A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

BAAD - Kurdistan Free Life Party - 2012


Kurdistan Free Life Party

The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) is a Kurdish political and militant group founded in 2004 in Iraq.[1] The group operates in Kurdish inhabited areas and advocates for the autonomy and the rights of Kurdish people.[2] Other goals of the PJAK include the establishment of a secular and democratic political system in Iran and greater gender equality.[3] The group is considered a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an internationally designated terrorist organization which operates primarily in Turkey.[4] Various PKK members contributed to the creation of the PJAK and held leadership positions within the group.[5] As of 2008, the PKK shared logistics, leadership and provided personnel to the PJAK; it also appears that the PKK provides considerable direction with regards to the group’s actions and activities.[6] The PJAK has a political wing and a military wing. The military wing is known as the East Kurdistan Defense Forces and operates mainly in Iran.[7] Ahmadi controls the group’s operations from Cologne, Germany.[8] The PJAK has an estimated size of 3,000 members based in the Qandil mountains in north Iraq.[9] The members of the group are mainly Iranian Kurds, but there also exist many Kurdish supporters from Iraq, Syria and Turkey.[10] In 2009, the PJAK was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States Department of Treasury, which cites the group’s affiliation with the PKK amongst the reasons for their listing. [11] View full narrative

Quick Facts for 2012


51 (Total of 1998 through 2012)

Ethnic, Separatist


Territorial Control:
Controls Territory (1)

Funding through Drug Trafficking:

Sorry, but there are no organizational details available for this group at this time.


Primary Ideology

  • Ag = Anti-Globalization
  • An = Anarchist
  • En = Ethnic
  • Ev = Environmental
  • Le = Leftist
  • Re = Religious
  • Ri = Rightist
  • Se = Separatist
  • Su = Supremacist
  • Vi = Vigilante


  •  Ally
  •  Suspected Ally
  •  Rival
  •  Violence
  •  Mixed Relations


  •  Blue 0 - 1479 fatalities
  •  Green 1479 - 2958 fatalities
  •  Yellow 2958 - 4437 fatalities
  •  Orange 4437 - 5916 fatalities
  •  Red 5916 - 7396 fatalities

Lethality is calculated as the total number of fatalities from 1998-2012.


Icon sizes depict approximate relative sizes of the organizations.

  • Smallest 0 - 10 members
  •   11 - 100 members
  •   101 - 1000 members
  •   1001 - 10000 members
  • Largest > 10000 members

Other Notes

Icons with no color coding or ideology icon have no detailed data at this time, and are provided as relationship information only.