Incident Summary:

02/16/1999: Twelve hostages were taken when 30 Kurdish protestors attacked the Swiss Socialist Party headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the hostages, Erik Grobet, asked police by phone not to intervene and to keep away from party headquarters. No further information was provided regarding the resolution of this attack.




Western Europe

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Swiss Socialist Party
Specific Description Swiss Socialist Party headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
Nationality of Target Switzerland
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 12
US Hostages 0
Outcome Unknown
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Following the capture of Abdullah Öcalan, who was the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), many such similar incidents of break-in and hostage-taking were perpetrated by angry Kurds, targeting diplomatic missions and UN organizations.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 30
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
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
"Swiss Socialist Party Members Held Hostage by Kurds,” Agence France Presse, February 16, 1999.
"'Kurdish Militants' Take 'Dozen' Swiss Socialists Hostage,” Agence France Presse, February 16, 1999.