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Department of State Publication 10136

Office of the Secretary
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism



Global issues are a central focus of the Clinton administration, and international terrorism is one of the deadliest and most persistent. Terrorism made the headlines throughout 1993:
  • The World Trade Center bombing in February.
  • The foiled Iraqi plat to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait in April.
  • Numerous coordinated attacks by the Kurdistan Workers Party throughout Western Europe on two separate dates in June and November.
It is clear that terrorism is an issue that will remain with us for quite some time.

The focus of the US counterterrorism policy for more than a decade has been simple and direct:

  • Make no concessions.
  • Apply the rule of law and improve the capabilities of friendly governments to counter the threat they face.
  • Apply pressure on state sponsors.
The key to a successful, long-term counterterrorism policy is international cooperation on these three basic elements. The United States enforced this policy in many ways during the past year:
  • When it became clear that the Government of Iraq was responsible for the foiled plot to kill former President Bush, the United States used military force to demonstrate to Saddam Husayn that such behavior would not be tolerated.
  • The United States encouraged ongoing international support for and adherence to UN sanctions against Libya, which are mandatory and represent the first such steps imposed by the United Nations on a state solely because of its support for terrorism.
  • The US Senate ratified the "Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection." This important convention is a positive legacy from the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103; it deserves and is receiving widespread international support.
  • A recent success was the well-coordinated apprehension last July of Egyptair hijacker Mohammed Ali Rezaq, who was released from prison in Malta after serving a partial sentence for murdering an American and an Israeli aboard the hijacked plane in 1985. He was apprehended and brought to the United States, where he is awaiting trial for air piracy. He would have gone free had it not been for close cooperation among several countries, including Ghana and Nigeria.
  • We offer specialized antiterrorism training to friendly foreign countries that face terrorism at home. The courses teach skills in such areas as airport security, maritime security, VIP protection, management of a terrorist incident, and hostage negotiation. Since the program began 10 years ago, we have trained more than 15,000 civilian law enforcement personnel from 81 countries.
This administration is committed to maintaining an effective international counterterrorism policy. Maintaining our vigilance and increasing or adjusting our capabilities to ensure the safety of Americans and American interests throughout the world is a high priority.

Legislative Requirements

This report is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 265f(a), which requires the Department of State to provide Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of Section (a)(1) and (2) of the Act. As required by legislation, the report includes detailed assessments of foreign countries where significant terrorist acts occurred, and countries about which Congress was notified during the preceding five years pursuant to Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (the so-called terrorism list countries that have repeatedly provided state support for international terrorism). In addition, the report includes all relevant information about the previous year's activities of individuals, terrorist groups, or umbrella groups under which such terrorist groups fall, known to be responsible for the kidnapping or death of any American citizen during the preceding five years, and groups known to be financed by state sponsors of terrorism.


No one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance. For the purpose of this report, however, we have chosen the definition of terrorism contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 265f(d). That statue contains the following definitions:
  • The term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant [1] targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
  • The term "international terrorism" means terrorism involving citizens of the territory of more than one country.
  • The term "terrorist group" means any group practicing, or that has significant subgroups that practice, international terrorism.
The US Government has employed this definition for statistical and analytical purposes since 1983.

In a number of countries, domestic terrorism, or an active insurgency, has a greater impact on the level of political violence than does international terrorism. Although not the primary purpose of this report, we have attempted to indicate those areas where this is the case.


Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political, social, ethnic, religious, or national group is not meant to imply that all members of that group are terrorists. Indeed, terrorists represent a small minority of dedicated, often fanatical, individuals in most such groups. It is that small group - and their actions - that is the subject of this report.

Furthermore, terrorist acts are part of a larger phenomenon of politically inspired violence, and at times the line between the two can become difficult to draw. To relate terrorist event to the larger context, and to give a feel for the conflicts that spawn violence, this report will discuss terrorist acts as well as other violent incidents that are not necessarily international terrorism.

Barbara K. Bodine
Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1993

[1] For purposes of this definition, the term "noncombatant" is interpreted to include, in addition to civilians, military personnel who at the time of the incident are unarmed and/or not on duty. For example, in past reports we have listed as terrorist incidents the murders of the following US military personnel: Col. James Rowe, killed in Manila in April 1989; Capt. William Nordeen, US defense attache killed in Athens in June 1988; the two servicemen killed in the La Belle disco bombing in West Berlin in April 1986; and the four off-duty US Embassy Marine guards killed in a cafe in El Salvador in June 1985. We also consider as acts of terrorism attacks on military installations or on armed military personnel when a state of military hostilities does not exist at the site, such as bombings against US bases in Europe or elsewhere.
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