Incident Summary:

06/22/1985: Two bombs exploded in the Moslem prayer room at the Daar Us Salaam mosque in Houston, Texas, United States, about an hour after worshippers left the mosque. There were no casualties in the incident, but the explosions caused about $50,000 in damages. Daniel Allen Russell, Randy James Jones, and Stephen C. Ahern, all of Houston, were all charged and sentenced after their admissions to constructing and planting the bombs in the mosque. It appears that the perpetrators acted independently of any group, and their reasons for the bombing, while conflicting, are suspected to be in retaliation and anger over American hostages being held in Lebanon during the Shiite Moslem hijacking of passengers aboard TWA Flight 847. The bombing came in the midst of threatening phone calls to several area mosques and Islamic society headquarters after the hostage situation in Beirut.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The incident occurred at the Daar Us Salaam mosque in shopping center in southwest Houston.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Daar Us Salaam mosque
Specific Description mosque
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $50,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Time Fuse
Weapon Details
homemade bombs built using galvanized pipes, black powder and a propane cylinder and a fuse
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The explosions occurred at 11:30pm and witnesses reported seeing a man speeding away in a pickup truck yelling "We did it, we did it." The perpetrators admitted that the bombings were in retaliation for the American hostage situation in Beirut after the hijacking of TWA Flight 847, but one of their attorneys did not believe this argument and claimed that the Moslem community did not need to feel threatened by the situation as the perpetrators were involved in mindless bombings of a portable toilet, a trash bin, a car, a postal box, a newspaper box and a telephone booth in prior months. Some government officials also denied the connection with the hijacking of TWA Flight 847.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-Muslim extremists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 3
Number of Captured Perpetrators 3
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"In the Nation: Houston, Islamic mosque bombed; worshippers had left," The Baltimore Sun, June 24, 1985.
"Reasons for Mosque Bombing Differ," The Associated Press, July 12, 1985.
"Man Sentenced For Part in Mosque's Bombing," The Associated Press, October 27, 1985.