U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
1997 APRIL: PATTERNS OF GLOBAL TERRORISM, 1996
Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Philip C. Wilcox, Jr.
EUROPE AND EURASIA OVERVIEW
The total number of incidents in Europe in 1996 declined significantly
from 272 in 1995 to 121 in 1996. Most of the terrorist acts in
1996 were nonlethal acts of arson or vandalism against Turkish-owned
businesses in Germany. These acts are widely believed to be the
work of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The number of terrorist
acts instigated by the PKK was down significantly in 1996.
In 1996 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) resumed a campaign of
violence in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, breaking a 17-month
cease-fire. Loyalist paramilitary groups maintained their cease-fire
but are considering a resumption of violence in response to IRA
Algerian extremists are believed responsible for France's most
devastating terrorist attack during 1996, when a bombing on a
Paris commuter train during rush hour on 3 December killed four
persons and injured more than 80. Although no one claimed responsibility
for the incident, similarities between this attack and several
bombings claimed by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in
1995 lead authorities to suspect Algerian extremists.
France was also the scene of several assassinations during 1996.
An Iranian who served as Deputy Education Minister under the Shah
was shot to death near Paris on 28 May; he had published writings
opposing the Islamic regime in Tehran. On 5 August unidentified
assailants brutally murdered the local chief representatives of
the Kurdistan Democratic Party and a delegate of the "Iraqi
Kurdish Autonomous Government" in Paris. Local Kurd leaders
blamed Iraqi or Iranian state agents for the crime. On 26 October
suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) gunmen shot
and killed the LTTE's international treasurer and a companion
France and Spain worked vigorously against the separatist Basque
Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) group in 1996, arresting at least
three dozen members and sympathizers and uncovering several weapons
caches. Among those arrested was Juan "Isuntza" Aguirre
Lete, who is accused of being the mastermind behind a plot to
assassinate King Juan Carlos in Majorca in 1995.
Unidentified attackers threw Molotov cocktails at the Consulate
of Serbia and Montenegro in Milan, Italy, in mid-April. The building
suffered only minor damage, and there were no injuries.
The Greek Government made no headway in its pursuit of Greek terrorists.
The indigenous leftist Revolutionary Organization 17 November
and other domestic terrorist groups continued to threaten US interests
and to target Greek business interests. In Turkey, the number
of terrorist incidents committed by the Kurdistan Workers' party
(PKK) decreased significantly due to the group's almost yearlong
self-imposed unilateral cease-fire. After the cease-fire ended
in the fall of 1996, the PKK stepped up attacks against military
and civilian targets, using the tactic of suicide bombings. The
Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front, known by
the Turkish initials DHKP/C-the successor to the group formerly
known as Devrimci Sol-perpetrated a spectacular terrorist act
in January with the assassination of a prominent Turkish businessman.
In Eurasia, the total number of terrorist incidents increased
from five in 1995 to 24 in 1996. In Bosnia, several small-scale
terrorist incidents occurred; the prime targets were international
and multinational organizations assisting in the country's postwar
transition. Ethnic tensions in the countries of the former Soviet
Union continued to produce terrorist acts in many of these. In
Russia, the ongoing hostilities between the government and Chechen
rebels resulted in the taking of hostages and other acts, and
Tajikistan was also the site of acts of violence against noncombatants.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia also experienced ethnic-related
Several small-scale terrorist incidents occurred in Bosnia in
1996; the prime targets were international and multinational organizations
assisting in the country's postwar transition. A grenade was tossed
into an International Police Task Force (IPTF) vehicle in November;
there were no injuries. In August security officials in Sarajevo,
tipped off by a telephone warning, defused a bomb in a building
housing offices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe (OSCE). A bomb exploded outside IPTF headquarters in
Vlasenica in July, damaging three vehicles and breaking some 30
windows in nearby buildings. That same month an assailant threw
a handgrenade at a vehicle belonging to a member of the local
OSCE office in Banja Luka; the blast destroyed the car and damaged
a nearby building. The perpetrators of all of these attacks remain
unidentified, but disgruntled members of the former warring factions
On 15 February, Implementation Force (IFOR) troops raided a joint
Bosnian-Iranian intelligence training facility in Fojnica and
detained 11 persons, including three Iranians. Searches of the
camp revealed classrooms and an extensive armory. Evidence collected
at the site-including boobytrapped children's toys-indicated that
at least some of the training was in terrorist tactics.
A Croatian court sentenced five Bosnians on 21 June to prison
terms ranging from four months to two years following their conviction
on charges of plotting to assassinate Bosnian rebel leader Fikret
Abdic. The Bosnians, who were arrested on 4 April in a town on
the Dalmatian coast, allegedly planned to kill Abdic as he drove
along a coastal highway. The group reportedly possessed a variety
of weapons-including at least one hand-held grenade launcher,
grenades, and machineguns-and was to receive financial remuneration
for the assassination. Croatian officials claimed that the Bosnians
had made statements implicating local Bihac and federal Bosnian
security authorities as the masterminds of the plot; Sarajevo
vociferously denied the charges.
The most devastating terrorist attack in France during 1996 was
a bombing on a Paris commuter train during rush hour on 3 December
that killed four persons and injured more than 80, some of them
seriously. The bomb, a gas canister filled with explosives and
nails, was designed and timed to cause extensive casualties. Although
no one claimed responsibility for the incident, similarities between
this attack and several bombings tied to the Algerian Armed Islamic
Group (GIA) in 1995 lead authorities to suspect that Algerian
extremists were responsible.
Several assassinations took place in France during 1996. An Iranian
who served as Deputy Education Minister under the Shah was shot
to death at his apartment near Paris on 28 May. The victim, Reza
Mazlouman, had political refugee status in France and reportedly
was active in opposition movements against the Iranian regime.
At France's request, German authorities arrested an Iranian national
in Bonn two days later on suspicion of participating in the assassination;
the Iranian was extradited to France in October. A second assailant
escaped and is believed to be in Iran. On 5 August unidentified
assailants brutally murdered Jaffar Hasso Guly, the local chief
representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and a delegate
of the "Iraqi Kurdish Autonomous Government," in his
home in Paris. Local Kurd leaders blamed Iraqi or Iranian state
agents for the crime.
Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) gunmen shot
and killed Kandiah Perinbanathan, the LTTE's international treasurer,
and a companion in Paris on 26 October. Sri Lankan authorities
said the treasurer may have been killed for extorting funds from
French authorities worked vigorously against the separatist Basque
Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) group in 1996, arresting at least
three dozen members and sympathizers-some of whom were later released-and
uncovering several weapons caches. In a key arrest in November,
French customs authorities nabbed Juan "Isuntza" Aguirre
Lete as he tried to run a checkpoint set up at a tollbooth. Madrid
has accused Isuntza of masterminding a plot to assassinate King
Juan Carlos in Majorca in 1995. Joint French-Spanish operations
in July and November resulted in the capture in France of several
ETA members and supporters, including Daniel Derguy, believed
to be ETA's chief French operative; Julian "Pototo"
Achurra Egurola, the head of the group's logistics wing; and Juan
"Karpov" Maria Insausti, who Spanish authorities say
is ETA's chief recruiter and explosives trainer. French officials
also arrested Maria Nagore Mugica, one of Spain's most wanted
criminals, at Charles de Gaulle Airport in May. Nagore belonged
to various ETA command cells-including the group's chief cell
in Madrid-between 1990 and 1993 and is suspected of involvement
in several bombings. A French court authorized her extradition
to Spain in December.
Antiterrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere announced in September
the completion of his investigation into the 1989 bombing of UTA
Flight 772 over Niger. Arrest warrants-including two issued in
1996-are outstanding for a total of six Libyan Government officials,
including a brother-in-law of Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qadhafi,
for their alleged participation in the bombing. Bruguiere traveled
to Libya in July to interview numerous secret service officials.
Tripoli allowed him to return to France with a replica of the
boobytrapped suitcase used in the bombing, as well as timers and
detonators believed similar to those used to set off the explosives.
German prosecutors put their star witness, exiled former Iranian
President Abolhassan Bani Sadr, on the stand in the trial of five
men-four Lebanese and an Iranian-accused of murdering four Iranian
dissidents in a gangland-style shooting at the Mykonos restaurant
in Berlin in 1992. Bani Sadr told the court in August that Iran's
religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the killings
of the three exiled Iranian Kurdish leaders and their translator
and that President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani signed the order.
He also referred to a suspected former Iranian intelligence officer
(so-called Witness C and later identified as Abolqasem Messbahi),
who also was called to testify. Statements in the prosecution's
summation in November, which implicated Iran's senior leadership
for directing the Mykonos killings, led to demonstrations in front
of the German Embassy in Tehran and threats against the prosecutors.
In March prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against Iranian
Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahiyan in connection with the killings.
A Berlin state court has spent almost three years hearing evidence
in the Mykonos case. (Guilty verdicts for four of the accused
were announced in April 1997.)
Suspected Palestinian terrorist Yasser Shraydi was extradited
from Lebanon to Germany in May to stand trial in connection with
the La Belle discotheque bombing in Berlin in 1986. In October
three other suspects in the case were arrested and are in German
custody. Arrest warrants also were issued against four former
Libyan diplomats and intelligence officers believed to have been
involved in the bombing. German prosecutors, who have stated that
this bombing was a case of state terrorism directed from Tripoli,
hope to begin the trial in mid-1997.
The number of terrorist acts instigated by the Kurdistan Workers'
Party (PKK) decreased significantly in 1996. Security Services
Chief Klaus Gruenewald had visited PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan
in August 1995 to demand the cessation of PKK violence on German
soil. PKK-attributable violence in Germany continued at a negligible
level until early March when, on the occasion of Kurdish New Year's
Day, PKK-affiliated demonstrations in Dortmund and other cities
turned violent and injured several German policemen. Ocalan blamed
the incidents on the German police but, in view of negative German
public reaction, later apologized and promised to halt further
PKK incidents in Germany. Earlier in the year, Ocalan had threatened
to use PKK suicide bombers in Germany and also issued death threats
against Chancellor Kohl and Foreign Minister Kinkel, but he later
retracted these statements. This reflects his dual strategy of
threatening to carry out violence in Germany, on the one hand,
and trying to operate within the parameters of German law, on
The Red Army Faction (RAF) has not been active in Germany for
the past several years, although German authorities continue to
pursue and prosecute RAF members for crimes committed during the
1980s. Following two years of hearings, the German courts convicted
RAF member Birgit Hogefeld in November of three counts of murder-including
the 1985 murder of a US soldier and the subsequent bombing attack
at the US Rhein-Main Airbase-and four counts of attempted murder.
She was sentenced to life in prison. Christoph Seidler-who was
alleged to be, but claims never to have been, a member of the
RAF-the main suspect in the 1989 car-bomb killing of Deutsche
Bank chief executive Alfred Herrhausen, turned himself in to German
authorities in November but was later released and a longstanding
arrest warrant lifted.
German authorities scored a coup with the arrest of two suspected
members of the shadowy leftist Anti-Imperialist Cell (AIZ) in
February. The two men-Bernhard Falk and Michael Steinau-are awaiting
trial. The AIZ had claimed responsibility for a series of bomb
attacks on the homes of second-tier conservative politicians in
1995, the last occurring in December 1995. Because no further
incidents have occurred since the February arrests, the German
Government believes the AIZ is no longer a viable threat.
The Greek Government continues to make no headway in its pursuit
of Greek terrorists, in particular, the Revolutionary Organization
17 November that is responsible for numerous attacks against US
interests, including the murder of four US officials. On 15 February
an antiarmor rocket was fired at the US Embassy in Athens, causing
some property damage but no casualties. Circumstances of the attack
suggest it was a 17 November operation. On 28 May the IBM building
in Athens was bombed, resulting in substantial property damage
but no casualties. An anonymous call later claimed responsibility
on behalf of the "Nihilist Faction," which first surfaced
earlier in the year with bomb attacks against the residence of
a supreme court prosecutor and a shopping mall in downtown Athens.
The Greek Government also continues to tolerate the official presence
in Athens of two Turkish terrorist groups-the National Liberation
Front of Kurdistan, which is the political wing of the Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK), and the Revolutionary People's Liberation
Party/Front (DHKP/C)-formerly Devrimci Sol-which is responsible
for the murder of two US Government contractors in Turkey.
The Greek judicial system continues to be hampered by obstacles
to the prosecution of terrorists. The latest pending piece of
legislation authorizes judges to exclude the testimony of a defendant
against a codefendant in a criminal proceeding-including terrorist
cases-which would make it difficult to obtain convictions against
members of terrorist groups.
Under the terms of another Greek law that allows for release after
two-fifths of a sentence has been served, on 5 December the Greek
Government released convicted terrorist Mohammed Rashid from prison
and expelled him from Greece. Rashid had been in jail for his
role in the 1982 bombing of a Pan Am aircraft in which a 15-year
old Japanese citizen was killed. He was sentenced to 18 years
in prison, which was subsequently reduced to 15 years. The United
States deplored the early release of this convicted terrorist,
calling the court ruling "incomprehensible."
The Greek Government, however, also demonstrated some willingness
to extradite non-Greeks in two high-profile cases: after completing
a five-year Greek prison sentence on various charges, Abdul Rahim
Khaled was handed over to Italian authorities pursuant to his
conviction in absentia in 1987 by an Italian court for his part
in the Achille Lauro hijacking; and Andrea Haeusler, a German
citizen, faced extradition to Germany on charges stemming from
her alleged participation in the bombing of the La Belle discotheque
in Berlin. (She was extradicted in January 1997.)
Unidentified attackers threw Molotov cocktails at the Consulate
of Serbia and Montenegro in Milan on two successive nights in
mid-April. The building suffered only minor damage, and there
were no injuries. Following the second set of attacks, an anonymous
caller telephoned the Milan police and reported the incident.
Italian authorities also found traces of a poster saying "Free
Bosnia" on the wall of the Consulate.
In a multicity operation on 7 November, Italian National Police
officers arrested more than two dozen suspected members and supporters
of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) following a yearlong
investigation. Authorities have charged the suspects, who include
Algerians and other North Africans, with weapons trafficking,
counterfeiting documents, and facilitating the illegal entry into
Italy of Algerian terrorists. Police reported that some suspects
were in possession of hardcopy and computer manuals regarding
the preparation of explosives and the use of weapons.
On 24 April a group calling itself GN 95 detonated a bomb at a
Shell gas station in Warsaw, killing a policeman who was preparing
to defuse the device. GN 95 later justified the explosion by stating
its opposition to the expansion of foreign investments into Poland.
The group demanded $2 million from the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
Russia has sought to combat terrorism in a number of ways both
overseas and at home. Moscow participated in a G-7/P-8 ministerial
conference on counterterrorism in Paris in July and in a follow-up
conference in October. Russian security authorities also conducted
exercises of their counterterrorist components. The Russian prosecution
of three Armenians for involvement in four bombings of Moscow-Baku
passenger trains in 1993 and 1994 led to convictions and jail
The Russians have not made any headway, however, in their investigation
of a series of bombs placed in public transportation vehicles
in Moscow and elsewhere in the country, or of a bombing that leveled
a nine-story apartment building in Kaspiysk, killing more than
Several other terrorist acts took place in Russia during 1996.
In January a Chechen group took as hostages up to 200 noncombatants
in Pervomayskoye. On 7 August in St. Petersburg, a gunman shot
and wounded Finnish Deputy Consul General Olli Perkheyentupa outside
a hotel; no one claimed responsibility. In Vladivostok, a South
Korean official was murdered on 1 October; Seoul suspects that
North Korean agents were involved. On 17 December six Westerners
who worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross were
murdered in Novyy Atagi. In late December authorities arrested
several suspects, but released them without charging them.
The separatist Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) organization
conducted its biggest campaign against Spanish tourist sites in
years-a total of 14 bombings or attempted bombings in July and
August. In the most devastating attack, 35 persons-including approximately
two dozen British tourists-were injured on 20 July when a bomb
exploded in a waiting room at an airport near the coastal city
of Tarragona. Authorities also believe that ETA, which occasionally
targets French businesses in Spain, was responsible for a package
bomb that exploded in a Citroen car dealership near Zaragoza in
July, injuring the owner and his son. In March police defused
a car bomb placed in front of a French-owned store in Madrid following
a telephone warning from a caller claiming to represent the Basque
extremist group. ETA also continued to attack Spanish military,
police, and economic targets throughout 1996.
The Aznar government, which came to power in May, has vowed to
work diligently to neutralize ETA and has put special emphasis
on strengthening cooperation with other states-particularly France-in
this effort. In May press reports indicated that France planned
to assign a police attache to its Embassy in Madrid to coordinate
daily cooperation with Spain. Moreover, Madrid and Paris signed
an agreement in June that allowed for the establishment of four
joint police stations-three on the French side of the border.
Meanwhile, Spain persuaded France to help reform a European extradition
treaty in the European Union to allow "simple membership
in an armed band" to be sufficient cause for extradition.
Spanish authorities extradited Achille Lauro hijacker Majed Yousef
al-Molqi to Italy in early December. They had captured al-Molqi
on 22 March in southern Spain after he failed to return to an
Italian prison in February following a 12-day furlough for good
behavior. In 1986 an Italian court sentenced al-Molqi, a Palestinian
affiliated with the Abu Abbas faction of the Palestine Liberation
Front, to 30 years in prison for killing Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound
US citizen, during the hijacking of the Italian luxury ship in
Madrid struck a blow against the Algerian Armed Islamic Group's
(GIA) infrastructure in Spain with the arrest of suspected GIA
member Farid Rezgui on 14 June. Rezgui reportedly had some 30
sets of false Italian, French, Spanish, and Algerian identification
documents in his possession, presumably for use by GIA members
to facilitate their movements in Europe. Authorities reportedly
also found magazines published by GIA and other Islamic extremist
groups, as well as video and audiocassette tapes of speeches by
Islamic leaders, including Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, the spiritual
leader of the Egyptian extremist al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya.
Unidentified assailants conducted attacks against Russian servicemen
stationed in Tajikistan, as well as their dependents. On 4 June
several gunmen shot and killed two Russian servicemen's wives
while the victims were visiting a cemetery in Dushanbe. No one
claimed responsibility. On 15 August a remote-controlled explosive
device with 2.5 pounds of TNT destroyed a Russian military truck.
One serviceman was killed and one was wounded. On 20 November
gunmen shot at two Russian servicemen getting off a bus in a Dushanbe
neighborhood. Both servicemen were seriously wounded. Two days
later assailants ambushed a bus of Russian border guards in Dushanbe
using grenade launchers and handgrenades, killing the bus driver
and injuring several border guards. On 20 December members of
an armed independent gang kidnapped UN and other officials and
demanded that several of their supporters be returned to them.
The hostages were subsequently released.
The number of terrorist incidents committed by the Kurdistan Workers'
Party (PKK) in Turkey in 1996 declined significantly due to the
group's unilateral cease-fire from December 1995 until the fall
of 1996. Nonetheless, the PKK was responsible for sporadic terrorist
attacks during the cease-fire period, most notably, the 30 June
suicide bombing against a Turkish military parade in Tunceli.
The attack killed nine security forces personnel and wounded another
35. The suicide bombing marked the first time the PKK had used
this tactic even though PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan had threatened
earlier in the year to use suicide bombings against Turkey's Western
cities in an effort to drive away tourists.
Since the end of the cease-fire the PKK has stepped up its attacks
against military and civilian targets in southeastern Turkey.
The most noteworthy incidents include two more suicide bombings-in
Adana and Sivas-in late October that killed two civilians in addition
to eight security forces personnel. The suicide bombing in Sivas
is of note because the city, well outside of the southeast, is
in an area that the Turkish Government previously considered to
be relatively secure. In two other incidents four schoolteachers
were murdered outside of Diyarbakir in October and three tourists-including
a US citizen-were kidnapped outside of Bingol in September. The
US citizen and his Polish traveling companion were later released
unharmed. There is no word on the status of the third hostage,
reportedly an Iranian. The killing of schoolteachers and kidnapping
of foreigners are traditional PKK terrorist acts but had not been
seen in almost two years.
The number of violent PKK activities in Western Europe also was
down in 1996, particularly after German Security Services Chief
Klaus Gruenewald visited Ocalan in late 1995 to demand the cessation
of PKK-instigated violence in Germany. PKK violence continued
at a negligible level until early March when a PKK-affiliated
demonstration in Bonn turned violent, injuring several German
policemen. Ocalan later apologized for the incident and promised
to suspend further PKK incidents on German soil.
The Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front
(DHKP/C)-the successor group to Devrimci Sol-pulled off a spectacular
terrorist act in January with the high-profile assassination of
prominent Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sabanci in his high-security
office building in Istanbul. Previously, DHKP/C had managed only
a few low-level assassinations against unprotected Turkish targets.
The group also conducted several drive-by shootings of policemen
in Istanbul. Although the drive-by shootings are not characteristic
of DHKP/C's usually intensive surveillance and planning, its successful
murder of Sabanci suggests that it is acquiring greater capabilities
and that it could once again become a real threat.
In 1996 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) resumed a campaign of
violence in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, breaking
a 17-month cease-fire. The Continuity Army Council (CAC)-also
known as the Irish Continuity Army-a hardline Republican movement
formed in 1994 to protest the IRA's cease-fire announcement in
August of that year, also resumed its campaign of violence. Loyalist
paramilitary groups maintained their cease-fire but remained combat
ready and were considering a resumption of violence in response
to the IRA bombings.
The IRA broke its cease-fire on 9 February, detonating more than
1,000 pounds of a homemade explosive mixture in a flatbed truck
under a platform of London's Docklands light railway. The bomb
killed two, injured more than 100, and caused extensive damage
to five blocks of office buildings. On 18 February an IRA terrorist
lost his life when a bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely
in a bus in London. Nine persons were injured and the bus was
destroyed. On 9 March a small improvised explosive device detonated
inside a trash bin at the entrance to a London cemetery near a
British Defense Ministry building. No one was injured. The IRA
claimed responsibility for the bomb three days later.
Destruction from IRA vehicle bombing in the Docklands area of London, 9 February.
On 24 April coded calls led police to a bomb containing about
30 pounds of plastic explosive under London's Hammersmith bridge.
Police were evacuating the area when the two detonators exploded
but failed to set off the plastic explosive charges; bomb squads
disarmed the devices. The next night the IRA claimed responsibility
for the bomb, calling its failure to explode "unfortunate."
A large fertilizer-based car bomb exploded near a shopping center
in Manchester on 15 June, injuring more than 200 persons and causing
an estimated $300 million in structural damage. The explosion
coincided with a celebration in London marking the queen's official
IRA terrorists attacked a British army barracks in Osnabruck,
Germany, on 28 June, with three mortar rounds launched from a
truck-mounted rocket launcher. One of the shells hit the barracks,
causing considerable damage but no injuries. The other two shells
did not explode and were disarmed. The IRA also claimed credit
for two vehicle bombs, each comprising about 800 pounds of homemade
explosives, that exploded on the grounds of the British Army headquarters
in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, on 7 October. The two blasts killed
one serviceman and injured 31. Dual bombings are an IRA signature;
the second bomb, placed in the path of victims fleeing from the
first bomb, exploded about 10 minutes later.
The CAC claimed responsibility for a car bomb that exploded on
14 July at a hotel in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. About 40
people were injured in the blast. In similar incidents, on 29
September and 22 November, the CAC planted car bombs loaded with
homemade explosives in Belfast and Londonderry, respectively.
Following warning calls, army explosives experts found the vehicles
and detonated them in controlled explosions.
Ulster peace talks have seen little progress. Sinn Fein, the political
wing of the IRA, is barred from the talks until the IRA accedes
to an unconditional cease-fire. The decommissioning of Republican
and Loyalist weapons is also a major sticking point to the talks.