The Year In Review
I The Year in Review
The FBI recorded one act of terrorism, one suspected act of terrorism, and two terrorist preventions on U.S. soil in 1995. Terrorist-related events--including terrorism trials--occurred in 8 states.
The most significant terrorist-related events include the following:
The overall level of terrorist-related events in the United States increased, reversing last year's downturn. In 1994, there were no known terrorist acts and one small-scale suspected act in the United States.
The number of people killed in terrorist attacks in the United States increased sharply from previous years. Last year 168 people died in a single terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City. In 1994, no American in the United States died in a terrorist attack. In 1993, six people died in the World Trade Center bombing.
In 1995, U.S. law enforcement scored victories against extremists by arresting or detaining 14 suspected terrorists inside the United States and overseas. Two of these subjects were FBI Top Ten Fugitives, including Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing.
U.S. courts convicted 21 people for involvement in terrorist-related activities last year. The most prominent of these were Egyptian Shaykh Omar Abdel Rahman and nine followers. These terrorists were found guilty by a New York jury of seditious conspiracy charges in a 1993 plot to bomb major New York City landmarks and assassinate prominent politicians.
The United States deported or approved for extradition two terrorists from the United States in 1995. One of the terrorists was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the other was a Mexican extremist.
As part of its ongoing investigation of the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, on March 23, 1995, the FBI placed two Libyan suspects, Laman Khalifa Fhimah and Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi, on its Top Ten Most Wanted List. The U.S. Government's Heroes Program and the airline industry are offering rewards of up to $4 million for information leading to the apprehension and prosecution of these two suspects.
During the past year, the FBI also expanded its Counterterrorism Branch at FBI Headquarters. Additional FBI personnel were authorized to staff the branch. Counterterrorism officers and analysts from several U.S. Government agencies were also invited to work at the FBI. The goal is to improve the U.S. Government's ability to combat terrorism and maintain a robust infrastructure protection and countermeasures capability for the United States.
The U.S. Government stepped up its efforts against terrorism in the United States last year. In January, President Clinton signed an executive order blocking the U.S.-based financial assets of terrorists and terrorist groups who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process. In July 1995, the President issued Presidential Decision Directive 39. The directive further defined the missions and goals of agencies which comprise the U.S. counterterrorism community.
At the same time, FBI and Department of Justice officials participated in numerous national and international conferences, including a major counterterrorism gathering in Ottawa, Canada at the end of the year. These meetings were designed to increase cooperation among U.S. police agencies--as well as among foreign security services--to form a united law enforcement front against terrorism inside the United States and around the world.