The French Wikipedia says:

la JDL est considérée par le FBI comme un groupe terroriste

JDL is considered by the FBI as a terrorist group

With as a reference http://www.fbi.gov/publications/terror/terror2000_2001.htm which is now a broken link.

Is it true?
If yes, an official document written by the FBI (or another part of the American government) would be welcome.

  • Not enough for an answer, but I think the document being linked to is this: fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terror which does describe the JDL as a terrorist organization. However, I cannot find an updated and comprehensive list of terrorist organizations, so I cannot say whether it still is one. I can make this an answer if you want, but I didn't feel comfortable submitting one without a formal designation or list.
    – Publius
    Jul 16, 2014 at 2:44
  • The fixed link to that document is now: fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terror
    – James K
    Jun 19, 2018 at 13:31

3 Answers 3



The FBI has classified it as a right-wing terrorist organization.

Figures include terrorist incidents, suspected terrorist incidents, and preventions, (The Jewish Defense League has been deemed a right-wing terrorist group.).

It should be noted that this report was from 2001, and the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base that used to be funded by the Dept. Homeland Security lists it as a former terrorist organization.

The Jewish Defense League was dealt a significant blow in 1987 upon the conviction of several group members. Today, JDL is not actively engaged in terrorist actions. Two JDL members, however, were arrested in 2001 for their plot to bomb the office of a Lebanese-American Congressman from Orange County California and a mosque in Culver City California. Former JDL leader Irving Rubin committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial and West Coast Coordinator Earl Krugel pleaded guilty to the plot in 2003. In September 2005, Krugel was sentenced to 20 years in jail for his role in the plot. Two months later he was killed in prison by unknown assailants.

  • Good job finding an up to date source. +1
    – Publius
    Jul 16, 2014 at 8:15
  • 2
    @Avi, technically speaking, I believe that the old MIPT database is just being hosted at that university after funding expired for the DOH. I wouldn't call that "up to date."
    – user1873
    Jul 16, 2014 at 13:05

No, it's not true.

The State Department has a list designating foreign terrorist organizations (JDL isn't on this list). However, there is no official domestic terrorist group list put out by any government agency. Groups will be flagged as extremist and specific individuals watched closely. FBI has Terrorism Enterprise Investigations, but if they are flagging specific groups as terrorist, it is an internal process and not public knowledge as to which groups are designated.

Best source I could find explaining it. CNN:

The government is also inconsistent in how it categorizes domestic extremist groups. While the federal government lists groups such as al Qaeda and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, there is no such practice of designating any domestic groups as terrorist organizations.

  • Indeed the USA have several terrorist organizations lists but none seems to be maintained by the FBI: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – nic
    Jul 17, 2014 at 3:00


Here's an archive of the link:

archive from 2005

The link says that the JDL had been "deemed" a terrorist organization, but it is unknown whether it is. It does state that it is a violent extremist right-wing organization though. And yet it does note that the single act of terror known to be planned by its members had been averted. It states that the act was designated as an isolated incident. The organization itself does not have a "terrorist" designation.

The distinction between being designated a terrorist organization and not being one is quite significant. Having such a designation would make it illegal to donate money to any of organization's causes. It would also make it impossible for the organization to engage in regular banking transactions.

As a comment on the question itself, the link you referred to is not a list of terrorist organizations, but rather of known terrorist activities. It does distinguish between organizational vs individual activities.

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