Patterns of Global Terrorism. Editor: Anna Sabasteanski. Volume 1, Berkshire Publishing, 2005.
The Year in Review
There were 427 international terrorist attacks in 1993, an increase from the 364 incidents recorded in 1992. The main reason for the increase was an accelerated terrorism campaign perpetrated by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) against Turkish interests. Most of the group’s 150 attacks took place on only two days, 24 June and 4 November, and were staged throughout Western Europe. Had it not been for these two days of coordinated attacks, the level of terrorism would have continued the downward trend of recent years.
Anti-US attacks fell to 88 last year from the 142 recorded in 1992. Approximately 21 percent of the international terrorist attacks last year were directed at US targets.
The one international terrorist “spectacular” was the 26 February bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. This massive explosion left a 30 × 30-meter (100 × 100-foot) opening in the underground parking garage, scattered debris throughout an adjacent subway station, and filled all 110 floors of the north tower with smoke. The effects of the blast and the ensuing fire and smoke caused six deaths and 1,000 injuries. The six dead, all Americans, were John Di-Giovanni of Valley Stream, New York; Robert Kirkpatrick of Suffern, New York; Steve Knapp of New York City; Monica Smith of Seaford, New York; William Macko of Bayonne, New Jersey; and Wilfredo Mercado of Brooklyn, New York.
The WTC bombing is considered an act of international terrorism because of the political motivations that spurred the attack and because most of the suspects who have been arrested are foreign nationals. However, the FBI has not found evidence that a foreign government was responsible for the bombing. Some of the suspects arrested in the case are closely linked to others arrested in July in a thwarted plot to blow up selected targets in New York City, including the United Nations building and the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels. Umar Abd al-Rahman, the Muslim cleric from Egypt who resided in New Jersey, and several of his followers were indicted in connection with this plot and were charged with conspiracy. The case went to trial in September 1993, and four suspects were convicted in March 1994.
The WTC bombing was the only terrorist attack in 1993 that produced American fatalities. Two Americans, Jill Papineau and Raymond Matthew Chico, were wounded when a bomb exploded in a cafe in Cairo, Egypt, on the same day as the WTC bombing. Three people were killed, and 16 others were wounded in the cafe bombing. Western Europe had more international terrorist incidents in 1993—180 attacks—than any other region, primarily because of the two waves of PKK violence. The Middle East had the next highest number—101—followed by Latin America with 97. Iran remains the world’s most active and most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism, through its own state agents and the radical groups it supports. Iraq also continues to sponsor terrorism. Iraq planned to assassinate former President George Bush during his visit to Kuwait in April, and its agents were responsible for numerous attacks on international humanitarian and relief personnel in Iraq. Last year 109 people were killed in terrorist attacks, and 1,393 were wounded, the highest casualty total in five years.
Civil wars and ethnic conflict continue to ravage Sub-Saharan Africa (Somalia, Sudan, Angola, and Liberia), and the threat of international terrorism against US and other Western interests in the region continues. In August, the United States placed Sudan on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. This decision was made on the basis of convincing evidence from multiple sources that Sudan provides assistance to international terrorist groups.
Iran continues its active involvement in limited areas of Africa, particularly in Sudan and where expatriate Shia populations reside. Iranian-sponsored Hizballah continues to attempt to develop its presence in Sudan, Senegal, Cote d’lvoire, Sierra Leone, Benin, and Nigeria. As Iran is the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, this trend is disturbing and bears close monitoring. Libya’s support for subversion has long been a problem throughout the continent and remains so. Some African countries have been the venue for terrorist activity in the past. Although there have been no dramatic terrorist attacks in the region since the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772, the threat remains.
Three terrorist incidents occurred in Angola in 1993. In February, insurgents of the Renovada faction of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) kidnapped an officer of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and released him unharmed three weeks later. During the same month, one person was injured when a bomb detonated next to the UN office in Luanda; no group claimed responsibility. In May, militants of the FLEC and—according to the government—the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) jointly attacked the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, owned by Chevron International of America, and took a number of Portuguese workers hostage. FLEC, which is seeking independence for the Enclave of Cabinda, has previously targeted Western oil companies with commercial ties to the Angolan Government.
Ghanaian authorities in February detained Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq, a Palestinian who participated in the 1985 hijacking of an Egyptair flight in which 60 passengers died in Malta, including one American and one Ghanaian. In July, US authorities took custody of Rezaq in Nigeria after the Government of Ghana deported him. He was then transported to the United States to stand trial on charges of aircraft piracy and aiding and abetting the 1985 hijacking. The Government of Ghana prosecuted four persons for bombings that occurred in Ghana after the 1992 election.
On 25 October, four members of the Nigerian Movement for the Advancement of Democracy (MAD) hijacked a Nigerian Airways plane and diverted it to Niamey, Niger. The Nigerian Government refused to refuel the aircraft, and police forces stormed the plane, freed the hostages, and captured the hijackers. During the rescue operation, one crew member was killed. The four hijackers, who intended to force the plane to Frankfurt, had demanded the resignation of Nigeria’s Interim National Government, the prosecution of former President Ibrahim Babangida on corruption charges, and the opening of proscribed newspapers.
On 15 July, the Government of Nigeria cooperated in the FBI’s apprehension of terrorist hijacker Mohammed Ali Rezaq in Lagos. Rezaq was returned to the United States to stand trial on charges of air piracy for the 1985 hijacking of an Egyptair flight in which 60 people died in Malta.
South Asia posed serious terrorism concerns in 1993. Continuing ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka resulted in several large battles between the Army and Tamil rebels. The country also suffered the loss by assassination of President Premadasa, who was killed on 1 May, and opposition party leader Lalith Athulathmudali, who was killed one week earlier. In India, tensions subsided in Punjab but increased dramatically in Kashmir, where separatist militants continued attacks on military and civilian targets. In Pakistan, 16 persons died in bomb blasts in Hyderabad and Latifbad on 24 January. Pakistan and India have exchanged charges that the other side is aiding perpetrators of violent acts. In the border region with Afghanistan, there were assaults on members of UN and nongovernmental organizations. In Afghanistan, none of the warring factions in the titular government has gained control over the territory. An increasing number of reports state that militant groups, many of them “Arab mujahedin” asked by the Pakistani Government to leave Pakistan, are acquiring training and safehaven in Afghanistan.
In East Asia, violence continues in the Philippines, and some Americans were kidnapped, but there were no terrorist attacks by the Communist New Peoples Army against US interests in 1993. In Japan, the Chukaku-ha (Middle Core Faction) reduced its level of attacks, and the Japanese Red Army remained dormant.
Afghanistan is still suffering from internecine battles among the former mujahedin factions. The rampant violence occasionally spills over into attacks on foreigners, particularly in the eastern provinces that border Pakistan. On 23 January, for example, militants attempted to ambush a UN vehicle near Jalalabad, and on 1 February four UN officials were killed when two UN vehicles were ambushed near Jalalabad. Similar violence occurs occasionally on the border of Pakistan where there are large concentrations of Afghan refugees.
Afghanistan’s eastern and northern provinces are sites for mujahedin camps in which Muslim militants from around the world receive paramilitary training. Members of Egyptian, Algerian, and Kashmiri militant organizations have been trained in these camps, as have members of many other Middle Eastern and Asian groups. Beginning in early 1993, Pakistan started to expel Arab militants affiliated with various mujahedin groups and nongovernment aid organizations who were residing in its North-West Frontier Province. Many of these Arabs apparently have crossed into Afghanistan, and Islamabad is still working to control the Arab militants who remain in Pakistan.
India continues to suffer from ethnic, religious, and separatist violence. Terrorism and attacks on police and military targets have been conducted by Kashmiri militants and Sikh extremists, as well as several separatist organizations in northeast India. The level of violence was particularly high in Kashmir, where the militants’ fight against Army and paramilitary forces has been ongoing since late 1989. In Punjab, however, Sikh groups have been decimated by Indian counterinsurgency efforts since mid-1992, and the level of violence has receded significantly. Indian forces have been particularly effective against the Sikh militant leadership, and all major Sikh groups have lost leaders during the past 18 months. The Punjab is not completely quiet. In January, the government foiled a Sikh plot to bomb government buildings during Republic Day celebrations, and, in September, Sikhs killed eight persons in New Delhi in a failed attempt to assassinate the Sikh head of the ruling Congress Party’s youth wing. There are credible reports of support by the Government of Pakistan for Kashmiri militants and some reports of support for Sikh separatists.
No international terrorist groups based outside Japan conducted attacks there during 1993, and domestic extremist groups were less active than in recent years. Chukaku-ha, the most dangerous and active Japanese leftist group, was distracted by internal politics in the spring and is believed to have committed only nine attacks that resulted in minimal damage and no injuries. The group listed “crushing the Tokyo G-7 Summit” as a key 1993 combat objective, but it failed to attack the summit directly, although it launched four homemade rockets that landed in isolated areas of the US Army Base at Zama, outside Tokyo, on the first day of the summit. Other domestic leftist groups were even less active and were responsible for only a few bombings. The Japanese Red Army (JRA) remained dormant. Right-wing groups were responsible for a series of four fire-bombings at Japanese corporate leaders’ homes in February.
On 7 December, a Tokyo District Court sentenced leading JRA member Osamu Maruoka to life imprisonment for his role in hijacking two Japan Airlines flights in 1973 and 1977.
As a result of continued instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s northwest border region continues to witness violence against UN staff personnel, members of nongovernmental organizations, and figures within the Afghan refugee community. On 25 January, a handgrenade was thrown into the residential compound of the Director of Western Nongovernment Organization (NGO). On 4 February, a vehicle attempted to run down a UN employee on a residential street in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province. On 11 March, a grenade attack damaged a UN vehicle traveling on the main road through Peshawar. On 27 December, a prominent Afghan figure associated with moderate politics was murdered in a vehicle ambush on the North-West Frontier Province’s main highway. Throughout the year, poster and media campaigns and intimidation efforts continued against Afghans and foreign NGO workers, threatening death to those who supported, even indirectly, rival Afghan parties. Human rights activists and Afghan intellectuals residing in Pakistan continue to report receiving direct threats. Since spring, Pakistan has moved to identify and expel illegal Arab residents who came to Pakistan to fight with mujahedin organizations or assist Afghan relief groups.
Pakistan also has suffered from violence arising from the country’s endemic ethnic and criminal problems. On 12 January, a bomb exploded in a settlement of Biharis during a resettlement of Biharis from Bangladesh to Pakistan. On 24 January, 16 persons died in bomb blasts in the cities of Hyderabad and Latifbad. Government measures against drug traffickers also occasionally resulted in violence.
The Government of Pakistan acknowledges that it continues to give moral, political, and diplomatic support to Kashmiri militants but denies allegations of other assistance. However, there were credible reports in 1993 of official Pakistani support to Kashmiri militants who undertook attacks of terrorism in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Some support came from private organizations such as the Jamaat-i-lslami. There were also reports of support to Sikh militants engaged in terrorism in northern India.
Pakistan was the site of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. On 6 June, an Iranian oppositionist was shot and killed in Karachi, apparently by Iran’s intelligence service.
The southern Philippines is experiencing a disturbing pattern of violence against foreigners that may presage a trend beyond the familiar pattern of largely criminal activity by splinter insurgent groups. Missionaries and other religious workers have been targets for kidnappers in the south as evidenced by the abductions of several American religious workers in 1992 and 1993. Three Spanish religious workers were also abducted during this same period. Most recently, American Charles Walton was kidnapped in November 1993 by the radical Islamic Abu Sayuf Group (ASG). He was held three weeks before being released on 7 December. The ASG threatened to attack foreign missionaries as well as tourists in the Muslim-dominated areas of Mindanao.
Sectarian violence intensified in Mindanao by yearend when a cathedral and three mosques were attacked. The church bombing, believed to have been perpetrated by Muslim extremists, killed at least six persons and injured more than 150 others and may have been intended to disrupt ongoing peace negotiations between the government and Muslim rebels. Attacks against three local mosques were conducted late at night, and six people sustained minor injuries. On 13 December, Muslim extremists in Buluan, Maguindanao, stopped a bus and executed nine passengers after identifying them as Christians.
There were no terrorist attacks by the Communist New Peoples Army (NPA) against US interests in 1993. The Communist insurgency has dectined dramatically over the past several years because of military losses, declining recruitment, and internal factionalism. The NPA has also been weakened by measures taken by President Ramos to end the 24-year-old insurgency, including the legalization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the release of most imprisoned Communist detainees. The government continues to seek a reconciliation with the Communists and Muslim rebels in the south.
Sri Lanka continues to be the scene of separatist violence by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which seeks to create a separate state called Tamil Eelam in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. In 1993, the LTTE fought several large battles with the Sri Lankan Army in the Tamil majority northern area of the island and in the ethnically mixed eastern region. The LTTE maintains effective control over the north and is seeking to drive Sinhalese and Muslim villagers out of eastern Sri Lanka. LTTE units are well led and equipped. Sri Lanka’s Army chief resigned in December following the Army’s defeat in November at Pooneryn, the biggest battle of the more than 10-year-old insurgency. The LTTE continued to stage suicide attacks against leading Sri Lankan officials. On 1 May, a suicide bomber killed former Sri Lankan President Premadasa and dozens of bystanders in Colombo. Opposition party leader Athulathmudali was assassinated the week before by an unidentified lone gunman who may have been an LTTE member. Athulathmudali had been Sri Lanka’s most senior security official and a ruthless opponent of the LTTE. Some years before, when still a member of the ruling party, he served as Minister of Defense.
International terrorism in Europe increased in 1993, primarily because of attacks by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Turkish targets throughout Western Europe. No Americans died in any attacks during the year, although one American was kidnapped and eventually released by the PKK in Turkey. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and Loyalist paramilitaries continued their violent activity in the United Kingdom, mostly against domestic targets in Northern Ireland. In Spain, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) continued its attacks as well. Elsewhere, leftwing groups such as Germany’s Red Army Faction (RAF) and Italy’s Red Brigades showed renewed signs of activity; the RAF undertook its first terrorist operation in two years.
Anarchist and skinhead groups in Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland and the Czech Republic, have engaged in violent demonstrations and clashes but have not engaged in acts of terrorism. In December, Polish anarchists held pro-PKK demonstrations at the German Consulate in Krakow. Antiforeigner violence by skinheads continues to be a problem in most East European countries.
On 9 November, the French Government responded to the killing of two French citizens and the kidnapping of three French Consular officers in Algeria by ordering the roundup of suspected Algerian Muslim extremists. In addition, in reaction to PKK activities in France, on 18 November police throughout France rounded up more than 100 alleged PKK members, including the suspected leader and deputy of the group in France; 24 of those arrested have been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism. On 30 November, the French Cabinet voted to ban two groups—the Kurdistan Committee and the Federation of Kurdistan Cultural Associations and Patriotic Workers—which were front organizations for the PKK. On 9 December, French police rounded up a number of Tunisian Islamic extremists, including Saleh Karkar, a founder of Tunisia’s banned An-Nahda Party. Despite an extradition request from Switzerland, on 30 December, France released two Iranian suspects in the assassination of an Iranian opposition leader in Geneva in 1990. The French Government explained its action by stating that it took this step in pursuit of French national interest. Finally, the two suspects accused of murdering former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar remain in prison awaiting trial in 1994.
The radical leftist German Red Army Faction (RAF) undertook its first terrorist operation in two years by blowing up an empty prison complex with at least 400 pounds of explosives on 27 March. On 27 June, German police arrested RAF commando-level member Birgit Hogefeld. RAF terrorist Wolfgang Grams died during the operation. Three separate German commissions refuted charges that the police had “executed” Grams, judging instead that he had committed suicide. Following the decline of Communism, the group has turned its attention to domestic issues and has said its primary targets will be the German justice system and officials involved in German and European unification. The RAF has not attacked US interests since strafing the US Embassy in February 1991.
German rightwing extremists were somewhat less active than in 1992 but continued to pose a threat to foreigners. In October, neo-Nazi hooligans attacked US Olympic athletes at a bar in Oberhof in eastern Germany. Two perpetrators were convicted for their roles in the incident. German authorities have cracked down on rightwing groups, banning six and monitoring many others. Two arsonists responsible for the deaths of three Turks received maximum sentences.
German authorities returned Hizballah member Abbas Ali Hammadi to Lebanon on 6 August in accordance with the German penal practice of releasing and deporting foreign convicts after they have served half their sentence. Abbas Hammadi was given a 13-year sentence for plotting to kidnap two West Germans in the hope of forcing the release of his brother, Mohammed Hammadi, who is serving a life sentence in Germany for hijacking and for murdering US Navy diver Robert Stethem.
German authorities responded to a violent wave of PKK attacks on 4 November by searching Kurdish offices and residences and confiscating PKK material. The government also banned the PKK and 35 associated Kurdish organizations on 26 November.
The new socialist government, which was elected in October, asked Parliament to strike down the so-called antiterrorism law passed by the previous conservative government in 1990. The Parliament repealed the law in December. The law had broadened police powers to wiretap, open mail, and freeze and confiscate assets; allowed authorities to hold suspects without specifying charges if disclosure would harm an investigation; and provided for jail terms and fines for publishing terrorist communiques. The trial of suspected terrorist Georgios Balafas, who was arrested in December 1992 and charged with maintaining a safehouse with explosives, had been scheduled for November but was postponed by the new government.
The Greek Revolutionary Organization 17 November did not target US interests this year or the previous year, but it remains a threat to US citizens.
Italian leftists claiming ties to the “Red Brigades for the Construction of the Combatant Communist Party” appeared to be attempting to revive the Red Brigades terrorist group. On 2 September, three individuals in a stolen car fired seven shots, and one of them threw a grenade at the US Airbase in Aviano; there were no injuries. Aviano is the staging base for US aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone over Bosnia. Callers saying they represented the Red Brigades phoned three Italian newspapers on 4 September to claim responsibility for the attack. In late October, Italian police arrested nine individuals connected with the attack, including the three who were directly involved. Police have identified two of those three as Red Brigades members. The Red Brigades had not conducted an attack since 1988 and had been largely inactive since Italian and French police arrested many of the group’s members in 1989.
Red Brigades founder Renato Curcio, who had been in jail since 1976, was allowed to enter a work release program in April.
Spanish and French authorities continued to arrest key members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA). Among those apprehended this year were the group’s main gunsmith and the suspected leader of ETA’S Barcelona cell, who was Spain’s most wanted terrorist. French police also uncovered an underground arms workshop and firing range belonging to the group.
Despite these losses, ETA continued to attack Spanish security officials and Spanish and French commercial interests throughout the year. The most spectacular of these attacks were two car bombs in Madrid on 21 June that killed seven persons and injured 22 others, and two car bombs in Barcelona on 29 October. During the summer, ETA set off several smaller bombs at resort hotels along the Costa del Sol and at four locations in Barcelona, including a building that had been part of the Olympic Village.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which continues to lead a growing insurgency, posed the dominant terrorist threat in Turkey. Ending a unilateral cease-fire in May, the group began a terrorist campaign against the Turkish tourism industry, as well as attacks against Turkish security forces—including the massacre of 30 unarmed recruits. The PKK bombed hotels, restaurants, and tourist sites and planted grenades on Mediterranean beaches. In an effort to generate publicity, the PKK kidnapped 19 Western tourists, including one American, traveling in eastern Turkey; all were released unharmed.
The PKK staged two waves of attacks on dozens of Turkish diplomatic and commercial facilities in several European countries last year. The first round on 24 June consisted mostly of vandalism and demonstrations. They occupied the Turkish Consulate in Munich for a day, and Turkish Embassy officials killed a Kurdish demonstrator, who was storming the Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. On 4 November, the PKK firebombed many of its targets, killing a Turkish man in Wiesbaden, Germany. After the November attacks, police officials in Germany swept through Kurdish offices and apartments, confiscating PKK-related materials, while French police arrested more than 20 Kurds, including the two alleged PKK leaders in France. The German Interior Minister banned the PKK and 35 associated organizations on 26 November, and France banned the PKK and the Kurdistan Committee on 29 November.
The leftist terrorist group Dev Sol is still recuperating from severe factionalism and extensive Turkish police operations against it. During the past two years, the Turkish National Police has hammered at the group, killing a number of operatives, arresting dozens more, and eliminating safehouses and weapons caches. In the winter of 1992, a faction of Dev Sol members broke away from the main group, protesting a lack of leadership, financial mismanagement, and apparent security breaches. The original group is slowly establishing dominance over the breakaway faction in Turkey and in Europe. Despite the turmoil, the group assassinated several Turkish officials earlier in the fall, and it continues to target American interests.
Sectarian violence accounted for the vast majority of terrorism in the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) in 1993, and Loyalist paramilitaries again caused more deaths than the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). PIRA nonetheless remains the most active and lethal terrorist group in Western Europe. In March, it exploded two bombs at midday in a crowded shopping district in Warrington, killing two children. In April, the group detonated its largest bomb ever—a truck bomb with approximately 1 ton of explosives in the heart of London’s financial district. The blast killed a reporter, injured more than 40 people, and resulted in damage estimated between $450 million and $1.5 billion. PIRA also conducted several bombings in Belfast that prompted revenge attacks by Loyalist paramilitaries. Altogether, Republican and Loyalist attacks in Northern Ireland resulted in 84 deaths. Continued violence during a period when PIRA was discussing the possibility of peace talks with the British Government suggests the group may be divided on the issue. The joint declaration issued in December by the British and Irish Prime Ministers offered constitutional parties and Sinn Fein, the political wing of PIRA, a part in negotiations in exchange for a permanent end to terrorist activities.
Ethnic conflict and endemic violence continued to plague many parts of the former Yugoslavia. Within this context, it was often difficult to separate terrorism from other forms of violence. Nevertheless, small-scale terrorism by unidentified attackers continues to pose a threat to foreign interests in the former Yugoslavia. In March, a grenade was thrown at the US Embassy in Belgrade, and a similar attack was made on the Bulgarian Embassy in June. Several Serb leaders, including Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, and paramilitary leader Vojislav Seselj, have made numerous public threats to conduct terrorism against Western interests if the West intervenes in the war in Bosnia. Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic warned in June that Bosnians living in Europe were likely to resort to terrorism if the West did not come to Bosnia’s aid, and outside terrorist groups are reportedly providing support to the Bosnian Muslims. In August, Croatian authorities confiscated weapons, explosives, and false documents from a “terrorist” network that had been aiding Bosnia. Hizballah and Iran have provided training to the Bosnian Muslim army.
Former Soviet Union
Separatist and internal power struggles have spawned domestic violence and could lead to acts of international terrorism. Domestic terrorism is common in the Trans-Caucasus and the North Caucasus region of Russia. In August, for example, unknown assassins in the North Caucasus killed Russian Special Envoy Polyanichko. Russian extremist groups have threatened to use terrorism against the government of President Boris Yel’tsin. In September, the Union of Soviet Stalinists threatened to assassinate members of the Stanislav Terekhov—charged with attacking the CIS military headquarters—was released by the police. There were many hijackings within the former Soviet Union, some with international repercussions. In February, a flight from Perm was hijacked to Tallinn and then Stockholm, where Swedish officials succeeded in getting the hijackers to surrender. In September, Iranian dissidents hijacked an Aeroflot Baku-to-Perm flight. Ukrainian authorities refueled the plane, provided it with a navigator, and allowed it to continue to Norway.
Latin American Overview
Latin America continued to have one of the highest levels of international terrorist activity of any region in the world, but the rate has declined by over 30 percent since 1992. Government counterterrorism successes in Peru and Chile and continued disaffection with militant leftist ideologies throughout the region account, in part, for the lower numbers. Even so, the bombing of the US Embassy in Peru in July and of two American fast-food franchises in Chile in September—as well as continued anti-Western terrorism in other Latin American countries—are reminders that US personnel and facilities in the region remain vulnerable.
As in previous years, most terrorist attacks in Latin America were directed against domestic targets: government institutions and personnel, economic infrastructure, and security forces. The violence claimed several international victims, however, and the tendency for guerrilla groups to turn increasingly to crime has led to an abundance of kidnappings-for-profit throughout the region. Many of the targets of such schemes have been wealthy businessmen or diplomats. In Colombia, a German businessman was killed in a botched kidnap attempt in September, and the body of an Italian honorary consul, kidnapped in the summer, was found in November.
Violence continues to be most disruptive in Peru and Colombia, where guerrillas and narcotraffickers are often linked. Counternarcotics operations in countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru risk coming under fire as subversive groups seek to protect the revenue netted from their narcotics operations. In addition, US and other foreign companies involved in exploring and developing Latin America’s natural resources have often been targeted for attack. Foreign-owned oil pipelines in Colombia again were targeted this year. Terrorist attacks against foreign religious missions and aid workers also continue to be a problem; churches were bombed in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru, and three missionaries were kidnapped in Panama.
In May, Nicaraguan authorities uncovered a large arms cache belonging to a faction of El Salvador’s Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) guerrillas in an auto repair shop in Managua. The cache contained ammunition and several types of weapons—including surface-to-air missiles—and documents, some of which pertained to an international kidnapping ring operated by leftists in the 1980s. The investigation revealed that the Managua repair shop was owned by a Spaniard—who is still at large—with connections to Spain’s ETA terrorist group. The Nicaraguan Government invited Interpol and eight interested countries, including the United States, to form an international commission to share information on the case. Individuals connected to the current Nicaraguan Government are not known to be involved in or aware of the arms caches or related terrorist activities.
Terrorist organizations in Chile were seriously eroded over the past year as a result of government counterterrorism successes and the continued strength of its democratic institutions. Some old-line leftwing groups remain active, but the number of attacks dropped dramatically this year, and many of these represented criminal efforts by rogue elements to stay afloat financially. Chilean terrorists planted bombs at several Mormon churches, two McDonald’s restaurants, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. The Dissident Faction of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR/D) and the Lautaro Youth Movement (MJL) may have been responsible for these, as well as the vast majority of domestic terrorist attacks in the past year. The 20th anniversary of the military coup that toppled President Allende in 1973 sparked some terrorist violence in mid-September; 11 bombings in a two-day period injured 55 Chileans.
The Chilean Government arrested dozens of members of the remaining terrorist organizations in 1993. Various elements of the Lautaro group were captured, including Delfin Diaz Quezada, the organization’s second in command; the group’s logistic chief; and the number-two commander of Lautaro’s elite squad, the Lautaro Rebel Forces. Chilean police were also successful in their fight against the FPMR/D in 1993, capturing its military chief, Mauricio Hernandez Norambuena. Norambuena is believed to be behind several anti-US attacks in 1990 and 1991, which seriously injured an American diplomat and included a LAW rocket assault against the Marine Guard Detachment.
In November, a verdict was rendered in one of the country’s most contentious and longstanding terrorism cases. The intelligence officers accused of ordering the assassination of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and his aide Ronni Moffitt in Washington in 1976 were found guilty. Gen. Manuel Contreras and Col. Pedro Espinoza were sentenced to seven and six years in prison, respectively, although both are appealing the case to the Chilean Supreme Court.
Colombia continued to be one of the most violent countries in the region in 1993, with numerous bombings against civilian targets attributed to insurgent and drug-related terrorism. Insurgents continued to attack foreign-owned oil pipelines on a regular basis, raising the number of international terrorist incidents in Colombia significantly above those of its neighbors.
Colombia’s two major insurgent groups continued to demonstrate their capacity for violence. In the fall, the Army of National Liberation (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) waged a month long offensive they dubbed Black September against government targets, including ambushes on security forces in the countryside and stepped-up attacks on government targets in Bogota. Shopping centers, buses, and tourist hotels were targeted by guerrillas and narcotraffickers, sustaining the threat that foreigners could be injured in a bomb blast. Colombian guerrillas conducted cross-border attacks and kidnappings into neighboring countries.
The 17-month hunt for Medellin narcotics kingpin Pablo Escobar ended with his death on 2 December in a shootout with a unit of the Government of Colombia’s Special Security Task Force.
The fate of three US missionaries kidnapped in March remains unknown. They were taken from their New Tribes Mission (NTM) camp near the Colombian border in Panama, but officials have speculated that the captors may have been Colombian. The kidnappers originally demanded a $5 million ransom but have since reduced the amount. A message recorded during the Christmas holidays included all three men and satisfied NTM that they are alive.
A group calling itself Puka Inti, an indigenous term meaning Red Sun, gained attention in Ecuador by bombing several government buildings over the past year. Formed largely from dissident members of the defunct Ecuadorian AVC guerrilla organization, Puka Inti probably has fewer than 100 members, and there is no evidence of public support for the group. Puka Inti was responsible for scattered minor bombings in 1993. Ecuador had been nearly free from terrorist acts during the past two years.
Peru’s two insurgent groups, the Maoist Sendero Luminoso (SL) and the smaller, Marxist, Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) suffered setbacks in the face of ongoing government counterterrorism operations.
SL—badly stung by continued government successes against it—retains a much larger number of committed combatants than MRTA and is more difficult to dismantle. The group was caught off guard in the fall when the Peruvian Government publicized three letters written by imprisoned SL leader Abimael Guzman requesting peace talks. Guzman read the letters aloud in videotapes shown on national television. Guzman’s hyperbolic praise for the Fujimori government in the second letter raised doubts about his intentions, and the videos did not halt the violence.
SL was disrupted but not dismantled by the setbacks in 1993 and continues to wage easy-to-plan attacks on vulnerable targets, including businesses and the tourist industry. Indeed, terrorist attacks in Lima proliferated during the year, as SL’s damaged military capabilities led it to focus on less-wellprotected civilian targets. In May, SL bombed the Chilean Embassy to protest talks between Santiago and Lima designed to resolve a border dispute; no one was injured. Two Swiss tourists were tortured and killed in early July. Also in July, the group set off a large car bomb in front of the US Embassy on the eve of Peruvian Independence Day celebrations. An Embassy guard was injured by shrapnel, and the building suffered considerable damage. In November, presumed SL terrorists tossed a satchel bomb in front of the US-Peruvian Binational Center, breaking several windows but causing no injuries.
Attacks by SL in 1993 were plentiful but much less lethal than in previous years and appeared to require fewer skilled operatives and less coordination. The group continued to lash out violently to show that neither Guzman’s arrest nor his “peace” letters have deterred them.
The government was more successful against MRTA, which was crippled by arrests, defections, and in-fighting. In mid-November, MRTA bombed an appliance store belonging to a Japanese-Peruvian entrepreneur the group had kidnapped earlier in the year. Some dedicated members of MRTA remain at large and are likely to continue trying to demonstrate the group’s viability. The organization’s actions over the past year, however, reinforced the view that it is nearly defunct.
Middle Eastern Overview
In 1993, about 100 international terrorist attacks occurred in the Middle East, up from 79 in 1992. The increase is a result of Iraqi attacks against UN and other humanitarian efforts in northern Iraq and escalated terrorist activity in Egypt. Ongoing, low-level attacks in Lebanon continued, along with violence generated by opposition to the Declaration of Principles (DOP) reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Iran’s involvement in and sponsorship of terrorist activity continued to pose significant threats in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Tehran continued to hunt down and murder Iranian dissidents, with assassinations in Turkey, Italy, and Pakistan. Iranian involvement is also suspected in the murder of secular Turkish journalist Ugur Mumcu and the attempted murder of Istanbul Jewish businessman Jak Kamhi. Hizballah, with which Iran is closely associated, was responsible for rocket attacks into northern Israel that killed and injured civilians. The Iranian Government called for violence to derail the DOP and supported violence by several rejectionist groups. Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia have accused Iran—and Sudan—of supporting local militant lslamist elements to undermine their governments. Iran also seeks to expand its influence in Latin America and Africa.
Iraq’s capability to support international terrorism remains hampered by continued sanctions and the regime’s international isolation, but Baghdad retains a limited capability to mount external operations, principally in neighboring countries. The prime example of this capability was the attempted assassination in Kuwait of former President Bush in April, which drew a retaliatory military response from the United States on 26 June. Baghdad also mounted numerous terrorist operations within Iraq against UN and other humanitarian relief operations. Moreover, Iraq continued to provide its traditional support and safehaven to terrorist Palestinians such as Abu Abbas and elements of the Abu Nidal organization (ANO).
There has been no direct evidence of Syrian Government involvement in terrorist acts since 1986, but Damascus continues to provide support and safehaven to Arab and non-Arab terrorist organizations in Syria and in parts of Lebanon where the Syrian Army is deployed. Syria’s relationship with the PKK came under increasing scrutiny in 1993.
In response to ongoing Libyan defiance of the demands of the international community to cease all support for international terrorism, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 883, which imposed additional sanctions for refusing to hand over for trial terrorists accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772. The Qaddafi regime has made partial and largely cosmetic moves to close some terrorist facilities since the initial imposition of sanctions, but it still provides support and safehaven to such notorious terrorists as Abu Nidal. Although the case is still unresolved, most observers suspect an official Libyan hand in the December disappearance of Libyan dissident Mansour Kikhia from Cairo.
Domestic terrorism in Egypt continued to escalate during the year. The number of radical Islamic groups appeared to increase, and they continued their attacks against Egyptian security and civilian officials, local Christians, and tourist targets. Unsuccessful assassination attempts were made against the Minister of Information, the Minister of the Interior, and the Prime Minister. Indiscriminate bombings in Cairo from February through July killed 22 Egyptians and wounded over 100 others. Among the most serious tourists incidents was a December incident in which eight Austrian tourists and eight Egyptians were wounded when their bus was attacked in Old Cairo. American citizens were victims of other attacks: on 26 February, two Americans were among the injured when unknown perpetrators bombed Cairo’s Wadi al-Nil cafe. The Egyptian Government has maintained that Iran and Sudan provided support to the organizations responsible for most of the attacks.
In North Africa, Tunisia and Morocco remained generally free of political violence. In Algeria, however, the situation continued to deteriorate as radical elements, most thought to be associated with the Armed Islamic Group, expanded their range of targets from security officials to secular intellectuals and, beginning in September, foreigners. The worst attack occurred in December when 12 Croatian and Bosnian expatriates died after having their throats slit at their work compound in Tamezquida.
After the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian DOP in September, proaccord elements of the PLO, including Fatah, appeared to cease all anti-Israeli operations except in one unauthorized incident. Rejectionist Palestinian groups, however, sought to derail the agreement with violence and terrorism. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Forces arm of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have led the violent opposition to the peace efforts, with civilians serving as frequent targets. HAMAS also added suicide car bombs to its arsenal. Jewish extremist settlers opposed to the DOP mounted several violent attacks during the year.
In Yemen, there were several attacks by unknown assailants on foreign interests. A small rocket hit the US Embassy in January, and a bomb exploded outside the British Embassy in March. Several foreigners were kidnapped by tribal elements during the year, prompted by economic or tribal motivations. Six members of the Yemeni Islamic Jihad, who were awaiting trial for the bombing of two hotels in Aden in 1992, escaped from prison in July. Several reports noted that private Islamic sources were financing the training of radicals in camps in remote areas of Yemen.
The security situation in Algeria continued to deteriorate with a marked increase in attacks by Islamist extremists against the Algerian intelligentsia, economic and infrastructure targets, and foreigners. Extremists continued to focus most of their violent campaign on official Algerian and military targets throughout the year. The fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), which was banned in March 1992, reemerged as an underground movement but splintered into several factions. The official FIS leadership remains imprisoned in Algeria, and several other leaders went into exile following the regime crackdown on the movement. FIS factions abroad and within the country appear to be competing for influence over the movement. In addition, militant offshoots of the FIS and other extremist groups operate throughout Algeria, confusing responsibility for each attack.
By the fall, a few loosely organized militant factions had emerged, including the Armed Islamic Group (AIG), which is not affiliated with the FIS. The AIG claimed responsibility for killing two French surveyors in September and for the late October kidnapping of three French Consulate employees, two of whom were rescued by Algerian security services and one of whom was released by her captors on 31 October. The kidnappers warned foreigners that they had one month to leave the country. In early December, the campaign against foreigners resumed with attacks on a Spaniard, an Italian, a Russian, a Frenchmen, and a Briton. In the most heinous terrorist act in Algeria during the year, 12 Croatian and Bosnian workers were murdered in Tamezquida on 14 December.
Despite strict antiterrorist laws, three special antiterrorist courts, and 26 executions of convicted “terrorists,” the government was unable to stem the violence. Nearly 400 death sentences were issued last year, and the military conducted sweeps of urban areas, deployed military units in Algiers, and extended curfews beyond urban areas, but, by the end of the year, extremist groups continued their attacks on official and infrastructure targets throughout the country.
Islamic extremists continued to target the tourist industry, particularly in upper Egypt, throughout the year. Two foreigners were killed, and more than 18 others were injured in sporadic bombings of public places and attacks on tour buses. Four more foreigners were killed by a lone, apparently deranged gunman in a shooting at a Cairo hotel in October. Indiscriminate bombings from February through July were responsible for the deaths of 22 Egyptian civilians and the wounding of over 100 others. Most of the attacks on or near tour buses and Nile cruise ships resulted in few injuries and little damage. Nonetheless, Egypt’s tourism industry suffered; figures estimate Cairo’s earnings have dropped as much as 50 percent since attacks against tourist sites began in October 1992.
Most attacks were focused on government and security officials, the police, and Egyptian secularist Muslims. The Islamic Group (IG), which seeks the violent overthrow of the Egyptian Government, claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks. Shaykh Umar Abd al Rahman, the so-called spiritual leader of the IG, was arrested in the United States on charges related to the conspiracy to attack various New York City institutions including the United Nations. IG members in Egypt threatened Americans there and abroad if their leader were harmed.
Another group or faction of extremists emerged in 1993, sometimes calling itself the New Jihad. This group claimed responsibility for some high profile attacks, including the attempted assassination of the Interior Minister in August and the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sedky in November.
The Egyptian Government responded to increased domestic terrorism by detaining or arresting thousands of suspected terrorists and using military courts to try hundreds of them, convicting some and acquitting others. Some of the convicted received death sentences that were carried out.
In addition, Cairo called for more international coordination to combat terrorism and asked for the expulsion of many suspected Egyptian terrorists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Gulf states, and some European countries, among others. Cairo also asked for the extradition of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman from the United States. The Egyptian Government believes Iran and Sudan support terrorism in Egypt. Cairo criticized Tehran for its role and expressed concern over alleged terrorist training bases in Sudan.
In March, Cairo handed over Egyptian citizen Mahmoud Abu Halima, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing, to US officials. Cairo continued to attempt to mediate international efforts to bring Libya into compliance with UN Security Council resolutions stemming from Libya’s role in the Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772 bombings.
Israel and the Occupied Territories
Violence and terrorist acts instigated by Palestinians continued in 1993. Attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in Israel and the occupied territories left approximately 65 Israelis dead and 390 others wounded. Approximately 14 Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians.
Intra-Palestinian violence in the occupied territories declined during the year; approximately 83 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians as compared to nearly 200 in 1992. The decline is largely the result of a tacit cease-fire between the previous year’s primary combatants, Fatah and HAMAS, and a decline in killings of alleged collaborators. Several prominent Fatah leaders in Gaza were assassinated late in the year, apparently by fellow Palestinians.
Before the 13 September signing of the Israeli-Palestinian DOP, Arafat’s Fatah faction of the PLO, HAMAS, and the PIJ claimed responsibility for the majority of terrorist and violent actions. On 9 September, in letters to Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Norwegian Foreign Minister Holst, PLO Chairman Arafat committed the PLO to cease all violence and terrorism. Between 9 September and 31 December, PLO factions loyal to Arafat complied with this commitment except for one, possibly two, instances. Members of Fatah were responsible for the 29 October murder of an Israeli settler, and an alleged member of the Fatah Hawks, a PLO-affiliated group in the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for the 31 December murder of two Israelis. In both cases, the responsible individuals apparently acted independently.
The level of violence in Israel and the occupied territories initially declined following the signing of the DOP; however, opposition groups determined to defeat the agreement contributed to an increase in the number of violent incidents and terrorist attacks over the last three months of the year. Since the DOP was signed, Palestinian attacks have resulted in the deaths of approximately 17 Israelis—10 civilians and 7 military personnel. Two groups under the PLO umbrella, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) Hawatmeh faction suspended their participation in the PLO to protest the agreement, and they continued their campaign of violence. The PFLP claimed responsibility for the mid-October murder of two Israeli hikers and also for a failed seaborne raid on northern Israel.
Non-PLO groups that oppose the DOP, such as HAMAS and the PIJ, have been responsible for the majority of violent incidents since 13 September. HAMAS’s underground armed wing, known as the Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades, increased its violent operations in an attempt to disrupt implementation of the DOP. HAMAS has claimed at least 13 post-agreement attacks, including several directed at civilians. The group mounted several suicide car-bomb attacks in late 1993, including the 4 October ramming of an explosives-laden vehicle into an Israeli bus that wounded 30 persons.
Israel conducted no significant prosecutions of international terrorists during the year; however, it authorized the extradition to the United States of two US citizens wanted for terrorist activities. Israeli security forces killed two senior members of the Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades in late November. On 31 March, the Israeli Government, responding to a string of terrorist attacks, instituted a strict ban on Palestinian entry into Israel, which effectively curtailed Palestinian attacks in Israel proper. The ban was gradually eased to allow 52,000 Palestinians to work in Israel. Israel allowed nearly 400 HAMAS supporters that were expelled to Lebanon in December 1992 to return to the occupied territories in 1993. Half of the deportees returned in September, and the remainder—with the exception of 18 who decided to remain in Lebanon to avoid arrest—returned in December.
As a result of intensive border security by Israeli, Egyptian, and Jordanian forces, only one successful infiltration attempt into Israel occurred in 1993. On 29 December, three members believed to be of the non-PLO Abu Musa group infiltrated northern Israel from Lebanon. The three were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces; no Israelis were hurt or killed. Rocket attacks into northern Israel from southern Lebanon, however, increased dramatically in the first half of the year. Israel responded by launching a major air and artillery offensive—which it termed “Operation Accountability “against Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian rejectionist positions in Lebanon. There were no more rocket attacks from Lebanon into Israel for the rest of the year.
Jewish extremist groups mounted several violent attacks in 1993. Kahane Chai reacted to Arafat’s official visit to Paris by exploding two bombs near the French Embassy in Tel Aviv on 24 October; no one was injured. Kahane Chai also threatened to attack other French interests in the region. A settler, affiliated with the militant Kach group, claimed responsibility for an 8 November drive-by shooting that wounded two Palestinians in the West Bank. Israeli settlers opposed to the DOP rioted after the murder of Israeli settler Haim Mizrahi by randomly assaulting Palestinians and destroying property. One Palestinian was killed, and 18 others were wounded.
In February, Jordanian border police arrested two men, allegedly members of the PIJ, who were smuggling weapons into Jordan. The suspects said they were ordered to attack Americans on organized bus tours. In April, Jordanian security forces uncovered an alleged plot to assassinate King Hussein at a military academy graduation ceremony in June. The suspects, all members of the outlawed Islamic Liberation Party, were put on trial. In November, three gunmen with reported links to the New York-based Egyptian cleric Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman attacked a Jordanian Army outpost near the West Bank border. All three assailants were killed.
Jordanian security and police closely monitor secular and Islamic extremists inside the country and detain individuals suspected of involvement in violent acts aimed at destabilizing the government or undermining its relations with neighboring states. Jordan maintains tight security along its border with Israel and last year interdicted several armed infiltration operations attributed to Palestinian factions.
Jordan continues to host PLO rejectionist groups such as the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine. HAMAS also has an office in Amman. In addition, some extremist Palestinian groups with a history of anti-Western terrorist activity—including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), and some factions of the PIJ—maintain a presence in Jordan.
The Iraqi plot to assassinate former President Bush and to explode several bombs in Kuwait City in April was one of the year’s most brazen attempts at terrorism. Eleven Iraqis and three Kuwaitis are on trial for the plot. They smuggled into Kuwait two vehicles, one loaded with 180 pounds of explosives, and a collection of time bombs, grenades, and pistols. The sophisticated remote-controlled firing device, as well as the blasting cap, wiring, and integrated circuitry of the car bomb matched devices that were already linked to Iraq. Kuwaiti authorities have identified some of the Iraqi suspects as employees of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
Several minor terrorist incidents occurred in Kuwait last year, separate from the Iraqi plot. In March, a series of bombs exploded in music and video shops, one of which exploded near the Holiday Inn. Although no arrests or claims of responsibility were made for the attacks, local radical Muslim extremists have been blamed.
In June, a Kuwaiti court sentenced to death 10 members of the Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian terrorist group based in Baghdad, for their collaboration with Iraq during the occupation of Kuwait.
The security situation in Lebanon has improved, and the Lebanese Government exercises authority over significant areas of the country. The Syrian military controls some areas, particularly in the Bekaa Valley along the border with Syria, and Israel occupies a self-declared security zone in the south. In the Bekaa Valley, parts of the south, and a few other areas of the country, however, terrorist groups continue to move about freely—notably Iranian-backed Hizballah. The Lebanese Government has not taken steps to disarm Hizballah or to expand its authority into areas of southern Lebanon controlled by the group; however, it deployed a small unit of the Lebanese Armed Forces into the region. Hizballah released the last of the Western hostages it held in 1992; it still holds many South Lebanese Army members that were taken prisoner during fighting in the south. The fate of several Israeli military personnel missing in Lebanon remains unknown.
Hizballah and Palestinian groups have launched attacks on northern Israel from southern Lebanon. Hizballah launched rockets into Israel throughout the year, reaching a crescendo with dozens of rockets launched daily at the end of July. Four Israeli civilians were killed in two of the attacks in July and August. The Israeli military responded with a major counterattack in southern Lebanon dubbed Operation Accountability.
There are still diverse elements in Lebanon willing to resort to terrorism. In January, a man with explosives strapped to his waist and several sticks of dynamite in his luggage was arrested as he was about to board a Middle East Airlines flight to Cyprus. In February, a bomb was placed in front of the Kuwait Airways office, and a bomb was thrown into the Kuwaiti Embassy compound the following month. Two bombs were discovered in June near the Danish Embassy in Beirut. The same month, two members of the radical Sunni “Islamic Grouping” were killed, and another was wounded while attempting to plant a bomb near a monastery in northern Lebanon. The intended target was a bus carrying Christians attending an international ecumenical conference. The government is prosecuting five members of the group. In August, a bomb was discovered near a building that houses Kuwait Airways. Iraqi agents or their surrogates were probably responsible for all three of the attempted bombings of Kuwaiti interests in Lebanon. In December, Kataiv (Phalange) Party headquarters in Beirut was blown up, killing several people. Factional feuding among Palestinians led to several assassinations of Palestinian leaders in Lebanon.
Iran, Iraq, and Syria continued to provide varying degrees of financial, military, and logistic support to terrorist groups based in Lebanon. Syria, in particular, maintains a considerable influence over Lebanese internal affairs and has not supported Lebanese Government attempts to control the radical Shia group, Hizballah. Hizballah, which now has eight members in Parliament, has been allowed to retain its well-armed militia and terrorist capabilities. In addition, several radical Palestinian groups have training facilities in Lebanon, including the PFLP-GC, the PIJ, and the ANO. Several non-Arab groups—such as Turkey’s PKK, the Revolutionary Left (Dev Sol), and the Japanese Red Army (JRA)—also maintain facilities in Lebanon, most of which are in the Bekaa Valley.
The Lebanese Government has taken only minimal steps toward prosecuting terrorists responsible for the wave of hijackings, bombings, and abductions that swept through Lebanon during its civil war. During the last year, a military court sentenced one man to death, but later reduced the sentence to 10 years with hard labor, for car-bombing the American University in Beirut in 1991.
No terrorist attacks or prosecutions related to terrorism occurred in Saudi Arabia in 1993. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca—the hajj—passed relatively peacefully. Nonetheless, the government continues to be concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks sponsored by Iraq, Iran, or Muslim extremists from other countries.
Some private Saudi citizens probably provide private funds to HAMAS and other radical Palestinian groups throughout the region, as well as to extremist elements in Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Saudi benefactors also sponsor paramilitary training for radical Muslims from many countries in camps in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Sudan.
There were several attacks on foreign interests in Yemen by unknown assailants in 1993. In January, a small rocket narrowly missed the US Embassy, and, in March, a small bomb exploded outside the British Embassy but did no damage. Perpetrators of similar attacks on the US and German Embassies in late 1992 and 1993 have not been apprehended.
It became relatively common practice for Yemeni tribal members to take hostages briefly, including several foreigners, to settle tribal disputes or extort funds. Two foreigners were abducted in separate incidents in January in tribal disputes with Yemeni authorities. In April, six foreign oil workers were kidnapped and threatened with death to force a French oil company to hire more locals at a drilling site. In May, two US oil men were abducted to prevent the government from carrying out a death sentence imposed on a fellow tribesman. In November, a US diplomat was seized by gunmen and held hostage by tribal leaders seeking several concessions from the government.
Six religious extremists, members of the Yemeni Islamic Jihad awaiting trial for bombing two hotels in Aden at the end of 1992, escaped from prison in July. Paramilitary training is reportedly being conducted in parts of Yemen under weak government control and funded in large part by private donations gathered from other parts of the Islamic world.