Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UVF)
The Ulster Defense Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UVF) is the largest loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, and was formed in 1971 as an umbrella organization for loyalist paramilitary groups. It remained a legal organization until 1992, when the British Government proscribed it. Among its members are Johnny Adair, the only person ever convicted of directing terrorism in Northern Ireland, and Michael Stone, who killed three people in a gun and grenade attack at an IRA funeral. The UDA joined the UVF in declaring a cease-fire in 1994, which broke down in January 1998, but was later restored. In October 2001, the British Government ruled that the UDA had broken its cease-fire. The organization's political wing, the Ulster Democratic Party, was dissolved in November 2001. The group has been linked to pipe bombings and sporadic assaults on Catholics in Northern Ireland; where it stepped up attacks in 2001. William Stobie, the group's former quartermaster who admitted to passing information about the UDA to the British government, was murdered in December 2001; the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility for the killing.
Estimates of UDA strength vary from 2,000 to 5,000 members, with several hundred active in paramilitary operations throughout Northern Ireland.
█ FURTHER READING:
CDI (Center for Defense Information), Terrorism Project. CDI Fact Sheet: Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. March 27, 2003. < http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist.cfm > (April 17, 2003).
Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ > (April 16, 2003).
Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001," Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002 < http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm > (April 17, 2003).
U.S. Department of State. Annual Reports. < http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html > (April 16, 2003).