January 29, 2013
Significant Terrorism Events in the News: January 1, 2013 – January 29, 2013
START's Significant Terrorism Events in the News is designed to give a brief overview of the past month's most significant developments in terms of terrorism and counterterrorism. The cases were selected based on visibility in the news and regional diversity. The articles selected are intended to be a sample of current events regarding terrorism around the world and not a definitive list.
Greece: Series of bomb attacks creates fear
In the last month, Greece has experienced a rash of bombings targeting journalists, political figures and customers at a shopping mall. On Friday, Jan. 11, five journalists were targeted in coordinated bombings that caused minor damage to their homes. An anarchist group called “Lovers of Lawlessness” claimed responsibility for the attack. According to Reuters, the group targeted the journalists because they believed they were supporting the government.
On Jan. 14, unknown gunmen armed with AK-47’s opened fire on the headquarters of the governing center-right New Democracy party. No one was in the building at the time and no one was injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
On Jan. 20, a bomb exploded in a shopping mall outside of Athens. Two security guards suffered minor wounds. The anarchist groups “Wild Freedom” and “Instigators of Social Explosion” claimed joint responsibility for the attack. According to Reuters, the groups attacked the mall because, “… the mall and every mall is a cemetery for people and real values… Those murdered by capitalism are buried in the foundations of malls.” Thus far, no arrests have been made in any of these incidents.
- Reuters, “Anarchist bombs explode near Greek journalists’ homes,”. Jan. 11, 2013.
- Wall Street Journal,“Shots Hit Offices of Ruling Party in Athens,” Jan. 14, 2013.
- New York Times, “Bomb Attacks in Greece Raise Fears of Radicalism,” Jan. 20, 2013.
- Reuters, “Greek anarchist groups claim bomb blast at Athens mall,” Jan. 24, 2013.
Yemen: Second in command in Yemen’s Al-Qaeda is confirmed dead
Said al-Shehri, second in command of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been officially declared dead by the organization. Questions remain as to exactly when he died and when he sustained the injuries leading to his death. According to the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse (AFP), al-Shehri was wounded during a joint mission by U.S. and Yemeni forces in late 2012. He then reportedly slipped into a coma and died at some point between that time and late January 2013 when his death was announced by AQAP and officials from Yemen. While this is not the first time al-Shehri’s death has been reported, it is the first time AQAP has confirmed it. His death is seen by many sources as a major blow to the organization.
- Associated Press,“Al-Qaeda’s No. 2 in Yemen succumbs to wounds,” Jan. 24, 2013.
- BBC,“Al-Qaeda leader Said al-Shehri ‘dies in Yemen’,” Jan. 24, 2013.
- Agence France-Presse,“Qaeda in Yemen No. 2 death deals severe blow: experts,” Jan. 25, 2013.
International: Argentina and Iran sign agreement to allow an open investigation of the 1994 Buenos Aires Attack
The governments of Argentina and Iran have agreed to allow five judges to conduct an open investigation into the July 18, 1994 bomb attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building that left 85 people dead and 236 wounded. The case has never been solved, though Argentina has long accused Iranian nationals of being involved. The situation is politically sensitive as some of those listed by Argentina as persons of interest currently hold important positions within the Iranian government, such as current Iranian Defense Minister General Ahmed Vahidi. While Hezbollah has been attributed responsibility in the past, no group has officially claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Associated Press,“Argentina and Iran agree to interrogate suspects in Jewish center bombing in Tehran,” Jan. 27, 2013.
- BBC,“Amia bombing: Argentina and Iran agree truth commission,” Jan. 28, 2013.
This compilation of Significant Terrorism Events in the News was edited by START Researcher Jaime Shoemaker.