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Terrorism in the Super70s

By Patrick Mondout

Here's a brief look at major terrorist acts of the Super70s.

U.S. Agency for International Development Adviser Kidnapped, July 31, 1970: In Montevideo, Uruguay, the Tupamaros terrorist group kidnapped USAID Police adviser Dan Mitrione; his body was found on August 10.

"Bloody Friday," July 21, 1972: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attacks killed 11 people and injured 130 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ten days later, three IRA car bomb attacks in the village of Claudy left six dead.

Munich Olympic Massacre, September 5, 1972: Eight Palestinian "Black September" terrorists seized 11 Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village in Munich, West Germany. In a bungled rescue attempt by West German authorities, nine of the hostages and five terrorists were killed.

Ambassador to Sudan Assassinated, March 2, 1973: U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo A. Noel and other diplomats were assassinated at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum by members of the Black September organization.

Consul General in Mexico Kidnapped, May 4, 1973: U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara Terrance Leonhardy was kidnapped by members of the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Dr. Marcus Foster Assassinated, November 6, 1973: An American terrorist group calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) assassinates Marcus Foster, Oakland Superintendent of Schools. The group would later kidnap heiress Patty Hearst and murder a customer during a bank robbery.

Domestic Terrorism, January 27-29, 1975: Puerto Rican nationalists bombed a Wall Street bar, killing four and injuring 60; 2 days later, the Weather Underground claims responsibility for an explosion in a bathroom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington.

Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an Air France airliner and its 258 passengers. They forced the plane to land in Uganda, where on July 3 Israeli commandos successfully rescued the passengers.

Assassination of Former Chilean Diplomat, September 21, 1976: In Washington, exiled Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier was killed by a car bomb.

Kidnapping of Italian Prime Minister, March 16, 1978: Premier Aldo Moro was seized by the Red Brigade and assassinated 55 days later.

Iran Hostage Crisis, November 4, 1979: After President Carter agreed to admit the Shah of Iran into the U.S., Iranian radicals seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took 66 American diplomats hostage. Thirteen hostages were soon released, but the remaining 53 were held until their release on January 20, 1981.

Grand Mosque Seizure, November 20, 1979: 200 Islamic terrorists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French security forces retook the shrine after an intense battle in which some 250 people were killed and 600 wounded.

Don't miss our look at terrorism in the Awesome80s.

We would like to thank the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State for the information above.



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February 18, 1979: Major Dave Marten (on crutches) exits a C-141 Starlifter aircraft upon his arrival from Tehran, Iran. Marten is one of several American personnel who were evacuated from the US Embassy

DOD photo by Deal Toney

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