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22 June 2004

Terrorists Killed 625 People in 2003, Revised State Report Says

Total international terrorist attacks rose to 208 in 2003

There were 208 international terrorist attacks in 2003, up slightly from 205 attacks recorded the year before, according to revised statistics released by the U.S. Department of State June 22.

In addition, the revised report indicated that 625 people were killed last year, compared with 725 killed during 2002. The statistics are compiled by the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and the State Department's Office for Counterterrorism, with information from the intelligence community and from U.S. embassies and posts worldwide.

Ambassador Cofer Black, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism, said that, more significantly, there were 3,646 people wounded in terrorist incidents in 2003, compared with 2,013 people wounded in 2002.

"The increase reflects the numerous indiscriminate attacks during 2003 on 'soft targets,' such as places of worship, hotels, and commercial districts, intended to produce mass casualties," the report said.

The department acknowledged on June 10 that some of its statistics (originally released in April) were inaccurate, and that, after a careful review, were revised, Secretary of State Colin Powell said during a briefing in Washington. The annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report, which is mandated by federal law and submitted to Congress, was initially released April 28.

"The numbers were off," Powell said. "We have identified how we have to do this in the future."

Powell said the initial report was not an effort to make U.S. counterterrorism efforts appear better or worse. He said that U.S. Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, and his staff initially brought the errors to the attention of the department.

The corrected report indicated that 35 U.S. citizens were killed in terrorist attacks last year. Nine Americans were killed in the deadliest attack in a suicide bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2003.

According to the revised report, geographically there were 80 terrorist attacks in Asia in 2003, 67 in the Middle East, 33 in Western Europe, 20 in Latin America, six in Africa, two in Eurasia, and none in North America.

The complete Patterns of Global Terrorism report that has been revised may be found on the Internet at http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2003/.

Following is the text of the Year in Review (Revised):

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Patterns of Global Terrorism
Released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
June 22, 2004

The Year in Review (Revised)

There were 208 acts of international terrorism in 2003, a slight increase from the most recently published figure of 198 attacks in 2002 [revised to 205], and a 42 percent drop from the level in 2001 of 355 attacks. A total of 625 persons were killed in the attacks of 2003, fewer than the 725 killed during 2002. A total of 3,646 persons were wounded in the attacks that occurred in 2003, a sharp increase from 2,013 persons wounded the year before. This increase reflects the numerous indiscriminate attacks during 2003 on "soft targets," such as places of worship, hotels, and commercial districts, intended to produce mass casualties.

Thirty-five U.S. citizens died in international terrorist attacks in 2003:

-- Michael Rene Pouliot was killed on 21 January in Kuwait, when a gunman fired at his vehicle that had halted at a stoplight.

-- Thomas Janis was murdered by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorists on 13 February in Colombia. Mr. Janis was the pilot of a plane that crashed in the jungle. He and a Colombian service member were wounded in the crash; the terrorists shot them when they were discovered. Three U.S. citizen passengers on the plane -- Keith Stansell, Marc D. Gonsalves, and Thomas R. Howes -- were kidnapped and are still being held hostage as of June 2004 by the FARC.

-- William Hyde was killed on 4 March in Davao, Philippines, when a bomb hidden in a backpack exploded in a crowded airline terminal. Twenty other persons died, and 149 were wounded. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) denies any connection to the suspected bomber, who claimed he was a MILF member.

-- Abigail Elizabeth Litle was killed on 5 March, when a suicide bomber boarded a bus in Haifa, Israel, and detonated an explosive device.

-- Rabbi Elnatan Eli Horowitz and his wife, Debra Ruth Horowitz, were killed on 7 March when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on them as they were eating dinner in the settlement of Kiryat Arba.

-- The deadliest anti-U.S. attack occurred in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 12 May, when suicide bombers in booby-trapped cars filled with explosives drove into the Vinnell, Jadewel and Al-Hamra housing compounds, killing nine U.S. citizens. Killed at the Vinnell compound were: Obaidah Yusuf Abdullah, Todd Michael Blair, Jason Eric Bentley, James Lee Carpenter II, Herman Diaz, Alex Jackson, Quincy Lee Knox, and Clifford J. Lawson. Mohammed Atef Al Kayyaly was killed at the Al-Hamra compound.

-- Alan Beer and Bertin Joseph Tita were killed on 11 June in a bus bombing near Klal Center on Jaffa Road near Jerusalem.

-- Howard Craig Goldstein was killed in a shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Ofra on 20 June.

-- Fred Bryant, a civilian contractor, was killed on 5 August in Tikrit, Iraq, when his car ran over an improvised explosive device.

-- Three U.S. citizens were among the victims of a deadly truck bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad's Canal Hotel on 19 August. They were Arthur Helton, Richard Hooper, and Martha Teas. U.N. Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello was also among the 23 fatalities.

-- Five U.S. citizens were killed in Jerusalem on 19 August, when a suicide bomber riding on a bus detonated explosives attached to his body. They were Goldy Zarkowsky, Eli Zarkowsky, Mordechai Reinitz, Yessucher Dov Reinitz, and Tehilla Nathansen. Fifteen other persons were killed and 140 [were] wounded in the attack.

-- Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter, Naava Applebaum, were killed on 9 September in a bombing at the Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem.

-- Three U.S. citizens were killed on 15 October in the Gaza Strip as their U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv motorcade was struck by a roadside bomb. They were John Branchizio, Mark T. Parson, and John Martin Linde, Jr. All three were security contractors to the U.S. Embassy.

-- Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. Buehring was killed on 26 October in Baghdad during a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the Al-Rasheed Hotel. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz was staying at the hotel at the time of the attack.

-- Two U.S. citizens, William Carlson and Christopher Glenn Mueller, were killed in an ambush by armed militants in Shkin, Afghanistan, on 27 October. Both were U.S. government contract workers.

Note: As new information becomes available, revisions are made to previously published statistics. The current running total for international terrorist incidents in 2002 is 205.

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