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 continued to menace civil society in 1994. Although
international terrorism declined worldwide, there was an upsurge of
attacks by Islamic extremist groups, including many aimed at undermining
the Middle East peace process. The Clinton administration increased
cooperative efforts with many nations to reduce the threat of terrorism.
Examples of serious acts of international terrorism in 1994 were:
Extremists opposed to the Arab-Israeli peace process dramatically
increased the scale and frequency of their attacks in Israel, the West
Bank, and Gaza. More than 100 civilians died in these attacks in 1994.
- The bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in July that
killed nearly 100 persons.
- The hijacking in December of an Air France jet by the Algerian Armed
Islamic Group, who are waging a massive campaign of terrorism against
Algerians and foreigners in Algeria.
- Attacks against foreign tourists by Islamic radicals in Egypt and by
the PKK in Turkey.
- The bombing of a Panamanian commuter aircraft that killed 21
This pattern of terrorism in 1994 reflects a trend in recent years of a
decline in attacks by secular terrorist groups and an increase in
terrorist activities by radical Islamic groups. These groups are a small
minority in the Islamic world, and most Islamic countries, as well as
the Organization of the Islamic Conference, have condemned religious
extremism and violence. Nevertheless, terrorism in Islamic guise is a
problem for established governments in the Middle East and a threat to
the Arab-Israeli peace process.
There have been important positive developments as well in the fight
against international terrorism:
US counterterrorism policy follows three general rules:
- Two radical Arab regimes long involved in sponsoring and supporting
terrorism in the Middle East -- Libya and Iraq -- are isolated.
- Iran, while still a major state sponsor of terrorism, is under
considerable economic pressure.
- The old Soviet Union, once a protector of radical terrorist states
and organizations, is gone.
- The conflicts in Northern Ireland and South Africa, regarded in the
past as intractable, have also yielded to processes of peaceful
settlement, and the main protagonists have halted the use of terror and
violence as a political weapon.
- Counterterrorism and law enforcement cooperation among nations has
grown, increasing the pressure on terrorists, and there is a growing
international consensus that terrorism is beyond the pale.
- The Arab-Israeli conflict, which has bred much terror and violence,
has taken a historic turn toward resolution. Israel and the PLO have
concluded an agreement on interim self-government in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. Jordan has followed Egypt in making peace with Israel; other
Arab states are establishing contacts with Israel; and Syria and Israel
are engaged in a process of negotiations. Nevertheless, those opposed to
the peace process dramatically increased their rear-guard terrorist
campaigns in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza aimed at destroying the
Because terrorism is a global problem, the Clinton administration is
deeply engaged in cooperation with other governments in an international
effort to combat terrorism:
- First, do not make deals with terrorists or submit to blackmail. We
have found over the years that this policy works.
- Second, treat terrorists as criminals and apply the rule of law.
- Third, bring maximum pressure on states that sponsor and support
terrorists by imposing economic, diplomatic, and political sanctions and
urging other states to do likewise.
Civilized people everywhere are outraged by terrorist crimes. The scars
are long lasting, and there is no recompense for victims. But terrorists
are a small minority, whose crimes, deadly as they are, cannot be
allowed to intimidate the forces of peace and democracy. The message to
terrorists from Americans and other free people and nations is that we
are strong, vigilant, and determined to defeat terrorism.
- US intelligence and law enforcement agencies have an active network
of cooperative relations with counterparts in scores of friendly
- The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the Department
of State conducts consultations on counterterrorism with many other
governments. There are similar consultations in the G-7 and the European
- There are now 11 treaties and conventions that commit signatories to
combat various terrorist crimes. The United States urges governments
that have not signed and ratified these to do so promptly.
- The Department of State's antiterrorism training assistance program
has trained over 15,000 law enforcement personnel from more than 80
countries over 10 years in counterterrorism techniques.
- The United States and other nations fund an active counterterrorism
research and development program that strengthens our capability in such
areas as plastic explosives detection.
- Finally, the United States offers rewards of up to $2 million for
information that leads to the prevention or favorable resolution of a
terrorist attack against US persons.
This report is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United
States Code, Section 2656f(a), which requires the Department of State to
provide Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for
those countries and groups meeting the criteria of Section (a)(1) and
(2) of the Act. As required by legislation, the report includes detailed
assessments of foreign countries where significant terrorist acts
occurred and countries about which Congress was notified during the
preceding five years pursuant to Section 6(j) of the Export
Administration Act of 1979 (the so-called terrorism list countries that
have repeatedly provided state support for international terrorism). In
addition, the report includes all relevant information about the
previous year's activities of individuals, terrorist groups, or umbrella
groups under which such terrorist groups fall, known to be responsible
for the kidnapping or death of any American citizen during the preceding
five years, and groups known to be financed by state sponsors of
No one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance. For the
purposes of this report, however, we have chosen the definition of
terrorism contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, Section
2656f(d). That statute contains the following definitions:
The US Government has employed this definition of terrorism for
statistical and analytical purposes since 1983. In a number of
countries, domestic terrorism, or an active insurgency, has a greater
impact on the level of political violence than does international
terrorism. Although not the primary purpose of this report, we have
attempted to indicate those areas where this is the case.
- The term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated
violence perpetrated against noncombatant(1) targets by subnational
groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
1 For purposes of this definition, the term ''noncombatant'' is
interpreted to include, in addition to civilians, military personnel who
at the time of the incident are unarmed and/or not on duty. For example,
in past reports we have listed as terrorist incidents the murders of the
following US military personnel: Col. James Rowe, killed in Manila in
April 1989; Capt. William Nordeen, US defense attache killed in Athens
in June 1988; the two servicemen killed in the La Belle disco bombing in
West Berlin in April 1986; and the four off-duty US Embassy Marine
guards killed in a cafe in El Salvador in June 1985. We also consider as
acts of terrorism attacks on military installations or on armed military
personnel when a state of military hostilities does not exist at the
site, such as bombings against US bases in Europe, the Philippines, or
- The term "international terrorism" means terrorism involving
citizens or the territory of more than one country.
- The term ''terrorist group'' means any group practicing, or that has
significant subgroups that practice, international terrorism.
Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political,
social, ethnic, religious, or national group is not meant to imply that
all members of that group are terrorists. Indeed, terrorists represent a
small minority of dedicated, often fanatical, individuals in most such
groups. It is that small group -- and their actions -- that is the subject of
Furthermore, terrorist acts are part of a larger phenomenon of
politically inspired violence, and at times the line between the two can
become difficult to draw. To relate terrorist events to the larger
context, and to give a feel for the conflicts that spawn violence, this
report will discuss terrorist acts as well as other violent incidents
that are not necessarily international terrorism.
Philip C. Wilcox, Jr.
Coordinator for Counterterrorism