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.


EUROPEAN OVERVIEW


CONTENTS


Introduction

Terrorism in Europe declined somewhat in 1994, in part because of a cease-fire in Northern Ireland declared by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) on 1 September, and by the Loyalist paramilitary groups in early October. In the eastern Mediterranean region, the Greek leftist group 17 November continued to target foreign businesses and diplomats, as well as Greek Government figures, and the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacked tourist sites in western Turkish resort areas on the Aegean Sea. In Spain, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty group (ETA) continued lethal attacks against Spanish police and military targets. A Bosnian Muslim protesting the three-year-old conflict in the former Yugoslavia hijacked a domestic SAS flight in Norway; there were no casualties.

Ethnic tensions in regions of the former Soviet Union have spawned acts of terrorism in the Caucasus and the Baltic republics. In September there was an attempted bombing of an airliner in Georgia. In November there was a hijacking of a Russian airliner to Estonia, which ended peacefully. In Lithuania, there were two bombings of a rail line connecting the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad with the Russian republic. Violence in this region has not, for the most part, been directed at foreigners.


Albania

On 10 April several gunmen crossed into Albania from Greece and stormed a border guard facility, killing two persons and seriously wounding three others before returning across the Greek border. A group calling itself the "Northern Epirus Liberation Front" (MAVI) claimed responsibility for the incident. It accused the Albanian Government of violating the rights of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania and berated Athens for not doing enough to support the minority. MAVI also issued a pamphlet last fall announcing the commencement of an "armed struggle" against Tirana and demanding, inter alia, the cessation of the alleged "colonization" of "Northern Epirus" -- the Greek name for southern Albania, which has a large ethnic Greek population -- by Albanians from the north. MAVI was the name of an ethnic Greek resistance group in Albania during World War II that operated first against the invading Italians and then against the Communists. Press reports state that the group was disbanded in the 1940s, although responsibility for the 1984 bombing of the Albanian Embassy in Athens was claimed in its name.

Azerbaijan

Several Armenian intelligence officers are being held in Moscow, accused of complicity in a series of bombings against the Baku Metro, as well as Azerbaijani trains in Russia and Azerbaijan that killed 45 persons and wounded at least 130. The Azerbaijani Supreme Court sentenced an ethnic Russian involved in the crimes to eight years in prison for engaging in intelligence work against Azerbaijan and committing acts of sabotage on its territory.

The Baltics

Anti-Russian sentiment may have been the catalyst for explosions and bomb threats in the Baltics last year. On 28 February, when Latvian and Russian delegations resumed talks on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia, a minor blast caused by an estimated one-half kilogram of TNT damaged a power pylon near Skrunda. When Latvian and Russian officials initialed agreements on 15 March allowing Russia to retain its radar station for another five and a half years, Latvian police discovered and disarmed a timer-controlled device armed with 12 kilograms of TNT at the base of another pylon. In November, a powerful explosion destroyed a railroad bridge in Lithuania on the main railway line for international trains traveling between Moscow and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The incident may have been connected to a controversy surrounding negotiations over an agreement to allow Russian military trains to transit Lithuania to Kaliningrad.

France

France scored a number of successes against international terrorists in 1994. In August, the Sudanese Government handed over notorious terrorist Illych Ramirez Sanchez, a.k.a. "Carlos," previously convicted in absentia in France for the murder of two French intelligence officers. He will probably be retried on this charge and possibly others after French officials complete their investigations. In September, French officials also arrested Dursun Karatas, leader of the Turkish leftwing group Dev Sol, for entering France using a false passport. (He has since apparently escaped.) Karatas is under investigation for complicity in attacks against French interests in Turkey during the Gulf war.

French authorities made a number of sweeps against foreign Islamic extremists, seizing arms and false documents. They arrested or expelled a number of North Africans believed to have links to extremist organizations. In November, for example, French police detained 80 persons tied to Algeria's Armed Islamic Group. French police also arrested several members of the Basque terrorist organization ETA, including the group's second-highest ranking member, in three separate incidents during the year.

In December, a French court convicted two Iranians of involvement in the murder of former Iranian Prime Minister Bakhtiar in 1991. A third defendant, an Iranian Embassy employee, was acquitted.

On 26 December, France's National Gendarmerie Action Group stormed an Air France plane hijacked from Algiers to Marseille, killing the four hijackers and rescuing 170 passengers and crew.


Germany

The Red Army Faction (RAF) remained deeply divided between those who opted for political means and those who wanted to engage in violence. German courts granted early release to two RAF members: Irmgard Moeller, who served 22 years of a life sentence for a car bomb attack that killed three US soldiers in 1972, and Ingrid Jakobsmeier, who served two-thirds of her sentence for participating in attacks against the US military in 1981. German authorities believe the two pose no further terrorist threat. Another RAF member, Birgit Hogefeld, went on trial in November for her part in a number of attacks, including a bombing at a US airbase in Frankfurt in 1985 that killed a US soldier.

Several smaller leftwing factions resumed operations. After a six-year hiatus, the Revolutionary Cells (RZ) reappeared with an arson attack on the Frankfurt subway system protesting higher fares and "racist" practices among ticket controllers. Red Zora, the feminist branch of the RZ, also reemerged and set fire to trucks belonging to a company that supplied groceries to refugee facilities on the premise that the firm was "making money off refugees." Unidentified leftwing terrorists, probably on the RAF periphery, bombed offices of the ruling political parties in two cities in September.

Rightwing extremist attacks continued to decline last year. There were still more than 1,000 reported attacks -- down from about 2,200 in 1993 -- but arson and mob attacks against refugee homes virtually ceased, and assaults on individual foreigners occurred less frequently. The most significant incident took place on 12 May, when at least 50 youths chased five foreigners through the streets of Magdeburg. However, during 1994, the number of anti-Semitic attacks increased; rightwing extremists threw firebombs at a synagogue in Luebeck and desecrated Jewish cemeteries elsewhere.


Greece

Greece was the venue for a large number of international terrorist attacks in 1994. The most deadly attack was the 4 July assassination of the acting Deputy Chief of Mission of the Turkish Embassy, claimed by the Revolutionary Organization 17 November. Events in the Balkans probably sparked a number of other attacks against Western interests in Greece in April, including an unsuccessful mortar attack against the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal in Piraeus claimed by 17 November. Attacks also were made against American, Dutch, French, and German commercial and diplomatic targets. The Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA) claimed two bombing attempts against the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugee Affairs.

In July, three improvised bombs exploded on the Island of Rhodes, injuring one foreign tourist and a Greek citizen. No group has claimed responsibility.

Greek authorities made little progress in 1994 against terrorist groups, in part due to ambivalent government attitudes toward counterterrorism. Greece still lacks a new antiterrorism law to replace legislation repealed in December 1993 by the incoming PASOK government. In addition, suspected terrorist Georgios Balafas was acquitted on 25 July of murder, armed robbery, and other charges. He still faces trial in two other cases -- weapons and narcotics charges -- but was released in September on "humanitarian" grounds after a reported hunger strike. While in the prison hospital, he was visited by the then Minister of Transportation and Communications as a "gesture of support."


Italy

Leftwing groups modeled on the largely defunct Red Brigades carried out several small-scale attacks, including the bombing of the NATO Defense College in Rome on 10 January. The attack was claimed by the Combatant Communist Nuclei for the Construction of the Combatant Communist Party.

In September, four members of the Red Brigades for the Construction of the Communist Combatant Party, another neo÷Red Brigades group, were convicted of involvement in the attack on the NATO base in Aviano in September 1993.


Russia

Separatist and internal power struggles, particularly in the North Caucasus region of Russia, continued to spawn domestic violence and terrorism. In July, four gunmen from the separatist Chechnya region hijacked a bus carrying more than 40 passengers. The incident ended tragically when four hostages were killed as Russian police stormed the hijackers' getaway helicopter. There were also a number of airplane hijackings, including one in the Chechnya region in which the hijacker blew himself up after releasing several passengers and watching the others escape.

Spain

Spanish authorities scored several successes against the separatist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), including the disruption of the "Comando Vizcaya" subunit in November. One ETA member was killed and two arrested after a failed assassination attempt against a Spanish soldier. Continuing close cooperation between Spanish and French police resulted in a September raid on an ETA explosives factory in France and the arrest of five ETA members in November, including the group's number-two figure.

ETA carried out one act of international terrorism in 1994 with the attempted assassination of the Spanish military attache in Rome. Domestic attacks by ETA fell off at the end of the year, but the group retains its lethal capabilities.


Turkey

International terrorism has become an important part of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) campaign to establish a breakaway state in southeast Turkey and presents a potentially serious threat to US interests. PKK attacks against tourists in Turkey last year were particularly violent, although the overall number of terrorist attacks was significantly lower than in 1993. Three attacks on tourist sites in Istanbul in May killed two foreign tourists -- the first to be killed by the PKK -- and injured several others. In June, the PKK was also responsible for several small bombs that exploded in two Turkish resort towns on the Mediterranean coast, killing a British woman and injuring at least 10 other tourists. In the latest in a series of kidnappings of foreign travelers, the PKK abducted two Finnish tourists on 8 August and released them unharmed three weeks later. The PKK also attacked government and commercial targets in major Turkish cities, presenting an incidental risk to foreign visitors, as well as Turks. PKK terrorist attacks on Turkish citizens, including ethnic Kurds, continued unabated.

The PKK continued to expand its activities in Western Europe, where its members clashed with police frequently throughout the year. For the first time, the PKK also directly targeted Western interests in Europe. It blocked highways in Germany with burning tires in March and conducted demonstrations in a number of German cities, some of which turned into violent confrontations with the police. After German police killed a Kurdish youth in Hannover, the PKK organized protests and sit-ins at the German Embassy in Athens and a German Consulate in Denmark. The PKK also mounted demonstrations in several West European countries after British immigration authorities detained Kani Yilmaz, the senior PKK leader in Europe, in October. The PKK also opened offices of its political wing (ERNK) in Italy and Greece.

The Marxist/Leninist terrorist group Dev Sol (Devrimci Sol), or Revolutionary Left, remained a threat to US interests and personnel in Turkey, despite a series of setbacks the group has suffered over the last two years. Dev Sol's two factions were largely inactive last year as they continued to battle each other and as the Turkish police arrested numerous operatives. Some members of the group sprang into action after French authorities arrested Dursun Karatas, the head of the major Dev Sol faction, on 9 September as he tried to enter France from Italy on falsified documents. Over the next several weeks, Dev Sol supporters protested in Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands demanding Karatas' release. Dev Sol operatives in Turkey assassinated former Justice Minister Mehmet Topac on 29 September in Ankara and also killed a policeman in Istanbul.

Several groups of loosely organized Turkish Islamic extremists, who advocate an Islamic government for Turkey, attacked targets associated with the Turkish secular state. They claimed attacks under a variety of names, such as Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Movement Organization, and the Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front. The Islamic extremists also pursue a strong anti-Western agenda. In May 1994, Islamic terrorists claimed responsibility for bombing the Ankara branch of the Freemason organization. In September, a Turkish political scientist known for his secular writings escaped death when a car bomb planted by Islamic extremists failed to explode.


United Kingdom

The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) announced a "complete cessation of military operations" beginning on 1 September. Other Republican splinter groups in Northern Ireland also ceased attacks after that date, although most have not formally agreed to a cease-fire. PIRA's leadership denied authorizing the use of firearms in a robbery on 10 November carried out by a lower-level unit in Newry that resulted in the death of a postal worker. The Combined Military Loyalist Command, an umbrella group comprising three loyalist paramilitary groups, announced its own cease-fire beginning 14 October.

Both Loyalists and Republicans carried out a number of international and domestic terrorist attacks before the cease-fire. Loyalists carried out several attacks in the Republic of Ireland, including a lethal attack in May on a Dublin pub during a Sinn Fein fundraiser. In March three separate attacks by PIRA on Heathrow International Airport in London failed when the mortar rounds used did not detonate.

On 26 October, British authorities arrested Faysal Dunlayici, a.k.a. Kani Yilmaz, a high-ranking leader of the PKK based in Europe. The arrest sparked protests from PKK supporters in the United Kingdom, and Germany and Turkey have requested his extradition.

On 26 July, a bomb contained in a car exploded outside the Israeli Chancery in London at approximately noon causing substantial structural damage and injuring 14 persons. The car carrying the explosives was driven by a woman described as in her fifties and "Middle Eastern" in appearance. On 27 July, shortly after midnight, another bomb contained in a car exploded in north London outside Balfour House, a Jewish fundraising organization. This bomb caused some structural damage to the building but resulted in limited casualties, primarily because of the time it was detonated. Five passers-by were injured by the blast.


Former Yugoslavia

Ethnic conflict and endemic violence plagued the former Yugoslavia for a third year, although in 1994 the fighting was largely restricted to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, a Bosnian Muslim, claiming that he wanted to focus world attention on the plight of his kinsmen, hijacked an SAS airliner during a domestic flight in Norway on 3 November. He surrendered peacefully to Norwegian authorities after landing in Oslo. This was the first such incident on behalf of one of the warring factions of the former Yugoslavia. [End of Document]

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