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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
1994 APRIL: PATTERNS OF GLOBAL TERRORISM, 1993

Department of State Publication 10136

Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism


MIDDLE EASTERN OVERVIEW


CONTENTS


Introduction

In 1993, about 100 international terrorist attacks occurred in the Middle East, up from 79 in 1992. The increase is a result of Iraqi attacks against UN and other humanitarian efforts in northern Iraq and escalated terrorist activity in Egypt. Ongoing, low-level attacks in Lebanon continued, along with violence generated by opposition to the Declaration of Principles (DOP) reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Iran's involvement in and sponsorship of terrorist activity continued to pose significant threats in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Tehran continued to hunt down and murder Iranian dissidents, with assassinations in Turkey, Italy, and Pakistan. Iranian involvement is also suspected in the murder of secular Turkish journalist Ugur Mumcu and the attempted murder of Istanbul Jewish businessman Jak Kamhi. Hizballah, with which Iran is closely associated, was responsible for rocket attacks into northern Israel that killed and injured civilians. The Iranian Government called for violence to derail the DOP and supported violence by several rejectionist groups. Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia have accused Iran -and Sudan- of supporting local militant Islamist elements to undermine their governments. Iran also seeks to expand its influence in Latin America and Africa.

Iraq's capability to support international terrorism remains hampered by continued sanctions and the regime's international isolation, but Baghdad retains a limited capability to mount external operations, principally in neighboring countries. The prime example of this capability was the attempted assassination in Kuwait of former President Bush in April, which drew a retaliatory military response from the United States on 26 June. Baghdad also mounted numerous terrorist operations within Iraq against UN and other humanitarian relief operations. Moreover, Iraq continued to provide its traditional support and safehaven to terrorist Palestinians such as Abu Abbas and elements of the Abu Nidal organization (ANO). There has been no direct evidence of Syrian Government involvement in terrorist acts since 1986, but Damascus continues to provide support and safehaven to Arab and non-Arab terrorist organizations in Syria and in parts of Lebanon where the Syrian Army is deployed. Syria's relationship with the PKK came under increasing scrutiny in 1993.

In response to ongoing Libyan defiance of the demands of the international community to cease all support for international terrorism, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 883, which imposed additional sanctions for refusing to hand over for trial terrorists accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772. The Qaddafi regime has made partial and largely cosmetic moves to close some terrorist facilities since the initial imposition of sanctions, but it still provides support and safehaven to such notorious terrorists as Abu Nidal. Although the case is still unresolved, most observers suspect an official Libyan hand in the December disappearance of Libyan dissident Mansour Kikhia from Cairo. Domestic terrorism in Egypt continued to escalate during the year. The number of radical Islamic groups, appeared to increase, and they continued their attacks against Egyptian security and civilian officials, local Christians, and tourist targets. Unsuccessful assassination attempts were made against the Minister of Information, the Minister of the Interior, and the Prime Minister. Indiscriminate bombings in Cairo from February through July killed 22 Egyptians and wounded over 100 others. Among the most serious tourists incidents was a December incident in which eight Austrian tourists and eight Egyptians were wounded when their bus was attacked in Old Cairo. American citizens were victims of other attacks: on 26 February, two Americans were among the injured when unknown perpetrators bombed Cairo's Wadi al-Nil cafe. The Egyptian Government has maintained that Iran and Sudan provided support to the organizations responsible for most of the attacks.

In North Africa, Tunisia and Morocco remained generally free of political violence. In Algeria, however, the situation continued to deteriorate as radical elements, most thought to be associated with the Armed Islamic Group, expanded their range of targets from security officials to secular intellectuals and, beginning in September, foreigners. The worst attack occurred in December when 12 Croatian and Bosnian expatriates died after having their throats slit at their work compound in Tamezquida.

After the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian DOP in September, proaccord elements of the PLO, including Fatah, appeared to cease all anti-Israeli operations except in one unauthorized incident. Rejectionist Palestinian groups, however, sought to derail the agreement with violence and terrorism. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Forces arm of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have led the violent opposition to the peace efforts, with civilians serving as frequent targets. HAMAS also added suicide car bombs to its arsenal. Jewish extremist settlers opposed to the DOP mounted several violent attacks during the year.

In Yemen, there were several attacks by unknown assailants on foreign interests. A small rocket hit the US Embassy in January, and a bomb exploded outside the British Embassy in March. Several foreigners were kidnapped by tribal elements during the year, prompted by economic or tribal motivations. Six members of the Yemeni Islamic Jihad, who were awaiting trial for the bombing of two hotels in Aden in 1992, escaped from prison in July. Several reports noted that private Islamic sources were financing the training of radicals in camps in remote areas of Yemen.


Algeria

The security situation in Algeria continued to deteriorate with a marked increase in attacks by Islamist extremists against the Algerian intelligentsia, economic and infrastructure targets, and foreigners. Extremists continued to focus most of their violent campaign on official Algerian and military targets throughout the year.

The fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), which was banned in March 1992, reemerged as an underground movement but splintered into several factions. The official FIS leadership remains imprisoned in Algeria, and several other leaders went into exile following the regime crackdown on the movement. FIS factions abroad and within the country appear to be competing for influence over the movement. In addition, militant offshoots of the FIS and other extremist groups operate throughout Algeria, confusing responsibility for each attack.

By the fall, a few loosely organized militant factions had emerged, including the Armed Islamic Group (AIG), which is not affiliated with the FIS. The AIG claimed responsibility for killing two French surveyors in September and for the late October kidnapping of three French Consulate employees, two of whom were rescued by Algerian security services and one of whom was released by her captors on 31 October. The kidnappers warned foreigners that they had one month to leave the country. In early December, the campaign against foreigners resumed with attacks on a Spaniard, an Italian, a Russian, a Frenchman, and a Briton. In the most heinous terrorist act in Algeria during the year, 12 Croatian and Bosnian workers were murdered in Tamezquida on 14 December.

Despite strict antiterrorist laws, three special antiterrorist courts, and 26 executions of convicted "terrorists," the government was unable to stem the violence. Nearly 400 death sentences were issued last year, and the military conducted sweeps of urban areas, deployed military units in Algiers, and extended curfews beyond urban areas, but, by the end of the year, extremist groups continued their attacks on official and infrastructure targets throughout the country.


Egypt

Islamic extremists continued to target the tourist industry, particularly in upper Egypt, throughout the year. Two foreigners were killed, and more than 18 others were injured in sporadic bombings of public places and attacks on tour buses. Four more foreigners were killed by a lone, apparently deranged gunman in a shooting at a Cairo hotel in October. Indiscriminate bombings from February through July were responsible for the deaths of 22 Egyptian civilians and the wounding of over 100 others. Most of the attacks on or near tour buses and Nile cruise ships resulted in few injuries and little damage. Nonetheless, Egypt's tourism industry suffered; figures estimate Cairo's earnings may have dropped as much as 50 percent since attacks against tourist sites began in October 1992.

Most attacks were focused on government and security officials, the police, and Egyptian secularist Muslims. The Islamic Group (IG), which seeks the violent overthrow of the Egyptian Government, claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks. Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, the so-called spiritual leader of the IG, was arrested in the United States on charges related to the conspiracy to attack various New York City institutions including the United Nations. IG members in Egypt threatened Americans there and abroad if their leader were harmed.

Another group or faction of extremists emerged in 1993, sometimes calling itself the New Jihad. This group claimed responsibility for some high profile attacks, including the attempted assassination of the Interior Minister in August and the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sedky in November.

The Egyptian Government responded to increased domestic terrorism by detaining or arresting thousands of suspected terrorists and using military courts to try hundreds of them, convicting some and acquitting others. Some of the convicted received death sentences that were carried out. In addition, Cairo called for more international coordination to combat terrorism and asked for the expulsion of many suspected Egyptian terrorists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Gulf states, and some European countries, among others. Cairo also asked for the extradition of Shaykh Umar Abd al- Rahman from the United States. The Egyptian Government believes Iran and Sudan support terrorism in Egypt. Cairo criticized Tehran for its role and expressed concern over alleged terrorist training bases in Sudan.

In March, Cairo handed over Egyptian citizen Mahmoud Abu Halima, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing, to US officials. Cairo continued to attempt to mediate international efforts to bring Libya into compliance with UN Security Council resolutions stemming from Libya's role in the Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772 bombings.


Israel and the Occupied Territories

Violence and terrorist acts instigated by Palestinians continued in 1993. Attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in Israel and the occupied territories left approximately 65 Israelis dead and 390 others wounded. Approximately 14 Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians.

Intra-Palestinian violence in the occupied territories declined during the year; approximately 83 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians as compared to nearly 200 in 1992. The decline is largely the result of a tacit cease-fire between the previous year's primary combatants, Fatah and HAMAS, and a decline in killings of alleged collaborators. Several prominent Fatah leaders in Gaza were assassinated late in the year, apparently by fellow Palestinians.

Before the 13 September signing of the Israeli-Palestinian DOP, Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO, HAMAS, and the PIJ claimed responsibility for the majority of terrorist and violent actions. On 9 September, in letters to Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Norwegian Foreign Minister Holst, PLO Chairman Arafat committed the PLO to cease all violence and terrorism. Between 9 September and 31 December, PLO factions loyal to Arafat complied with this commitment except for one, possibly two, instances. Members of Fatah were responsible for the 29 October murder of an Israeli settler, and an alleged member of the Fatah Hawks, a PLO-affiliated group in the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for the 31 December murder of two Israelis. In both cases, the responsible individuals apparently acted independently.

The level of violence in Israel and the occupied territories initially declined following the signing of the DOP; however, opposition groups determined to defeat the agreement contributed to an increase in the number of violent incidents and terrorist attacks over the last three months of the year. Since the DOP was signed, Palestinian attacks have resulted in the deaths of approximately 17 Israelis--10 civilians and 7 military personnel. Two groups under the PLO umbrella, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)-Hawatmeh faction suspended their participation in the PLO to protest the agreement, and they continued their campaign of violence. The PFLP claimed responsibility for the mid-October murder of two Israeli hikers and also for a failed seaborne raid on northern Israel.

Non-PLO groups that oppose the DOP, such as HAMAS and the PIJ, have been responsible for the majority of violent incidents since 13 September. HAMAS's underground armed wing, known as the Izz ad- Din al Qassam Brigades, increased its violent operations in an attempt to disrupt implementation of the DOP. HAMAS has claimed at least 13 postagreement attacks, including several directed at civilians. The group mounted several suicide car-bomb attacks in late 1993, including the 4 October ramming of an explosives-laden vehicle into an Israeli bus that wounded 30 persons.

Israel conducted no significant prosecutions of international terrorists during the year; however, it authorized the extradition to the United States of two US citizens wanted for terrorist activities. Israeli security forces killed two senior members of the Izz ad-Din al Qassam Brigades in late November. On 31 March, the Israeli Government, responding to a string of terrorist attacks, instituted a strict ban on Palestinian entry into Israel, which effectively curtailed Palestinian attacks in Israel proper. The ban was gradually eased to allow 52,000 Palestinians to work in Israel. Israel allowed nearly 400 HAMAS supporters that were expelled to Lebanon in December 1992 to return to the occupied territories in 1993. Half of the deportees returned in September, and the remainder--with the exception of 18 who decided to remain in Lebanon to avoid arrest--returned in December.

As a result of intensive border security by Israeli, Egyptian, and Jordanian forces, only one successful infiltration attempt into Israel occurred in 1993. On 29 December, three members believed to be of the non-PLO Abu Musa group infiltrated northern Israel from Lebanon. The three were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces; no Israelis were hurt or killed. Rocket attacks into northern Israel from southern Lebanon, however, increased dramatically in the first half of the year. Israel responded by launching a major air and artillery offensive--which it termed "Operation Accountability"-- against Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian rejectionist positions in Lebanon. There were no more rocket attacks from Lebanon into Israel for the rest of the year.

Jewish extremist groups mounted several violent attacks in 1993. Kahane Chai reacted to Arafat's official visit to Paris by exploding two bombs near the French Embassy in Tel Aviv on 24 October; no one was injured. Kahane Chai also threatened to attack other French interests in the region. A settler, affiliated with the militant Kach group, claimed responsibility for an 8 November drive-by shooting that wounded two Palestinians in the West Bank. Israeli settlers opposed to the DOP rioted after the murder of Israeli settler Haim Mizrahi by randomly assaulting Palestinians and destroying property. One Palestinian was killed, and 18 others were wounded.


Jordan

In February, Jordanian border police arrested two men, allegedly members of the PIJ, who were smuggling weapons into Jordan. The suspects said they were ordered to attack Americans on organized bus tours. In April, Jordanian security forces uncovered an alleged plot to assassinate King Hussein at a military academy graduation ceremony in June. The suspects, all members of the outlawed Islamic Liberation Party, were put on trial. In November, three gunmen with reported links to the New York-based Egyptian cleric Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman attacked a Jordanian Army outpost near the West Bank border. All three assailants were killed.

Jordanian security and police closely monitor secular and Islamic extremists inside the country and detain individuals suspected of involvement in violent acts aimed at destabilizing the government or undermining its relations with neighboring states. Jordan maintains tight security along its border with Israel and last year interdicted several armed infiltration operations attributed to Palestinian factions.

Jordan continues to host PLO rejectionist groups such as the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine. HAMAS also has an office in Amman. In addition, some extremist Palestinian groups with a history of anti-Western terrorist activity--including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), and some factions of the PIJ--maintain a presence in Jordan.


Kuwait

The Iraqi plot to assassinate former President Bush and to explode several bombs in Kuwait City in April was one of the year's most brazen attempts at terrorism. Eleven Iraqis and three Kuwaitis are on trial for the plot. They smuggled into Kuwait two vehicles, one loaded with 180 pounds of explosives, and a collection of time bombs, grenades, and pistols. The sophisticated remote-controlled firing device, as well as the blasting cap, wiring, and integrated circuitry of the car bomb matched devices that were already linked to Iraq. Kuwaiti authorities have identified some of the Iraqi suspects as employees of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

Several minor terrorist incidents occurred in Kuwait last year, separate from the Iraqi plot. In March, a series of bombs exploded in music and video shops, one of which exploded near the Holiday Inn. Although no arrests or claims of responsibility were made for the attacks, local radical Muslim extremists have been blamed.

In June, a Kuwaiti court sentenced to death 10 members of the Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian terrorist group based in Baghdad, for their collaboration with Iraq during the occupation of Kuwait.


Lebanon

The security situation in Lebanon has improved, and the Lebanese Government exercises authority over significant areas of the country. The Syrian military controls some areas, particularly in the Bekaa Valley along the border with Syria, and Israel occupies a self-declared security zone in the south. In the Bekaa Valley, parts of the south, and a few other areas of the country, however, terrorist groups continue to move about freely--notably Iranian- backed Hizballah. The Lebanese Government has not taken steps to disarm Hizballah or to expand its authority into areas of southern Lebanon controlled by the group; however, it deployed a small unit of the Lebanese Armed Forces into the region. Hizballah released the last of the Western hostages it held in 1992; it still holds many South Lebanese Army members that were taken prisoner during fighting in the south. The fate of several Israeli military personnel missing in Lebanon remains unknown.

Hizballah and Palestinian groups have launched attacks on northern Israel from southern Lebanon. Hizballah launched rockets into Israel throughout the year, reaching a crescendo with dozens of rockets launched daily at the end of July. Four Israeli civilians were killed in two of the attacks in July and August. The Israeli military responded with a major counterattack in southern Lebanon dubbed Operation Accountability.

There are still diverse elements in Lebanon willing to resort to terrorism. In January, a man with explosives strapped to his waist and several sticks of dynamite in his luggage was arrested as he was about to board a Middle East Airlines flight to Cyprus. In February, a bomb was placed in front of the Kuwait Airways office, and a bomb was thrown into the Kuwaiti Embassy compound the following month. Two bombs were discovered in June near the Danish Embassy in Beirut. The same month, two members of the radical Sunni ``Islamic Grouping" were killed, and another was wounded while attempting to plant a bomb near a monastery in northern Lebanon. The intended target was a bus carrying Christians attending an international ecumenical conference. The government is prosecuting five members of the group. In August, a bomb was discovered near a building that houses Kuwait Airways. Iraqi agents or their surrogates were probably responsible for all three of the attempted bombings of Kuwaiti interests in Lebanon. In December, Kataiv (Phalange) Party headquarters in Beirut was blown up, killing several people. Factional feuding among Palestinians led to several assassinations of Palestinian leaders in Lebanon.

Iran, Iraq, and Syria continued to provide varying degrees of financial, military, and logistic support to terrorist groups based in Lebanon. Syria, in particular, maintains a considerable influence over Lebanese internal affairs and has not supported Lebanese Government attempts to control the radical Shia group, Hizballah. Hizballah, which now has eight members in Parliament, has been allowed to retain its well-armed militia and terrorist capabilities. In addition, several radical Palestinian groups have training facilities in Lebanon, including the PFLP-GC, the PIJ, and the ANO. Several non-Arab groups- -such as Turkey's PKK, the Revolutionary Left (Dev Sol), and the Japanese Red Army (JRA)--also maintain facilities in Lebanon, most of which are in the Bekaa Valley.

The Lebanese Government has taken only minimal steps toward prosecuting terrorists responsible for the wave of hijackings, bombings, and abductions that swept through Lebanon during its civil war. During the last year, a military court sentenced one man to death, but later reduced the sentence to 10 years with hard labor, for car-bombing the American University in Beirut in 1991.


Saudi Arabia

No terrorist attacks or prosecutions related to terrorism occurred in Saudi Arabia in 1993. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca--the hajj-- passed relatively peacefully. Nonetheless, the government continues to be concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks sponsored by Iraq, Iran, or Muslim extremists from other countries.

Some private Saudi citizens probably provide private funds to HAMAS and other radical Palestinian groups throughout the region, as well as to extremist elements in Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Saudi benefactors also sponsor paramilitary training for radical Muslims from many countries in camps in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Sudan.


Yemen

There were several attacks on foreign interests in Yemen by unknown assailants in 1993. In January, a small rocket narrowly missed the US Embassy, and, in March, a small bomb exploded outside the British Embassy but did no damage. Perpetrators of similar attacks on the US and German Embassies in late 1992 and 1993 have not been apprehended.

It became relatively common practice for Yemeni tribal members to take hostages briefly, including several foreigners, to settle tribal disputes or extort funds. Two foreigners were abducted in separate incidents in January in tribal disputes with Yemeni authorities. In April, six foreign oil workers were kidnapped and threatened with death to force a French oil company to hire more locals at a drilling site. In May, two US oil men were abducted to prevent the government from carrying out a death sentence imposed on a fellow tribesman. In November, a US diplomat was seized by gunmen and held hostage by tribal leaders seeking several concessions from the government.

Six religious extremists, members of the Yemeni Islamic Jihad awaiting trial for bombing two hotels in Aden at the end of 1992, escaped from prison in July. Paramilitary training is reportedly being conducted in parts of Yemen under weak government control and funded in large part by private donations gathered from other parts of the Islamic world.

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