Patterns of Global Terrorism 1998 - Argentina

Investigations continued into the two devastating bombings against Jewish and Israeli targets in Buenos Aires: the attack in March 1992 against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, in which 29 persons died, and the bombing in July 1994 of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building that killed 86 persons and injured hundreds more. Islamic Jihad, Hizballah's terrorist arm, claimed responsibility for the attack in 1992. No clear claim for the AMIA bombing has been made, although the two attacks had many similarities. At yearend, Argentine authorities questioned two possible key informants in the attacks.

The Iranian Government expelled the Argentine commercial attache from Tehran in early 1998 in response to growing criticism in Argentina about a possible official Iranian role in the attacks. The Argentine Government responded by asking Tehran to reduce the number of diplomats in its mission in Buenos Aires to one, the number of official Argentines left in Iran. The judge responsible for the AMIA investigation interviewed Iranian defectors in Western Europe and the United States who claimed to have knowledge about the bombing. He also charged an Argentine citizen with providing the stolen vehicle used in the bombing. Several former Buenos Aires provincial police officials remain in custody for their role in supplying the vehicle.

In August, Argentine authorities arrested two SL members living in Argentina. At yearend, they were awaiting extradition to Peru.

Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay cooperated actively in the triborder region against terrorism and continued their work to counter criminal activities of individuals linked to Islamic terrorist groups. In March the three countries signed a plan to improve security in the triborder area and created a commission to oversee implementation of the plan.

In late November, Argentina hosted the second Inter-American Specialized Conference on Terrorism in Mar del Plata. Conference participants agreed to recommend that the Organization of American States' General Assembly form an Inter-American Committee on Terrorism to coordinate regional cooperation against terrorism.


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