Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs
Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961-2003: A Brief Chronology
First U.S. Aircraft Hijacked, May 1, 1961: Puerto Rican born Antuilo Ramierez Ortiz forced at gunpoint a National Airlines plane to fly to Havana, Cuba, where he was given asylum.
Ambassador to Guatemala Assassinated, August 28, 1968: U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein was murdered by a rebel faction when gunmen forced his official car off the road in Guatemala City and raked the vehicle with gunfire.
Ambassador to Japan Attacked, July 30, 1969: U.S. Ambassador to Japan A.H. Meyer was attacked by a knife-wielding Japanese citizen.
Ambassador to Brazil Kidnapped, September 3, 1969: U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Charles Burke Elbrick was kidnapped by the Marxist revolutionary group MR-8.
Attack on the Munich Airport, February 10, 1970: Three terrorists attacked El Al passengers in a bus at the Munich Airport with guns and grenades. One passenger was killed and 11 were injured. All three terrorists were captured by airport police. The Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.
U.S. Agency for International Development Adviser Kidnapped, July 31, 1970: In Montevideo, Uruguay, the Tupamaros terrorist group kidnapped AID Police adviser Dan Mitrione; his body was found on August 10.
"Bloody Friday," July 21, 1972: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attacks killed eleven people and injure 130 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ten days later, three IRA car bomb attacks in the village of Claudy left six dead.
Munich Olympic Massacre, September 5, 1972: Eight Palestinian "Black September" terrorists seized eleven Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village in Munich, West Germany. In a bungled rescue attempt by West German authorities, nine of the hostages and five terrorists were killed.
Ambassador to Sudan Assassinated, March 2, 1973: U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo A. Noel and other diplomats were assassinated at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum by members of the Black September organization.
Consul General in Mexico Kidnapped, May 4, 1973: U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara Terrence Leonhardy was kidnapped by members of the People’s Revolutionary Armed Forces.
Attack and Hijacking at the Rome Airport, December 17, 1973: Five terrorists pulled weapons from their luggage in the terminal lounge at the Rome airport, killing two persons. They then attacked a Pan American 707 bound for Beirut and Tehran, destroying it with incendiary grenades and killing 29 persons, including 4 senior Moroccan officials and 14 American employees of ARAMCO. They then herded 5 Italian hostages into a Lufthansa airliner and killed an Italian customs agent as he tried to escape, after which they forced the pilot to fly to Beirut. After Lebanese authorities refused to let the plane land, it landed in Athens, where the terrorists demanded the release of 2 Arab terrorists. In order to make Greek authorities comply with their demands, the terrorists killed a hostage and threw his body onto the tarmac. The plane then flew to Damascus, where it stopped for two hours to obtain fuel and food. It then flew to Kuwait, where the terrorists released their hostages in return for passage to an unknown destination. The Palestine Liberation Organization disavowed the attack, and no group claimed responsibility for it.
Ambassador to Cyprus Assassinated, August 19, 1974: U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Rodger P. Davies and his Greek Cypriot secretary were shot and killed by snipers during a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia.
Domestic Terrorism, January 27-29, 1975: Puerto Rican nationalists bombed a Wall Street bar, killing four and injuring 60; two days later, the Weather Underground claims responsibility for an explosion in a bathroom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington.
June 16, 1976: Ambassador Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Economic Counselor Robert O. Waring were kidnapped in Beirut while on their way to meet with President-elect Sarkis. Meloy, Waring, and their Lebanese chauffeur were found dead near a beach several hours alter. No demands were made, and the assassins remain unknown.
Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an Air France airliner and its 258 passengers. They forced the plane to land in Uganda. On July 3 Israeli commandos successfully rescued the passengers.
Assassination of Former Chilean Diplomat, September 21, 1976: Exiled Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier was killed by a car-bomb in Washington.
Kidnapping of Italian Prime Minister, March 16, 1978: Premier Aldo Moro was seized by the Red Brigade and assassinated 55 days later.
Ambassador to Afghanistan Assassinated, February 14, 1979: Four Afghans kidnapped U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs in Kabul and demanded the release of various "religious figures." Dubs was killed, along with four alleged terrorists, when Afghan police stormed the hotel room where he was being held.
Iran Hostage Crisis, November 4, 1979: After President Carter agreed to admit the Shah of Iran into the US, Iranian radicals seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 66 American diplomats hostage. Thirteen hostages were soon released, but the remaining 53 were held until their release on January 20, 1981.
Grand Mosque Seizure, November 20, 1979: 200 Islamic terrorists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French security forces retook the shrine after an intense battle in which some 250 people were killed and 600 wounded.
August 27, 1980: Unknown assailants in Beirut fired on Ambassador John Gunther Dean's car. He and his party escaped unharmed.
U.S. Installation Bombing, August 31, 1981: The Red Army exploded a bomb at the U.S. Air Force Base at Ramstein, West Germany.
Assassination of Egyptian President, October 6, 1981: Soldiers who were secretly members of the Takfir Wal-Hajira sect attacked and killed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during a troop review.
Murder of Missionaries, December 4, 1981: Three American nuns and one lay missionary were found murdered outside San Salvador, El Salvador. They were killed by members of the National Guard, and the killers are currently in prison.
Assassination of Lebanese President, September 14, 1982: President Bashir Gemayel was assassinated by a car bomb parked outside his party’s Beirut headquarters.
Colombian Hostage-taking, April 8, 1983: A U.S. citizen was seized by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and held for ransom.
Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Beirut, April 18, 1983: Sixty-three people, including the CIA’s Middle East director, were killed and 120 were injured in a 400-pound suicide truck-bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Naval Officer Assassinated in El Salvador, May 25, 1983: A U.S. Navy officer was assassinated by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.
North Korean Hit Squad, October 9, 1983: North Korean agents blew up a delegation from South Korea in Rangoon, Burma, killing 21 persons and injuring 48.
Bombing of Marine Barracks, Beirut, October 23, 1983: Simultaneous suicide truck-bomb attacks were made on American and French compounds in Beirut, Lebanon. A 12,000-pound bomb destroyed the U.S. compound, killing 242 Americans, while 58 French troops were killed when a 400-pound device destroyed a French base. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Naval Officer Assassinated in Greece, November 15, 1983: A U.S. Navy officer was shot by the November 17 terrorist group in Athens, Greece, while his car was stopped at a traffic light.
Kidnapping of Embassy Official, March 16, 1984: The Islamic Jihad kidnapped and later murdered Political Officer William Buckley in Beirut, Lebanon. Other U.S. citizens not connected to the U.S. government were seized over a succeeding two-year period.
Restaurant Bombing in Spain, April 12, 1984: Eighteen U.S. servicemen were killed and 83 people were injured in a bomb attack on a restaurant near a U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain.
Temple Seizure, June 5, 1984: Sikh terrorists seized the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. One hundred people died when Indian security forces retook the Sikh holy shrine.
Assassination of Indian Prime Minister, October 31, 1984: Premier Indira Gandhi was shot to death by members of her security force.
Kidnapping of U.S. Officials in Mexico, February 7, 1985: Under the orders of narcotrafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena Salazar and his pilot were kidnapped, tortured and executed.
TWA Hijacking, June 14, 1985: A Trans-World Airlines flight was hijacked en route to Rome from Athens by two Lebanese Hizballah terrorists and forced to fly to Beirut. The eight crew members and 145 passengers were held for seventeen days, during which one American hostage, a U.S. Navy sailor, was murdered. After being flown twice to Algiers, the aircraft was returned to Beirut after Israel released 435 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.
Attack on a Restaurant in El Salvador, June 19, 1985: Members of the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) fired on a restaurant in the Zona Rosa district of San Salvador, killing four Marine Security Guards assigned to the U.S. Embassy and nine Salvadorean civilians.
Air India Bombing, June 23, 1985: A bomb destroyed an Air India Boeing 747 over the Atlantic, killing all 329 people aboard. Both Sikh and Kashmiri terrorists were blamed for the attack. Two cargo handlers were killed at Tokyo airport, Japan, when another Sikh bomb exploded in an Air Canada aircraft en route to India.
Soviet Diplomats Kidnapped, September 30, 1985: In Beirut, Lebanon, Sunni terrorists kidnapped four Soviet diplomats. One was killed but three were later released.
Achille Lauro Hijacking, October 7, 1985: Four Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists seized the Italian cruise liner in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, taking more than 700 hostages. One U.S. passenger was murdered before the Egyptian government offered the terrorists safe haven in return for the hostages’ freedom.
Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, November 23, 1985: An EgyptAir airplane bound from Athens to Malta and carrying several U.S. citizens was hijacked by the Abu Nidal Group.
Airport Attacks in Rome and Vienna, December 27, 1985: Four gunmen belonging to the Abu Nidal Organization attacked the El Al and Trans World Airlines ticket counters at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport with grenades and automatic rifles. Thirteen persons were killed and 75 were wounded before Italian police and Israeli security guards killed three of the gunmen and captured the fourth. Three more Abu Nidal gunmen attacked the El Al ticket counter at Vienna’s Schwechat Airport, killing three persons and wounding 30. Austrian police killed one of the gunmen and captured the others.
Aircraft Bombing in Greece, March 30, 1986: A Palestinian splinter group detonated a bomb as TWA Flight 840 approached Athens airport, killing four U.S. citizens.
Berlin Discothèque Bombing, April 5, 1986: Two U.S. soldiers were killed and 79 American servicemen were injured in a Libyan bomb attack on a nightclub in West Berlin, West Germany. In retaliation U.S. military jets bombed targets in and around Tripoli and Benghazi.
Kimpo Airport Bombing, September 14, 1986: North Korean agents detonated an explosive device at Seoul’s Kimpo airport, killing 5 persons and injuring 29 others.
Bus Attack, April 24, 1987: Sixteen U.S. servicemen riding in a Greek Air Force bus near Athens were injured in an apparent bombing attack, carried out by the revolutionary organization known as November 17.
Downing of Airliner, November 29, 1987: North Korean agents planted a bomb aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 858, which subsequently crashed into the Indian Ocean.
Servicemen’s Bar Attack, December 26, 1987: Catalan separatists bombed a Barcelona bar frequented by U.S. servicemen, resulting in the death of one U.S. citizen.
Kidnapping of William Higgins, February 17, 1988: U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel W. Higgins was kidnapped and murdered by the Iranian-backed Hizballah group while serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) in southern Lebanon.
Naples USO Attack, April 14, 1988: The Organization of Jihad Brigades exploded a car-bomb outside a USO Club in Naples, Italy, killing one U.S. sailor.
Attack on U.S. Diplomat in Greece, June 28, 1988: The Defense Attaché of the U.S. Embassy in Greece was killed when a car-bomb was detonated outside his home in Athens.
Pan Am 103 Bombing, December 21, 1988: Pan American Airlines Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a bomb believed to have been placed on the aircraft by Libyan terrorists in Frankfurt, West Germany. All 259 people on board were killed.
Assassination of U.S. Army Officer, April 21, 1989: The New People’s Army (NPA) assassinated Colonel James Rowe in Manila. The NPA also assassinated two U.S. government defense contractors in September.
Bombing of UTA Flight 772, September 19, 1989: A bomb explosion destroyed UTA Flight 772 over the Sahara Desert in southern Niger during a flight from Brazzaville to Paris. All 170 persons aboard were killed. Six Libyans were later found guilty in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Assassination of German Bank Chairman, November 30, 1989: The Red Army Faction assassinated Deutsche Bank Chairman Alfred Herrhausen in Frankfurt.
U.S. Embassy Bombed in Peru, January 15, 1990: The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru.
U.S. Soldiers Assassinated in the Philippines, May 13, 1990: The New People’s Army (NPA) killed two U.S. Air Force personnel near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
Attempted Iraqi Attacks on U.S. Posts, January 18-19, 1991: Iraqi agents planted bombs at the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia’s home residence and at the USIS library in Manila.
Sniper Attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, February 13, 1991: Three Red Army Faction members fired automatic rifles from across the Rhine River at the U.S. Embassy Chancery. No one was hurt.
Assassination of former Indian Prime Minister, May 21, 1991: A female member of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) killed herself, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and 16 others by detonating an explosive vest after presenting a garland of flowers to the former Prime Minister during an election rally in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Kidnapping of U.S. Businessmen in the Philippines, January 17-21, 1992: A senior official of the corporation Philippine Geothermal was kidnapped in Manila by the Red Scorpion Group, and two U.S. businessmen were seized independently by the National Liberation Army and by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, March 17, 1992: Hizballah claimed responsibility for a blast that leveled the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, causing the deaths of 29 and wounding 242.
Kidnappings of U.S. Citizens in Colombia, January 31, 1993: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorists kidnapped three U.S. missionaries.
World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993: The World Trade Center in New York City was badly damaged when a car bomb planted by Islamic terrorists exploded in an underground garage. The bomb left 6 people dead and 1,000 injured. The men carrying out the attack were followers of Umar Abd al-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric who preached in the New York City area.
Attempted Assassination of President Bush by Iraqi Agents, April 14, 1993: The Iraqi intelligence service attempted to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during a visit to Kuwait. In retaliation, the U.S. launched a cruise missile attack 2 months later on the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Hebron Massacre, February 25, 1994: Jewish right-wing extremist and U.S. citizen Baruch Goldstein machine-gunned Moslem worshippers at a mosque in West Bank town of Hebron, killing 29 and wounding about 150.
FARC Hostage-taking, September 23, 1994: FARC rebels kidnapped U.S. citizen Thomas Hargrove in Colombia.
Air France Hijacking, December 24, 1994: Members of the Armed Islamic Group seized an Air France Flight to Algeria. The four terrorists were killed during a rescue effort.
Attack on U.S. Diplomats in Pakistan, March 8, 1995: Two unidentified gunmen killed two U.S. diplomats and wounded a third in Karachi, Pakistan.
Tokyo Subway Station Attack, March 20, 1995: Twelve persons were killed and 5,700 were injured in a Sarin nerve gas attack on a crowded subway station in the center of Tokyo, Japan. A similar attack occurred nearly simultaneously in the Yokohama subway system. The Aum Shinri-kyo cult was blamed for the attacks.
Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995: Right-wing extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a massive truck bomb that killed 166 and injured hundreds more in what was up to then the largest terrorist attack on American soil.
Kashmiri Hostage-taking, July 4, 1995: In India six foreigners, including two U.S. citizens, were taken hostage by Al-Faran, a Kashmiri separatist group. One non-U.S. hostage was later found beheaded.
Jerusalem Bus Attack, August 21, 1995: HAMAS claimed responsibility for the detonation of a bomb that killed 6 and injured over 100 persons, including several U.S. citizens.
Attack on U.S. Embassy in Moscow, September 13, 1995: A rocket-propelled grenade was fired through the window of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, ostensibly in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Serb positions in Bosnia.
Saudi Military Installation Attack, November 13, 1995: The Islamic Movement of Change planted a bomb in a Riyadh military compound that killed one U.S. citizen, several foreign national employees of the U.S. government, and over 40 others.
Egyptian Embassy Attack, November 19, 1995: A suicide bomber drove a vehicle into the Egyptian Embassy compound in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 16 and injuring 60 persons. Three militant Islamic groups claimed responsibility.
Papuan Hostage Abduction, January 8, 1996: In Indonesia, 200 Free Papua Movement (OPM) guerrillas abducted 26 individuals in the Lorenta nature preserve, Irian Jaya Province. Indonesian Special Forces members rescued the remaining nine hostages on May 15.
Kidnapping in Colombia, January 19, 1996: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas kidnapped a US citizen and demanded a $1 million ransom. The hostage was released on May 22.
Tamil Tigers Attack, January 31, 1996: Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed an explosives-laden truck into the Central Bank in the heart of downtown Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 90 civilians and injuring more than 1,400 others, including 2 US citizens.
IRA Bombing, February 9, 1996: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb detonated in London, killing 2 persons and wounding more than 100 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.
Athens Embassy Attack, February 15, 1996: Unidentified assailants fired a rocket at the U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, causing minor damage to three diplomatic vehicles and some surrounding buildings. Circumstances of the attack suggested it was an operation carried out by the 17 November group.
ELN Kidnapping, February 16, 1996: Six alleged National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Colombia. After 9 months, the hostage was released.
HAMAS Bus Attack, February 26, 1996: In Jerusalem, a suicide bomber blew up a bus, killing 26 persons, including three U.S. citizens, and injuring some 80 persons, including three other US citizens.
Dizengoff Center Bombing, March 4, 1996: HAMAS and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) both claimed responsibility for a bombing outside of Tel Aviv's largest shopping mall that killed 20 persons and injured 75 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.
West Bank Attack, May 13, 1996: Arab gunmen opened fire on a bus and a group of Yeshiva students near the Bet El settlement, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and wounding three Israelis. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but HAMAS was suspected.
AID Worker Abduction, May 31, 1996: A gang of former Contra guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. employee of the Agency for International Development (AID) who was assisting with election preparations in rural northern Nicaragua. She was released unharmed the next day after members of the international commission overseeing the preparations intervened.
Zekharya Attack, June 9, 1996: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car near Zekharya, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and an Israeli. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was suspected.
Manchester Truck Bombing, June 15, 1996: An IRA truck bomb detonated at a Manchester shopping center, wounding 206 persons, including two German tourists, and caused extensive property damage.
Khobar Towers Bombing, June 25, 1996: A fuel truck carrying a bomb exploded outside the US military's Khobar Towers housing facility in Dhahran, killing 19 U.S. military personnel and wounding 515 persons, including 240 U.S. personnel. Several groups claimed responsibility for the attack.
ETA Bombing, July 20, 1996: A bomb exploded at Tarragona International Airport in Reus, Spain, wounding 35 persons, including British and Irish tourists. The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) organization was suspected.
Bombing of Archbishop of Oran, August 1, 1996: A bomb exploded at the home of the French Archbishop of Oran, killing him and his chauffeur. The attack occurred after the Archbishop's meeting with the French Foreign Minister. The Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is suspected.
Sudanese Rebel Kidnapping, August 17, 1996: Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels kidnapped six missionaries in Mapourdit, including a U.S. citizen, an Italian, three Australians, and a Sudanese. The SPLA released the hostages 11 days later.
PUK Kidnapping, September 13, 1996: In Iraq, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) militants kidnapped four French workers for Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres, a Canadian United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official, and two Iraqis.
Assassination of South Korean Consul, October 1, 1996: In Vladivostok, Russia, assailants attacked and killed a South Korean consul near his home. No one claimed responsibility, but South Korean authorities believed that the attack was carried out by professionals and that the assailants were North Koreans. North Korean officials denied the country's involvement in the attack.
Red Cross Worker Kidnappings, November 1, 1996: In Sudan a breakaway group from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) kidnapped three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers, including a U.S. citizen, an Australian, and a Kenyan. On 9 December the rebels released the hostages in exchange for ICRC supplies and a health survey for their camp.
Paris Subway Explosion, December 3, 1996: A bomb exploded aboard a Paris subway train as it arrived at the Port Royal station, killing two French nationals, a Moroccan, and a Canadian, and injuring 86 persons. Among those injured were one U.S. citizen and a Canadian. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Algerian extremists are suspected.
Abduction of US. Citizen by FARC, December 11, 1996: Five armed men claiming to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) kidnapped and later killed a U.S. geologist at a methane gas exploration site in La Guajira Department.
Tupac Amaru Seizure of Diplomats, December 17, 1996: Twenty-three members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) took several hundred people hostage at a party given at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru. Among the hostages were several US officials, foreign ambassadors and other diplomats, Peruvian Government officials, and Japanese businessmen. The group demanded the release of all MRTA members in prison and safe passage for them and the hostage takers. The terrorists released most of the hostages in December but held 81 Peruvians and Japanese citizens for several months.
Egyptian Letter Bombs, January 2-13, 1997: A series of letter bombs with Alexandria, Egypt, postmarks were discovered at Al-Hayat newspaper bureaus in Washington, New York City, London, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Three similar devices, also postmarked in Egypt, were found at a prison facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. Bomb disposal experts defused all the devices, but one detonated at the Al-Hayat office in London, injuring two security guards and causing minor damage.
Tajik Hostage Abductions, February 4-17, 1997: Near Komsomolabad, Tajikistan, a paramilitary group led by Bakhrom Sodirov abducted four United Nations (UN) military observers. The victims included two Swiss, one Austrian, one Ukrainian, and their Tajik interpreter. The kidnappers demanded safe passage for their supporters from Afghanistan to Tajikistan. In four separate incidents occurring between Dushanbe and Garm, Bakhrom Sodirov and his group kidnapped two International Committee for the Red Cross members, four Russian journalists and their Tajik driver, four UNHCR members, and the Tajik Security Minister, Saidamir Zukhurov.
Venezuelan Abduction, February 14, 1997: Six armed Colombian guerrillas kidnapped a US oil engineer and his Venezuelan pilot in Apure, Venezuela. The kidnappers released the Venezuelan pilot on 22 February. According to authorities, the FARC is responsible for the kidnapping.
Empire State Building Sniper Attack, February 23, 1997: A Palestinian gunman opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building in New York City, killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland, and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claimed this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine."
ELN Kidnapping, February 24, 1997: National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen employed by a Las Vegas gold corporation who was scouting a gold mining operation in Colombia. The ELN demanded a ransom of $2.5 million.
FARC Kidnapping, March 7, 1997: FARC guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. mining employee and his Colombian colleague who were searching for gold in Colombia. On November 16, the rebels released the two hostages after receiving a $50,000 ransom.
Hotel Nacional Bombing, July 12, 1997: A bomb exploded at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, injuring three persons and causing minor damage. A previously unknown group calling itself the Military Liberation Union claimed responsibility.
Israeli Shopping Mall Bombing, September 4, 1997: Three suicide bombers of HAMAS detonated bombs in the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem, killing eight persons, including the bombers, and wounding nearly 200 others. A dual U.S./Israeli citizen was among the dead, and 7 U.S. citizens were wounded.
OAS Abductions, October 23, 1997: In Colombia ELN rebels kidnapped two foreign members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and a Colombian human rights official at a roadblock. The ELN claimed that the kidnapping was intended "to show the international community that the elections in Colombia are a farce."
Yemeni Kidnappings, October 30, 1997: Al-Sha'if tribesmen kidnapped a U.S. businessman near Sanaa. The tribesmen sought the release of two fellow tribesmen who were arrested on smuggling charges and several public works projects they claim the government promised them. They released the hostage on November 27.
Murder of U.S. Businessmen in Pakistan, November 12, 1997: Two unidentified gunmen shot to death four U.S. auditors from Union Texas Petroleum Corporation and their Pakistani driver after they drove away from the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi. The Islami Inqilabi Council, or Islamic Revolutionary Council, claimed responsibility in a call to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. In a letter to Pakistani newspapers, the Aimal Khufia Action Committee also claimed responsibility.
Tourist Killings in Egypt, November 17, 1997: Al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya (IG) gunmen shot and killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians and wounded 26 others at the Hatshepsut Temple in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Thirty-four Swiss, eight Japanese, five Germans, four Britons, one French, one Colombian, a dual Bulgarian/British citizen, and four unidentified persons were among the dead. Twelve Swiss, two Japanese, two Germans, one French, and nine Egyptians were among the wounded.
UN Observer Abductions, February 19, 1998: Armed supporters of late Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia abducted four UN military observers from Sweden, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic.
FARC Abduction, March 21-23, 1998: FARC rebels kidnapped a US citizen in Sabaneta, Colombia. FARC members also killed three persons, wounded 14, and kidnapped at least 27 others at a roadblock near Bogota. Four U.S. citizens and one Italian were among those kidnapped, as well as the acting president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and his wife.
Somali Hostage-takings, April 15, 1998: Somali militiamen abducted nine Red Cross and Red Crescent workers at an airstrip north of Mogadishu. The hostages included a U.S. citizen, a German, a Belgian, a French, a Norwegian, two Swiss, and one Somali. The gunmen were members of a sub-clan loyal to Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who controlled the northern section of the capital.
IRA Bombing, Banbridge, August 1, 1998: A 500-pound car bomb planted by the Real IRA exploded outside a shoe store in Banbridge, North Ireland, injuring 35 persons and damaging at least 200 homes.
U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa, August 7, 1998: A bomb exploded at the rear entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 12 U.S. citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. Approximately 5,000 Kenyans, 6 U.S. citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured. The U.S. Embassy building sustained extensive structural damage. Almost simultaneously, a bomb detonated outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 7 FSNs and 3 Tanzanian citizens, and injuring 1 U.S. citizen and 76 Tanzanians. The explosion caused major structural damage to the U.S. Embassy facility. The U.S. Government held Usama Bin Laden responsible.
IRA Bombing, Omagh, August 15, 1998: A 500-pound car bomb planted by the Real IRA exploded outside a local courthouse in the central shopping district of Omagh, Northern Ireland, killing 29 persons and injuring over 330.
Colombian Pipeline Bombing, October 18, 1998: A National Liberation Army (ELN) planted bomb exploded on the Ocensa pipeline in Antioquia Department, killing approximately 71 persons and injuring at least 100 others. The pipeline is jointly owned by the Colombia State Oil Company Ecopetrol and a consortium including U.S., French, British, and Canadian companies.
Armed Kidnapping in Colombia, November 15, 1998: Armed assailants followed a U.S. businessman and his family home in Cundinamarca Department and kidnapped his 11-year-old son after stealing money, jewelry, one automobile, and two cell phones. The kidnappers demanded $1 million in ransom. On January 21, 1999, the kidnappers released the boy.
Angolan Aircraft Downing, January 2, 1999: A UN plane carrying one U.S. citizen, four Angolans, two Philippine nationals and one Namibian was shot down, according to a UN official. No deaths or injuries were reported. Angolan authorities blamed the attack on National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels. UNITA officials denied shooting down the plane.
Ugandan Rebel Attack, February 14, 1999: A pipe bomb exploded inside a bar, killing five persons and injuring 35 others. One Ethiopian and four Ugandan nationals died in the blast, and one U.S. citizen working for USAID, two Swiss nationals, one Pakistani, one Ethiopian, and 27 Ugandans were injured. Ugandan authorities blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
Greek Embassy Seizure, February 16, 1999: Kurdish protesters stormed and occupied the Greek Embassy in Vienna, taking the Greek Ambassador and six other persons hostage. Several hours later the protesters released the hostages and left the Embassy. The attack followed the Turkish Government's announcement of the successful capture of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. Kurds also occupied Kenyan, Israeli, and other Greek diplomatic facilities in France, Holland, Switzerland, Britain, and Germany over the following days.
FARC Kidnappings, February 25, 1999: FARC kidnapped three U.S. citizens working for the Hawaii-based Pacific Cultural Conservancy International. On March 4, the bodies of the three victims were found in Venezuela.
Hutu Abductions, March 1, 1999: 150 armed Hutu rebels attacked three tourist camps in Uganda, killed four Ugandans, and abducted three U.S. citizens, six Britons, three New Zealanders, two Danish citizens, one Australian, and one Canadian national. Two of the U.S. citizens and six of the other hostages were subsequently killed by their abductors.
ELN Hostage-taking, March 23, 1999: Armed guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Boyaca, Colombia. The National Liberation Army (ELN) claimed responsibility and demanded $400,000 ransom. On 20 July, ELN rebels released the hostage unharmed following a ransom payment of $48,000.
ELN Hostage-taking, May 30, 1999: In Cali, Colombia, armed ELN militants attacked a church in the neighborhood of Ciudad Jardin, kidnapping 160 persons, including six U.S. citizens and one French national. The rebels released approximately 80 persons, including three U.S. citizens, later that day.
Shell Platform Bombing, June 27, 1999: In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, armed youths stormed a Shell oil platform, kidnapping one U.S. citizen, one Nigerian national, and one Australian citizen, and causing undetermined damage. A group calling itself "Enough is Enough in the Niger River" claimed responsibility. Further seizures of oil facilities followed.
AFRC Kidnappings, August 4, 1999: An Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) faction kidnapped 33 UN representatives near Occra Hills, Sierra Leone. The hostages included one U.S. citizen, five British soldiers, one Canadian citizen, one representative from Ghana, one military officer from Russia, one officer from Kyrgystan, one officer from Zambia, one officer from Malaysia, a local Bishop, two UN officials, two local journalists, and 16 Sierra Leonean nationals.
Burmese Embassy Seizure, October 1, 1999: Burmese dissidents seized the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, taking 89 persons hostage, including one U.S. citizen.
PLA Kidnapping, December 23, 1999: Colombian People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces kidnapped a U.S. citizen in an unsuccessful ransoming effort.
Indian Airlines Airbus Hijacking, December 24, 1999: Five militants hijacked a flight bound from Katmandu to New Delhi carrying 189 people. The plane and its passengers were released unharmed on December 31.
Car bombing in Spain, January 27, 2000: Police officials reported unidentified individuals set fire to a Citroen car dealership in Iturreta, causing extensive damage to the building and destroying 12 vehicles. The attack bore the hallmark of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA).
RUF Attacks on U.N. Mission Personnel, May 1, 2000: On 1 May in Makeni, Sierra Leone, Revolutionary United Front (RUF) militants kidnapped at least 20 members of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and surrounded and opened fire on a UNAMSIL facility, according to press reports. The militants killed five UN soldiers in the attack. RUF militants kidnapped 300 UNAMSIL peacekeepers throughout the country, according to press reports. On 15 May in Foya, Liberia, the kidnappers released 139 hostages. On 28 May, on the Liberia and Sierra Leone border, armed militants released unharmed the last of the UN peacekeepers. In Freetown, according to press reports, armed militants ambushed two military vehicles carrying four journalists. A Spaniard and one U.S. citizen were killed in a May 25 car bombing in Freetown for which the RUF was probably responsible. Suspected RUF rebels also kidnapped 21 Indian UN peacekeepers in Freetown on June 6. Additional attacks by RUF on foreign personnel followed.
Diplomatic Assassination in Greece, June 8, 2000: In Athens, Greece, two unidentified gunmen killed British Defense Attaché Stephen Saunders in an ambush. The Revolutionary Organization 17 November claimed responsibility.
ELN Kidnapping, June 27, 2000: In Bogota, Colombia, ELN militants kidnapped a 5-year-old U.S. citizen and his Colombian mother, demanding an undisclosed ransom.
Kidnappings in Kyrgyzstan, August 12, 2000: In the Kara-Su Valley, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan took four U.S. citizens hostage. The Americans escaped on August 12.
Church Bombing in Tajikistan, October 1, 2000: Unidentified militants detonated two bombs in a Christian church in Dushanbe, killing seven persons and injuring 70 others. The church was founded by a Korean-born U.S. citizen, and most of those killed and wounded were Korean. No one claimed responsibility.
Helicopter Hijacking, October 12, 2000: In Sucumbios Province, Ecuador, a group of armed kidnappers led by former members of defunct Colombian terrorist organization the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), took hostage 10 employees of Spanish energy consortium REPSOL. Those kidnapped included five U.S. citizens, one Argentine, one Chilean, one New Zealander, and two French pilots who escaped four days later. On January 30, 2001, the kidnappers murdered American hostage Ronald Sander. The remaining hostages were released on February 23 following the payment of $13 million in ransom by the oil companies.
Attack on U.S.S. Cole, October 12, 2000: In Aden, Yemen, a small dingy carrying explosives rammed the destroyer U.S.S. Cole, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 others. Supporters of Usama Bin Laden were suspected.
Manila Bombing, December 30, 2000: A bomb exploded in a plaza across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Manila, injuring nine persons. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front was likely responsible.
Srinagar Airport Attack and Assassination Attempt, January 17, 2001: In India, six members of the Lashkar-e-Tayyba militant group were killed when they attempted to seize a local airport. Members of Hizbul Mujaheddin fired two rifle grenades at Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister for Jammu and Kashmir. Two persons were wounded in the unsuccessful assassination attempt.
BBC Studios Bombing, March 4, 2001: A car bomb exploded at midnight outside of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s main production studios in London. One person was injured. British authorities suspected the Real IRA had planted the bomb.
Suicide Bombing in Israel, March 4, 2001: A suicide bomb attack in Netanya killed 3 persons and wounded 65. HAMAS later claimed responsibility.
ETA Bombing, March 9, 2001: Two policemen were killed by the explosion of a car bomb in Hernani, Spain.
Airliner Hijacking in Istanbul, March 15, 2001: Three Chechens hijacked a Russian airliner during a flight from Istanbul to Moscow and forced it to fly to Medina, Saudi Arabia. The plane carried 162 passengers and a crew of 12. After a 22-hour siege during which more than 40 passengers were released, Saudi security forces stormed the plane, killing a hijacker, a passenger, and a flight attendant.
Bus Stop Bombing, April 22, 2001: A member of HAMAS detonated a bomb he was carrying near a bus stop in Kfar Siva, Israel, killing one person and injuring 60.
Philippines Hostage Incident, May 27, 2001: Muslim Abu Sayyaf guerrillas seized 13 tourists and 3 staff members at a resort on Palawan Island and took their captives to Basilan Island. The captives included three U.S. citizens: Guellermo Sobero and missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham. Philippine troops fought a series of battles with the guerrillas between June 1 and June 3 during which 9 hostages escaped and two were found dead. The guerrillas took additional hostages when they seized the hospital in the town of Lamitan. On June 12, Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sabaya claimed that Sobero had been killed and beheaded; his body was found in October. The Burnhams remained in captivity until June 2002.
Tel-Aviv Nightclub Bombing, June 1, 2001: HAMAS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a popular Israeli nightclub that caused over 140 casualties.
HAMAS Restaurant Bombing, August 9, 2001: A HAMAS-planted bomb detonated in a Jerusalem pizza restaurant, killing 15 people and wounding more than 90. The Israeli response included occupation of Orient House, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political headquarters in East Jerusalem.
Suicide Bombing in Israel, September 9, 2001: The first suicide bombing carried out by an Israeli Arab killed 3 persons in Nahariya. HAMAS claimed responsibility.
Death of "the Lion of the Panjshir", September 9, 2001: Two suicide bombers fatally wounded Ahmed Shah Massoud, a leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, which had opposed both the Soviet occupation and the post-Soviet Taliban government. The bombers posed as journalists and were apparently linked to al-Qaida. The Northern Alliance did not confirm Massoud’s death until September 15.
Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Homeland, September 11, 2001: Two hijacked airliners crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Soon thereafter, the Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane. A fourth hijacked plane, suspected to be bound for a high-profile target in Washington, crashed into a field in southern Pennsylvania. The attacks killed 3,025 U.S. citizens and other nationals. President Bush and Cabinet officials indicated that Usama Bin Laden was the prime suspect and that they considered the United States in a state of war with international terrorism. In the aftermath of the attacks, the United States formed the Global Coalition Against Terrorism.
Attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature, October 1, 2001: After a suicide car bomber forced the gate of the state legislature in Srinagar, two gunmen entered the building and held off police for seven hours before being killed. Forty persons died in the incident. Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility.
Anthrax Attacks, October-November 2001: On October 7 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that investigators had detected evidence that the deadly anthrax bacterium was present in the building where a Florida man who died of anthrax on October 5 had worked. Discovery of a second anthrax case triggered a major investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The two anthrax cases were the first to appear in the United States in 25 years. Anthrax subsequently appeared in mail received by television networks in New York and by the offices in Washington of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and other members of Congress. Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a briefing on October 16, "When people send anthrax through the mail to hurt people and invoke terror, it’s a terrorist act."
Assassination of an Israeli Cabinet Minister, October 17, 2001: A Palestinian gunman assassinated Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi in the Jerusalem hotel where he was staying. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed to have avenged the death of PFLP Mustafa Zubari.
Attack on a Church in Pakistan, October 28, 2001: Six masked gunmen shot up a church in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, killing 15 Pakistani Christians. No group claimed responsibility, although various militant Muslim groups were suspected.
Suicide Bombings in Jerusalem, December 1, 2001: Two suicide bombers attacked a Jerusalem shopping mall, killing 10 persons and wounding 170.
Suicide Bombing in Haifa, December 2, 2001: A suicide bomb attack aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel, killed 15 persons and wounded 40. HAMAS claimed responsibility for both this attack and those on December 1 to avenge the death of a HAMAS member at the hands of Israeli forces a week earlier.
Attack on the Indian Parliament, December 13, 2001: Five gunmen attacked the Indian Parliament in New Delhi shortly after it had adjourned. Before security forces killed them, the attackers killed 6 security personnel and a gardener. Indian officials blamed Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and demanded that Pakistan crack down on it and on other Muslim separatist groups in Kashmir.
Ambush on the West Bank, January 15, 2002: Palestinian militants fired on a vehicle in Beit Sahur, killing one passenger and wounding the other. The dead passenger claimed U.S. and Israeli citizenship. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Battalion claimed responsibility.
Shooting Incident in Israel, January 17, 2002: A Palestinian gunman killed 6 persons and wounded 25 in Hadera, Israel, before being killed by Israeli police. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility as revenge for Israel’s killing of a leading member of the group.
Drive-By Shooting at a U.S. Consulate, January 22, 2002: Armed militants on motorcycles fired on the U.S. Consulate in Calcutta, India, killing 5 Indian security personnel and wounding 13 others. The Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami and the Asif Raza Commandoes claimed responsibility. Indian police later killed two suspects, one of whom confessed to belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as he died.
Bomb Explosion in Kashmir, January 22, 2002: A bomb exploded in a crowded retail district in Jammu, Kashmir, killing one person and injuring nine. No group claimed responsibility.
Kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, January 23, 2002: Armed militants kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities received a videotape on February 20 depicting Pearl’s murder. His grave was found near Karachi on May 16. Pakistani authorities arrested four suspects. Ringleader Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh claimed to have organized Pearl’s kidnapping to protest Pakistan’s subservience to the United States, and had belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad, an Islamic separatist group in Kashmir. All four suspects were convicted on July 15. Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death, the others to life imprisonment.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, January 27, 2002: A suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem killed one other person and wounded 100. The incident was the first suicide bombing made by a Palestinian woman.
Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, February 16, 2002: A suicide bombing in an outdoor food court in Karmei Shomron killed 4 persons and wounded 27. Two of the dead and two of the wounded were U.S. citizens. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, March 7, 2002: A suicide bombing in a supermarket in the settlement of Ariel wounded 10 persons, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. The PFLP claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, March 9, 2002: A suicide bombing in a Jerusalem restaurant killed 11 persons and wounded 52, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Drive-By Shooting in Colombia, March 14, 2002: Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed two U.S. citizens who had come to Cali, Colombia, to negotiate the release of their father, who was a captive of the FARC. No group claimed responsibility.
Grenade Attack on a Church in Pakistan, March 17, 2002: Militants threw grenades into the Protestant International Church in Islamabad, Pakistan, during a service attended by diplomatic and local personnel. Five persons, two of them U.S. citizens, were killed and 46 were wounded. The dead Americans were State Department employee Barbara Green and her daughter Kristen Wormsley. Thirteen U.S. citizens were among the wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group was suspected.
Car Bomb Explosion in Peru, March 20, 2002: A car bomb exploded at a shopping center near the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. Nine persons were killed and 32 wounded. The dead included two police officers and a teenager. Peruvian authorities suspected either the Shining Path rebels or the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. The attack occurred 3 days before President George W. Bush visited Peru.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, March 21, 2002: A suicide bombing in Jerusalem killed 3 persons and wounded 86 more, including 2 U.S. citizens. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Israel, March 27, 2002: A suicide bombing in a noted restaurant in Netanya, Israel, killed 22 persons and wounded 140. One of the dead was a U.S. citizen. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) claimed responsibility.
Temple Bombing in Kashmir, March 30, 2002: A bomb explosion at a Hindu temple in Jammu, Kashmir, killed 10 persons. The Islamic Front claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, March 31, 2002: A suicide bombing near an ambulance station in Efrat wounded four persons, including a U.S. citizen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Armed attack on Kashmir, April 10, 2002: Armed militants attacked a residence in Gando, Kashmir, killing five persons and wounding four. No group claimed responsibility.
Synagogue Bombing in Tunisia, April 11, 2002: A suicide bomber detonated a truck loaded with propane gas outside a historic synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The 16 dead included 11 Germans, one French citizen, and three Tunisians. Twenty-six German tourists were injured. The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, April 12, 2002: A female suicide bomber killed 6 persons in Jerusalem and wounded 90 others. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Car Bombing in Pakistan, May 8, 2002: A car bomb exploded near a Pakistani navy shuttle bus in Karachi, killing 12 persons and wounding 19. Eleven of the dead and 11 of the wounded were French nationals. Al-Qaida was suspected of the attack.
Parade Bombing in Russia, May 9, 2002: A remotely-controlled bomb exploded near a May Day parade in Kaspiisk, Dagestan, killing 42 persons and wounding 150. Fourteen of the dead and 50 of the wounded were soldiers. Islamists linked to al-Qaida were suspected.
Attack on a Bus in India, May 14, 2002: Militants fired on a passenger bus in Kaluchak, Jammu, killing 7 persons. They then entered a military housing complex and killed 3 soldiers and 7 military dependents before they were killed. The al-Mansooran and Jamiat ul-Mujahedin claimed responsibility.
Bomb Attacks in Kashmir, May 17, 2002: A bomb explosion near a civil secretariat area in Srinagar, Kashmir, wounded 6 persons. In Jammu, a bomb exploded at a fire services headquarters, killing two and wounding 16. No group claimed responsibility for either attack.
Hostage Rescue Attempt in the Philippines, June 7, 2002: Philippine Army troops attacked Abu Sayyaf terrorists on Mindanao Island in an attempt to rescue U.S. citizen Martin Burnham and his wife Gracia, who had been kidnapped more than a year ago. Burnham was killed but his wife, though wounded, was freed. A Filipino hostage was killed, as were four of the guerrillas. Seven soldiers were wounded.
Car Bombing in Pakistan, June 14, 2002: A car bomb exploded near the U.S. Consulate and the Marriott Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan. Eleven persons were killed and 51 were sounded, including one U.S. and one Japanese citizen. Al Qaida and al-Qanin were suspected.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, June 19, 2002: A suicide bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem killed 6 persons and wounded 43, including 2 U.S. citizens. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Tel Aviv, July 17, 2002: Two suicide bombers attacked the old bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 5 persons and wounding 38. The dead included one Romanian and two Chinese; another Romanian was wounded. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Bombing at the Hebrew University, July 31, 2002: A bomb hidden in a bag in the Frank Sinatra International Student Center of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University killed 9 persons and wounded 87. The dead included 5 U.S. citizens and 4 Israelis. The wounded included 4 U.S. citizens, 2 Japanese, and 3 South Koreans. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Israel, August 4, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Safed, Israel, killed 9 persons and wounded 50. Two of the dead were Philippine citizens; many of the wounded were soldiers returning from leave. HAMAS claimed responsibility.
Attack on a School in Pakistan, August 5, 2002: Gunmen attacked a Christian school attended by children of missionaries from around the world. Six persons (two security guards, a cook, a carpenter, a receptionist, and a private citizen) were killed and a Philippine citizen was wounded. A group called al-Intigami al-Pakistani claimed responsibility.
Attack on Pilgrims in Kashmir, August 6, 2002: Armed militants attacked a group of Hindu pilgrims with guns and grenades in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Nine persons were killed and 32 were wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba claimed responsibility.
Assassination in Kashmir, September 11, 2002: Gunmen killed Kashmir’s Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone and six security guards in Tikipora. Lashkar-e-Tayyiga, Jamiat ul-Mujahedin, and Hizb ul-Mujahedin all claimed responsibility. Other militants attacked the residence of the Minister of Tourism with grenades, injuring four persons. No group claimed responsibility.
Ambush on the West Bank, September 18, 2002: Gunmen ambushed a vehicle on a road near Yahad, killing an Israeli and wounding a Romanian worker. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bomb Attack in Israel, September 19, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv killed 6 persons and wounded 52. One of the dead was a British subject. HAMAS claimed responsibility.
Attack on a French Tanker, October 6, 2002: An explosive-laden boat rammed the French oil tanker Limburg, which was anchored about 5 miles off al-Dhabbah, Yemen. One person was killed and 4 were wounded. Al-Qaida was suspected.
Car Bomb Explosion in Bali, October 12, 2002: A car bomb exploded outside the Sari Club Discotheque in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, killing 202 persons and wounding 300 more. Most of the casualties, including 88 of the dead, were Australian tourists. Seven Americans were among the dead. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility. Two suspects were later arrested and convicted. Iman Samudra, who had trained in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda and was suspected of belonging to Jemaah Islamiya, was sentenced to death on September 10, 2003.
Chechen Rebels Seize a Moscow Theater, October 23-26, 2002: Fifty Chechen rebels led by Movsar Barayev seized the Palace of Culture Theater in Moscow, Russia, to demand an end to the war in Chechnya. They seized more than 800 hostages from 13 countries and threatened to blow up the theater. During a three-day siege, they killed a Russian policeman and five Russian hostages. On October 26, Russian Special Forces pumped an anesthetic gas through the ventilation system and then stormed the theater. All of the rebels were killed, but 94 hostages (including one American) also died, many from the effects of the gas. A group led by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.
Assassination of an AID Official, October 28, 2002: Gunmen in Amman assassinated Laurence Foley, Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Jordan. The Honest People of Jordan claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, November 21, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus on Mexico Street in Jerusalem killed 11 persons and wounded 50 more. One of the dead was a Romanian. HAMAS claimed responsibility.
Attack on Temples in Kashmir, November 24, 2002: Armed militants attacked the Reghunath and Shiv temples in Jammu, Kashmir, killing 13 persons and wounding 50. The Lashkare-e-Tayyiba claimed responsibility.
Attacks on Israeli Tourists in Kenya, November 28, 2002: A three-person suicide car bomb attack on the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 15 persons and wounded 40. Three of the dead and 18 of the wounded were Israeli tourists; the others were Kenyans. Near Mombasa’s airport, two SA-7 shoulder-fired missiles were fired as an Arkia Airlines Boeing 757 that was carrying 261 passengers back to Israel. Both missiles missed. Al-Qaida, the Government of Universal Palestine in Exile, and the Army of Palestine claimed responsibility for both attacks. Al-Ittihad al-Islami was also suspected of involvement.
Attack on a Bus in the Philippines, December 26, 2002: Armed militants ambushed a bus carrying Filipino workers employed by the Canadian Toronto Ventures Inc. Pacific mining company in Zamboanga del Norte. Thirteen persons were killed and 10 wounded. Philippine authorities suspected the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had been extorting money from Toronto Ventures. The Catholic charity Caritas-Philippines said that Toronto Ventures had harassed tribesmen who opposed mining on their ancestral lands.
Bombing of a Government Building in Chechnya, December 27, 2002: A suicide bomb attack involving two explosives-laden trucks destroyed the offices of the pro-Russian Chechen government in Grozny. The attack killed over 80 people and wounded 210. According to a Chechen website run by the Kavkaz Center, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombings in Tel Aviv, January 5, 2003: Two suicide bomb attacks killed 22 and wounded at least 100 persons in Tel Aviv, Israel. Six of the victims were foreign workers. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Night Club Bombing in Colombia, February 7, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside a night club in Bogota, Colombia, killing 32 persons and wounding 160. No group claimed responsibility, but Colombian officials suspected the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) of committing the worst terrorist attack in the country in a decade.
Assasination of a Kurdish Leader, February 8, 2003: Members of Ansar al-Islam assassinated Kurdish legislator Shawkat Haji Mushir and captured two other Kurdish officials in Qamash Tapa in northern Iraq.
Suicide Bombing in Haifa, March 5, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel, killed 15 persons and wounded at least 40. One of the dead claimed U.S. as well as Israeli citizenship. The bomber’s affiliation was not immediately known.
Suicide Bombing in Netanya, March 30, 2003: A suicide bombing in a cafe in Netanya, Israel, wounded 38 persons. Only the bomber was killed. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility and called the attack a "gift" to the people of Iraq.
Unsuccessful Hostage Rescue Attempt in Colombia, May 5, 2003: The FARC killed 10 hostages when Colombian special forces tried to rescue them from a jungle hideout near Urrao, in Colombia’s Antioquia State. The dead included Governor Guillermo Gavira and former Defense Minister Gilberto Echeverri Mejia, who had been kidnapped in April 2002.
Truck Bomb Attacks in Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2003: Suicide bombers attacked three residential compounds for foreign workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 34 dead included 9 attackers, 7 other Saudis, 9 U.S. citizens, and one citizen each from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Philippines. Another American died on June 1. It was the first major attack on U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia since the end of the war in Iraq. Saudi authorities arrested 11 al-Qaida suspects on May 28.
Truck Bombing in Chechnya, May 12, 2003: A truck bomb explosion demolished a government compound in Znamenskoye, Chechnya, killing 54 persons. Russian authorities blamed followers of a Saudi-born Islamist named Abu Walid. President Vladimir Putin said that he suspected that there was an al-Qaida connection.
Attempted Assassination in Chechnya, May 12, 2003: Two female suicide bombers attacked Chechen Administrator Mufti Akhmed Kadyrov during a religious festival in Iliskhan Yurt. Kadyrov escaped injury, but 14 other persons were killed and 43 were wounded. Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bomb Attacks in Morocco, May 16, 2003: A team of 12 suicide bombers attacked five targets in Casablanca, Morocco, killing 43 persons and wounding 100. The targets were a Spanish restaurant, a Jewish community, a Jewish cemetery, a hotel, and the Belgian Consulate. The Moroccan Government blamed the Islamist al-Assirat al-Moustaquim (The Righteous Path), but foreign commentators suspected an al-Qaida connection.
Suicide Bomb Attack in Jerusalem, May 18, 2003: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem’s French Hill district killed 7 persons and wounded 20. The bomber was disguised as a religious Jew. HAMAS claimed responsibility
Suicide Bombing in Afula, May 19, 2003: A suicide bomb attack by a female Palestinian student killed 3 persons and wounded 52 at a shopping mall in Afula, Israel. Both Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, June 11, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Jerusalem killed 16 persons and wounded at least 70, one of whom died later. HAMAS claimed responsibility, calling it revenge for an Israeli helicopter attack on HAMAS leader Abdelaziz al-Rantisi in Gaza City the day before.
Truck Bombing in Northern Ossetia, August 1, 2003: A suicide truck bomb attack destroyed a Russian military hospital in Mozdok, North Ossetia and killed 50 persons. Russian authorities attributed the attack to followers of Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.
Hotel Bombing in Indonesia, August 5, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 10 persons and wounding 150. One of the dead was a Dutch citizen. The wounded included an American, a Canadian, an Australian, and two Chinese. Indonesian authorities suspected the Jemaah Islamiah, which had carried out the October 12, 2002 bombing in Bali.
Bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, August 7, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 19 persons and wounding 65. Most of the victims were apparently Iraqis, including 5 police officers. No group claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombings in Israel and the West Bank, August 12, 2003: The first suicide bombings since the June 29 Israeli-Palestinian truce took place. The first, in a supermarket at Rosh Haayin, Israel, killed one person and wounded 14. The second, at a bus stop near the Ariel settlement in the West Bank, killed one person and wounded 3. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility for the first; HAMAS claimed responsibility for the second.
Bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, August 19, 2003: A truck loaded with surplus Iraqi ordnance exploded outside the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad’s Canal Hotel. A hospital across the street was also heavily damaged. The 23 dead included UN Special Representative Sergio Viera de Mello. More than 100 persons were wounded. It was not clear whether the bomber was a Baath Party loyalist or a foreign Islamic militant. An al-Qaeda branch called the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri later claimed responsibility.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, August 19, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Jerusalem killed 20 persons and injured at least 100, one of whom died later. Five of the dead were American citizens. HAMAS and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, although HAMAS leader al-Rantisi said that his organization remained committed to the truce while reserving the right to respond to Israeli military actions.
Car Bomb Kills Shi’ite Leader in Najaf, August 29, 2003: A car bomb explosion outside the Shrine of the Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq killed at least 81 persons and wounded at least 140. The dead included the Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim, one of four leading Shi’ite clerics in Iraq. Al-Hakim had been the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) since its establishment in 1982, and SCIRI had recently agreed to work with the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi Governing Council. It was not known whether the perpetrators were Baath Party loyalists, rival Shi’ites, or foreign Islamists.
Suicide Bombings in Israel, September 9, 2003: Two suicide bombings took place in Israel. The first, at a bus stop near the Tsrifin army base southeast of Tel Aviv, killed 7 soldiers and wounded 14 soldiers and a civilian. The second, at a café in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood, killed 6 persons and wounded 40. HAMAS did not claim responsibility until the next day, although a spokesman called the first attack" a response to Israeli aggression."
Assassination of an Iraqi Governing Council Member, September 20, 2003: Gunmen shot and seriously wounded Akila Hashimi, one of three female members of the Iraqi Governing Council, near her home in Baghdad. She died September 25.
A Second Attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, September 22, 2003: A suicide car bomb attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad killed a security guard and wounded 19 other persons.
Suicide Bombing in Israel, October 4, 2003: A Palestinian woman made a suicide bomb attack on a restaurant in Haifa, killing 19 persons and wounding at least 55. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The next day, Israel bombed a terrorist training camp in Syria.
Attacks in Iraq, October 9, 2003: Gunmen assassinated a Spanish military attaché in Baghdad. A suicide car bomb attack on an Iraqi police station killed 8 persons and wounded 40.
Car Bombings in Baghdad, October 12, 2003: Two suicide car bombs exploded outside the Baghdad Hotel, which housed U.S. officials. Six persons were killed and 32 wounded. Iraqi and U.S. security personnel apparently kept the cars from actually reaching the hotel.
Bomb Attack on U.S. Diplomats in the Gaza Strip, October 15, 2003: A remote-controlled bomb exploded under a car in a U.S. diplomatic convoy passing through the northern Gaza Strip. Three security guards, all employees of DynCorp, were killed. A fourth was wounded. The diplomats were on their way to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States. Palestinian President Arafat and Prime Minister Qurei condemned the attack, while the major Palestinian militant groups denied responsibility. The next day, Palestinian security forces arrested several suspects, some of whom belonged to the Popular Resistance Committees.
Rocket Attack on the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, October 26, 2003: Iraqis using an improvised rocket launcher bombarded the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, killing one U.S. Army officer and wounding 17 persons. The wounded included 4 U.S. military personnel and seven American civilians. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was staying at the hotel, was not injured. After visiting the wounded, he said, "They’re not going to scare us away; we’re not giving up on this job."
Assassination of a Deputy Mayor in Baghdad, October 26, 2003: Two gunmen believed to be Baath Party loyalists assassinated Faris Abdul Razaq al-Assam, one of three deputy mayors of Baghdad. U.S. officials did not announce al-Assam’s death until October 28.
Wave of Car Bombings in Baghdad, October 27, 2003: A series of suicide car bombings in Baghdad killed at least 35 persons and wounded at least 230. Four attacks were directed at Iraqi police stations, the fifth and most destructive was directed at the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters, where at least 12 persons were killed. A sixth attack failed when a car bomb failed to explode and the bomber was wounded and captured by Iraqi police. U.S. and Iraqi officials suspected that foreign terrorists were involved; the unsuccessful bomber said he was a Syrian national and carried a Syrian passport. After a meeting with Administrator L. Paul Bremer, President Bush said, "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react."
Suicide Bombing in Riyadh, November 8, 2003: In Riyadh, a suicide car bombing took place in the Muhaya residential compound, which was occupied mainly by nationals of other Arab countries. Seventeen persons were killed and 122 were wounded. The latter included 4 Americans. The next day, Deputy Secretary of State Armitage said al-Qaeda was probably responsible.
Truck Bombing in Nasiriyah, November 12, 2003: A suicide truck bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Italian military police in Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing 18 Italians and 11 Iraqis and wounding at least 100 persons.
Synagogue Bombings in Istanbul, November 15, 2003: Two suicide truck bombs exploded outside the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 persons and wounding at least 300 more. The initial claim of responsibility came from a Turkish militant group, the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front, but Turkish authorities suspected an al-Qaeda connection. The next day, the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi received an e-mail in which an al-Qaeda branch called the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri claimed responsibility for the Istanbul synagogue bombings.
Grenade Attacks in Bogota, November 15, 2003: Grenade attacks on two bars frequented by Americans in Bogota killed one person and wounded 72, including 4 Americans. Colombian authorities suspected FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The U.S. Embassy suspected that the attacks had targeted Americans and warned against visiting commercial centers and places of entertainment.
More Suicide Truck Bombings in Istanbul, November 20, 2003: Two more suicide truck bombings devastated the British HSBC Bank and the British Consulate General in Istanbul, killing 27 persons and wounding at least 450. The dead included Consul General Roger Short. U.S., British, and Turkish officials suspected that al-Qaeda had struck again. The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul was closed, and the Embassy in Ankara advised American citizens in Istanbul to stay home.
Car Bombing in Kirkuk, November 20, 2003: A suicide car bombing in Kirkuk killed 5 persons. The target appeared to be the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. PUK officials suspected the Ansar al-Islam group, which was said to have sheltered fugitive Taliban and al-Qaeda members after the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan.
Attacks on Other Coalition Personnel in Iraq, November 29-30, 2003: Iraqi insurgents stepped up attacks on nationals of other members of the Coalition. On November 29, an ambush in Mahmudiyah killed 7 out of a party of 8 Spanish intelligence officers. Iraqi insurgents also killed two Japanese diplomats near Tikrit. On November 30, another ambush near Tikrit killed two South Korean electrical workers and wounded two more. A Colombian employee of Kellogg Brown & Root was killed and two were wounded in an ambush near Balad.
Train Bombing in Southern Russia, December 5, 2003: A suicide bomb attack killed 42 persons and wounded 150 aboard a Russian commuter train in the south Russian town of Yessentuki. Russian officials suspected Chechen rebels; President Putin said the attack was meant to disrupt legislative elections. Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov denied any involvement.
Suicide Bombing in Moscow, December 9, 2003: A female suicide bomber killed 5 other persons and wounded 14 outside Moscow’s National Hotel. She was said to be looking for the State Duma.
Suicide Car Bombings in Iraq, December 15, 2003: Two days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, there were two suicide car bomb attacks on Iraqi police stations. One at Husainiyah killed 8 persons and wounded 20. The other, at Ameriyah, wounded 7 Iraqi police. Guards repelled a second vehicle.
Office Bombing in Baghdad, December 19, 2003: A bomb destroyed the Baghdad office of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, killing a woman and wounding at least 7 other persons.
Suicide Car Bombing in Irbil, December 24, 2003: A suicide car bomb attack on the Kurdish Interior Ministry in Irbil, Iraq, killed 5 persons and wounded 101.
Attempted Assassination in Rawalpindi, December 25, 2003: Two suicide truck bombers killed 14 persons as President Musharraf’s motorcade passed through Rawalpindi, Pakistan. An earlier attempt on December 14 caused no casualties. Pakistani officials suspected Afghan and Kashmiri militants. On January 6, 2004, Pakistani authorities announced the arrest of 6 suspects who were said to be members of Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Suicide Bombing in Israel, December 25, 2003: A Palestinian suicide bomber killed 4 persons at a bus stop near Petah Tikva, Israel. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack in retaliation for Israeli military operations in Nablus that had begun two days earlier.
Restaurant Bombing in Baghdad, December 31, 2003: A car bomb explosion outside Baghdad’s Nabil Restaurant killed 8 persons and wounded 35. The wounded included 3 Los Angeles Times reporters and 3 local employees.
This document, based entirely on public sources, was prepared
Office of the Historian