. Dozier was one of the most notable attacks on NATO personnel with the brigader being held for 42 days before being rescued. [12]

Bombings, kneecappings, assassinations, arson and kidnappings were some of the tactics employed by these groups. [9]

The Anti-Imperialist Armed Front

The Anti-Imperialist Armed Front was an alliance of three FCO. Actione Direct (AD) of France the Red Army Faction (RAF) of Germany and the Communist Combatant Cells (CCC) from Belgium. This group carried out bombing attacks on NATO pipelines in 1984 to 1985. The RAF carried out six attacks on pipelines in Germany. The CCC targeted six pumping stations on the 3700mile long pipeline which spanned Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg and Germany. The attacks resulted in the pipeline being shut down for a 48hr period. There were no armed attacks on personnel from this group and this is believed to be due to the CCC having an aversion to excessive violence. The AD bombed the corporate offices of the Elf Aquitaine oil company in Paris.[13]


The groups listed here have all been described as Fighting communist organizations and as having commited terrorist acts.

Action directe

Action directe (AD) were a French terrorist organization which committed a series of assassinations and violent attacks in France between 1979 and 1987. [14] They began operations with an attack on the headquarters of the association of french industrialists on the 1st of may 1979. [15]

Communist Combatant Cells

Cellules Communistes Combattantes (CCC; Communist Combatant Cells) were a Belgian group which operated in the mid 1980`s for two years.[16]

First of October Anti-Fascist resistance Groups (GRAPO)

The First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups operated out of Spain. [9] They were formed in 1975 as the military wing of the illegal Spanish communist party (PCE-r). This group has been held responsible for the deaths of an estimated 25 people and have carried out attacks on US and Spanish military bases and government facilitys. They have executed police officers and members of the judiciary. [17]

Forças Populares 25 de Abril

The Popular Forces 25 April operated out of Portugal. They formed in 1980 and have attacked Portuguese government and economic targets. They have also targeted NATO and US facilities. [18]

Japanese Red Army

Japanese Red Army[8] This group were a splinter of the student group Zenga Kuren [19] They have kidnapped government officials, murdered civilians, taken hostages and hijacked aircraft.[20]

Nuclei Territoriali Antimperialisti

Anti-Imperialist Territorial Nuclei (NTA) formed in 1995 and have adopted the class struggle of the red brigade. This group has targeted property rather than people with arson and bombing attacks.[21]

Red Army Faction

The Red Army Faction (RAF), founded in May of 1970 [22] and which in its early stages was known in the media as the Baader-Meinhof gang [23] were a German terrorist group. They attacked United States military bases and robbed banks killing six people. [24]

2nd June Movement

The 2nd June Movement had separate origins to the RAF but the two groups merged. They were held responsible for assassinations and kidnappings. [24]

Red Brigades

Red Brigades of all the FCO groups the Red Brigades have been described as the worst offenders with 75 assassinations 115 attempted assassinations and 17 kidnappings.[25] and they have been described as the most ruthless terrorist group in Europe. [26]

Revolutionary Organization 17 November

The Revolutionary Organization 17 November operated out of Greece and began terrorist actions on 23 December 1975 when they claimed responsibility for the murder of the CIA station chief whom they shot in front of his wife in Athens. They have conducted what has been described as "One of the most protracted and intransigent of all ideological terrorist campaigns in Western Europe" [27]

Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front

The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party–Front operated out of Turkey. The group follows a strong marxist ideology and is anti-NATO, anti-US and anti-western. [28]

Weather Underground (organization)

The Weather Underground were a splinter group of the Militant Students for a Democratic Society. The group claimed responsibility for 25 bomb attacks. The group published a manifesto which they used to justify their actions and set out their goals, it was titled Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism in which they said.

We are a guerrilla organization. We are communist women and men, underground in the United States for more than four years. We are deeply affected by the historic events of our time in the struggle against US imperialism. . . . Our intention is to disrupt the empire, to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks, to make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning against the people of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from the inside. . . . Our intention is to engage the enemy, to wear away at him, to isolate him, to expose every weakness. . . . Without mass struggle there can be no revolution Without armed struggle there can be no victory.[19]

The Shining Path

The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) were founded in 1980 and operate in Peru. This group has been described as on of the most dangerous of the Latin American terrorist organizations.[29]

See Also

State-sponsored terrorism Communist terrorism


  1. Yonah Alexander Page 194
  2. Neil J. Smelser pages 30-31
  3. Ciro Paoletti page 202
  4. Jerrold M. Post page 125
  5. C. J. M. Drake page 19
  6. C. J. M. Drake page 102
  7. Walter Enders, Todd Sandler page 10
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jerrold M. Post page 102
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Yonah Alexander Page ix Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Yonah_Alexander_2" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Yonah_Alexander_2" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Christopher C. Harmon, Andrew N. Pratt, Sebastian Gorka page 32
  11. Jerrold M. Post pages 102, 103
  12. Barry M. Rubin Page 49
  13. Heradstveit page 120
  14. Michael York Dartnell page 106
  15. Paul J. Smith page 32
  16. Michel Wieviorka page 37
  17. Leonard Weinberg, Ami Pedahzur Page 151
  18. John E. Jessup page 592
  19. 19.0 19.1 Jerrold M. Post page 102 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Jerrold_M._Post_6" defined multiple times with different content
  20. Aileen Gallagher page 4
  21. Cindy C. Combs Page 15
  22. Jeremy Varon page 62
  23. Richard L. Clutterbuck page 46
  24. 24.0 24.1 Richard L. Clutterbuck page 46 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Richard_L._Clutterbuck_2" defined multiple times with different content
  25. C. J. M. Drake page 148
  26. Stephen E. Atkins Page 270
  27. George Kassimeris page 1
  28. Suleyman Ozeren page 162
  29. Yonah Alexander Page 4


  • Jerrold M. Post. The Mind of the Terrorist: The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to Al-Qaeda. 3 April 2008. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1403966117
  • C. J. M. Drake. Terrorists' target selection. October 15, 1998. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0312211974
  • Cindy C. Combs, Martin W. Slann. Encyclopedia of terrorism. 1 March 2007. Facts On File Inc. ISBN 978-0816062775
  • Stephen E. Atkins. Encyclopedia of modern worldwide extremists and extremist groups. 30 April 2004. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313324857
  • Barry M. Rubin. Chronologies of modern terrorism. 15 January 2008. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0765620477
  • Yonah Alexander. Europe's red terrorists: the fighting communist organizations. October 1, 1992. Routledge. ISBN 978-0714634883
  • Ciro Paoletti. A military history of Italy. 30 December 2007. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0275985059
  • Aileen Gallagher. The Japanese Red Army. Rosen Publishing Group. October 14, 2004. ISBN 978-0823938230
  • Jerrold M. Post. Leaders and Their Followers in a Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior. March 11, 2004. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801441691
  • Walter Enders, Todd Sandler. The political economy of terrorism. November 14, 2005. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-13: 978-0521851008
  • Christopher C. Harmon, Andrew N. Pratt, Sebastian Gorka Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism. April 22, 2010. Dushkin/McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0073527796
  • Michael York Dartnell. Action directe: ultra-left terrorism in France, 1979-1987. 1 August 1995. Routledge. ISBN 978-0714645667
  • Michel Wieviorka. The making of terrorism. 3 August 2004. Chicago University Press. ISBN 978-0226896533
  • Richard L. Clutterbuck. Terrorism, drugs, and crime in Europe: after 1992. 4 October 1990. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415054430
  • Jeremy Varon. Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies. 4 May 2004. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520241190
  • Leonard Weinberg, Ami Pedahzur. Political parties and terrorist groups. September 18, 2003. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415268714
  • George Kassimeris. Europe's last red terrorists: the Revolutionary Organization 17 November. 23 November 2000. C Hurst & Co. ISBN 978-1850654674
  • John E. Jessup. An encyclopedic dictionary of conflict and conflict resolution, 1945-1996. 30 August 1998. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313281129
  • Daniel Heradstveit, Helge Hveem. Oil in the Gulf: obstacles to democracy and development. 28 February 2004. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0754639688
  • Suleyman Ozeren. Understanding Terrorism: Analysis of Sociological and Psychological Aspects (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series E: Human and Societal Dynamics). 1 June 2007. IOS Press. ISBN 978-1586037543
  • Paul J. Smith. The Terrorism Ahead: Confronting Transnational Violence in the Twenty-First Century. 1 September 2007. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0765619884
  • Neil J. Smelser. The faces of terrorism: social and psychological dimensions. 31 August 2007. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691133089

Further Reading

  • Yonah Alexander, Dennis A. Pluchinsky. Europe's red terrorists: the fighting communist organizations. Routledge. 1 October 1992. ISBN 978-0714634883
  • Jerrold M. Post. The Mind of the Terrorist: The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to Al-Qaeda. 3 April 2008. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1403966117