Terrorism Incidents – Notable


Table: Terrorism Incidents - Notable

Date(s)LocationEvent - Description
1920 September 16New York, United States

The Wall Street Bombing
The Wall Street bombing occurred at 12:01 pm on Thursday, September 16, 1920, in the Financial District of New York City. The blast killed 30 people immediately, and another eight were to die later of wounds sustained in the blast. There were 143 seriously injured, and the total number of injured was in the hundreds. The bombing was never solved, although investigators and historians believe the Wall Street bombing was carried out by Galleanists (Italian anarchists), a group responsible for a series of bombings the previous year.[1]

1973 May 15Ma'alot, Israel

Ma’a lot Massacre
The Ma'alot massacre occurred in May 1974 and involved a two-day hostage-taking of 115 people which ended in the deaths of over 25 hostages. It began when three armed members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)entered Israel from Lebanon.

1977 August 2New York, United States

Manhattan Attacks
In August of 1997, a Puerto Rican popular nationalist group, FALN, attacked the U.S. Defense Department’s building along with a Mobil Oil building in Manhattan. Eight were injured and 1 was killed in the attack. At the time of its dissolution, the FALN was responsible for more than 120 bomb attacks on United States targets between 1974 and 1983.[2]

1979 September 8Over the West Coast of Greece (Ionian Sea)

TWA Flight 841
On September 8, 1974, a Boeing 707, TWA Flight 841 took off from Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv en route to JFK International Airport, New York City. It was scheduled to land in Athens, followed by Rome, and then proceed to New York. After stopping in Athens, it departed for Rome. About 30 minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed into the Ionian Sea when the engine separated from the wing. All 79 passengers and nine crew members were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the plane was destroyed by a bomb hidden in the cargo hold, which caused structural failure.

1983 October 23Beirut, Lebanon

Bombing of Marine Barracks
At 6:22 a.m., a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives crashed into a Marine barracks building in Beirut, Lebanon. 220 Marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers were killed in the explosion, making the bombing the most deadly attack against Marines since the 1945 battle over Iwo Jima. U.S. service members were sent to Beirut on a peacekeeping mission along with units from France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Cpl. Brian Kirkpatrick, a combat engineer with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, was sleeping on the third floor of the barracks when the attack happened.[3]

1984 September 9Oregon, United States

Salmonella Attack
In 1984, the cult followers of Indian mystic Baghwan Shree Rajneesh sickened 751 people in Oregon by placing salmonella bacteria in salad bars in 10 restaurants to keep people from voting in an election.[4]

1988 December 21Over Lockerbie, Scotland

Mid-Air Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
On December 21, 1988, Pan American flight 103, a Boeing 747, took off from London, bound for New York City. As it was climbing on its northerly flight path, it exploded over the town of Lockerbie in the Dumfries and Galloway region of southwest Scotland. In all, 270 people from 21 countries were killed, including all 259 passengers and crewmembers plus 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie.

The plastic explosive that detonated in the forward cargo hold triggered a sequence of events that led to the rapid destruction of the aircraft. Winds scattered victims and debris along an 81-mile-long corridor 845 square miles in area.[5]

1993 February 26New York, United States

World Trade Centre (WTC) Bombing of 1993
The World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 pounds (606 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing tens of thousands of people. It failed to do so, but did kill six people and injured more than a thousand.[6]

1995 April 19Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 peopleand injured more than 680 others. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, causing at least an estimated $652 million worth of damage. An ex-Army soldier McVeigh and Terry Nichols were quickly linked to the attack.[7]

1998 August 7Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Attacks on U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
The near-simultaneous bombing attacks on the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania took place on 7 August 1998. The bombings of the embassies happened on the eight-year anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Shield. In Nairobi, where the US Embassy was located in a congested downtown area, the attack killed 291 persons and wounded about 5,000. The bombing in Dar es Salaam killed 10 persons and wounded 77.[8]

2000 October 12Port at Aden, Yemen

Bombing of USS Cole
On October 12, 2000, the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole was attacked by a small boat laden with explosives during a brief refueling stop in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. The suicide terrorist attack killed 17 members of the ship’s crew, wounded 39 others, and seriously damaged the ship. Evidence developed to date suggests that it may have been carried out by Islamic militants with possible connections to the terrorist network led by Usama bin Ladin.[9]

2001 September 11New York, United States

9/11 World Trade Center Attack
The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed almost 3000 people and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage.[10]

2001 September 18 United States

Anthrax Attacks
In 2001, anthrax attacks through the U.S. mail infected 11 people with inhalational anthrax, of which five died. An additional 11 people were infected with cutaneous (skin) anthrax, of which there were no fatalities.[11]

2004 September 1Beslan, Russia

Beslan Massacre
The Beslan school hostage crisis started the first of September 2004, lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children),ending with the death of over 380 people. The crisis began when a group of armed Islamic separatist militants, mostly Ingush and Chechen, occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia.

2008 November 26 Mumbai, India

Mumbai AttacksThe 2008 Mumbai attacks were twelve coordinated shooting and bombing terrorist attacks lasting four days across Mumbai, India's largest city, by members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, later confessed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).[12]

2013 April 15 Boston, United States

Boston Marathon Bombings
On April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon at 2:49 pm EDT, killing 3 people and injuring an estimated 264 others. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street.

The suspects were identified later that day as Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot several times in a firefight with police and subsequently run over by the car then driven by his brother, who escaped. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Dzhokhar, also shot, was found hiding in a boat in a back yard and was arrested and taken to a hospital shortly thereafter.

During an initial interrogation in the hospital, Dzhokhar said they were motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that they were self-radicalized and unconnected to any outside terrorist groups.[13]



  1. FBI – A Byte Out of History Terror on Wall Street: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2007/september/wallstreet_091307
  2. A Rand Note: Puerto Rican Terrorists: A Possible Threat to U.S. Energy Installations: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/notes/2005/N1764.pdf
  3. U.S. Marines Blog – 30th Anniversary of Beruit Bombing: Survivor Shares his Story: http://marines.dodlive.mil/2013/10/22/30th-anniversary-of-beirut-bombing-survivor-shares-his-story/
  4. U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Biological Attack: The Danger: http://www.dhs.gov/biological-attack-danger
  5. CIA Museum: https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/cia-museum/experience-the-collection/text-version/stories/terrorist-bombing-of-pan-am-flight-103.html
  6. FBI – First Strike: Global Terror in America: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/february/tradebom_022608
  7. FBI – Terror Hits Home: The Oklahoma City Bombing: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing
  8. U.S. Department of Defense – U.S. Charges Suspect in African Embassy Bombing: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=49422
  9. The Navy Department Library – Terrorist Attack on USS Cole: Background and Issues for Congress: http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/usscole_crsreport.htm
  10. The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9-11 Commission): http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/
  11. U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Biological Attack: The Danger: http://www.dhs.gov/biological-attack-danger
  12. Senate Hearing 111-581 – Lessons from the Mambai Terrorist Attacks – Parts i and II: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111shrg49484/html/CHRG-111shrg49484.htm
  13. FBI – Updates on Investigation Into Multiple Explosions in Boston: http://www.fbi.gov/news/updates-on-investigation-into-multiple-explosions-in-boston