sitemap Database of Events from July 1988 to the TWA Downing

The Hull Thread

Events from May 1948 to the TWA 800 Downing in July 1996


May 14, 1948     5 Rajab 1367 A.H.      5 Iyyar 5708
State of Israel Proclaimed

June10, 1967     1 Raby` al-awal 1387 A.H.     2 Sivan 5727   Six Day War Ends
On June 5, 1967 Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt. Israel issued an appeal to Jordan to stay out of the war. Jordan refused and opened a heavy artillery barrage on both west Jerusalem and the Tel-Aviv area which forced Israel to counterattack. By June 8th the Israel Defence Forces defeated the Jordanian forces and captured the whole of Judea and Samaria. On the morning of June 9th, Israel attacked the Syrians on the Golan Heights. The war ended on June 10, 1967. The war placed the Old City of Jerusalem, the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights under Israeli control.

October 6, 1973    9 RamaDHaan 1393 A.H. 10 Tishri 5734
Yom Kippur War.

July 17, 1981  15 RamaDHaan 1401 A.H.
During Menachem Begin's reelection campaign, Israel bombs the PLO strongholds in Lebanon.

October 6, 1981     7 Thw al-Hijjah 1401 A.H. 8 Tishri 5742
Anwar Sadat assassinated

April 18, 1983   4 Rajab 1403 A.H.      5 Iyyar 5743
Lebanon Bombing of U.S. Embassy. A car bomb exploded in front of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing sixty-three people, including seventeen Americans. More than one hundred others were wounded. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, calling the bombing "part of the Islamic revolution." Iran subsequently denied having any role in the attack.

October 23, 1983     16 MuHarram 1404 A.H.      16 Heshvan 5744
Beirut American Marines Headquarters bombed when a Shiite terrorist martyr drove a truck filled with explosives into the American zone at the Beirut Airport. It killed 241 American marines and 58 French soldiers.

December 12, 1983     7 Raby` al-awal 1404 A.H.      6 Tevet 5744
Kuwait Bombing of Embassies. The U.S. and French embassies were bombed by Al-Dawa party members. Similar attacks occurred at a U.S. housing compound, a Kuwaiti oil facility, an airline terminal, and a Kuwaiti government office. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombings.

June 13, 1985    24 RamaDHaan 1405 A.H.      24 Sivan 5745
Hizballah (Party of God), also known as Islamic Jihad, Revolutionary Justice Organization, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, hijacks TWA Flight 847, killing Navy Diver Robert Stethem and dumping his body onto the tarmac.

April 14, 1986   4 SHa`baan 1406 A.H.    5 Nisan 5746
U.S. jets bomb Libya

July 3, 1988      18 Thw al-Qi`dah 1408 A.H.       18 Tammuz 5748
290 die after two standard missiles are fired by USS Vincennes at Iran Air Flight 655 A300 Airbus flying at 13,000 feet over Gulf.

December 21, 1988     11 Jumaada al-awal 1409 A.H.      13 Tevet 5749
Pan Am 103 bombed over Lockerbie.

August 2, 1990     11 MuHarram 1411 A.H.       11 Av 5750
Iraq invades Kuwait

August 7, 1990     16 MuHarram 1411 A.H.      16 Av 5750
U.S. forces land in Saudia Arabia in preparation of repelling Iraq from Kuwait.

March 3, 1991     16 SHa`baan 1411 A.H.     17 Adar (I) 5751
United Airlines 737 Flight 583 crashes in Colorado Springs. Rudder problem blamed.

September, 1991
Two Palestinian Islamic Jihad members were arrested by Egyptian authorities at the Port of Nuwaybi. Two rocket launchers were seized. The suspects admitted that they planned to attack an Egyptian cruise ship on the Nile. The PIJ originated among militant Palestinian fundamentalists in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s. The PIJ is a series of loosely affiliated factions, rather than a cohesive group. The PIJ is committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through holy war. Because of its strong support for Israel, the United States has been identified as an enemy of the PIJ. The PIJ also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been tainted by Western secularism.

March 17, 1992    12 RamaDHaan 1412 A.H.       12 Adar II 5752
Israeli embassy bombed in Buenos Aires.

March 19, 1992    
Jerusalem Day proclaimed by the late Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 to demand the "liberation" of Jerusalem. Falls on the last day of RamaDHaan.

April 27, 1992     The New York Times
U.S. worries over missiles it gave Afghan rebels. U.S. concerned that Stinger antiaircraft missiles could get into the wrong hands.

February 26, 1993      4 RamaDHaan 1413 A.H.      5 Adar (I) 5753
World Trade Center bombed.

June 27, 1993      7 MuHarram 1414 A.H.    8 Tammuz 5753
The United States launched a multiple cruise missile strike on the site of the Iraqi intelligence service in Baghdad in retaliation for an Iraqi plot to assassinate former U.S. president George Bush during his visit to Kuwait in April 1993.

July 23, 1993      Los Angeles Times
Intelligence Agency requests $55 million to buy back Stingers given to rebels in the 1980s.

July 24, 1993     The New York Times
U.S. increases fund to outbid terrorists for Afghan missiles.

August 20, 1993    2 Raby` al-awal 1414 A.H.     3 Elul 5753
The Oslo Accords, also known as the Declaration of Principles signed August 20, 1993, was unknown to the world until publically presented in Washington DC on September 13,1997.

September 13, 1993   26 Raby` al-awal 1414 A.H.    27 Elul 5753
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES ON INTERIM SELF-GOVERNMENT ARRANGEMENTS - The Oslo Accords of 1993 heralded a new era of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians through their representative - the PLO - after decades of war and conflict. Following the initial agreement, known today as "Oslo A", Israel withdrew its security forces from the city of Jericho and its environs and from most of the Gaza strip, thereby transferring civil administration and security responsibility to the newly established Palestinian Authority. "Oslo A" was denounced by some in Israel as the beginning of the end of the Jewish state; at the same time the Palestinian opposition to Arafat, and especially the terrorist organization Hamas, called it "the ultimate submission to Zionism". "Oslo A" was followed by an interim agreement commonly called "Oslo B" , according to which Israeli forces withdrew from most of the Palestinian cities and additional territory in the West Bank.

March 7, 1994       Washington Post
CIA falters in program to buy back Stinger missiles from Afghan rebels.

July 18, 1994     9 Safar 1415 A.H.       10 Av 5754
Emergency Response & Research Institute
The unthinkable has happened again in Argentina. For the second time in a little over two years, a skyscraper in Buenos Aires has been totally destroyed by a mysterious explosion. As in 1992, several groups have claimed responsibility for the massive blast, but no conclusive information has been determined that will provide the actual identity of the assailants. Both Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Argentinean President Carlos Menem have issued statements that they believe that the attack was carried by "Islamic Extremists", but differing opinions have been offered about what specific group may have committed the atrocity. The demolished building .... housed the Mutual Israeli/Argentine Association (AMAI) and the DAIA (Delegation of Argentine/Israeli Associations. Both groups provide support and services to Jewish people living in Argentina. ......According to official Argentinean statements 26 people have been killed and as many as 150 people were injured by a monstrous blast that engulfed a seven-story building at 9:55 a.m. on Monday (07/18/94). Initial investigations suggest that the explosion was probably caused by a large car or truck bomb, similar to that used in the March 17, 1992, Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires. The damage to surrounding buildings and vehicles would suggest that it was a tremendous detonation, with flames and flying debris causing damage for several blocks. Counter-terrorist experts say that pattern of the explosion is consistent with that used by the Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad organizations in the past. While the analysts say that they must wait for further chemical tests and confirmation, a Chicago-based analyst says the bombing method would appear to be one that uses fuel-oil or gasoline, a nitrogen based fertilizer, and an oxidizer (Oxygen) or chemical accelerant (Hydrogen). The simplicity of these devices and easy availability of the chemicals makes them a favorite of terrorists and a constant threat for anti-terrorist forces. According to Argentine President Carlos Menem, four people have been detained as they attempted to exit Argentina, shortly after the explosion. One has been identified as Kabir Balkan, age 33, a Moroccan national who was said to have lived within a mile of the blast site. He had reportedly arrived in the country on July 11, 1994. An Iraqi man was also arrested at a Northern border checkpoint near Brazi; he has been identified as Adnan Mohammed Yousif, age 31. Yousif was traveling on an expired passport. Little else is known of Yousif, except that he is in custody. A man of "middle-eastern extraction", maybe Iranian, and a German woman were also believed to have been arrested as they attempted to leave the Ezeiza International Airport in suburban Buenos Aires; few details regarding their true nationalities or visa status are available. Although completely denied by Foreign Minister Mahmoud Mohammadi, of the Iranian government, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin placed the blame for the attack firmly on the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militant organization. According to a London-based report by the Al Hayat newspaper, Hezbollah had been given a "green light" to carry out "an unusual action" against the Israeli government in retaliation for a May 21, 1994 commando abduction of Mustafa Dirani, leader of the pro-Iranian Faithful Islamic Amal Movement in Lebanon. Additionally, on June 2, 1994, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out an air-raid on a reported Hezbollah training camp near Baalbeck in Eastern Lebanon. American and Israeli counter terrorist experts had expected a Hezbollah reply. Interestingly enough, intelligence sources had reportedly told Al Hayat, last week, that a Hezbollah attack could be expected "in an area other than Lebanon and Syria". Additionally, the perpetrators were to "take into consideration" recently more friendly ties between Iran and European countries like France and Germany. Obviously, that left South America as a viable target. According to the same sources at Al Hayat, Hezbollah has previously made claims that it has an "underground" organization in place, in six different countries, that could carry out terrorist acts "within a very short time". Experts say that the network must have included at least some contacts in Argentina.

September 8, 1994 (ENN) 2130 CDT    2 Raby` al-THaany 1415 A.H.    3 Tishri 5755
... a USAir 737-300 aircraft, enroute from Chicago to Pittsburgh... crashed into a field Northwest of Pittsburg International. The plane, Flt. 427, was scheduled to arrive in Pittsburg at 7:09 p.m. (local time). Neither the FAA nor Pittsburgh International airport ...reported any distress signal being received from the stricken aircraft..... Rescuers ..... described the scene as "gruesome" with "body parts hanging from the trees". Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the plane had exploded prior to impacting the ground, which would account for the debris being spread over a very wide area. Other eyewitnesses have said that it "dove into the ground under full power". ... CBS News is reporting that the FBI has been called in to the case because of the mysterious circumstances under which the plane crashed. At least one unconfirmed report said that the .... explosion may have been altitude detonated. A rudder problem was blamed.

October 11, 1994     Conservative Consensus Report
State Bomb Squad in Westminster, Maryland destroyed a French-made surface to air rocket launcher armed with a live missile and explosives ....along a rural roadside.

November 22, 1994       See NY Times December 24, 1997
Terry Nichols leaves for a 59 day stay in the Phillipines. He left letters, with his ex-wife, Lana Padilla, explaining what to do in case he died. Three days after he returned on January 16, 1995, he was sharing a motel room in Kansas with Mr. Mc.Veigh

December, 1994     TIME magazine July 29, 1996
Ramsey Yousef tests 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.

January, 1995
Muslim fundamentalists plan to destroy 12 American-owned Boeing 747s in a series of attacks ... during two days in January 1995. Had the plan succeeded, as many as 4,000 passengers would have perished.

January 6, 1995    4 SHa`baan 1415 A.H.    5 Shevat 5755
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 yeterday: "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."

January 23, 1995
By Executive Order 12947, a national emergency is declared to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process.

February, 1995
Ramsey Yousef arrested by U.S. agents in Pakistan for plotting attack on U.S. airliners in the Pacific.

February 15, 1995   Los Angeles Times
Acting on tips, police mounted strict security checks Tuesday on Wall Street to try to avert a new outbreak of terrorist attacks as the World Trade Center bombing approaches its second anniversary. ..... In a related development, the Kuwaiti government linked Iraq and Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was arrested last week and charged with masterminding the trade center bombing. Yousef, who was arrested in Pakistan last week, collaborated with the Iraqi invasion force during its six-month occupation of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti interior minister charged. Yousef is described as a militant who carried out missions on behalf of Iraq in 1990 and 1991, although Kuwaiti officials in Kuwait City and Washington refused to specify the nature of his activities. Anxieties about new terrorism were fed by the approaching anniversary of the Feb. 26, 1993, attack on the twin towers and by the arrest of Yousef. Informants reportedly told investigators that groups of Muslim extremists were planning new attacks in part to protest the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 10 followers charged with plotting to bomb the United Nations, two tunnels linking New York and New Jersey, and the Manhattan field office of the FBI. ..... Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, a co-defendant in the alleged plot, decided to cooperate with prosecutors. In his guilty plea, Siddig Ali, a Sudanese national who acted as the sheik's bodyguard and later as his translator, told the court that he had received help from representatives of an unnamed foreign government for access to and surveillance of the U.N. garage and the use of diplomatic license plates...... One U.S. source close to the investigation said that, during questioning by federal investigators, Yousef implicated Iraq as a sponsor of the 1993 bombing. Ranking administration officials, however, have denied at least twice that such a link has been established or that Yousef is cooperating with investigators. Yousef may have been given his current and previous identities by Iraq, according to Laurie Mylroie, an Iraq expert who has briefed White House, State Department and congressional officials. Yousef arrived in the United States in 1992 on an Iraqi passport. He left six months later carrying a Pakistani passport under the name Abdul Basit on Feb. 26, 1993, the day of the bombing. According to Mylroie, Basit was the son of a middle-class Pakistani family who had lived in Kuwait and is believed to be dead. Basit's father worked for Kuwait Airways. After going to school briefly in Britain, he returned to Kuwait and worked for the Planning Ministry. During the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, Mylroie said, the Iraqis gave Yousef the identity papers for Basit. "Among other things, the Iraqis saw the invasion as an opportunity to create identities for its agents," Mylroie said. The Iraqis even doctored the Kuwaiti file on Basit, adding Yousef's fingerprints and explanations that the family had returned to Pakistan. But the family instead may have disappeared, Mylroie contends. She believes that members of the family died during the occupation, opening the way for Yousef to assume Basit's identity without danger of being caught.

March 11, 1995     Jane's Defence Weekly
Royal Ordnance of the UK is developing low-cost "intelligent" artillery projectiles, capable of making course corrections.

April 19, 1995    19 Thw al-Qi`dah 1415 A.H.    19 Nisan 5755
Oklahoma City Bombing. An explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people and injured hundreds of other. This was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.   An official in the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Service reported that Iraq had hired seven Pakistani mercenaries, all veterans of the Afghanistan War, to bomb targets in the United States.

October 26, 1995     1 Jumaada al-THaany 1416 A.H.     2 Heshvan 5756
Death in Malta of Islamic Jihad terrorist leader, Fatchi Shakaki, allegedly at the hands of assassins close to Israeli- backed intelligence operatives.

November 1, 1995    Electronic Telegraph World News
A British-educated economics lecturer, Ramadan Shallah, yesterday made his first appearance as the new leader of the militant Islamic Jihad movement, whose founder, Fathi Shiqaqi, was assassinated in Malta last week. Mr Shallah, 38, was at Damascus airport with other leaders of the rejectionist Palestinian world to receive Mr Shiqaqi's coffin.. (Shallah's) office in Damascus and the group's members in the Gaza Strip refuse to confirm basic details of his background .....From the differing accounts of his life, it seems that Mr Shallah was born in 1957 in Gaza City's Shajaiya neighbourhood. Believed to have headed Islamic Jihad's fund-raising operations in Britain. He had been a student with Mr Shiqaqi at Zaqazik university in Egypt, where they joined Egyptian radicals in forming the Egyptian wing of Islamic Jihad, which assassinated President Sadat in 1980 after he made peace with Israel. .... The Palestinian wing of Islamic Jihad became known in the 1980s for its attacks on Israeli targets and was among the early proponents of suicide bombings .....He taught economics in Gaza and left in the mid-1980s, apparently taking up studies in Egypt and America. He went to Britain in 1986 and received his doctorate in economics at Durham University in 1991. He is believed to have headed Islamic Jihad's fund-raising operations in Britain. He is also thought to have been involved in militant Islamic activities in Florida. ..... Palestinian police have already jailed Mr Shallah's brother, Omar, for 25 years for inciting Palestinians to commit suicide attacks against Israelis.

November 14, 1995    The Telegraph     (U.K. Electronic Edition)     The Front Page
President Clinton vowed last night to bring to justice those responsible for the bombing of a US military camp in Saudi Arabia that killed six people, including five Americans ..... Saudi officials said the blast was caused by a massive car bomb that destroyed a building housing American and Saudi military personnel in the capital, Riyadh .... Since the Gulf war of 1991, when a large American-led force was deployed in Saudi Arabia after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the kingdom has been criticized by Islamic groups throughout the Middle East. They regard the stationing of Western troops in the country which houses the sacred Islamic cities of Mecca and Medina as an affront to their religion. A range of governments also bear a grudge against the Saudis and the Americans, including Iraq and Iran.

November 17, 1995 22:20 (EST)     23 Jumaada al-THaany 1416 A.H.        24 Heshvan 5756
Lufthansa 405 (747) departing JFK at 9:20pm bound for Frankfurt at 25,000 feet, south of Long Island, reports an object flying directly opposite its course about 2 - 3,000 feet above them. Confirmed by British Airways 226 (747).  FAA Tape Transcript is available in a separate document on this website:

November 17, 1995  
November 17 is considered the most probable date based on Lufthansa sighting above but alternative dates are November 22, 1995 (28 Jumaada al-THaany 1416 A.H.  29 Heshvan 5756), February 2, 1996 (12 RamaDHaan 1416 A.H.  12 Shevat 5756), or March 8, 1996 (18 SHawwal 1416 A.H.  17 Adar (I) 5756 (g)) with March 8  being the second most likely date.  Missile or rocket launch witnessed from I95 in Connecticut off the highway or from Long Island Sound reported in detail elsewhere at this website.

November 20, 1995     World News      The Electronic Telegraph
A huge car bomb destroyed the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad yesterday, killing at least 15 people, including an Egyptian diplomat. More than 60 people were seriously injured. Three Islamic militant groups said they carried out the attack. The International Justice Group made its claim in a fax to an international news agency, demanding the release of the militant leader Sheikh Omar Rahman from an American jail and of an Islamic leader missing after being held in Croatia. The Jamaa Islamiyya and Al-Jihad, the two main groups behind militant violence against the government of President Mubarak, claimed the blast in separate telephone calls to international news agencies in Cairo. It was apparently in retaliation for the extradition from Pakistan of Islamic terrorists wanted in Egypt .. In recent months Pakistan has extradited to Egypt at least five Islamic fundamentalists wanted in Cairo for trying to topple the regime of President Mubarak. An Arab ambassador in Islamabad said the Egyptian embassy had received several threatening telephone calls. Thousands of Arab fundamentalists trained and fought for the Afghan Mujahideen during the Eighties war against Soviet troops occupying Afghanistan. The Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, has frequently promised to extradite Arab fundamentalists, but hundreds are known to be still hiding out along the lawless Pakistani-Afghan border. The latest and most dangerous threat to the government Ms Bhutto faces a rising tide of fundamentalism..... tens of thousands of people, many of them teenagers, raised clenched fists in unison as Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the Jamaat leader, promised to topple the Bhutto government and bring about an Islamic revolution. This is the latest and most dangerous threat to the government, shaken in recent months by a series of political and economic crises and an attermpted coup by fundamentalist army officers in September.

November 27, 1995     World News    The Electronic Telegraph
Islamic fundamentalists protested at the weekend against the arrest of 12 Arabs and government action against local militants after the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad. An FBI team arrived from America at the weekend to join Egyptian and Pakistani intelligence teams investigating the car bomb, which killed 16 people. The 12 Arabs, including Egyptians and Jordanians, are being interrogated. More than 200 Pakistani militants have been held.

January 1, 1996    The Electronic Telegraph     World News
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, urged mullahs to leave politics to the politicians after Islamic parties staged a countrywide shutdown on Saturday as part of their campaign to topple her government. The strike, called by the Milli Yakjheti Council (MYC), an alliance of 15 Islamic fundamentalist parties, closed many shops and offices in major cities, although it had little effect in smaller towns. But there was violence in Lahore, where police surrounded the headquarters of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami to prevent militants going on to the streets. The police used tear-gas and made baton charges several times as the militants tried to cross police lines. Nearly 100 people were arrested across Punjab Province. The strike paralysed Karachi, which saw 26 strikes in 1995 due to ethnic and sectarian violence in which more than 1,800 people were killed. Ms Bhutto said: "Politics are for the politicians. The Ullema [religious leaders] should work for the character-building of the people and the rights of elders and orphans. "The government is not affected by such tactics. In fact, it helps strengthen our claim that today there is democracy and everybody has a free choice." There is growing concern about the growth of fundamentalism in Pakistan. Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani, the MYC chairman, claimed that the strike was totally successful. "People have lodged their protest against the government's failure to check rising prices, lawlessness, indifference to religious institutions and the screening of obscene scenes on television," he said. The MYC also accuses the government of leaning too much to the United States and the West. Although the MYC poses no immediate threat to the government it is the first time so many Islamic parties, who are usually at each other's throats over theological issues, have united against the government. Workers of the main opposition party, the Muslim League, led by Nawaz Sharif, also joined in the strike. The mullahs are promising to intensify their campaign through January, which is also the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. There is growing concern about the growth of fundamentalism in Pakistan, even in such once-secular institutions as the army. Court martial proceedings began yesterday against four Islamic fundamentalist officers, allegedly the ringleaders of a coup attempt in September that aimed to wipe out the country's leadership and impose an Islamic system. The trial of the four officers - a major-general, a brigadier and two colonels - and one civilian opened in secret at the Attock Fort in northern Pakistan.

January 5, 1996   14 SHa`baan 1416 A.H.    13 Tevet 5756
"The Engineer" Yahya Ayyash allegedly led the military wing of Hamas and was well known for his proficiency as a "bomb maker". He was killed by an improvised explosive device contained within his cellular telephone. Israeli security officials have neither confirmed nor denied their involvement in Ayyash's death, but it is known that he was #1 on their most wanted list.

March 11, 1996      The Electronic Telegraph
Despite its wholesale support for Islamic terrorist groups worldwide, Iran is attempting to improve relations with the West - in some cases with notable success. .... Iran's support for Hamas, for example, involves training terrorists and providing substantial financial backing. According to Western intelligence agencies, large numbers of Hamas supporters have gone to Iran for special terrorist training. Hamas receives substantial financial support from the Department of Islamic Liberation Movements, which is run from Teheran by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The instructors are veterans of Hizbollah, the Lebanese Islamic fundamentalist movement that pioneered suicide bombings in the mid-1980s with its attacks on the American embassy and marine barracks in Beirut. In addition, Hamas receives substantial financial support from the Department of Islamic Liberation Movements, which is run from Teheran by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader, who is opposed to President Rafsanjani's policy of trying to reach an accommodation with the West. The fund pays millions of dollars each year to Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups charged with implementing Ayatollah Khomeini's legacy of exporting the Iranian revolution through the Muslim world ..... In addition, Iran directly funds and controls Islamic Jihad, an offshoot of Hamas which is headed by Ramadan Shallah, an economics graduate from Durham University. Although Islamic Jihad consists of only 200 to 300 terrorists, unlike Hamas it rejects any notion of seeking a political dialogue with either Arafat's Palestinian Authority or the Israelis. The arrangement between Teheran and Islamic Jihad is simple. Teheran provides the funds in return for Islamic Jihad carrying out successful terrorist attacks against Israel. Hence, only four days after the Iranians met with Mr Shallah in Damascus, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber killed himself and a group of innocent Israelis at a shopping centre in Tel Aviv last Monday. For this Mr Shallah can expect to be handsomely rewarded by Teheran.

March 11, 1996    The Electronic Telegraph     World News
Britain is now the undisputed overseas fund-raising and educational headquarters for Hamas, Israeli authorities claimed last week. Apart from raising millions of pounds to support terrorist operations and publishing anti-Zionist propaganda, the Israelis say Hamas supporters in London are also helping to orchestrate terrorist attacks. Documents supporting the charges have been passed to British intelligence by Jerusalem. The best example was provided by an American activist jailed in Israel for supplying arms to Hamas. In his confession to the Israeli security forces he said he was sent from Chicago to London to receive his orders from a Hamas commander called Abu Obeida. According to Israeli intelligence, Abu Obeida has masterminded a series of terrorist attacks, including the abduction and murder of Israeli soldiers and bomb attacks against civilians. ...... Another example, cited by the Israelis, of how Britain is used as a safe haven by Hamas terrorists concerns the case of Ramadan Shallah, the recently appointed head of Islamic Jihad, the Iranian-financed offshoot of Hamas which carried out last Monday's suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv in which 11 Israelis, most of them children, died. Israeli intelligence officials claim that up to 50 per cent of Hamas's funding comes from Britain ...... Today Israeli officials are deeply concerned about the activities of Filisteen al-Muslima (Islamic Palestine), Hamas's official monthly magazine which is published in London, and the Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, also known as Interpal. Israeli intelligence officials claim that up to 50 per cent of Hamas's funding comes from Britain. ....... Mr Howard is currently trying to expel a leading Saudi dissident who is attempting to mastermind the overthrow of Saudi Arabia's ruling family from his London headquarters. Israeli officials now believe that the British Government will suffer similar embarrassment over the activities of Hamas. MI5 confirmed last week that they were investigating alleged links between Hamas and Interpal.

March 11, 1996  Electronic Telegraph    World News
...even though the Hamas supporters may feel beleaguered at home, they can take comfort from the knowledge that they have formidable allies abroad. In the past maverick Saudi Arabian princes have been blamed for funding Hamas. But increasingly today it is the mullahs in Teheran who are lending Hamas moral and financial support. One example of the close ties between Iran and Hamas presented itself in the Syrian capital Damascus 10 days ago when, in the midst of the latest wave of suicide bombings, no less a figure than Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran's foreign minister, met a group of senior Hamas commanders and encouraged them to continue their war against "the Zionist enemy". So much for Iran's denials that it was involved in the suicide bombings.

May 11, 1996       23 Thw al-Hijjah 1416 A.H.
Valujet Flight 592
crashes in Everglades after fire breaks out in front cargo hold. Oxygen canisters were blamed

May 13, 1996  The Telegraph   (U.K. Electronic Edition)   Issue 382
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. Yousef .. was .. testing 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.

June 5, 1996     Jane's Defence Weekly
claims to have developed a 122 mm self-propelled artillery piece designated Thunder-1. It is mounted on the chassis of the Buraq armoured vehicle, which was developed either from the Russian BMP-1 or the Chinese WZ501. The gun is probably based on the Russian D-30.

June 25, 1996      9 Safar 1417 A.H.         8 Tammuz 5756
19 Americans killed by Dhahran base bomb

June 27, 1996   International News    The Telegraph    Issue 415
Suspicion for the bombing .... outside Dhahran was .. pointing towards internal enemies of the Saudi monarchy ... Middle East experts were last night discounting the most immediate theory that groups connected with Iran's fundamentalist regime were involved in the blast. More probable, they believe, is that the attack was an act of revenge ... for the execution .. of four men convicted of planting a bomb at another American military facility in Riyadh ... last November. That bomb killed five Americans and two Indians, and was meant as a protest for the continuing presence of more than 5,000 American troops in the land that is home to Islam's most sacred sites, Mecca and Medina ... the men acknowledged their involvement with the Saudi monarchy's most dangerous enemy, Osama bin Ladim. Mr. bin Ladim, who hails from one of Saudi Arabia's richest and most prominent business families, was middle-man between the Saudi government and the Afghan mujahideen they supported in the 1980s. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, he and his followers became increasingly disenchanted with the Saudi government and turned against it. Expelled from Saudi Arabia three years ago, he has been living in Sudan, a country condemned by the West as a prime supporter of terrorism. Now, it is believed, he has been expelled from Sudan as well......Both the Saudi and American governments would prefer to believe that the bomb was the work of an Iran-backed group, but the likely reality is far more alarming.

July 8, 1996  International News   The Telegraph   (U.K. Electronic Edition)   Issue 422
Iran has developed an extensive network of training camps which are being used to train terrorists for operations around the world, confirming US claims that Teheran is now the world's leading exponent of international terrorism.
At least 11 camps have been established throughout the country on the orders of Iran's President Rafsanjani. Some are used for training Iranian agents to carry out attacks at home and abroad, while others are used to train foreign terrorists who are sympathetic to the Iranian cause.An estimated 5,000 volunteers pass through the camps each year, of whom about 500 are given extensive training in a wide range of terrorist skills, from working with explosives to carrying out assassinations. Each of the self-sufficient camps is used for a specific purpose. The Abyek camp at Qasvim, for example, is used for training in terrorist assassinations...... Other camps are devoted to training specific groups of foreign nationals. Nahavand camp, in the Iranian town of Hamadan, is used exclusively by Lebanon's Hizbollah Islamic fundamentalist group, which has carried out a series of suicide bomb attacks against Western targets in the Middle East.The Fateh Ghani Husseini camp at Qom is mainly used by Turkish Islamic militants responsible for a string of political assassinations in their homeland. Although no direct link has yet been found to implicate Iran in the recent bomb attack against an American military complex at the Saudi Arabian eastern port of Dhahran, two Saudi dissident groups suspected of  masterminding the attack, in which 19 US servicemen were killed, are based in Teheran. The Organisation of Islamic Revolution of Jezier al-Arab and the Hizbollah of the Hejaz, two groups that are outlawed in Saudi Arabia, are based in Teheran and work closely with Iran's intelligence ministry. A group calling itself "Hizbollah Gulf" claimed responsibility for the Dhahran bombing. Supporters of these Saudi groups are allowed to use the Imam Ali training camp in east Teheran. A former military barracks run by the foreign affairs ministry, it is the largest of the 11 camps and has extensive training facilities. Intelligence experts believe many of Iran's overseas terrorist attacks are planned here. Iran's network of terrorist training facilities is ultimately controlled by the Supreme Security Council in Teheran, headed by President Rafsanjani, which authorises the various organisations to carry out their operations. ....... But given the size and sophistication of Iran's terrorist infrastructure, there is little chance that the ayatollahs can be persuaded to mend their ways. Indeed, all the indications are that in recent months Teheran has intensified its terrorist operations, particularly in Europe. In the past five months 12 opponents of the Islamic regime have been murdered in Europe. ..... The Germans have also been embarrassed by the discovery of a sophisticated mortar rocket system which was discovered on board an Iranian ship which had sailed from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas to Hamburg. German investigators have now found that the Iranians were planning to use the mortar to carry out an IRA-style attack on the headquarters of the National Resistance Council of Iran (NCRI) located at Ouver-sur-Oise, 30 miles south of Paris.

July 9, 1996     Defense Issues Volume 11, Number 59    Combating Terrorism in Saudi Arabia - Prepared statements of by Defense Secretary William J. Perry; Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, USA, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, USA, commander in chief, U.S. Central Command, to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
We recognize that Middle Eastern terrorism has evolved over the years. There are several groups operating within our area of responsibility and interest, groups like Hamas, Hizballah, Al-Jihad. Most receive financing, weapons and sanctuary from countries like Iran and Sudan. Recently we have seen growth in "transnational" groups comprised of fanatical Islamic extremists, many of whom fought in Afghanistan and now drift to other countries with the aim of establishing anti-Western, fundamentalist regimes by destabilizing traditional governments and attacking U.S. and Western targets. Their small, cellular structure and tendency to operate independently of state sponsors complicate monitoring of their activities, to include preparation for terrorist attacks. We also are sensitive to the emergence over the last few years of anti-Saudi government groups. Organizations like the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, based in London, and the Islamic Movement for Change, within Saudi Arabia, are believed to be behind recent violence in the kingdom. But their direct relationship with the transnational terrorist cells remains unclear.

July 17, 1996   1 Raby` al-awal 1417 A.H.     1 Av 5756
TWA 800 downing.
Scott Holleran and his family who had missed the fatal TWA 800 flight arrived later at the TWA gate for their flight back to the U.S., and Scott told the crew who they were. "When one flight attendant heard that they were originally supposed to be on Flight 800, he brought a bottle of champagne. The flight attendant said: "Look, this is what we think happened. Everyone at TWA thinks it was a missile." The attendant told them about the reports of a British crew flying behind Flight 800 whose crew radioed to air traffic control, "My God! Somebody's shooting at that airplane!"