Strange Bedfellows - The Iranians,
The North Koreans, and The Libyans
Misery acquaints a man with strange
William Shakespeare - The Tempest
On December 22, 1999, A Korean 747 jumbo jet crashed onto an English field .......
December 22, 1999 13 Tevet 5760 (Jewish calendar)
A jumbo jet has crashed near Stansted Airport in Essex, killing up to four crew members. The Boeing 747 Korean Air cargo plane crashed minutes after taking off from the airport north-east of London on a flight to Italy. There are reports that it exploded in mid-air. Eyewitness Neill Foster, who was driving from the airport terminal to the M11 when the plane crashed, said: "There was a large flash followed by a large bang. "There was lots of falling debris, all on fire falling on roads surrounding the area." Annette Brooke-Taylor told how she was at a service station near Stansted when they saw the plane explode. She said: "There was a big explosion and huge flames in the sky. It was a sort of mushroom shape. An incredible sight. It lit up the sky. "There was a tremendous noise. There were lots of flaming particles in the sky and then it went very quiet and then we realized something terrible had happened."
The Times of London noted an anniversary date ....
December 23, 1999 The Times of London
David Murtagh told how the burning wreckage of the Korean Air 747 flashed past his window as he watched television in Great Hallingbury. "I saw the aircraft and it was on fire. I saw it blazing in flames and it was so close that I ducked. I thought, 'Oh my God it's going to hit me'. I'm still shaking." The crash came just hours after the 11th anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster when PanAm flight 103 was blown up with the loss of 270 lives. That was the last occasion that a jumbo jet crashed in Britain.
The Times should have looked beyond the Gregorian calendar to find the anniversary of this crash. It occurred exactly on the eleventh anniversary of the PA 103 bombing in the Jewish calendar (13 Tevet)
December 21, 1988 13 Tevet 5749 (Jewish Calendar)
Pan Am 103 bombed over Lockerbie.
Two of Libyan leader Ghadafi's subordinates are being held for trial by a Scottish court. Was a message being delivered here?
When TWA 800 crashed was a similar message delivered?
July 20, 1996 London Times.
New York: Jurors at the trial here of the alleged mastermind of the World Trade Centre bombing, who is accused of plotting to attack US airliners over Asia, were told to ignore reports about the (TWA 800) crash while considering the case against Ramzi Yousef.
There was certainly plenty of evidence as to who sent the message ..
July 21, 1996 The Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called US President Bill Clinton on Thursday and offered Israel's help in the war against terror. Israeli terrorism experts are looking for possible links between Moslem militants and the explosion of TWA flight 800, the newspaper Ha'aretz said on Friday. The paper quoted an unidentified senior security source as saying Israel was helping US intelligence agencies and the FBI in every way it could in their investigation of the crash. Netanyahu's office declined comment on the report. But Israeli security sources told Reuter that Israel routinely cooperates on such matters with the US. TWA said flight 800 used to go on from Paris to Tel Aviv, but the Israel leg was discontinued in January. Israeli officials have not drawn any connection between the air disaster, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. They say they have yet to determine whether it was an accident or an attack. "We still don't know if this is an attack," Brig.- Gen. Yigal Pressler, Netanyahu's adviser on counter- terrorism, told Israel Radio. But he cited previous attempts he said involved Iran, Syria and Libya.
August 3, 1996 EmergencyNet NEWS Service Daily
Report Vol. 2 - 216
Three or four sources have been telling ENN of a "terrorist summit" that has recently taken place in Tehran. Israeli intelligence sources have said that attacks "to be directed primarily against U.S. targets." were discussed at the meeting.....An official international terrorist organization, represented by Iran, Libya and Syria, was said to have been formed. It is to be called the "Movement for Islamic Change." Other members are said to be from the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
August 5 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)
Iran has embarked on the most far-reaching campaign of state-sponsored terrorism ever conducted against the United States, threatening US airliners, public buildings with a wave of destructive attacks. US officials are convinced that the clerical regime in Teheran has made a strategic decision to escalate its permanent war against the "Great Satan", striking US targets on American soil for the first time in a systematic way. Although it is too early to conclude that the crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York was caused by sabotage, the view in Washington is that it was almost certainly a bomb. Coming just weeks after the Iranian-backed bombing of the US barracks in Dhahran, which killed 19 American servicemen, it is now widely suspected that the TWA tragedy is part of Iran's ugly new campaign. "This is just the beginning," said Kenneth Timmerman, publisher of the Iran Brief in Washington. "More aircraft are going to fall out of the sky." .....
The Movement of Islamic Change was quite clear on the TWA 800 matter .....
July 19, 1996 New York Times.
A specific warning about the flight had been sent by an extremist Saudi organization called the Movement of Islamic Change, the organization that claimed responsibility for blowing up US military personnel in Saudi Arabia last November. "Late this morning we got a copy of a letter in Arabic that we then had translated, and got it to the FBI" said a State Department spokesman ... "It's a ... statement that seems aimed at the Saudi regime or the American presence in Saudi Arabia"......... Officials said they were reviewing a telephone call placed to a Tampa, Florida television station yesterday morning from a man who identified himself as a member of a jihad and claimed responsibility for the crash.
President Clinton replied to the message by signing a sanctions bill against Iran and Libya while surrounded by the families of victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing.
August 6, 1996 Electronic Telegraph
A bill to punish foreign companies investing in Iran and Libya was signed by President Clinton yesterday. The Bill, aimed at the two nations which Mr Clinton described as "the most dangerous supporters of terrorism in the world", requires America to impose sanctions on any company that invests more than $40 million (£26 million) a year in Iran or Libya's oil and gas sectors. Mr Clinton ...... defended the move against Iran and Libya, saying "the US has to act . . . to protect innocent lives and our way of life". He went on: "You can't do business with people by day who are killing your people by night." Mr Clinton signed the Bill surrounded by relatives of victims of the bomb which destroyed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie almost eight years ago and which has been blamed on two Libyans. The president said he hoped that the measure would increase pressure for the extradition of the two suspects. The ceremony came on a day when reports indicated that the CIA was studying signals intercepted from Iran to see if there was any indication of Teheran involvement in the explosion aboard TWA Flight 800 off Long Island almost three weeks ago, which killed 230. American companies are already banned from engaging in trade with Iran and Libya. The Bill introduces six possible sanctions on foreign firms: denying Export-Import Bank loans; denying export licences; banning US banks from extending loans; barring financial institutions from being primary dealers in US government bonds; imposing import sanctions; and imposing a ban on any government business.
Ramsey Yousef's plan to blow up airliners over the Pacific causes one to wonder about the following arrest that occurred in Seattle...
January 21, 2000 USA Today
A federal grand jury filed a terrorism conspiracy indictment against two Algerians Thursday, alleging for the first time here that explosives smuggled into Washington state were going to be used to blow up buildings or other U.S. targets. The nine-count indictment, which supersedes previous federal charges, accuses Ahmed Ressam and Abdelmajid Dahoumane of conspiring since 1998 ''to destroy or damage structures, conveyances or other real or personal property within the United States.'' It does not disclose specific targets or how investigators had discovered the plot stretched back at least a year. It does not allege any property was actually damaged. Ressam, 32, was arrested Dec. 14 at Port Angeles. The trunk of his rental car contained a substance used to make the military-grade C-4 explosive and a ''nitroglycerine equivalent'' in two glass jars. He was detained as he left a ferry from Victoria, British Columbia. Dahoumane remains at large, accused of being an accomplice to Ressam. The two men had shared a $36 per night Vancouver, British Columbia, motel room in the 25 days before Ressam's arrest, during which time they either made or had in their possession the explosives, according to a Canadian arrest warrant for Dahoumane. Ressam had made a one-night motel reservation near the Seattle Center and its Space Needle for Dec. 14, and had a plane reservation to London from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Counterterrorism experts have suggested that Ressam, who reportedly was trained in terrorist tactics in Afghanistan, may be linked to suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, a Saudi exile believed to be in Afghanistan. Timing devices found in Ressam's rented Chrysler are identical to ones used by bin Laden's forces in previous attacks, former CIA counterterrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro has said.
The article above contains a few intriguing references to "other U.S. targets", "conveyances", "nitroglycerine", "a plane reservation to London from Seattle", and someone who was "trained in terrorist tactics in Afghanistan". Further in the article below we find references to "timing devices consisting of Casio watches mounted on circuit boards with 9-volt batteries"
December 18, 1999 Seattle Times
Court papers said Ressam was carrying four timing devices consisting of Casio watches mounted on circuit boards with a 9-volt battery. A former chief of counter-terrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency said last night that the timing devices and use of nitroglycerine are the "signature devices" of groups affiliated with Afghan-based Osama bin Laden. "These are devices we have seen before," said Vincent Cannistraro, speaking last night from his home in McLean, Va. "They were used among groups affiliated with bin Laden in attacks in the Philippines and at an apartment bombing in Moscow." The use of a Casio watch in the homemade timing devices found in the car in Port Angeles, the use of the two 9-volt batteries combined with the type of explosive found, suggest that whoever made those devices has ties to bin Laden, Cannistraro said. "This particular device is associated with the bomb-making methodology taught at the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan," Cannistraro said. Court documents filed yesterday revealed the prosecutors' first suggestion of the suspect's plans. They said Ressam was planning to stay just one night at the Best Western Loyal Motor Inn and then fly Wednesday to New York on a flight connecting to London.
The U.S. government have let it be believed that this was a planned bombing of a Seattle building, perhaps the Seattle Needle.
December 18, 1999 NY Times
Several plastic garbage bags containing more than 130 pounds of two kinds of powder, later identified by the Washington state police crime laboratory as urea and sulfate, as well as two jars of a yellowish liquid found to be nitroglycerine, were found in the trunk of the car, in the spare-tire compartment. The car also contained four black boxes, each with a circuit board connected to a Casio watch and a 9-volt battery, apparently to be used as timing devices, a government official said. Urea and nitroglycerine were two of the main ingredients in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Urea is a chemical sold for melting ice and is used in fertilizer. It takes more technical skill to make it into a bomb than was employed by the two Americans who killed 168 people in Oklahoma City in 1995 with a huge but crude bomb made of fuel oil and fertilizer. The World Trade Center bomb, carried out by Islamic radicals, was built with a main charge of urea nitrate -- a combination of 1,200 pounds of urea and about 105 gallons of nitric acid, a chemical widely used in industrial etching -- and a booster made of nitroglycerine. The motel where Mr. Ressam made a reservation is a few blocks from the Seattle Center, a complex of public buildings, including the Space Needle, that is to be the site of New Year's Eve celebrations.
However, in the World Trade Center bombing, carried out by individuals trained in camps financed by Osama bin Laden, much greater amounts of bomb materials were utilized and the triggering devices were fuses that were lit.
These news reports are eerily similar to those that we have seen before. Take, for example, Ramsey Yousef's plan to blow up several airliners in the Philippines ......
July 29, 1996 TIME magazine
(In December 1994) Ramsey Yousef tested his plan for attacking U.S. carriers by boarding a Philippine Airlines flight on the first leg from the Philippines to Japan. He carried with him the components of a bomb, unassembled in his carry-on bag. On board he assembled the bomb, which was made of gun cotton, a nitroglycerine solution packed into a contact-lens bottle. He tucked the bomb under a cushion and left the plane after its first stop in the Philippine city of Cebu. Two hours later the device exploded killing a passenger.
May 13, 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)
Ramsey Yousef is accused of having designed the bomb that blew up in the World Trade Centre in 1993. His idea was to topple one of the twin towers onto the other - perhaps 50,000 people would have perished. Yousef placed a bomb on a Philippines Airlines jet (to test) a method he intended using to destroy three US passenger planes at a later date. That plan, had it worked, would have killed about 700 civilians, dwarfing all previous terrorist outrages against air passengers. A fire at the flat where he lodged in Manila - possibly caused by nitroglycerine - led to a search by the Philippines police. Yousef managed to escape, fleeing to Pakistan. America should expect further attacks.
August 26, 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)
FBI agents are re-examining evidence from a New York trial that reveals in chilling detail how Islamic militants have perfected sophisticated techniques for bombing civilian airliners. Three Muslim fundamentalists are on trial for an audacious plan to destroy 12 American-owned Boeing 747s in a series of attacks in the Far East during just two days in January 1995. Had the plan succeeded, as many as 4,000 passengers would have perished in the most sustained assault to have been carried out against civilian aircraft in peacetime. The alleged mastermind of the plan was Ramzi Yousef - the alleged brain behind the New York World Trade Centre bombing. A stable form of liquid nitroglycerine was carried in a bottle labelled as contact-lens solution and not detectable by airport X-ray machines. To make sure their plan worked, the bombers are said to have carried out a "dry run" on a Philippines Airlines flight when a Japanese businessmen had the bottom half of his body blown away.
Were the arrests in Seattle linked to a plot to place bombs on the New York leg, and/or the London leg, of the flights that Ressam had booked and set them to go off with casio timing devices once he had left the aircraft in New York and in London? Ressam had booked to fly to London through New York departing on Wednesday, December 22, 1999. A bombing on that date would have occurred on the eleventh anniversary of the downing of PA 103 in the Jewish calendar - PA 103 was bombed on December 21, 1988 which is 13 Tevet 5749 in the Jewish calendar. December 22, 1999 is 13 Tevet 5760 in the Jewish calendar.
In London on the PA 103 anniversary, as mentioned earlier in this article, a Korean airlines 747 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff in mysterious circumstances.
The London Times might have recalled another anniversary had it cared to look to the Islamic calendar. A Swissair plane crashed in strange circumstances exactly on the tenth anniversary of the bombing of PA 103 in the Islamic calendar ...
December 21, 1988 11 Jumaada al-awal 1409 A.H (Islamic
Pan Am 103 bombed over Lockerbie.
September 2, 1998 11 Jumaada al-awal 1419 A.H.
Swissair 111 crashes off Nova Scotia not far from the city of Halifax.
Are these simply coincidences or is there a pattern here? Looking at an earlier Korean airlines crash we find another strange pattern. In an August 1997 incident in Guam a Korean jumbo jet, Flight 801, was destroyed. The flight number was one number higher than that of TWA 800. The date of this crash in the Jewish calendar (2 Av) was one day later than that of TWA 800 (1 Av).
July 17, 1996 1 Av 5756 (Jewish Calendar)
TWA 800 crash.
August 5, 1997 2 Av 5757 (Jewish Calendar)
Electronic Telegraph Issue 803
KAL 801 crash.
Minutes before the crash, the pilot of the Korean Air flight 801 from Seoul, South Korea, told air traffic controllers that he was having "engine trouble". ...... Later, the Pentagon said a fire had been reported on board. Guam, for three-quarters of a century an important US military outpost, is a self-governing US territory. The crash happened a year after TWA flight 800, another Boeing 747, crashed into the Atlantic off Long Island, New York. The cause of that crash is unknown.
Why after TWA 800 was downed one might ask did one country on the far side of the world take immediate precautions to guard its aircraft?
July 18, 1996 EmergencyNet NEWS Service
Vol. 2 - 200 ENN 7/18/96 10:36CDT
Internationally, the government of South Korea quickly tightened security checks for flights to and from the United States. A police official in Seoul said, "In view of the possibility of a terrorist attack on the airliner, we have decided to strengthen security drills at the airport, particularly flights to and from the United States.
Perhaps as a strong ally of the United States, South Korea knew it too had now become a target for state sponsored terrorism. The U.S. had declared South Korea's arch enemy, North Korea, to be a 'rogue terrorist state' along with Iran, the arch enemy of the United States. Iran and North Korea, were meanwhile becoming strange bedfellows.....
For example, when the CIA tried to get its missiles back from Afghanistan, the Afghan protectors of Osama bin Laden seemed only too willing to unload them to the North Koreans and the Iranians. If the U.S. authorities were concerned that these missiles might be used to bring down U.S. aircraft, the South Koreans would have been prudent to share these fears.
November 3, 1996 The Electronic Telegraph.
A race between terrorists and the Western powers for control of a huge cache of missiles is underway in the arms bazaars of Afghanistan. The hunt, that has pitched the resources of intelligence services against terrorist groups and pariah states, is for an arsenal of shoulder-launched Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The weapons were sent into Afghanistan by the CIA during the Soviet occupation and were a key factor in tipping the balance of firepower against the Red Army. Now the West fears that, if they fall into the wrong hands, the Stingers could turn the tables in future conflicts or prove devastating if used by terror groups against civilian aviation. The CIA has spent more than £70 million in a belated and often bungled operation to buy back the missiles. As a result, the weapons are fetching up to £200,000 each on the Afghan black market - 10 times their official "retail" price - and have proved lucrative investments for their current owners, a mixture of warlords, black marketeers and drug barons. There is evidence that Afghan military commanders have been only too eager to sell them to embassies in Kabul such as the North Koreans' and the Iranians'. The two pariah states are believed to have bought 40. "The Stinger is a status symbol weapon and would be a significant weapon for any terrorist group," said Damon Bristow of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies. "With little training it can bring down any aircraft. The CIA has botched its shopping trip in Afghanistan." When the CIA first sent covert shipments of missiles to Afghanistan through Pakistan in June 1986, it kept a check of their serial numbers and distribution. But at least 1,000 had been sent by April 1988 and the Americans now admit to having no idea what became of most of them. "The Israelis found Stingers held by Hizbollah. American Special Forces found the wreckage of some in Iranian patrol boats destroyed in helicopter attacks in the Gulf war and the Tamils have used them in the Sri Lankan civil war." The FBI is still unsure whether a heat-seeking missile might have brought down TWA flight 800, the civilian airliner that crashed earlier this year in the sea near New York.
Not surprisingly Libya appears ready to welcome bin Laden to its shores ....
October 4, 1998 Electronic Telegraph
A recent report that bin Laden had offered to leave Afghanistan for another terrorist-friendly country such as Libya has been denied by the Taliban.
We might note here that Irish police discovered one of the Libyan and Algerian immigrants living in Dublin, who were arrested on information from the C.I.A., were found to have links with Ressam and to the Egyptian branch of Islamic Jihad....
January 22, 2000 The NY Times
Early on the morning of Dec. 21 Irish police officers raided a house in a working-class section of Dublin as part of a series of sweeps that rounded up five North African immigrants for questioning. But they released the men after about 24 hours, saying they did not have enough evidence to hold them. Within days, authorities in Ireland and the United States began to realize that they might have missed a chance to learn more about a terrorist network. They now say an analysis of documents and a computer seized in the raids show that one of the men, Hamid Aich, might have had ties to an Algerian, Ahmed Ressam, who was arrested in Seattle on Dec. 14 after military explosives and homemade detonators were found in his car. The Irish authorities, aware that Mr. Ressam had been arrested trying to cross into the United States from Canada, decided to question the handful of Algerian and Libyan immigrants in Dublin. American law enforcement officials made it clear that they were disappointed that they were unable to question Mr. Aich or fully explore his ties to Mr. Ressam. They are still reviewing information in his computer, hoping that it might explain Mr. Ressam's plans for the explosives hidden in the wheelwell of his car, his possible accomplices and any broader organization or group that may have sponsored the plot. No criminal charges have been brought against Mr. Aich, F.B.I. officials said. One investigator said some material on the computer suggests that Mr. Aich had ties to Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which has targeted tourists and Egyptian officials. American law enforcement officials would not say whether they suspect that Mr. Aich was directly involved in the plot involving Mr. Ressam, nor would they detail the possible ties between him and Mr. Ressam found on the computer. The raids in Ireland were part of a series of sweeps around the world last month, from Canada and New York, to Jordan and other parts of Europe, officials said. Irish Special Branch detectives from a unit that investigates terrorist groups detained Mr. Aich in the working-class South Dublin suburb of Talaght. Irish officials would not discuss the raids. An American official said the Central Intelligence Agency had alerted counterparts in Ireland to the significance of the five, but declined to specify whether the raid was made at Washington's request. It was not clear whether Irish authorities had a clear picture of Mr. Aich's significance or possible ties to Islamic militants. (For more background on the activities of the Egyptian wing of Islamic Jihad see The Mystery of EgyptAir 990)
When Iran developed artillery rockets to supply to Hezbollah for attacks on Israel, North Korea supplied the technology...
November 6, 1996 Jane's Defence Weekly
Iran has developed a 240 mm artillery rocket with a range of over 40 km. Allegedly supplied to Hezbollah, FADJR-3 has the same calibre, range and warhead weight as three known North Korean systems.
As the Iranians moved from rockets to medium-range missiles, the source remained unchanged ....
July 23, 1998 New York Times
Iran successfully tested a medium-range missile on Wednesday, a senior administration official said on Wednesday night. The weapon, with a range of about 800 miles, is capable of hitting Israel and Saudi Arabia, and of altering the political and military balance of power in the Middle East, he said. "This weapon would allow Iran to strike all of Israel, all of Saudi Arabia, most of Turkey and a tip of Russia," said the official .. a U.S. spy satellite had detected the test on Wednesday morning .... intelligence experts were still poring over data from the launching of the missile, which they believe Iran bought from North Korea. ... Present and former intelligence officials said the missile came from North Korea, which has vowed to continue selling its weapons to any nation that can provide that cash-starved regime with hard currency. The official North Korean news agency issued a statement last month saying that "our missile export is aimed at obtaining foreign money we need at present." U.S. intelligence officials say millions of dollars that Iran has paid North Korean is invested in more missile production rather than in civilian needs. "There is some prestige element here," he said. "We have long thought that the Iranians believe that such a weapon would give them a reach inside the region, and that they believe that it serves their interests in terms of being a strong power in the Middle East." .... "My guess is they purchased a very small number of these missiles, and that this is as much a political statement as anything, and that the statement is to Israel, and that statement is: 'You are now vulnerable. You have to take us seriously."' ... "The important point here is that they have very little indigenous internal capability to make a real missile, and they've required extensive outside technical support," this former official said. "But they've been willing to spend the money. I'd guess the Rodong would cost $10 million," referring to the North Korean missile. .... "In the long term," he said, "the missile production assistance they've gotten from Russia and China will have the greater impact. But the Rodongs are the attention-getters."
Smiling benignly in the background on a Hannity and Colmes Fox Channel broadcast aired on December 22, 1999 during a discussion on terrorism, Libyan leader Ghadafi suspiciously predicted forthcoming events. Perhaps he was thinking that with the United Kingdom's help the 'terrorist' attack on him ....
April 14, 1986 4 SHa`baan 1406 A.H. (Islamic Calendar)
U.S. jets flying from the United Kingdom bomb Libya killing 37 people, including Gadhafi's adopted daughter.
... was regrettably not avenged on the ninth anniversary of this incident in the Islamic calendar ......
January 6, 1995 4 SHa`baan 1415 A.H. (Islamic Calendar)
Report on January 26th, 1995. 'The Sun' newspaper:
Two pilots thought their last moment had come as their British Airways jet headed for mid-air collision - with a high speed UFO. Terrified fliers Roger Willis and Mark Stuart ducked down in the cockpit when the brightly lit mystery craft appeared only yards in front of them at 13,000ft over the Pennines. But as they waited for the deadly impact, they saw the triangular UFO flash down the right hand side of their Boeing 737 and disappear. Captain Willis and First Officer Stuart immediately checked with air traffic control. But they were told theirs was the only plane on the radar. Their flight from Milan, Italy to Manchester Ringway was 17 minutes from touchdown when the "alien" invader zoomed past. The Boeing landed safely, with the 60 passengers unaware of the drama. At first, the pilots didn't tell pals about the UFO, in case of ridicule. But BA bosses were informed and they sent a detailed log and sketches to the Joint Air Miss Working Group, which is part of the Civil Aviation Authority. An inquiry was launched into the January 6th incident. But a CAA spokesman said yesterday: "We have not been able to trace the aircraft involved." The pilots refused to comment. A colleague said: "They are high grade, sensible guys. Everyone's talking about what they saw." Theories that the UFO could have been a new military aircraft were discounted by experts. A spokesman for Jane's Defence Weekly said: "We know of nothing at all being developed that could account for this sighting."
But was his PA 103 'achievement' about to be commemorated for a second time in a far away field in England while the United States government sat beneath an olive branch .......
May 1, 1999 The New York Times
In what U.S. officials described as a move they hoped would ease relations with Iran, the State Department on Friday dropped its designation of the Tehran government as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. In issuing its annual report on global terrorism, the department accused Iran and six other nations of sponsoring terrorist groups. But it did not single out Tehran as the worst offender, as it has in the past, even though evidence cited in the report suggests that Iran might still hold that distinction. The governments of at least four nations on the State Department list -- Cuba, Libya, North Korea and Syria -- are not accused of involvement in any recent acts of international terrorism.
.... from whence it may issue a requested apology .......
December 23 - 29, 1999 Al-Ahram Weekly Issue No. 461
Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi said he intends to seek an apology and compensation from the US if the two Libyan suspects on trial for the 1988 bombing of a Pan-Am passenger plane over Lockerbie are found innocent. In a taped interview from Tripoli on CBS's "Early Show" on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the bombing Gaddafi, said he was sorry his country has suffered from sanctions imposed by the US and Britain.
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