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


CONTENTS


Introduction

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 political violence.

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 Palestine÷General 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.


Algeria

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 explosives.

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.


Egypt

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 extremists.

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.


Israel and the Occupied Territories

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)÷ 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.


Jordan

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 extremist.

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 locations.


Lebanon

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 diplomat.

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.


Morocco

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. [End of Document]

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