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.
MIDDLE EASTERN OVERVIEW
Terrorist violence in the Middle East continued at a high level in 1994.
Extremist Muslim groups, such as the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS)
and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), demonstrated an increasingly deadly
and sophisticated capability to mount terrorist attacks aimed at
destroying the Middle East peace process. In Algeria, a brutal internal
conflict escalated, posing new threats to the foreign community and the
safety of civil aviation.
In Israel and the occupied territories, the peace process came under
sustained attack by militants determined to derail the negotiations
between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Government of Israel.
Both HAMAS and the PIJ increased their activities within Israel, in the
process demonstrating an improved ability to mount more sophisticated
and deadly attacks. In the worst such incident during the year, the
military wing of HAMAS, the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed
responsibility for the 19 October suicide bombing of a commuter bus in
the heart of downtown Tel Aviv that killed 22 Israelis. PIJ also claimed
numerous attacks on Israelis, including the 11 November suicide bombing
at Netzarim junction in Gaza that killed three Israeli soldiers. The
Chairman of the PA, Yasir Arafat, condemned these attacks and took some
steps to counter anti-Israeli terrorism. PA security cooperation with
Israeli authorities was generally close, as demonstrated by the
substantial assistance provided by Palestinian security authorities to
Israel during the hunt for a kidnapped Israeli Army corporal in October.
Nevertheless, Israeli officials called for a more effective crackdown by
the PA on Palestinian terrorist elements. Violent Jewish opposition to
the peace process also occurred; in March, the Israeli Government banned
the extremist Kach and Kahane Chai groups as terrorist organizations
after a Kach member murdered 29 Palestinian worshippers in a Hebron
mosque in February.
The security situation in Algeria continued to deteriorate as the Armed
Islamic Group (AIG) stepped up attacks against the Algerian regime and
civilians. Foreigners resident in Algeria were key targets as well; 63
were killed during 1994 by AIG forces. A French Consulate employee was
slain in January, and in August an attempt was made to explode a car
bomb at a French diplomatic housing compound. The AIG employed an
ominous new tactic in December, when AIG militants hijacked an Air
France jet at Algiers airport, killing a French Embassy cook and a
Vietnamese diplomat in the process. Efforts by the major Islamist and
non-Islamist opposition parties to establish a political dialogue with
the regime were unsuccessful, increasing the likelihood of intensified
In Egypt, the security services scored numerous successes against
militants seeking to overthrow the government and establish an Islamic
state. Intensified counterterrorism efforts, improved police work, and
the death of an important Islamic Group (IG) leader in a police raid in
April helped disrupt IG activities and stem the tide of antiforeigner
attacks, which killed five tourists in 1994. IG threats against the UN-
sponsored International Conference on Population and Development did not
result in any security incidents, most likely due to the efforts of
Egyptian security authorities and a still disorganized IG. The IG does,
however, retain the capacity to attack foreign targets and disrupt the
tourism industry, as evidenced by shooting assaults in September and
October that killed three foreigners and three Egyptians.
Jordanian authorities continued in 1994 to maintain a tight grip on the
internal security situation. Dozens of individuals were arrested in
terrorism-related cases during the year, including 20 persons suspected
of involvement in a series of bombings and other planned terrorist
incidents. Jordan and Israel signed a full treaty of peace on 26 October
1994. Under the terms of the treaty, Jordan and Israel are committed to
cooperation in combating terrorism of all kinds. However, HAMAS and
other Palestinian extremists continue to maintain a presence in Amman.
Security conditions in Lebanon improved during 1994 as the government
continued to take steps to extend its authority and reestablish the rule
of law. In January, the government promptly arrested and prosecuted
persons associated with the ANO and who assassinated a Jordanian
diplomat. In April a prominent Iraqi expatriate oppositionist residing
in Beirut was assassinated. The Government of Lebanon stated that it had
firm evidence linking the killing to the Government of Iraq, arrested
two Iraqi diplomats in connection with the incident, and broke
diplomatic relations with Iraq. In March, the government banned armed
demonstrations after a public celebration by the militant organization
Hizballah. The government also put on trial former Lebanese Forces
warlord Samir Ja'ja on charges of domestic terrorism and announced that
the investigation into the 1983 bombings of the US and French
peacekeepers' barracks would be "revived." However, significant threats
to the safety of foreigners remained. Hizballah publicly threatened
American interests and continued to operate with impunity in areas of
Lebanon not controlled by the central government, including the south,
the Biq'a Valley, and Beirut's southern suburbs. Numerous Palestinian
groups with a history of terrorist violence maintain a presence in
Lebanon; these include the Popular Front for the Liberation of
PalestineöGeneral Command and the ANO.
Moroccan authorities, alarmed by an attack on a hotel in Marrakech in
August that killed two Spanish tourists, sought evidence that the
incident was linked to other assaults in the country. Allegations
surfaced that these attacks were politically related to the crisis in
Algeria. Criminal motivations, however, are another strong possibility,
and the August attack was not followed by other such incidents as of the
end of the year.
The overall security situation deteriorated even further in 1994 as
violence intensified throughout the country, affecting Algerians from
all walks of life. Although Islamic extremists remained highly
fractionalized, most of the violence was focused against regime and
military targets. The extremist AIG waged a bloody war against Algerian
civilians. The AIG also targeted foreigners, with 63 killed in 1994.
The influence of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) over the extremist
elements appeared to slip even further in 1994 as most of the group's
leaders remained in prison. In September the government released into
house arrest FIS president Abassi Madani and vice president Ali Belhadj.
The overall level of violence on all sides nonetheless increased.
The extremist AIG instead intensified its attacks against Algerian
civilians, including journalists, unveiled women and girls, the
intelligentsia, and anyone it accused of "cooperating" with the regime.
The group often used tactics such as beheading and throat-slitting.
Attacks against foreigners also increased markedly since the AIG began
its antiforeigner campaign in September 1993. On 15 January a French
Consulate employee was murdered; the campaign against French residents
in Algeria reached a peak with the 3 August attack on a French diplomat
housing compound where extremists attempted to detonate a car laden with
Other examples of attacks against foreigners included the 8 May murders
of two French priests, the 11 July attack against five foreigners on
their way to work at a state-owned oil site, the one-week hostage
holding of the Omani and Yemeni Ambassadors, and the 18 October
execution of two Schlumberger employees at a Sonatrach oil site. The
AIG's attacks against foreigners grew more sophisticated throughout
1994, and the group's operations demonstrated a significant level of
coordination in some cases. While the AIG was responsible for most of
the attacks against foreigners in 1994, there are many extremist cells
operating in Algeria that do not fall under a central authority that may
also be responsible for such attacks.
On 24 December, members of the AIG hijacked an Air France flight in
Algeria. The plane arrived in Marseille, France, on 26 December. A
French antiterrorist unit stormed the plane, ending the 54-hour siege in
which three hostages were killed by the terrorists. All four terrorists
were killed during the rescue.
Despite the Algerian regime's "carrot and stick" approach, the security
situation at the end of 1994 remained grim. Efforts by the major
Islamist and non-Islamist opposition parties to establish a political
dialogue with the regime were unsuccessful; at no point during these
efforts did the military halt its campaign against the Islamists.
President Zeroual announced in November 1994 that presidential elections
would take place by the end of 1995 but left open the question of who
would be allowed to participate. The major opposition parties denounced
the election proposal. Continued bloodshed appeared to be the most
likely scenario for the beginning of 1995.
The pace of attacks by Islamic extremists on tourist sites in Egypt fell
off somewhat during 1994. Five foreign tourists were killed in separate
attacks, and more than 20 Egyptian civilians were killed in various
attacks throughout Egypt in 1994. Egypt's tourism industry, which had
suffered greatly from the sustained 1993 campaign of attacks against
tourist sites, began to recover somewhat in 1994 as the Egyptian
Government made some successful gains in stemming the attacks.
Most attacks against Egyptian official and civilian targets, and against
foreign tourists, were claimed by the extremist Islamic Group (IG). The
IG seeks the violent overthrow of the Egyptian Government and began
attacking tourist targets in 1992. The IG considers Sheikh Omar Abdel
Rahman its "spiritual" leader; at yearend, he awaited trial in the
United States on charges related to the conspiracy to attack various New
York City landmarks and the United Nations.
In February, the IG initiated a limited bombing campaign against Western
banks in the Cairo area. Over two months, seven banks were bombed, and
an additional four bombs planted at other banks were defused. Injuries
were limited, and only one of the banks suffered major damage.
Nonetheless, the bank bombing campaign represented an extension of the
IG's antiforeigner attacks, and it coincided with another IG campaign of
attacks against trains in Assiut, upper Egypt. Eight tourists were
injured in February in a series of shooting attacks against trains
running in that province. The bank bombings ended in March with the
arrests of the alleged perpetrators.
In April, Egypt stepped up its counterterrorism efforts, focusing
particularly on the Cairo area. An important IG leader was killed during
a police raid, which appeared to disrupt the organization of the group.
There was a significant drop in the number of violent incidents from
April through August throughout Egypt, but particularly in Cairo. This
was accomplished by more effective police work, enhanced security in the
troubled Assiut Province, and perhaps a dropoff in recruitment levels of
In August, the IG attacked a tourist bus in upper Egypt, killing one
Spanish tourist and warning foreigners not to come to Egypt for the
International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The UN-
sponsored ICPD was held in September in Cairo; no incidents occurred in
Cairo during the conference, probably due in part to greatly enhanced
security and a still disorganized IG.
The IG continued to pose a limited threat to foreigners in Egypt at the
close of 1994, as a September shooting attack on a market street in the
Red Sea resort area of Hurghada resulted in the death of one German
tourist and two Egyptians. In the fall, the IG appeared to shift the
venue of its attacks to the upper Egyptian Provinces of Minya and Qena.
An October attack on a minibus traveling in upper Egypt, which led to
the death of a British tourist, demonstrated that the IG retained the
capability to inflict injuries and damage the tourism industry.
Terrorist attacks and violence instigated by Palestinians continued at a
high level in 1994. Seventy-three Israeli soldiers and civilians were
killed and more than 100 wounded in 1994, up slightly from 1993. There
was a significant increase in the number of Israelis killed inside
Israel -- as compared with only 14 in 1993.
The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) killed roughly 55 Israelis and
wounded more than 150 in 1994 as part of a terror campaign to derail the
peace process. HAMAS's armed wing, the Izz el-Din al-Qassam, claimed
responsibility for the April bombings of buses in Afula and Hadera,
which together killed 14 Israelis and wounded nearly 75. In October, al-
Qassam launched three high-profile attacks on Israelis: the 9 October
shooting of people on the streets of Jerusalem, which left two dead; the
kidnapping of Israel Defense Force Corporal Nachshon Wachsman, which
resulted in the killing of Wachsman and one other Israeli soldier; and
the bombing of a commuter bus in Tel Aviv, which killed 22. HAMAS
spokesmen announced that these attacks were part of the group's policy
of jihad against the "Israeli occupation of all of Palestine" and
retaliation for the Hebron Massacre.
Other Palestinian groups that reject the Gaza-Jericho accord and the
peace process also attacked Israelis. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)ö
Shiqaqi faction claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber who attacked
an Israeli patrol in Gaza in November killing three Israeli soldiers.
PIJ claimed at least 18 other attacks on Israelis, including a shooting
on a commuter bus stop on 7 April that killed two in Ashdod, south of
Tel Aviv. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for
several attacks on Israeli settlers and soldiers.
Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), tried to rein
in Palestinian violence against Israel in 1994. The PA police force took
some steps to curtail anti-Israeli attacks, including several mass
detentions and a strong effort to find where Corporal Wachsman was
detained by HAMAS. Arafat and other senior PA officials condemned acts
of terrorism by HAMAS and the PIJ, but did not do so when individuals
associated with the Fatah Hawks, nominally aligned with Arafat's Fatah
organization, were responsible for a few attacks in early 1994. Israeli
officials urged the PA to take tougher measures against terrorists.
Intra-Palestinian violence has increased since the implementation of the
Gaza-Jericho accord began on 4 May. On 18 November, 13 Palestinians were
killed and more than 150 wounded when Palestinian Police clashed with
HAMAS and PIJ supporters who were planning to demonstrate in Gaza. This
incident followed several protests by weapons-bearing Islamists in the
weeks following the HAMAS kidnapping of Corporal Wachsman and the PA's
mass roundup of HAMAS supporters. In 1994, Fatah Hawks and HAMAS killed
at least 20 Palestinians whom the extremists labeled as collaborators.
The Israeli Cabinet outlawed the Jewish extremist groups Kach and Kahane
Chai in March, declaring them to be terrorist organizations after Baruch
Goldstein, who was a Kach member, attacked Palestinian worshippers at
Hebron's al-Ibrahimi Mosque in February, killing 29 persons and wounding
more than 200. Neither Kach nor Kahane Chai assisted or directed
Goldstein in his attack, but both organizations vocally supported him.
The leading figures of these groups were arrested and held in Israeli
prisons on charges of calling for attacks on Palestinians and Israeli
Government officials. In September, Shin Bet arrested 11 Jewish
extremists who were planning terrorist attacks against Palestinians.
Israel's intense border security appeared effectively to prevent
infiltrations from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In March, a team of four
DFLP terrorists was intercepted by Israel Defense Force troops. Katyusha
rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into northern Israel by Hizballah
and Palestinian rejectionist groups decreased in 1994, and no Israelis
were killed in the attacks. Hizballah guerrillas, often in response to
Israeli attacks on a Lebanese village, fired Katyusha rockets on four
occasions from January to July 1994 and launched several Katyushas in
October hours before the signing of the Jordanian-Israeli peace accord
attended by President Clinton.
Jordanian security and police closely monitor 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 has interdicted individuals attempting to infiltrate
into Israel. On 26 October 1994 Jordan and Israel signed a full treaty
of peace that commits the two parties to cooperation in a variety of
areas, including combating terrorism. In 1994 two new international
border crossing points were established between Jordan and Israel.
Jordanian authorities arrested dozens of people in terrorism-related
cases during 1994. On 20 February, authorities arrested 30 persons in
Amman, including 15 suspected members of the ANO. The arrests reportedly
occurred in connection with the assassination of a Jordanian diplomat in
January in Beirut by the ANO. In 1994, 25 Islamists (referred to as the
"Arab Afghans") were arrested and tried for planning to overthrow the
government, assassinate prominent Jordanians, and attack public and
private institutions. The State Security Court handed down verdicts on
21 December and sentenced 11 defendants to death, sentenced seven to
various prison terms with hard labor, and acquitted the remaining
defendants of all charges. Two individuals were also arrested for
stabbing tourists in downtown Amman on 27 February, two days after the
massacre of Palestinian worshippers on the West Bank by a Jewish
A variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups have offices in Jordan,
including the PFLP, PFLP-GC, DFLP, PIJ, and HAMAS. In April, King
Hussein announced that HAMAS was an "illegal" organization in Jordan.
After the King's announcement, HAMAS spokespersons in Jordan were more
circumspect in their statements and often issued statements from other
The security situation in Lebanon continued to improve during 1994 as
Beirut endeavored to reestablish its authority and rebuild the country
in the wake of the devastating 16-year civil war. Although the Lebanese
Government has made some moves to limit the autonomy of individuals and
powerful groups -- specifically Hizballah -- there are still considerable
areas of relative lawlessness throughout Lebanon. Beirut and its
environs are safer for some non-Lebanese now than as recently as a year
ago, but the Bekaa Valley and other Hizballah strongholds are
considerably more dangerous than the capital, especially for Westerners,
who are still subject to attacks. In June, for example, a German citizen
was the victim of an apparent kidnapping attempt perpetrated by
Hizballah in Ba'labakk. The would-be victim's assailants fled after
passers-by noticed the commotion. There is credible evidence that
Hizballah continues its surveillance of Americans; Hizballah also
continues to issue public threats against American interests.
Hizballah has yet to be disarmed, but Beirut is making efforts to
restrict activities by the group that challenge the government's
authority. For example, the government banned armed demonstrations after
Hizballah's celebration of Martyr's Day in the Bekaa Valley in March and
issued arrest warrants for participants who were brandishing weapons
during the march. In February when Hizballah, without reference to the
state authority, tried and executed a teenager in Ba'labakk accused of
murder, prominent members of Parliament publicly admonished the group
and said such acts by nongovernmental organizations should not be
tolerated. However, neither the judiciary nor law enforcement agencies
made any effort to interfere in or investigate the affair.
The Lebanese Government took judicial steps during 1994 to signal that
violence is not an acceptable means for achieving domestic political
change. In January, the government promptly arrested and prosecuted
persons associated with the ANO and who assassinated a Jordanian
On 12 April, a prominent Iraqi expatriate oppositionist residing in
Beirut was assassinated. The Government of Lebanon stated that it had
firm evidence linking the killing to the Government of Iraq and arrested
two Iraqi diplomats in connection with the incident. Lebanon
subsequently broke diplomatic relations with Iraq.
In July a Lebanese criminal court refused to convict two defendants in
the 1976 killings of the US Ambassador, Francis Meloy, and the economic
counselor, Robert Waring. The Lebanese Court of Cassation agreed to
order a retrial after intervention by the government's prosecutor
general. The trial is set to begin in March 1995.
Lebanese authorities arrested Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Ja'ja on
charges of domestic terrorism -- including the bombing of a Maronite church
in Zuk in February that killed 11 persons and wounded 59. His trial was
ongoing as of the end of the year. In November, the government suggested
it would "revive" the investigation into the 1983 bombings of the US and
French Marine barracks. Although viewed by some as a message to
Hizballah of government intention to reassert authority, the government
has not yet followed its announcement with concrete action. In December
the government accepted an invitation from the US Government to send an
official delegation to Washington to discuss means to improve the
security situation in Lebanon.
On 24 August two Spanish tourists were killed when gunmen opened fire at
the Atlas Asni hotel in Marrakech during an apparent robbery attempt.
After initial investigations, Moroccan officials linked the hotel attack
to other assaults throughout Morocco, including the attempted robberies
of a bank and a McDonald's restaurant in 1993. Nine suspects were
arrested, and Moroccan authorities claimed to have discovered an arms
cache hidden by the group.
There have been allegations that Islamic extremists related to the
Algerian militant movement were behind the Marrakech incident. But some
Moroccan officials have also claimed that members of the Algerian
security services were behind the attack, hoping to foment instability
in Morocco to take the international focus off the Algerian crisis. The
real motives of the attackers remain unclear, and the incident could
easily have been an ordinary criminal attack. As of 31 December, the
Marrakech attack was not followed by similar incidents in Morocco.