State Department Designation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)

The State Department defines and identifies 42 foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) -- including Hamas, Hizballah and al-Qaeda -- and details the legal ramifications for being designated as an FTO. The State Department's Office of Counterterrorism notes, "FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business."