Read about Hellenism (by Vlassis Agtzidis) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Monday, 24 June 2024
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts


Department of State Publication 10136

Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism




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.

Eastern Europe

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.

United Kingdom

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.

Former Yugoslavia

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 Transcaucasus 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 Yel'tsin government unless 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.
Back to Top
Copyright © 1995-2023 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
Tuesday, 20 February 1996