Overview of Terrorism in 2000
There were 423 international terrorist attacks in 2000, an increase of 8 percent from the 392 attacks recorded during 1999. The main reason for the increase was an upsurge in the number of bombings of a multinational oil pipeline in Colombia by two terrorist groups there. The pipeline was bombed 152 times, producing in the Latin American region the largest increase in terrorist attacks from the previous year, from 121 to 193. Western Europe saw the largest decrease--from 85 to 30--owing to fewer attacks in Germany, Greece, and Italy as well as to the absence of any attacks in Turkey.
Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter
In December new indictments were issued in connection with the bombings in 1998 at two US embassies in East Africa. A federal grand jury in New York charged five men--Saif Al Adel, Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah, Ahmed Mohamed Hamed Ali, Anas Al Liby, and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah--in connection with the bombing attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, bringing to 22 the total number of persons charged. At the end of 2000, one suspect had pled guilty to conspiring in the attacks, five were in custody in New York awaiting trial, three were in the United Kingdom pending extradition to the United States, and 13 were fugitives, including Usama Bin Ladin.
A trial began in January 2001 in federal court in the Southern District of New York of four suspects in connection with the bombings at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Three of the four were extradited to the United States in 1999 to stand trial; the fourth was arrested in this country. The trial is expected to last through 2001.
A trial of two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 began in the Netherlands on 3 May 2000. A Scottish court presided over the trial and issued its verdict on 31 January 2001. It found Abdel Basset al-Megrahi guilty of the charge of murdering 259 passengers and crew as well as 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, "while acting in furtherance of the purposes of . . . Libyan Intelligence Services." Concerning the other defendant, Al-Amin Kalifa Fahima, the court concluded it had insufficient evidence to satisfy the high standard of "proof beyond reasonable doubt" that is necessary in criminal cases. The verdict of the court represents a victory for the international effort to hold terrorists accountable for their crimes.
Source: Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000, U.S. State Department