Terrorism Incidents 1980 – 1989


February 1

Six Spanish policemen killed in an ambush by Basque terrorists, near Bilbao, Spain.

February 27

Fifty four hostages seized by Colombian terrorists in the Dominican republic embassy in Bogota demanding the release of three hundred and eleven prisoners. Eventually the terrorists were give sanctuary in Cuba after they released the hostages.

March 24

Archbishop Oscar Romero is killed in his San Salvador cathedral, El Salvador, by right wing terrorists while holding a mass.

April 30

Six Iraqi-backed Iranians storm the Iranian Embassy in Princess Gate, London, taking twenty hostages. Six days later British Special Air Service anti-terrorist troops re-captured the embassy killing five of the terrorists and freeing the hostages. Two hostages were killed and two more wounded by the terrorists.

May 2

British Special Air Service officer killed in gun battle with Irish Republican Army active service unit armed with M60 heavy machine gun in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

June 1

African National Congress bombs strategic oil-from-coal plants in South Africa causing $7 million worth of damage.

July 17

Two people killed in failed Iranian attempt to assassinate the Shah’s last prime minister, Shahpour Bakhtiar, in Paris, France. Five terrorists captured by police.

July 21

Christian militiamen shoot down Palestinian terrorist team attempting attack on Israel from Lebanon in hot air balloon.

August 1

Bologna railway station, Italy, devastated by a massive bomb, believed planted by right wing terrorists linked to rogue elements in the country’s intelligence services. 85 people killed and 300 injured.

August 13

Air Florida flight from Key West to Miami, United States, hijacked by seven Cubans and flown to Cuba, where they released their hostages and then taken into custody. Six further US airliners were hijacked to Cuba over the next month. All the passengers were freed without harm. Three passengers were killed when Cubans hijacked an aircraft in Peru and demanded to be flown to the United States.

October 3

Four Jews killed and twelve injured in Palestinian bomb attack on synagogue in Paris, France.

October 6

The president of United Airlines injured in a bomb attack in Chicago, United States, that is blamed on the Unabomber.

October 13

Four Iranian hijackers killed when Turkish security forces stormed a hijacked Turkish Airlines aircraft after it landed in eastern Turkey. One of the one hundred and fifty five hostages killed by the terrorists.

October 26

Neo-Nazi bomb attack on October beer festival, in Munich, Germany leaves thirteen people dead and seventy two wounded.


January 21

Sir Norman Stronge, former speaker of the Stormont Parliament, and his son shot by Irish Republican Army during an attack on their home in Northern Ireland.

March 3

Swedish prime minister Olof Palme shot by lone gunman as he leaves a cinema in Stockholm, Sweden. He was not protected by bodyguards and Swedish police have yet to make any arrest for the crime.

April 16

Palestinian terrorist team attempt attack on Israel from Lebanon in hot air balloon. Israeli air defences shoot down the balloon killing all the crew.

May 13

Pope John Paul II seriously wounded in assassination attempt in Rome, Italy, by Turkish “Grey Wolves” terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca. It emerges he was trained by a number of Middle Eastern terrorists groups and had links to the Soviet intelligence services.

August 31

Large bomb explodes in the car park of the USAF base at Ramstein, Germany, injuring twenty people. The Red Army Faction claims responsibility.

September 15

Red Army Faction terrorists make unsuccessful rocket attack on the car of US Army commander in West Germany, General Fred Kroesen.

October 6

Egyptian president Anwar Sadat shot dead by rebel troops who machine gunned the reviewing stand at a military parade in Cairo, Egypt. Seven other people are killed and twenty eight wounded. The assassins are later executed.

October 8

Unexploded bomb found and made safe at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States. The so-called Unabomber is linked to the attack.

October 10

Irish Republican Army bomb in London, England, kills two civilians and injured forty others outside Chelsea Army Barracks. Seven days later another bomb injures, Lieutenant-General Sir Steuart Pringle, a senior Royal Marines officer, out side his home in London.


June 3

The Israeli ambassador in London, England, Shlomo Argov, shot and seriously injured by terrorists from the Abu Nidal group. The attack is used to justify the Israeli invasion of Lebanon that started immediately after the attack.

July 2

A professor is injured in a bomb attack at the University of California, Berkley, United States, which is attributed to the so-called Unabomber.

July 20

Four Household Cavalry soldiers and seven horses are killed when the Irish Republican Army explodes a bomb in Hyde Park, London, England. Two hours later another bomb explodes under a band stand in Regent Park killing another seven soldiers. Some fifty one people were injured in the two incidents.
September 14

Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel assassinated by a massive car bomb at a Beirut political meeting, by a pro-Syrian Lebanese group. Scores of civilians were injured in the blast. Two days later with the support of Israeli defence minister Arial Sharon, Phalange Christian militiamen occupy the Sabra/Shatilla Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut Lebanon and start to massacre civilians in revenge for the death of Gemayel. Some four hundred and sixty men, women and children were killed in that attack that took place while nearby Israeli troops watched.

August 22

Goldenberg restaurant attack in Paris, France, by the Action Directe terrorist group leaves six civilians dead.

November 11

Israeli military headquarters in Tyre, Lebanon, destroyed by Islamic suicide bomber leaving seventy five Israeli soldiers dead, along with fifteen Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

December 6

Seventeen people killed and sixty injured after an Irish Republican Army bomb destroys a bar at Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.

December 12

Anti-nuclear protestor holds eight tourists hostage in the Washington Monument, in Washington DC, United States, before he is shot dead by a police sniper.


April 18

Sixty three people, including the CIA’s Middle East Director, are killed and 120 injured in a 400 lb suicide truck bomb attack on the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The driver is killed. Responsibility is claimed by Islamic Jihad.
July 23

Eight people killed and fifty five injured when a suitcase bomb explodes near check in desk at Orly airport, Paris, France. Armenian terrorists are later arrested by French security forces for the attack.

July 27

Armenian terrorists seize the Turkish embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, taking the staff hostage. Five terrorists, a Portuguese policemen and Turkish women are killed when a terrorist bomb prematurely explodes.

October 9

The Martyr’s Mausoleum bombing in Rangoon, Burma, leaves five South Korean cabinet ministers and fifteen other people dead. South Korea’s President Chun survives the attack which is blamed on North Korean intelligence agents.

October 23

Italian right wing terrorists explode a bomb on a train killing fifteen people and injuring one hundred and fifteen.

Simultaneous suicide truck bombs on American and French compounds in Beirut, Lebanon. A 12,000 lb bomb destroys a US Marine Corps base killing two hundred and forty one Americans; another fifty eight Frenchmen are killed when a 400 lb device destroys one of their bases. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility. US and French aircraft strike suspected terrorist bases in the Baka’a valley in retaliation.

November 4

Twenty eight Israeli soldiers, along with thirty Palestinian and Lebanese civilians are killed in another suicide truck bomb attack on the Israeli military headquarters in Tyre, in southern Lebanon.

November 15

US Naval officer shot by November 17 terrorist group in Athens, Greece, when his car stopped at traffic lights.

December 12

US Embassy in Kuwait was targeted by Iranian backed Iraqi Shia terrorist who attempted to destroy the building with a truck bomb. The attack was foiled by guards and the device exploded in the Embassy fore-court killing five people.

December 17

The climax of an Irish Republican Army Christmas bombing campaign in London, England, saw two policemen and three civilians killed during an car bomb attack on Harrods department store.

US Army Brigadier General James Dozier kidnapped from his home in Verona, Italy, by Italian Red Brigades terrorists. He was held for forty five days until Italian special forces rescued him on 26 January 1982.


March 8

Car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon, kills eighty and wounds more than two hundred civilians, in what is believed to have been a American CIA backed attempt to kill the leader of the Hezbollah terrorist group.

March 16

CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, William Buckley, kidnapped by the Iranian backed Islamic Jihad. He was tortured and then executed by his captors.

April 12

Eighteen US servicemen killed and eighty three people injured in bomb attack on restaurant near USAF base in Torrejon, Spain. Responsibility claimed by Hezbollah as revenge for March bombing in Beirut.

April 17

British security forces including Special Air Service counter-terrorist troops lay siege to Libyan People’s Bureau (embassy) in London after a British policewomen is killed by small arms fire originating from inside the building. After threats were made to UK citizens living in Libya, the British government decided to respect the diplomatic immunity of the staff of the People’s Bureau and allowed them to leave for Tripoli. No one was arrested for the murder.

April 22

Four Palestinian terrorist hijack bus carrying Israelis in Gaza, occupied territories. Israeli special forces storm the bus and kill two of the terrorist after they had been captured.

June 5

Sikh terrorists seize the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India; hundreds die after the holy shrine is retaken by Indian security forces.

August 2

Tamil Tiger terrorists blow up Madras airport terminal, India, killing thirty people and injuring twenty four more. The bomb was intended to blow up a Sri Lankan airliner.

September 20

Suicide bomb attack on US Embassy in East Beirut kills twenty three people and injures twenty one others. The US and British ambassadors were slightly injured in the explosion which was attributed to the Iranian backed Hezbollah group.

October 12

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet escape death during an Irish Republican Army bomb attack on the Grand Hotel, Brighton, England, during the Conservative Party Congress. Five people killed and thirty injured in the attack which destroyed the front of the hotel.

October 31

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is gunned down by her own Sikh bodyguards in Dehli, India. Almost three thousand people die in riots that follow Gandhi’s assassination.

December 4

Kuwaiti airliner hijacked en-route to Pakistan from Dubai by Iranian backed Iraqi Shia terrorists. The aircraft was forced to land in the Iranian capital, Tehran, after two Americans had been killed. The terrorists surrendered to the Iranian authorities and are later released.


January 15

General Rene Audan, head of French international arms sales, shot dead at his home in Paris France by terrorists from the Action-Directe-Red Army Faction, pan-European radical group, linked to the German Baader-Meinhof gang. Two weeks later Industrialist Ernst Zimmerman and his wife murdered in their home, in Munich, Germany, by Red Army Faction terrorists.

February 28

Nine Royal Ulster Constabulary officers killed and fifty seven people wounded in an Irish Republican Army mortar attack on Newry police station in Northern Ireland.

March 16

US journalist Terry Anderson is kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon, by Iranian backed Islamic radicals. He is finally released in December 1991.

April 5

Bomb explodes outside Hezbollah headquarters in Beirut killing 80 people. CIA backed Christians are blamed.

May 15

One person injured in bomb explosion in a computer room at the University of California, Berkeley. The so-called Unabomber is held responsible. On 13 July the Unabomber sent another device by post to Boeing aircraft company headquarters, Washington state, United States.

May 20

African National Congress bombs air force headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa, killing nineteen civilians and injuring more than two hundred people.

June 6

Red Army Faction bomb explodes at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, killing three people. A TWA Boeing 727 was hijacked enroute to Rome, Italy, from Athens, Greece, by two Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists and forced to fly to Beirut, Lebanon. The eight crews and one hundred and forty five passengers were then held for seventeen days, during which one American hostage was murdered. After being flown twice to Algiers, on the aircraft’s return to Beirut the hostages were released after the US Government pressured the Israelis to release four hundred and thirty five Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

June 9

US academic, Thomas Sutherland, at the American University, Beirut, Lebanon kidnapped by Islamic terrorists and held until 18 November 1991.

June 23

Air India Boeing 747 is destroyed by a bomb over the Atlantic, killing all three hundred and twenty nine people aboard the aircraft. Sikh terrorists are blamed for the attack, which is the worse single terrorist incident to date. Two cargo handlers killed at Tokyo airport when another Sikh bomb explodes in an Air Canada aircraft en-route to India.

July 9

Industrialist Karl-Heinz Beckurte killed in car bomb attack in Munich, Germany. Red Army Faction claim responsibility.

July 10

French DSGE secret agents plant bomb on Green Peace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour, New Zealand that kills one protest group member.

August 8

Three US servicemen and seventeen injured in Red Army Faction bomb and gun attack on Rhein-Main airbase, Germany.

September 25

Palestine Liberation Organisation Force 17 commando squad kills three Israeli tourists aboard at yacht in Larnica marina, Cyprus. The three strong group, including Briton Ian Davidson, are imprisoned by the Cypriots.

September 30

Four Soviet diplomats kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon by Islamic Liberation Organisation, which was thought to be a front for the Iranian backed Hezbollah. One of the Russians was killed but the other three were released unharmed after a relative of the terrorist group’s leaders was kidnapped and killed by the Soviet KGB.

October 7

Four Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists seize the Italian cruise liner, Achille Lauro, during a cruise in the eastern Mediterranean, taking more than seven hundred people hostage. One US passenger was murdered before the Egyptian Government offered the terrorists safe haven in return for the hostages’ freedom. US Navy fighters incepted the Egyptian aircraft flying the terrorists to safety in Tunis and forced it to land at the NATO airbase in Italy, where the terrorists were arrested. The Italian authorities however let two of the terrorists leaders escape on diplomatic passports.

October 11

Jewish Defense League bomb Arab-American lobbying office in Los Angles, United States, killing its director Alex Odeh.

November 10

Senior government official Gerold von Braunmuhl, shot at his home in Bonn, Germany, by Red Army Faction terrorists.

November 11

Two hurt in alleged Unabomber attack on the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States. A month later a computer store owner is killed in another Unabomber attack in Sacramento, California, United States.

November 13

Palace of Justice in Bogota, Colombia, seized by left wing M-19 terrorists and one hundred hostages taken, including a number of judges. All the terrorists and most of the hostages killed when the Colombian army stormed the building.
November 23

Ninety eight passengers and crew of an Egyptair aircraft are held hostage by Palestinian terrorists at Luqa, Malta. Five passengers were shot by the terrorists and two died. An ill-planned assault by Egyptian Force 777 commandos resulted in some fifty seven passengers being killed when the terrorists set off explosives in the aircraft.

December 23

ANC bomb explodes in Durban, South Africa, shopping area kills five and injures 48.

December 27

Suicide grenade and gun attacks against passenger terminals at Rome and Vienna airports by the Abu Nidal terrorist group results in sixteen people being killed and more than 100 civilians injured.


February 2

Basque ETA terrorists assassinate Spanish admiral in Madrid, Spain.

April 5

Two US soldiers are killed and seventy nine American servicemen are wounded in Libyan bomb attack on a night club in West Berlin, Germany. Ten days later US Air Force and Navy jets bomb targets in Libya in reprisal for the raids, hitting targets in Tripoli and Benghazi. One USAF F-111 is shot down in the raid killing its two crew. Some ninety three Libya civilians are killed in raids. Three British hostages held by Islamic groups in the Lebanon are killed in response to the raid.

April 17

British television journalist John McCarthy seized in Beirut by Iranian backed terrorist and held hostage with a large group of other westerners until 8 August 1991.

May 1

Cargese holiday camp, Corsica, seized by separatist rebels, who kill two hostages and injure three.

June 26

Maoist Shinning Path guerrillas bomb train in Peru killing eight.

September 5

Pan American Boeing 747 seized by Arab terrorists in Pakistan. They kill seventeen hostages and wound another one hundred and twenty seven after panicking and thinking they were under attack. Pakistani security forces then stormed aircraft and freed the hostages.

September 12

US academic at the American University in Beirut Joseph Cicippio seized in Beirut by Iranian backed Islamic terrorists. He is eventually released on 1 December 1991.

September 17

A ten month series of bomb attacks in France attributed to Lebanese and Armenian terrorists begins. One bomb in Paris kills five and injures 52.

October 21

American businessman Edward Tracy kidnapped in the Lebanon by Islamic terrorists and held for almost five years until 11 August 1991.

November 11

President of Renault car company is killed in terrorist attack by Action Directe in Paris, France.


January 10

British church envoy Terry Waite, disappears in Beirut, Lebanon, while on a mission to secure the release of other western hostages held in the city by Iranian backed groups. Eventually released on 18 November 1991.

January 24

American citizens Jesse Turner and Alann Steen seized in Beirut by Islamic terrorists. Turner was held until 22 October 1991 and Steen is released on 3 December 1991.

February 20

One person injured in a bomb attack on computer store in Salt Lake City, United States, which is attributed to the so-called Unabomber.

April 14

US Navy club in Naples, Italy, bombed by Japanese Red Army killing five.

May 8

An Irish Republican Army team moving to attack Loughgall police station, Northern Ireland, is ambushed by British Army Special Air Service commandos. All eight terrorists are killed and a civilian is injured in the shoot-out.

November 11

An Irish Republican Army bombs kills eleven civilians and injures sixty others during the Enniskillen Rememberance Sunday ceremony in Northern Ireland.

November 25

Two hang gliders used by Palestinian terrorist to cross into Israel from Lebanon. Six Israeli soldiers are killed during an attack on an army camp and eight wounded.



US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel W. Higgens, kidnapped and murdered by the Iranian backed Hezbollah while serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation in southern Lebanon.

March 6

Three Irish Republican Army terrorists preparing to explode a bomb in the British colony of Gibralter are ambushed and killed by undercover British Army soldiers.

March 16

During the funeral in Belfast, Northern Ireland, of the three Irish terrorists killed in Gibralter, an Ulster protestant, Michael Stone, throws hand grenades and opens fire on mourners killing three and wounding fifty. Four days later two British soldiers are dragged from a car in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during an Irish Republican Army funeral procession, beaten and then shot at point blank range.

Four thousand Kurdish civilians killed during Iraqi nerve gas attack against Halabja in northern Iraq, after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered weapons to be used to put down Kurdish revolt against rule from Baghdad.

April 5

One hundred and twenty two people were held hostage after a Kuwaiti Boeing 747 was hijacked and diverted to Mashad, Iran, before flying on to Cyprus. The Kuwait Government refused requests by the Iranian backed Shia hijackers to release 17 convicted terrorists. After 15 days the hijackers were granted asylum in Algeria and released their hostages unharmed.

May 1

Three British servicemen killed in two shooting and bombing incidents in Holland by the Irish Republican Army.

June 15

Six British soldiers killed during a charity sports run in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, by Irish Republican Army bomb. On 1 August Mill Hill British Army base in London, England, bombed by Irish Republican Army. Eight British soldiers killed and 27 injured when Irish Republican Army blew up their bus carrying them to their barracks in Tyrone, Northern Ireland, later in August.

June 26

US Naval Attache killed in Athens, Greece, by Nov 17th terrorist group.

August 8

Pakistan president Zia Al Haq and US ambassador are killed, along with thirty seven other people, when a bomb explodes on a C-130 Hercules aircraft just after take off from Bahawalpu, Pakistan.

December 21

Pan Am Boeing 747 blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a bomb believed to have been placed on the aircraft at Frankfurt Airport, Germany. All 259 people on the aircraft were killed by the blast which has been attributed to a number of Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Two Libyan intelligence operatives are being tried in connection with this attack.


May 12

British World War Two veteran Jackie Mann seized by Iranian backed terrorists in Beirut, Lebanon, and held until 23 September 1991. Four days latter German aid workers Heinrich Struebig and Thomas Kemptner were also kidnapped in the Lebanon by Islamic terrorists and held until June 1992. They were the last of some 80 westerners held hostage in Lebanon to be released.

September 19

One hundred and seventy people killed when French UTA airliner explodes in mid-air over Niger. The French government issued warrants for the arrest of four Libyans.

September 22

Deal Barracks, England attack by Irish Republican Army and eleven British Army bandsmen killed.

September 26

Greek politician Pavlos Bakoyiannis assassinated by 17 November terrorists.

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