Overview of Terrorism in 2003
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, and 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
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
Abigail Elizabeth Litle was killed on 5 March
when a suicide bomber boarded a bus in Haifa, Israel, and detonated
an explosive device.
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
The deadliest anti-US attack occurred in Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, on 12 May when suicide bombers in boobytrapped cars
filled with explosives drove into the Vinnell Jadewel and Al-Hamra
housing compounds, killing nine US 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
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
Three Americans were among the victims of a deadly
truck bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdads Canal Hotel
on 19 August. They were Arthur Helton, Richard Hooper, and Martha
Teas. UN Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello was also
among the 23 fatalities.
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 US 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 US Government contract workers.
Most of the attacks that have occurred during Operation
Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom do not meet the longstanding
US definition of international
terrorism because they were directed at combatants, that is, US 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.
Source: Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003, U.S.