Patterns of Global Terrorism 1996 - Iraq

Iraq has not managed to recover its pre-Gulf war international terrorist capabilities, but it is slowly rebuilding its intelligence network. Acts of political violence continued in northern Iraq, and intra-Kurdish fighting in August led to an increased number of operatives there under Baghdad's control. At the time of its military attack on Irbil, Iraq reportedly murdered more than 100 Iraqis associated with the dissident Iraqi National Congress (INC). Later, Baghdad renewed its threat to charge foreign relief personnel and other Iraqi staff with "espionage," a crime punishable by death.

Iraq continues to provide safehaven to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization (ANO), the Arab Liberation Front (ALF), and the former head of the now defunct 15 May Organization, Abu Ibrahim, who masterminded several bombings of US aircraft. The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a terrorist group that opposes the current Iranian regime, also is based in Iraq.

In mid-November a Jordanian diplomatic courier was murdered in Iraq on the road from Amman to Baghdad, and his diplomatic pouch stolen. The perpetrators of the act have yet to be identified. The diplomatic bag contained 250 new Jordanian passports, which could be used by terrorist operatives for travel under cover.

The terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) continues to attempt to use northern Iraq as a safehaven and base for attacks on Turkey.


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.