OSINT – ELN

Also Known As: Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional; National Liberation Army

Description:  The United States designated ELN as a FTO on October 8, 1997. ELN originated as an armed Marxist group in 1964, which extorted gas and oil companies. Later, FARC transformed into a DTO. The group is lead by “Gabino,” a.k.a. Nicolas Rodriguez.

Targets: ELN tends to target members of the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Militares de Colombia. FARC will also engage targets of opportunity in Colombia, such as Americans or Canadians.

Activities: ELN has actively placed mines to deter the Colombian military forces from pursuing them. ELN has also engaged Colombian infantry and propeller aircraft with small arms fire.

Diplomacy: ELN has worked in concert with FARC against the Colombian Government.

Propaganda: ELN members wear a characteristic bandana with half red and half black, with ELN written in white.

 Strength:  Estimated to have 2,000 fighters with numerous supporters

AO: Colombia (mountainous and rural regions in the North on the Venezuelan border)

Funding and External Aid:  FARC uses TNOC, such narcotics smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion, to fund its operations.

ELN rebels on patrol, courtesy of Colombia Politics

ELN rebels on patrol, courtesy of Colombia Politics

Local Media:

Colombia Politics. ELN.”  Accessed January 5, 2015.

Colombia Reports. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Colombiano. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Espectador. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Nuevo Diario. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Nuevo Siglo. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

La Republica. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Semana. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Tiempo. ELN” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

BBC. Profiles: Colombia’s armed groups.” August 29, 2013. Accessed December 26, 2014.

Foreign Affairs. “ELN.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

The Guardian. “Kidnap revisited: how I met my former captor.” January 26, 2011. Accessed January 5, 2015.

NPR. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

NYT. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Reuters. National Army of Liberation (ELN).” Accessed January 5, 2015.

VICE News. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

VOA. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

WaPo. “ELN.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Brookings. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

CFR. “FARC, ELN: Colombia’s Left-Wing Guerrillas.” December 1, 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Colombia: Background, U.S. Relations, and Congressional Interest.” November 28, 2012. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Peace Talks in Colombia.” April 3, 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Foreign Policy Issues for Congress.” June 11, 2013. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CSIS. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

CTC. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

FAS. National Liberation Army.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

ICG. “Colombia.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

In Sight Crime. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

Stanford University. “ELN.” Mapping Militant Organizations. 2012.  Accessed December 26, 2014.

STRATFOR. “Colombia’s New Counterinsurgency Plan.” March 29, 2012. Accessed December 26, 2014.

TRAC. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

Wilson Center. “The FARC and Colombia’s Illegal Drug Trade.” November 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

Government:

DEA. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Defense Department. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Defense Department. “Hagel Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Partnership With Colombia.” October 11, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Embassy of Colombia, Washington, D.C. “U.S.-Colombia Security Partnership.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

State Department. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

State Department. “FARC.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015.

VOA Spanish. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

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