Terrorism: August 31, 1999

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: President Clinton's decision last week to pardon 16 imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalists (in jail for 130 bombings from 1974-1983) has been a long time coming. President Clinton has been trying to pardon them since he took office, but pressure from the FBI and various state police officials and prosecutors kept it from happening. Some believe that it finally happened this time because of the large Puerto Rican vote in the Hillary Clinton's upcoming Senate contest.--Stephen V Cole

August 26; Criminal gangs in South Africa are luring rich businessmen to the country from Canada, China, Japan, and other countries with promises of lucrative business deals, then kidnapping the men and holding them for ransom.--Stephen V Cole 

August 26; Egyptian police have intercepted dozens of shipments of deadly biological materials being sent to Islamist radicals in Egypt by regular mail. Labs in Asia and in former Warsaw Pact countries have made little if any effort to determine if a given customer is actually a research laboratory or a terrorist cell. One laboratory (which offered to sell botulinum for $7,500 per sample) was in the Czech Republic, embarrassing this new NATO member.--Stephen V Cole

August 26; PERUVIAN POLICE AND MILITARY FORCES captured Shining Path leader Oscar Ramirez "Comrade Feliciano" Durand after a two-week sweep of his jungle hideout. Feliciano was the last member of the Shining Path with any kind of national stature to be at large; he had effectively run the group since the 1992 capture of the group's founder, Abimael Guzman. The Shining Path has been reduced (by, some would say, draconian tactics) from 10,000 armed guerrillas in 1991 to less than 1,000 today. The group has effectively retreated to the sparsely populated jungle and has conducted only a fraction of its former level of raids and attacks.--Stephen V Cole

August 24; Jordan's Islamic Action Front (the Islamists or Islamic Fundamentalists) won 70% of the seats it contested in the last municipal elections, but contested seats only in its strongholds. The IAF won control over the local councils in Irbid, Zarqa, Russeifa, Tafilah, Karak, Madeva, Sahab, Hashmiyah, and Dhalil.--Stephen V Cole

 

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