“But I want to make it clear to the American people that while we can defeat terrorists, it will be a long time before we defeat terrorism. America will remain a target because we are uniquely present in the world, because we act to advance peace and democracy, because we have taken a tougher stand against terrorism, and because we are the most open society on earth.”
- President William J. Clinton
August 6, 1996
Terrorism Timeline from 1999 - 1990
PLA Kidnapping, December 23, 1999:
Colombian People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces kidnapped a U.S. citizen in an unsuccessful ransoming effort.
Burmese Embassy Seizure, October 1, 1999:
Burmese dissidents seized the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, taking 89 persons hostage, including one U.S. citizen.
AFRC Kidnappings, August 4, 1999:
An Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) faction kidnapped 33 UN representatives near Occra Hills, Sierra Leone. The hostages included one U.S. citizen, five British soldiers, one Canadian citizen, one representative from Ghana, one military officer from Russia, one officer from Kyrgystan, one officer from Zambia, one officer from Malaysia, a local Bishop, two UN officials, two local journalists, and 16 Sierra Leonean nationals.
Shell Platform Bombing, June 27, 1999:
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, armed youths stormed a Shell oil platform, kidnapping one U.S. citizen, one Nigerian national, and one Australian citizen, and causing undetermined damage. A group calling itself "Enough is Enough in the Niger River" claimed responsibility. Further seizures of oil facilities followed.
ELN Hostage-taking, May 30, 1999:
In Cali, Colombia, armed The National Liberation Army (ELN) militants attacked a church in the neighborhood of Ciudad Jardin, kidnapping 160 persons, including six U.S. citizens and one French national. The rebels released approximately 80 persons, including three U.S. citizens, later that day.
ELN Hostage-taking, March 23, 1999:
Armed guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Boyaca, Colombia. The National Liberation Army (ELN) claimed responsibility and demanded $400,000 ransom. On 20 July, ELN rebels released the hostage unharmed following a ransom payment of $48,000.
Hutu Abductions, March 1, 1999:
150 armed Hutu rebels attacked three tourist camps in Uganda, killed four Ugandans, and abducted three U.S. citizens, six Britons, three New Zealanders, two Danish citizens, one Australian, and one Canadian national. Two of the U.S. citizens and six of the other hostages were subsequently killed by their abductors.
FARC Kidnappings, February 25, 1999:
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) kidnapped three U.S. citizens working for the Hawaii-based Pacific Cultural Conservancy International. On March 4, the bodies of the three victims were found in Venezuela.
Ugandan Rebel Attack, February 14, 1999:
A pipe bomb exploded inside a bar, killing five persons and injuring 35 others. One Ethiopian and four Ugandan nationals died in the blast, and one U.S. citizen working for USAID, two Swiss nationals, one Pakistani, one Ethiopian, and 27 Ugandans were injured. Ugandan authorities blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
Angolan Aircraft Downing, January 2, 1999:
A UN plane carrying one U.S. citizen, four Angolans, two Philippine nationals and one Namibian was shot down, according to a UN official. No deaths or injuries were reported. Angolan authorities blamed the attack on National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels. UNITA officials denied shooting down the plane.
Armed Kidnapping in Colombia, November 15, 1998:
Armed assailants followed a U.S. businessman and his family home in Cundinamarca Department and kidnapped his 11-year-old son after stealing money, jewelry, one automobile, and two cell phones. The kidnappers demanded $1 million in ransom. On January 21, 1999, the kidnappers released the boy.
Colombian Pipeline Bombing, October 18, 1998:
A National Liberation Army (ELN) planted bomb exploded on the Ocensa pipeline in Antioquia Department, killing approximately 71 persons and injuring at least 100 others. The pipeline is jointly owned by the Colombia State Oil Company Ecopetrol and a consortium including U.S., French, British, and Canadian companies.
U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa, August 7, 1998:
A bomb exploded at the rear entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 12 U.S. citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. Approximately 5,000 Kenyans, 6 U.S. citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured. The U.S. Embassy building sustained extensive structural damage. Almost simultaneously, a bomb detonated outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 7 FSNs and 3 Tanzanian citizens, and injuring 1 U.S. citizen and 76 Tanzanians. The explosion caused major structural damage to the U.S. Embassy facility. The U.S. Government held Usama Bin Laden responsible.
Somali Hostage-takings, April 15, 1998:
Somali militiamen abducted nine Red Cross and Red Crescent workers at an airstrip north of Mogadishu. The hostages included a U.S. citizen, a German, a Belgian, a French, a Norwegian, two Swiss, and one Somali. The gunmen were members of a sub-clan loyal to Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who controlled the northern section of the capital.
FARC Abduction, March 21-23, 1998:
FARC rebels kidnapped a US citizen in Sabaneta, Colombia. FARC members also killed three persons, wounded 14, and kidnapped at least 27 others at a roadblock near Bogota. Four U.S. citizens and one Italian were among those kidnapped, as well as the acting president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and his wife.
Murder of U.S. Businessmen in Pakistan, November 12, 1997:
Two unidentified gunmen shot to death four U.S. auditors from Union Texas Petroleum Corporation and their Pakistani driver after they drove away from the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi. The Islami Inqilabi Council, or Islamic Revolutionary Council, claimed responsibility in a call to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. In a letter to Pakistani newspapers, the Aimal Khufia Action Committee also claimed responsibility.
Yemeni Kidnappings, October 30, 1997:
Al-Sha'if tribesmen kidnapped a U.S. businessman near Sanaa. The tribesmen sought the release of two fellow tribesmen who were arrested on smuggling charges and several public works projects they claim the government promised them. They released the hostage on November 27.
Israeli Shopping Mall Bombing, September 4, 1997:
Three suicide bombers of HAMAS detonated bombs in the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem, killing eight persons, including the bombers, and wounding nearly 200 others. A dual U.S./Israeli citizen was among the dead, and 7 U.S. citizens were wounded.
FARC Kidnapping, March 7, 1997:
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. mining employee and his Colombian colleague who were searching for gold in Colombia. On November 16, the rebels released the two hostages after receiving a $50,000 ransom.
ELN Kidnapping, February 24, 1997:
National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen employed by a Las Vegas gold corporation who was scouting a gold mining operation in Colombia. The ELN demanded a ransom of $2.5 million.
Empire State Building Sniper Attack, February 23, 1997:
A Palestinian gunman opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building in New York City, killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland, and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claimed this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine."
Venezuelan Abduction, February 14, 1997:
Six armed Colombian guerrillas kidnapped a US oil engineer and his Venezuelan pilot in Apure, Venezuela. The kidnappers released the Venezuelan pilot on 22 February. According to authorities, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is responsible for the kidnapping.
Egyptian Letter Bombs, January 2-13, 1997:
A series of letter bombs with Alexandria, Egypt, postmarks were discovered at Al-Hayat newspaper bureaus in Washington, New York City, London, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Three similar devices, also postmarked in Egypt, were found at a prison facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. Bomb disposal experts defused all the devices, but one detonated at the Al-Hayat office in London, injuring two security guards and causing minor damage.
Tupac Amaru Seizure of Diplomats, December 17, 1996:
Twenty-three members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) took several hundred people hostage at a party given at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru. Among the hostages were several US officials, foreign ambassadors and other diplomats, Peruvian Government officials, and Japanese businessmen. The group demanded the release of all MRTA members in prison and safe passage for them and the hostage takers. The terrorists released most of the hostages in December but held 81 Peruvians and Japanese citizens for several months.
Abduction of US. Citizen by FARC, December 11, 1996:
Five armed men claiming to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) kidnapped and later killed a U.S. geologist at a methane gas exploration site in La Guajira Department.
Paris Subway Explosion, December 3, 1996:
A bomb exploded aboard a Paris subway train as it arrived at the Port Royal station, killing two French nationals, a Moroccan, and a Canadian, and injuring 86 persons. Among those injured were one U.S. citizen and a Canadian. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Algerian extremists are suspected.
Red Cross Worker Kidnappings, November 1, 1996:
In Sudan a breakaway group from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) kidnapped three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers, including a U.S. citizen, an Australian, and a Kenyan. On 9 December the rebels released the hostages in exchange for ICRC supplies and a health survey for their camp.
PUK Kidnapping, September 13, 1996:
In Iraq, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) militants kidnapped four French workers for Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres, a Canadian United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official, and two Iraqis.
Sudanese Rebel Kidnapping, August 17, 1996:
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels kidnapped six missionaries in Mapourdit, including a U.S. citizen, an Italian, three Australians, and a Sudanese. The SPLA released the hostages 11 days later.
Khobar Towers Bombing, June 25, 1996:
A fuel truck carrying a bomb exploded outside the US military's Khobar Towers housing facility in Dhahran, killing 19 U.S. military personnel and wounding 515 persons, including 240 U.S. personnel. Several groups claimed responsibility for the attack.
Zekharya Attack, June 9, 1996:
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car near Zekharya, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and an Israeli. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was suspected.
AID Worker Abduction, May 31, 1996:
A gang of former Contra guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. employee of the Agency for International Development (AID) who was assisting with election preparations in rural northern Nicaragua. She was released unharmed the next day after members of the international commission overseeing the preparations intervened.
West Bank Attack, May 13, 1996:
Arab gunmen opened fire on a bus and a group of Yeshiva students near the Bet El settlement, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and wounding three Israelis. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but HAMAS was suspected.
Dizengoff Center Bombing, March 4, 1996:
HAMAS and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) both claimed responsibility for a bombing outside of Tel Aviv's largest shopping mall that killed 20 persons and injured 75 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.
HAMAS Bus Attack, February 26, 1996:
In Jerusalem, a suicide bomber blew up a bus, killing 26 persons, including three U.S. citizens, and injuring some 80 persons, including three other US citizens.
ELN Kidnapping, February 16, 1996:
Six alleged National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Colombia. After 9 months, the hostage was released.
Athens Embassy Attack, February 15, 1996:
Unidentified assailants fired a rocket at the U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, causing minor damage to three diplomatic vehicles and some surrounding buildings. Circumstances of the attack suggested it was an operation carried out by the 17 November group.
IRA Bombing, February 9, 1996:
An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb detonated in London, killing 2 persons and wounding more than 100 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.
Tamil Tigers Attack, January 31, 1996:
Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed an explosives-laden truck into the Central Bank in the heart of downtown Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 90 civilians and injuring more than 1,400 others, including 2 US citizens.
Kidnapping in Colombia, January 19, 1996:
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas kidnapped a US citizen and demanded a $1 million ransom. The hostage was released on May 22.
Saudi Military Installation Attack, November 13, 1995:
The Islamic Movement of Change planted a bomb in a Riyadh military compound that killed one U.S. citizen, several foreign national employees of the U.S. government, and over 40 others.
Attack on U.S. Embassy in Moscow, September 13, 1995:
A rocket-propelled grenade was fired through the window of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, ostensibly in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Serb positions in Bosnia.
Jerusalem Bus Attack, August 21, 1995:
HAMAS claimed responsibility for the detonation of a bomb that killed 6 and injured over 100 persons, including several U.S. citizens.
Kashmiri Hostage-taking, July 4, 1995:
In India six foreigners, including two U.S. citizens, were taken hostage by Al-Faran, a Kashmiri separatist group. One non-U.S. hostage was later found beheaded.
Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995:
Right-wing extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a massive truck bomb that killed 166 and injured hundreds more in what was up to then the largest terrorist attack on American soil.
Attack on U.S. Diplomats in Pakistan, March 8, 1995:
Two unidentified gunmen killed two U.S. diplomats and wounded a third in Karachi, Pakistan.
FARC Hostage-taking, September 23, 1994:
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels kidnapped U.S. citizen Thomas Hargrove in Colombia.
Hebron Massacre, February 25, 1994:
Jewish right-wing extremist and U.S. citizen Baruch Goldstein machine-gunned Moslem worshippers at a mosque in West Bank town of Hebron, killing 29 and wounding about 150.
Attempted Assassination of President Bush by Iraqi Agents, April 14, 1993:
The Iraqi intelligence service attempted to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during a visit to Kuwait. In retaliation, the U.S. launched a cruise missile attack 2 months later on the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993:
The World Trade Center in New York City was badly damaged when a car bomb planted by Islamic terrorists exploded in an underground garage. The bomb left 6 people dead and 1,000 injured. The men carrying out the attack were followers of Umar Abd al-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric who preached in the New York City area.
Kidnappings of U.S. Citizens in Colombia, January 31, 1993:
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorists kidnapped three U.S. missionaries.
Kidnapping of U.S. Businessmen in the Philippines, January 17-21, 1992:
A senior official of the corporation Philippine Geothermal was kidnapped in Manila by the Red Scorpion Group, and two U.S. businessmen were seized independently by the National Liberation Army and by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Sniper Attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, February 13, 1991:
Three Red Army Faction members fired automatic rifles from across the Rhine River at the U.S. Embassy Chancery. No one was hurt.
Attempted Iraqi Attacks on U.S. Posts, January 18-19, 1991:
Iraqi agents planted bombs at the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia's home residence and at the United States Information Service (USIS) library in Manila.
U.S. Soldiers Assassinated in the Philippines, May 13, 1990:
The New People's Army (NPA) killed two U.S. Air Force personnel near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
U.S. Embassy Bombed in Peru, January 15, 1990:
The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru.