The American Gazette

Commonsense political and social commentary from "Flyover Country"

Location: Rural Michigan, United States

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Islamist Terrorism, only halfway through the 90's

1995 Bombing of military compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

1996 A series of four suicide bombings in Israel leave 60 dead and 284 wounded within 10 days

Khobar Towers is part of the Al-Khobar housing complex in Dharan, Saudi Arabia. In 1996, it was being used to house foreign military personnel. On June 25, 1996, guerrillas, identified by the U.S. as members of Hezbollah, exploded a fuel truck adjacent to Building #131 in the housing complex. This eight story building mostly housed United States Air Force personnel from the 4404th Fighter Wing. In all, 19 U.S. servicemen and one Saudi were killed and 372 wounded. This is known as the Khobar Towers bombing
In 2004, the 9/11 Commission noted the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have helped the group, possibly by helping to obtain explosives and possibly with assistance from Iran.

1997 Islamic terrorists attack tourists in Luxor, Egypt, killing 71 people, most of them European and Japanese vacationers.

1997 A terrorist 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".
On August 7, 1998, the United States embassies in the East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya were severely damaged in nearly simultaneous truck bomb attacks. The bombings killed 213 people in Nairobi and a dozen in Dar es Salaam. An estimated 4000 were injured in the Kenyan capital and 85 in Dar es Salaam. Almost all of the victims were African civilians, as well as several US diplomats.
The attacks were linked to local members of the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden. It was this terrorist incident that first brought Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to international notoriety, and led to the FBI's placing him on the agency's Ten Most Wanted List.
While the attacks were aimed at Americans, the vast majority of the victims were Africans: twelve Americans (in Nairobi) and 32 Kenyan and eight Tanzanian Embassy employees were killed. The remainder of the dead were visitors, passers-by, or people in neighbouring buildings: the Nairobi embassy lay in a busy downtown location, although that in Dar es Salaam was remoter from the city centre.
In response to these bombings, on August 20 1998, U.S. President Clinton ordered cruise missile strikes on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan.
Investigations into the embassy bombings were conducted by the FBI and Kenyan and Tanzanian authorities. A list of suspects was drawn up and several men were charged with complicity in the bombings. In an event that angered many involved in the investigation, a court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declared on November 20, 1998 that Osama bin Laden was a "a man without a sin" in regard to the bombing.

1999 Gunmen opened fire on Shi'a Muslims worshipping in an Islamabad mosque killing 16 people injuring 25.

1999 Ahmed Ressam is arrested on the US-Canada border in Port Angeles, Washington; he confessed to planning to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport as part of the 2000 celebration terrorist attacks plot
1999 Jordanian authorities foil a plot to bomb US and Israeli tourists in Jordan and pick up 28 suspects as part of the 2000 celebration terrorist attacks plot

Indian Airlines Flight 814
Indian Airlines Flight 814 in the news
Indian Airlines Flight 814 was a flight that flew from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India's Indira Gandhi International Airport
On Christmas Eve, December 24, 1999, the flight was hijacked shortly after takeoff by terrorists. The plane was at first forced to fly to Amritsar, India, before flying to Lahore, Pakistan and a military base in the United Arab Emirates, where 25 passengers were exchanged for jet fuel, food, and water. The terrorists had stabbed to death one of the 173 passengers prior to landing in the United Arab Emirates. The victim was 25-year Rupin Katyal, who was on his honeymoon. They dumped his body off in the UAE as a warning. The hijacked plane later flew to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
On December 31, 1999, the remaining hostages from the Indian Airlines flight were flown back to India on a special plane and freed after negotiations between the Indian government and the Taliban. India agreed to free three Kashmiri militants amidst protests by families of those instrumental in the arrest of the militants. The hijackers have not been apprehended.

The Russian Apartment Bombings were a series of bombings in Russia that killed nearly 300 people and led the country into the Second Chechen War. They happened over two months in 1999.
The first bombing, not of an apartment, occurred in Moscow, the Russian captial, on August 31, 1999. A bomb exploded in a mall, killing one person and wounded 40 others. A note was left saying the bombing was a result of increasing Russian consumerism.
On September 4, a car bomb detonated outside an apartment building housing Russian soldiers in the city of Buinaksk, in the province of Dagestan. 64 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded. Russia blamed Chechen separatists, who would days later invade the province from neighboring Chechnya.
On September 8, 300-400 kg. of explosives detonated on the ground floor of an apartment in southeast Moscow. The nine-story building was destroyed, killing 94 people inside and wounded 150 others. 108 apartments were destroyed. A caller to a Russian news agency said the blast was a response to recent Russian bombing of Chechen and Dagestan villages in response to the invasion of Dagestan.
September 13 was supposed to be a day of mourning for the victims of the previous bomb attacks. But on that day, a large bomb exploded at an apartment on Kashirskoye Street, near the Kremlin. The eight-story building was flattened, littering the street with debris and throwing some concrete hundreds of yards away. In all, 118 people died and 200 were wounded.
It was at this time when Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared a war against the terrorists. Though there was not much evidence pointing to Chechens, preparations were made to begin a new invasion of the province. The motive for the invasion was further quenched when a truck bomb exploded September 16 outside a nine-story apartment complex in the southern Russian city of Volgodonsk, killing 17 people.
In response, Russia launched air strikes on Chechen rebel positions, oil refineries, and other buildings inside that province. By the end of September it was clear another war over Chechnya was underway, and by October Russian troops had entered the province. The attacks would not be the last in Russia or Chechnya.
Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky supported (financed 25% of the costs) a documentary film "FSB blows up Russia" ("An assault on Russia"?), accusing Russian special services of organising the explosions in Volgodonsk and Moscow. According to the research carried out by two French journalists, Charle Denie and Charle Gasel (spelling?), the explosions were carried out by FSB to provide justification for the continuance of Chechen War.


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