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Department of State Publication 10136

Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism




Civil wars and ethnic conflict continue to ravage Sub-Saharan Africa (Somalia, Sudan, Angola, and Liberia), and the threat of international terrorism against US and other Western interests in the region continues.

In August, the United States placed Sudan on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. This decision was made on the basis of convincing evidence from multiple sources that Sudan provides assistance to international terrorist groups.

Iran continues its active involvement in limited areas of Africa, particularly in Sudan and where expatriate Shia populations reside. Iranian-sponsored Hizballah continues to attempt to develop its presence in Sudan, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Benin, and Nigeria. As Iran is the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism, this trend is disturbing and bears close monitoring. Libya's support for subversion has long been a problem throughout the continent and remains so.

Some African countries have been the venue for terrorist activity in the past. Although there have been no dramatic terrorist attacks in the region since the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772, the threat remains.


Three terrorist incidents occurred in Angola in 1993. In February, insurgents of the Renovada faction of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) kidnapped an officer of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and released him unharmed three weeks later. During the same month, one person was injured when a bomb detonated next to the UN office in Luanda; no group claimed responsibility. In May, militants of the FLEC and--according to the government--the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) jointly attacked the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, owned by Chevron International of America, and took a number of Portuguese workers hostage. FLEC, which is seeking independence for the Enclave of Cabinda, has previously targeted Western oil companies with commercial ties to the Angolan Government.


Ghanaian authorities in February detained Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq, a Palestinian who participated in the 1985 hijacking of an Egyptair flight in which 60 passengers died in Malta, including one American and one Ghanaian. In July, US authorities took custody of Rezaq in Nigeria after the Government of Ghana deported him. He was then transported to the United States to stand trial on charges of aircraft piracy and aiding and abetting the 1985 hijacking.

The Government of Ghana prosecuted four persons for bombings that occurred in Ghana after the 1992 election.


On 25 October, four members of the Nigerian Movement for the Advancement of Democracy (MAD) hijacked a Nigerian Airways plane and diverted it to Niamey, Niger. The Nigerian Government refused to refuel the aircraft, and police forces stormed the plane, freed the hostages, and captured the hijackers. During the rescue operation, one crew member was killed. The four hijackers, who intended to force the plane to Frankfurt, had demanded the resignation of Nigeria's Interim National Government, the prosecution of former President Ibrahim Babangida on corruption charges, and the opening of proscribed newspapers.

On 15 July, the Government of Nigeria cooperated in the FBI's apprehension of terrorist hijacker Mohammed Ali Rezaq in Lagos. Rezaq was returned to the United States to stand trial on charges of air piracy for the 1985 hijacking of an Egyptair flight in which 60 people died in Malta.

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