U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
1995 APRIL: PATTERNS OF GLOBAL TERRORISM, 1994
Department of State Publication 10239
Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Philip C. Wilcox, Jr.
Terrorism in Europe declined somewhat in 1994, in part because of a
cease-fire in Northern Ireland declared by the Provisional Irish
Republican Army (PIRA) on 1 September, and by the Loyalist paramilitary
groups in early October. In the eastern Mediterranean region, the Greek
leftist group 17 November continued to target foreign businesses and
diplomats, as well as Greek Government figures, and the Turkish
separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacked tourist sites in
western Turkish resort areas on the Aegean Sea. In Spain, the Basque
Fatherland and Liberty group (ETA) continued lethal attacks against
Spanish police and military targets. A Bosnian Muslim protesting the
three-year-old conflict in the former Yugoslavia hijacked a domestic SAS
flight in Norway; there were no casualties.
Ethnic tensions in regions of the former Soviet Union have spawned acts
of terrorism in the Caucasus and the Baltic republics. In September
there was an attempted bombing of an airliner in Georgia. In November
there was a hijacking of a Russian airliner to Estonia, which ended
peacefully. In Lithuania, there were two bombings of a rail line
connecting the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad with the Russian republic.
Violence in this region has not, for the most part, been directed at
On 10 April several gunmen crossed into Albania from Greece and stormed
a border guard facility, killing two persons and seriously wounding
three others before returning across the Greek border. A group calling
itself the "Northern Epirus Liberation Front" (MAVI) claimed
responsibility for the incident. It accused the Albanian Government of
violating the rights of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania and berated
Athens for not doing enough to support the minority. MAVI also issued a
pamphlet last fall announcing the commencement of an "armed struggle"
against Tirana and demanding, inter alia, the cessation of the alleged
"colonization" of "Northern Epirus" -- the Greek name for southern Albania,
which has a large ethnic Greek population -- by Albanians from the north.
MAVI was the name of an ethnic Greek resistance group in Albania during
World War II that operated first against the invading Italians and then
against the Communists. Press reports state that the group was disbanded
in the 1940s, although responsibility for the 1984 bombing of the
Albanian Embassy in Athens was claimed in its name.
Several Armenian intelligence officers are being held in Moscow, accused
of complicity in a series of bombings against the Baku Metro, as well as
Azerbaijani trains in Russia and Azerbaijan that killed 45 persons and
wounded at least 130. The Azerbaijani Supreme Court sentenced an ethnic
Russian involved in the crimes to eight years in prison for engaging in
intelligence work against Azerbaijan and committing acts of sabotage on
Anti-Russian sentiment may have been the catalyst for explosions and
bomb threats in the Baltics last year. On 28 February, when Latvian and
Russian delegations resumed talks on the withdrawal of Russian troops
from Latvia, a minor blast caused by an estimated one-half kilogram of
TNT damaged a power pylon near Skrunda. When Latvian and Russian
officials initialed agreements on 15 March allowing Russia to retain its
radar station for another five and a half years, Latvian police
discovered and disarmed a timer-controlled device armed with 12
kilograms of TNT at the base of another pylon. In November, a powerful
explosion destroyed a railroad bridge in Lithuania on the main railway
line for international trains traveling between Moscow and the Russian
exclave of Kaliningrad. The incident may have been connected to a
controversy surrounding negotiations over an agreement to allow Russian
military trains to transit Lithuania to Kaliningrad.
France scored a number of successes against international terrorists in
1994. In August, the Sudanese Government handed over notorious terrorist
Illych Ramirez Sanchez, a.k.a. "Carlos," previously convicted in
absentia in France for the murder of two French intelligence officers.
He will probably be retried on this charge and possibly others after
French officials complete their investigations. In September, French
officials also arrested Dursun Karatas, leader of the Turkish leftwing
group Dev Sol, for entering France using a false passport. (He has since
apparently escaped.) Karatas is under investigation for complicity in
attacks against French interests in Turkey during the Gulf war.
French authorities made a number of sweeps against foreign Islamic
extremists, seizing arms and false documents. They arrested or expelled
a number of North Africans believed to have links to extremist
organizations. In November, for example, French police detained 80
persons tied to Algeria's Armed Islamic Group. French police also
arrested several members of the Basque terrorist organization ETA,
including the group's second-highest ranking member, in three separate
incidents during the year.
In December, a French court convicted two Iranians of involvement in the
murder of former Iranian Prime Minister Bakhtiar in 1991. A third
defendant, an Iranian Embassy employee, was acquitted.
On 26 December, France's National Gendarmerie Action Group stormed an
Air France plane hijacked from Algiers to Marseille, killing the four
hijackers and rescuing 170 passengers and crew.
The Red Army Faction (RAF) remained deeply divided between those who
opted for political means and those who wanted to engage in violence.
German courts granted early release to two RAF members: Irmgard Moeller,
who served 22 years of a life sentence for a car bomb attack that killed
three US soldiers in 1972, and Ingrid Jakobsmeier, who served two-thirds
of her sentence for participating in attacks against the US military in
1981. German authorities believe the two pose no further terrorist
threat. Another RAF member, Birgit Hogefeld, went on trial in November
for her part in a number of attacks, including a bombing at a US airbase
in Frankfurt in 1985 that killed a US soldier.
Several smaller leftwing factions resumed operations. After a six-year
hiatus, the Revolutionary Cells (RZ) reappeared with an arson attack on
the Frankfurt subway system protesting higher fares and "racist"
practices among ticket controllers. Red Zora, the feminist branch of the
RZ, also reemerged and set fire to trucks belonging to a company that
supplied groceries to refugee facilities on the premise that the firm
was "making money off refugees." Unidentified leftwing terrorists,
probably on the RAF periphery, bombed offices of the ruling political
parties in two cities in September.
Rightwing extremist attacks continued to decline last year. There were
still more than 1,000 reported attacks -- down from about 2,200 in 1993 -- but
arson and mob attacks against refugee homes virtually ceased, and
assaults on individual foreigners occurred less frequently. The most
significant incident took place on 12 May, when at least 50 youths
chased five foreigners through the streets of Magdeburg. However, during
1994, the number of anti-Semitic attacks increased; rightwing extremists
threw firebombs at a synagogue in Luebeck and desecrated Jewish
Greece was the venue for a large number of international terrorist
attacks in 1994. The most deadly attack was the 4 July assassination of
the acting Deputy Chief of Mission of the Turkish Embassy, claimed by
the Revolutionary Organization 17 November. Events in the Balkans
probably sparked a number of other attacks against Western interests in
Greece in April, including an unsuccessful mortar attack against the
British aircraft carrier Ark Royal in Piraeus claimed by 17 November.
Attacks also were made against American, Dutch, French, and German
commercial and diplomatic targets. The Revolutionary People's Struggle
(ELA) claimed two bombing attempts against the office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugee Affairs.
In July, three improvised bombs exploded on the Island of Rhodes,
injuring one foreign tourist and a Greek citizen. No group has claimed
Greek authorities made little progress in 1994 against terrorist groups,
in part due to ambivalent government attitudes toward counterterrorism.
Greece still lacks a new antiterrorism law to replace legislation
repealed in December 1993 by the incoming PASOK government. In addition,
suspected terrorist Georgios Balafas was acquitted on 25 July of murder,
armed robbery, and other charges. He still faces trial in two other
cases -- weapons and narcotics charges -- but was released in September on
"humanitarian" grounds after a reported hunger strike. While in the
prison hospital, he was visited by the then Minister of Transportation
and Communications as a "gesture of support."
Leftwing groups modeled on the largely defunct Red Brigades carried out
several small-scale attacks, including the bombing of the NATO Defense
College in Rome on 10 January. The attack was claimed by the Combatant
Communist Nuclei for the Construction of the Combatant Communist Party.
In September, four members of the Red Brigades for the Construction of
the Communist Combatant Party, another neoöRed Brigades group, were
convicted of involvement in the attack on the NATO base in Aviano in
Separatist and internal power struggles, particularly in the North
Caucasus region of Russia, continued to spawn domestic violence and
terrorism. In July, four gunmen from the separatist Chechnya region
hijacked a bus carrying more than 40 passengers. The incident ended
tragically when four hostages were killed as Russian police stormed the
hijackers' getaway helicopter. There were also a number of airplane
hijackings, including one in the Chechnya region in which the hijacker
blew himself up after releasing several passengers and watching the
Spanish authorities scored several successes against the separatist
group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), including the disruption of
the "Comando Vizcaya" subunit in November. One ETA member was killed and
two arrested after a failed assassination attempt against a Spanish
soldier. Continuing close cooperation between Spanish and French police
resulted in a September raid on an ETA explosives factory in France and
the arrest of five ETA members in November, including the group's
ETA carried out one act of international terrorism in 1994 with the
attempted assassination of the Spanish military attache in Rome.
Domestic attacks by ETA fell off at the end of the year, but the group
retains its lethal capabilities.
International terrorism has become an important part of the Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) campaign to establish a breakaway state in
southeast Turkey and presents a potentially serious threat to US
interests. PKK attacks against tourists in Turkey last year were
particularly violent, although the overall number of terrorist attacks
was significantly lower than in 1993. Three attacks on tourist sites in
Istanbul in May killed two foreign tourists -- the first to be killed by
the PKK -- and injured several others. In June, the PKK was also
responsible for several small bombs that exploded in two Turkish resort
towns on the Mediterranean coast, killing a British woman and injuring
at least 10 other tourists. In the latest in a series of kidnappings of
foreign travelers, the PKK abducted two Finnish tourists on 8 August and
released them unharmed three weeks later. The PKK also attacked
government and commercial targets in major Turkish cities, presenting an
incidental risk to foreign visitors, as well as Turks. PKK terrorist
attacks on Turkish citizens, including ethnic Kurds, continued unabated.
The PKK continued to expand its activities in Western Europe, where its
members clashed with police frequently throughout the year. For the
first time, the PKK also directly targeted Western interests in Europe.
It blocked highways in Germany with burning tires in March and conducted
demonstrations in a number of German cities, some of which turned into
violent confrontations with the police. After German police killed a
Kurdish youth in Hannover, the PKK organized protests and sit-ins at the
German Embassy in Athens and a German Consulate in Denmark. The PKK also
mounted demonstrations in several West European countries after British
immigration authorities detained Kani Yilmaz, the senior PKK leader in
Europe, in October. The PKK also opened offices of its political wing
(ERNK) in Italy and Greece.
The Marxist/Leninist terrorist group Dev Sol (Devrimci Sol), or
Revolutionary Left, remained a threat to US interests and personnel in
Turkey, despite a series of setbacks the group has suffered over the
last two years. Dev Sol's two factions were largely inactive last year
as they continued to battle each other and as the Turkish police
arrested numerous operatives. Some members of the group sprang into
action after French authorities arrested Dursun Karatas, the head of the
major Dev Sol faction, on 9 September as he tried to enter France from
Italy on falsified documents. Over the next several weeks, Dev Sol
supporters protested in Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands demanding
Karatas' release. Dev Sol operatives in Turkey assassinated former
Justice Minister Mehmet Topac on 29 September in Ankara and also killed
a policeman in Istanbul.
Several groups of loosely organized Turkish Islamic extremists, who
advocate an Islamic government for Turkey, attacked targets associated
with the Turkish secular state. They claimed attacks under a variety of
names, such as Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Movement Organization, and the
Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front. The Islamic extremists also pursue
a strong anti-Western agenda. In May 1994, Islamic terrorists claimed
responsibility for bombing the Ankara branch of the Freemason
organization. In September, a Turkish political scientist known for his
secular writings escaped death when a car bomb planted by Islamic
extremists failed to explode.
The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) announced a "complete
cessation of military operations" beginning on 1 September. Other
Republican splinter groups in Northern Ireland also ceased attacks after
that date, although most have not formally agreed to a cease-fire.
PIRA's leadership denied authorizing the use of firearms in a robbery on
10 November carried out by a lower-level unit in Newry that resulted in
the death of a postal worker. The Combined Military Loyalist Command, an
umbrella group comprising three loyalist paramilitary groups, announced
its own cease-fire beginning 14 October.
Both Loyalists and Republicans carried out a number of international and
domestic terrorist attacks before the cease-fire. Loyalists carried out
several attacks in the Republic of Ireland, including a lethal attack in
May on a Dublin pub during a Sinn Fein fundraiser. In March three
separate attacks by PIRA on Heathrow International Airport in London
failed when the mortar rounds used did not detonate.
On 26 October, British authorities arrested Faysal Dunlayici, a.k.a.
Kani Yilmaz, a high-ranking leader of the PKK based in Europe. The
arrest sparked protests from PKK supporters in the United Kingdom, and
Germany and Turkey have requested his extradition.
On 26 July, a bomb contained in a car exploded outside the Israeli
Chancery in London at approximately noon causing substantial structural
damage and injuring 14 persons. The car carrying the explosives was
driven by a woman described as in her fifties and "Middle Eastern" in
appearance. On 27 July, shortly after midnight, another bomb contained
in a car exploded in north London outside Balfour House, a Jewish
fundraising organization. This bomb caused some structural damage to the
building but resulted in limited casualties, primarily because of the
time it was detonated. Five passers-by were injured by the blast.
Ethnic conflict and endemic violence plagued the former Yugoslavia for a
third year, although in 1994 the fighting was largely restricted to
Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, a Bosnian Muslim, claiming that he
wanted to focus world attention on the plight of his kinsmen, hijacked
an SAS airliner during a domestic flight in Norway on 3 November. He
surrendered peacefully to Norwegian authorities after landing in Oslo.
This was the first such incident on behalf of one of the warring
factions of the former Yugoslavia.