29 April 2004
Global Terrorist Attacks Fall to Lowest Level Since 1969
State Department report shows highest number of 2003 attacks in
The total number of international terrorist attacks in 2003 --
190 incidents that killed 307 people -- was the lowest since 1969,
according to the latest Department of State report on worldwide
The annual report, "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003," shows
the number of attacks last year was down slightly from the 199
attacks reported in 2002. At the same time, the 2003 figure is
a 45 percent decline from the 346 attacks in 2001.
The 2003 Patterns of Global Terrorism Report -- required by federal
law to be submitted to Congress annually -- was released by the
State Department in Washington April 29.
"A total of 307 persons were killed in the attacks of 2003,
far fewer than the 725 killed during 2002," the report said. "A
total of 1,593 persons were wounded in the attacks that occurred
in 2003, down from 2,013 persons wounded the year before."
By geographic region, there were four terrorist attacks in Africa,
70 in Asia, two in Eurasia, 53 in Latin America, 37 in the Middle
East, and 24 in Western Europe, according to the report. And the
report indicated that the dominant type of terrorist event was
bombing, with 137 occurrences in 2003.
"In 2003, the highest number of attacks (70) and the highest
casualty count (159 persons dead and 951 wounded) occurred in Asia," the
According to the report, there were 82 anti-U.S. attacks in 2003,
which is up slightly from the 77 attacks the previous year. However,
the 2003 figure represents a 62 percent decrease from the 219 attacks
recorded in 2001.
"Thirty-five American citizens died in 15 international terrorist
attacks in 2003," it said.
"In 2003, terrorists struck at targets around the world,
even as Iraq became a central front in the global war against terrorism
and the locus of so many deadly attacks against civilians," said
Ambassador Cofer Black, the State Department's coordinator for
counterterrorism, in the report's introduction. "Al-Qaida
and other terrorist groups made clear once again their relentless
pursuit of evil in defiance of any law -- human or divine."
Black said the world must remain committed to fighting the terrorist
threat, and the United States will remain committed to implementing
its National Strategy for Combating Terrorism.
Following is the text of the report's chapter that provides an
overview of 2003:
Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003
The Year in Review
There were 190 acts of international terrorism in 2003, a slight
decrease from the 198 attacks that occurred in 2002, and a drop
of 45 percent from the level in 2001 of 346 attacks. The figure
in 2003 represents the lowest annual total of international terrorist
attacks since 1969.
A total of 307 persons were killed in the attacks of 2003, far
fewer than the 725 killed during 2002. A total of 1,593 persons
were wounded in the attacks that occurred in 2003, down from 2,013
persons wounded the year before.
In 2003, the highest number of attacks (70) and the highest casualty
count (159 persons dead and 951 wounded) occurred in Asia.
There were 82 anti-U.S. attacks in 2003, which is up slightly
from the 77 attacks the previous year, but which represents a 62-percent
decrease from the 219 attacks recorded in 2001.
Thirty-five American citizens died in 15 international terrorist
attacks in 2003:
-- Michael Rene Pouliot was killed on 21 January in Kuwait when
a gunman fired at his vehicle that had halted at a stoplight.
-- Thomas Janis was murdered by Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia terrorists on 13 February in Colombia. Mr. Janis was the
pilot of a plane owned by Southern Command that crashed in the
jungle. He and a Colombian army officer were wounded in the crash
and shot when the terrorists discovered them. Three American passengers
on the plane -- Keith Stansell, Marc D. Gonsalves, and Thomas R.
Howes -- were kidnapped and are still being held hostage.
-- William Hyde was killed on 4 March in Davao, Philippines, when
a bomb hidden in a backpack exploded in a crowded airline terminal.
Twenty other persons died, and 146 were wounded. The Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) denies any connection to the suspected
bomber, who claimed he was an MILF member.
-- Abigail Elizabeth Litle was killed on 5 March when a suicide
bomber boarded a bus in Haifa, Israel, and detonated an explosive
-- Rabbi Elnatan Eli Horowitz and his wife Debra Ruth Horowitz
were killed on 7 March when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on
them as they were eating dinner in the settlement of Kiryat Arba.
-- The deadliest anti-U.S. attack occurred in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
on 12 May when suicide bombers in booby-trapped cars filled with
explosives drove into the Vinnell Jadewel and Al-Hamra housing
compounds, killing nine U.S. citizens. Killed at the Vinnell compound
were: Obaidah Yusuf Abdullah, Todd Michael Blair, Jason Eric Bentley,
James Lee Carpenter II, Herman Diaz, Alex Jackson, Quincy Lee Knox,
and Clifford J. Lawson. Mohammed Atef Al Kayyaly was killed at
the Al-Hamra compound.
-- Alan Beer and Bertin Joseph Tita were killed on 11 June in
a bus bombing near Klal Center on Jaffa Road near Jerusalem.
-- Howard Craig Goldstein was killed in a shooting attack near
the West Bank settlement of Ofra on 20 June.
-- Fred Bryant, a civilian contractor, was killed on 5 August
in Tikrit, Iraq, when his car ran over an improvised explosive
-- Three Americans were among the victims of a deadly truck bombing
of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad's Canal Hotel on 19 August.
They were Arthur Helton, Richard Hooper, and Martha Teas. U.N.
Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello was also among the
-- Five Americans were killed in Jerusalem on 19 August when a
suicide bomber riding on a bus detonated explosives attached to
his body. They were Goldy Zarkowsky, Eli Zarkowsky, Mordechai Reinitz,
Yessucher Dov Reinitz, and Tehilla Nathansen. Fifteen other persons
were killed and 140 wounded in the attack.
-- Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Naava Applebaum were killed
on 9 September in a bombing at the Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem.
-- Three Americans were killed on 15 October in Gaza Strip as
their U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv motorcade was struck by an apparent
roadside blast. They were John Branchizio, Mark T. Parson, and
John Martin Linde, Jr. All three were security contractors.
-- Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring was killed on 26 October in Baghdad
during a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the Al-Rasheed Hotel.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz was staying at the
hotel at the time of the attack.
-- Two Americans, William Carlson and Christopher Glenn Mueller,
were killed in an ambush by armed militants in Shkin, Afghanistan,
on 27 October. Both were U.S. government contract workers.
Most of the attacks that have occurred during Operation Iraqi
Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom do not meet the longstanding
U.S. definition of international terrorism because they were directed
at combatants, that is, U.S. and Coalition forces on duty. Attacks
against noncombatants, that is, civilians and military personnel
who at the time of the incident were unarmed and/or not on duty,
are judged as terrorist attacks.