Department of State Publication 10136

Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism




International terrorism would not have flourished as it has during the past few decades without the funding, training, safehaven, weapons, and logistic support provided to terrorists by sovereign states. For this reason, a primary aim of our counterterrorism policy has been to apply pressure to such states to cease and desist in that support and to make them pay the cost if they persist. We do this by publicly identifying state sponsors and by imposing economic, diplomatic, and sometimes military sanctions. Seven nations are designated as states that sponsor international terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Cuba is a long-time supporter of international terrorism. As a result of its economic difficulties, it cannot afford to be a significant sponsor, yet it still provides safehaven in Havana for some terrorist groups and has not renounced political support for groups that engage in terrorism.

Iran remains the most dangerous sponsor and the greatest source of concern to US policymakers. While Americans are no longer held hostage by Iranian surrogates, that government continues to kill dissidents and other enemies wherever it can find them. It continues to fund and train extremists who seek to overthrow friendly and secular governments, such as Egypt and Tunisia. Iran is totally opposed to the Middle East peace process, and it arms and funds those who share that view. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie remains in effect; there is a strong possibility that the attempted murder in October of the Norwegian publisher of Rushdie's book is connected to the fatwa.

Iraq, despite the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, has resumed its sponsorship of terrorism. Iraq was clearly responsible for the foiled plot to kill former President Bush and caused President Clinton to respond with military force. Iraq has also continually targeted international relief operations in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq.

Libya's support for terrorism is longstanding and notorious. It is subject to mandatory international sanctions because of its responsibility for bombing two civil aircraft, Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772. Although Libya has taken a number of cosmetic and easily reversible steps to reduce its support for international terrorism, it has not fully complied with any Security Council demands. In December, the UN Security Council tightened sanctions to induce Libyan compliance. Along with Iraq, Libya is the only other nation against which the United States has responded militarily because of its support for terrorism.

North Korea is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since 1987, when a KAL airliner was bombed in flight. However, North Korea is believed to maintain contacts with groups that practice terrorism.

Last August, Sudan was added to the list of state sponsors. While there is no evidence that the Government of Sudan--or the National Islamic Front, the power broker in the country--has been a direct sponsor of terrorism, it has willingly harbored elements of several notorious terrorist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization, Egypt's IG, and Hizballah. Syria continues to sponsor groups and provide training sites and bases. Groups with Syrian ties tend to limit attacks to anti-Israel operations, but Syria also assists Marxist groups active in Turkey, the PKK, and Dev Sol. Both groups have attacked Westerners.


In the past, Cuba provided significant military training, weapons, funds, and guidance to radical subversives from different parts of the world. Largely because of its steady and dramatic economic decline, Cuba has been unable to maintain support to subversive groups. Moreover, the Castro regime has minimized its ties to such groups in an attempt to upgrade diplomatic and trade relations. Although there is no evidence that Cuba directly sponsored an international terrorist attack in 1993, the island continued to serve as a safehaven for members of some regional and international terrorist organizations.

Cuba has adhered to UN-mandated sanctions against Libya but has not limited Libyan diplomatic representation as required. In September, Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Pedro Miret Prieto traveled to Libya to expand bilateral cooperation.


Iran again was the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 and was implicated in terrorist attacks in Italy, Turkey, and Pakistan. Its intelligence services support terrorist acts--either directly or through extremist groups--aimed primarily against opponents of the regime living abroad. Although neither Iran nor its surrogate Hizballah has launched an attack on US interests since 1991, Iran still surveils US missions and personnel. Tehran's policymakers view terrorism as a valid tool to accomplish their political objectives, and acts of terrorism are approved at the highest levels of the Iranian Government. During the year, Iranian- sponsored terrorist attacks were less frequent in Western Europe and the Middle East, favored venues of the past, but were more frequent in other areas, especially Turkey and Pakistan.

Iranian intelligence continues to stalk members of the Iranian opposition in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Despite Tehran's attempts to distance itself from direct involvement in terrorist acts, Iran has been linked to several assassinations of dissidents during the past year. Iran was probably responsible for the assassination of at least four members of one opposition group, the Iraq-based Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK): one in Italy in March, a second in Pakistan in June in which a bystander was also killed, and two in Turkey in August. The body of a MEK member who was abducted in Istanbul at the end of 1992 has still not been found. In January, the body of another Iranian dissident who had been kidnapped in Istanbul several months before was found. All of the murders were carried out by professional assassins; no arrests have been made.

Iranian intelligence agents are under arrest in Germany and France for their links to murders of Iranian dissidents. One Iranian, identified by German prosecutors as an Iranian intelligence agent, is being tried with four Lebanese Hizballah members for their roles in the murder of three Iranian Kurdish dissidents in Berlin in September 1992. France arrested two Iranians in November 1992 for the murder of MEK leader Kazein Rajavi in Geneva in 1990; on 30 December, France expelled them to Iran, despite an extradition request from Switzerland. They had been in Europe as part of a hit team to assassinate one or more unidentified Iranian dissidents. The French Government explained that it was pursuing French national interests. A French magistrate investigating the killings of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar and an assistant near Paris in 1991 has linked the murder to Iranian intelligence. Three men are being held in French prisons in connection with the murders, including a nephew of President Rafsanjani who was an employee of the Iranian Embassy, and a nephew of the late Ayatollah Khomeini who was an Iranian radio correspondent. French authorities have issued arrest warrants for several other men.

Iranian leaders continue to defend the late Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa, which condemned British author Salman Rushdie for blasphemy and called for his death. In February, on the fourth anniversary of the decree, Iran's current spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared that the death sentence must and will be carried out, no matter the consequences. To demonstrate its support, the Iranian Parliament also passed a resolution endorsing the fatwa and calling for Rushdie's death. An Iranian foundation that has offered a reward of more than $2 million for killing Rushdie has warned that Muslims will also take revenge on anyone who supports Rushdie. In Beirut, Hizballah vowed to carry out the decree. In Oslo, an unknown assailant shot and seriously wounded the Norwegian publisher of The Satanic Verses in October. In Turkey in July, 37 persons died in a fire set by anti-Rushdie demonstrators during a violent three-month-long campaign to prevent a Turkish magazine from publishing excerpts of Rushdie's book. At the start of the campaign, the Iranian Ambassador to Turkey proclaimed that the fatwa against Rushdie also applied in Turkey. Fundamentalists, including Turkish Hizballah groups, issued death threats to the journal's officials, distributors, and vendors and attacked printing facilities, distribution vehicles, and sales kiosks, injuring several workers. Iran is also the world's preeminent sponsor of extremist Islamic and Palestinian groups, providing funds, weapons, and training. The Lebanese Hizballah, Iran's most important client, was responsible for some of the most lethal acts of terrorism of the last decade, including the 1992 car bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina. In 1993, Hizballah concentrated on guerrilla operations in southern Lebanon, including rocket attacks on civilians in northern Israel, and simultaneously boosted its political influence in the Lebanese parliament. Hizballah has also continued its efforts to develop a worldwide terrorist infrastructure.

Iran supports many other radical organizations that have resorted to terrorism, including the PIJ, the PFLP-GC, and HAMAS. Iranian leaders have worked to develop a rejectionist front, comprising Hizballah and 10 Palestinian groups based in Damascus, to counter the Middle East process.

An Iranian-backed Turkish group, Islamic Action--also referred to as the Islamic Movement Organization--is suspected by Turkish authorities in the car bombing of a prominent Turkish journalist in Istanbul in January and an assassination attempt on a Turkish Jewish businessman a few days later. In February, three members of an Iranian-backed radical Islamic group, possibly Islamic Action, were convicted for the bombing of an Istanbul synagogue almost a year earlier. It is unclear whether the group, some of whose members were arrested by Turkish police, were involved in the anti-Rushdie campaign in Turkey or linked to any of the several hundred murders of secular Kurdish activists in eastern Turkey that have been blamed on so-called Turkish Hizballah groups.

Tehran continues to support and provide sanctuary for the PKK, which was responsible for hundreds of deaths in Turkey during the year.

Iran has become the main supporter and ally of the fundamentalist regime in Sudan. Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps provide training for the Sudanese military. The Iranian Ambassador to Khartoum was involved in the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and played a leading role in developing Hizballah in the 1980s. Khartoum has become a key venue for Iranian contact with Palestinian and North African extremists.

The opposition group MEK launched several attacks into Iran from Iraq in 1993, mostly on oil refineries and pipelines in southwestern Iran. Two guards were killed in an attack on a communications facility of the national oil company in Kermanshah in May. In December, the MEK admitted that it killed a Turkish diplomat in Baghdad, claiming he was mistaken for an Iranian official.


The attempted assassination of former President Bush in Kuwait in April was the most brazen Iraqi act of terrorism in 1993. Iraqi- sponsored terrorism has become almost commonplace in northern Iraq, where the regime has been responsible for dozens of attacks on UN and relief agency personnel and aid convoys.

Iraq has not fully recovered its ability to conduct terrorist attacks outside its borders since the mass expulsion of Iraqi agents from many countries during the Gulf war. However, Iraqi intelligence has resumed sending agents abroad to track opponents of Saddam Husayn.

Kuwaiti officials discovered the elaborate scheme to kill former President Bush with an enormous car bomb shortly before he arrived for a visit. The group arrested for the assassination attempt was also planning a bombing campaign to destabilize Kuwait. The 14 suspects--11 Iraqis and three Kuwaitis- -went on trial in June. Several of the Iraqi defendants worked for Iraqi intelligence, according to testimony in the trial. Forensic evidence also clearly linked Iraq to the abortive attack.

Iraqi-backed surrogates were probably responsible for two attempts to bomb the Kuwait Airways office in Beirut and another attempt to bomb the Kuwaiti Embassy, also in Lebanon. The Iraqi regime continued its war of attrition on UN and humanitarian targets in northern Iraq aimed at driving the foreign presence out of the area and depriving the Kurdish population of relief supplies. UN and relief workers were shot at; bombs or grenades were tossed at residences and vehicles; and bombs were placed on UN trucks loaded with relief supplies. In March, a Belgian official of Handicapped International was shot and killed; a local employee of the same organization was killed and six others were injured when an aid station was bombed in December. We suspect Iraqi involvement.

On 26 September, a UN truck carrying 12 tons of medical supplies was completely destroyed by a bomb attached to the fuel tank probably by Iraqi agents at an Iraqi checkpoint. The truckdriver and 12 civilians were injured by the blast. The incident illustrates Iraqi determination to reduce aid to the Kurds.

Although the Iraqi Government agreed in 1992 to comply with UN Resolution 687, which requires that Iraq not allow any terrorist organization to operate within its territory, Baghdad still maintains contacts with or provides sanctuary to several groups and individuals that have practiced terrorism. For example, the PKK, which has killed hundreds of people in attacks inside Turkey and has mounted two separate terrorist campaigns against Turkish interests in Europe in 1993, has training camps in Iraq, according to press reports. Iraq supports an opposition group, the MEK, which carried out several violent attacks in Iran during the year from bases in Iraq. Baghdad also harbors members of several extremist Palestinian groups including the ANO, the Arab Liberation Front, and Abu Abbas's Palestine Liberation Front (PLF).


The Libyan Government took no serious measures during the year to comply fully with UN Security Council Resolution 731. The resolution demanded that Libya take steps to end its state- sponsored terrorism, including extraditing two Libyan intelligence agents indicted by the United States and the United Kingdom for their role in bombing Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. The resolution also required that Libya accept responsibility for the bombing, disclose all evidence related to it, pay appropriate compensation, satisfy French demands regarding Libya's alleged role in bombing UTA Flight 772 in 1989, and cease all forms of terrorism. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 748 in March 1992; it imposed an arms and civil aviation embargo on Libya, demanded that Libyan Arab Airlines offices be closed, and required that all states reduce Libya's diplomatic presence abroad. Libya's continued defiance of the resolutions led the Security Council to adopt Resolution 883 in November 1993, which imposed a limited assets freeze and oil technology embargo on Libya and significantly tightened up existing sanctions.

Although the Libyan regime made some cosmetic changes to its terrorism apparatus immediately following the adoption of Resolutions 731 and 748, it made no further attempts during the year to dismantle its broad-based terrorism network. Instead, Tripoli concentrated its efforts on extricating itself from UN sanctions by floating a number of proposals that fell short of UN demands, including offering the two suspects for trial in a "neutral" country and leaving their "surrender" up to the suspects. The Libyan regime has largely avoided association with acts of terrorism and terrorist groups while under the United Nations' watchful eye; however, its multifaceted terrorism apparatus remains intact. Qadhafi reiterated his anti- Western themes throughout the year and publicly offered support to radical Palestinian groups opposed to the PLO's Gaza-Jericho accord with Israel. In addition, Qadhafi publicly threatened to support extremist Islamic groups in neighboring Algeria and Tunisia as punishment for not having adequately supported Libya against the UN sanctions effort. Qadhafi's speeches in the fall of 1993, particularly after the mid-October uprising and subsequent crackdown, became increasingly belligerent, and he vowed to strike back against Libyan oppositionists, those who enforced sanctions against Libya, and individuals who cooperated with the United States. Qadhafi also invited notorious terrorist organizations-- including the ANO and PIRA--to Libya in December. Oppositionists in exile have blamed Tripoli for the December disappearance from Cairo of prominent dissident and former Libyan Foreign Minister, Mansur Kikhia.

North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since 1987, when a KAL airliner was bombed in flight. A North Korean spokesman condemned all forms of terrorism including state terrorism after the April assassination of South African Communist Party chief Chris Hani. P'yongyang has supported the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA) in the past but does not appear to be doing so at present. North Korea is believed, however, to maintain contacts with other groups that practice terrorism. P'yongyang continues to provide political sanctuary to members of the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction who participated in the hijacking of a Japanese airlines flight to North Korea in 1970.


In August, the Secretary of State placed Sudan on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Despite several warnings to cease supporting radical extremists, the Sudanese Government continued to harbor international terrorist groups in Sudan. Through the National Islamic Front (NIF), which dominates the Sudanese Government, Sudan maintained a disturbing relationship with a wide range of Islamic extremists. The list includes the ANO, the Palestinian HAMAS, the PIJ, the Lebanese Hizballah, and Egypt's al Gama'at al-Islamiyya.

The Sudanese Government also opposed the presence of the United Nations coalition in Somalia and probably provided some aid to the Somali Islamic Union and the Somali National Alliance. Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria have complained that Sudan supports antiregime insurgents in North Africa with safehaven, weapons, passports, funds, and training. Algeria withdrew its Ambassador from Khartoum in March.

Sudan's ties to Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, continued to cause concern during the past year. Sudan served as a convenient transit point, meeting site, and safehaven for Iranian- backed extremist groups. Iranian Ambassador in Khartoum Majid Kamal was involved in the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and guided Iranian efforts in developing the Lebanese Hizballah group while he served as Iran's top diplomat in Lebanon during the early 1980s. His presence illustrated the importance Iran places on Sudan.

Although there is no conclusive evidence linking the Government of Sudan to any specific terrorist incident during the year, five of 15 suspects arrested this summer following the New York City bomb plot are Sudanese citizens. Khartoum's anti-US rhetoric also escalated during 1993. In September, at a prominent Khartoum mosque, a radical journalist called for the murder of the US Ambassador. President Bashir dismissed the call as that of an unstable individual, but no NIF officials publicly disavowed it.


There is no evidence that Syrian officials have been directly involved in planning or executing terrorist attacks since 1986, but Syria continues to provide support to and safehaven for several groups that engage in international terrorism. Syria has taken steps to restrain the international activities of some of these groups. In July, Damascus played an important part in cooling hostilities in southern Lebanon by inducing Hizballah to halt its rocket attacks on northern Israel. Since the signing of the Gaza- Jericho accord in September, Syria has counseled Palestinian rejectionists to refrain from violence outside the region, although it has not acted to stop rejectionist violence in southern Lebanon, or halted Iranian resupply of Hizballah via Syria.

Several radical terrorist groups maintain training camps or other facilities on Syrian territory. Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC, for example, has its headquarters near Damascus. In addition, Damascus grants a wide variety of groups engaged in terrorism--including the PFLP-GC, the ANO, the PIJ, and the JRA--basing privileges or refuge in areas of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley under Syrian control. The notorious international terrorist Carlos appears to continue to enjoy Syrian sanctuary.

The Turkish PKK continues to train in the Bekaa Valley, despite earlier reports that camps had been closed. The PKK is responsible for hundreds of terrorist incidents in Turkey and across Europe, including bombings and kidnappings of foreigners. One American was held hostage by the group. PKK leader Abdulla Ocalan, who is believed to reside in Syria, made threats against Turkey and foreign tourists and residents of Turkey in press conferences in the Bekaa Valley during the year. Syrian safehaven for PKK operations was vigorously protested by Turkey and is the subject of ongoing talks between Syria and Turkey.[End of Document]

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