The FALN was most active during the 1970s and 1980s, but their activities have drastically declined in the last two decades. In the FALN's Communiqué #1 of October 26, 1974, their Central Command states that they have been advocating an armed revolution since 1969 for the purpose of eliminating "yanki colonialism" from Puerto Rico, by committing acts of violence in the US and against US interests in Puerto Rico (Puerto Rican Armed Forces of National Liberation, 1974, p.2). The reference to yanki colonialism refers to the capitalistic dominance of Puerto Rico by the influence of the US economy. At this time they acknowledged the bombing of major US corporations, as well as bombings of department stores and the Newark NJ Police Department in the spring of 1974. By late 1979, the FALN had become Puerto Rico's most significant terrorist group and according to Francis (1979), "About 75 actions and at least five deaths resulted from FAL"s [sic] terrorism, the most significant being the Fraunces Tavern bombing in New York City on January 24, 1975, in which four died. In 1977-78, FALN carried out nineteen bombing actions in the continental U.S." (p.14). The decade of the 1980s would see an increased visibility of the FALN as they continued their violent movement advocating independence for Puerto Rico.
The 1980s would see the FALN become the most threatening terrorist organization in this hemisphere, but by the end of the decade they had subsided in their activities. In March of 1980, FALN terrorists seized the Dominican Republic's embassy in Bogot Columbia and issued a statement threatening to attack nuclear power plants within the US (Sater, 1981, p.vi). Through the 1980s, the FALN worked with other Latin American terrorist groups and struck targets throughout the region, in Puerto Rico, and on the US mainland. In the 1980s the FALN "claimed credit for more than 100 bombings at mainland train stations, airports, and multinational corporations" as well as US government installations in Puerto Rico (Morris, 1995, p.57). In 1980-1981, several key members of the FALN were arrested and convicted of multiple serious federal crimes that resulted in their incarceration for as long as 50 years (Kushner, 2003, p.129). During 1982 and 1983, the group conducted sporadic bombings, most notably the 1982 New Year's Eve attacks in New York City (Kushner, 2003, p.129). After further arrests in 1982 and 1983, and a 1985 raid on FALN headquarters in Puerto Rico, the activities of the FALN almost completely subsided (Kushner, 2003, p.130). During their period of activity, the FALN was blamed for approximately 400 bombings, 18 deaths, and millions of dollars in property damage (Hewitt, 2000, p.28). The FALN is noted as being one of the most violent organizations to ever operate on the US mainland.
An evaluation of the FALN's membership includes the numbers, their motivations, and the outside influences that facilitated their activities. During the FALN's most active period, the membership rose to well over 100 active members, and retained a membership of approximately 120 members after the arrests of the 1980s (Hewitt, 2000, p.33; Kushner, 2003, p.1