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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
1994 APRIL: PATTERNS OF GLOBAL TERRORISM, 1992

Department of State Publication 10136

Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism


ASIAN OVERVIEW


CONTENTS


Introduction

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

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

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.


Japan

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. Rightwing groups were responsible for a series of four firebombings 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.


Pakistan

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-Islami. 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.


Philippines

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 declined 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

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.

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