US counterterrorism center reveals timeline of Iran-backed Hezbollah attacks

US counterterrorism center reveals timeline of Iran-backed Hezbollah attacks

An online timeline by the US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) reveals the history of crimes allegedly carried out by the Tehran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group, which the US and other countries consider a terrorist organization.

The website includes operations allegedly carried out by Hezbollah around the world from the 1980s to 2013.

Here are some of the key events in the timeline:

October 23, 1983, Beirut, Lebanon: Suicide bombers outside the US and French Marine barracks kill 299

On October 23, 1983, a truck carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives drove into the Marine compound in the Lebanese capital Beirut and crashed into the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regimental Battalion Landing Team barracks, killing 220 Marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers.

Minutes later, a second suicide bomber drove a pickup truck full of explosives and crashed into a building housing French paratrooper, killing 58 French soldiers.

On May 30, 2003, a US federal judge ruled that Hezbollah carried out the attack at the Marine compound on Iran’s orders. The ruling allowed families of the victims to sue Iran.

December 12, 1983, Kuwait City, Kuwait: Multiple bombings kill five

On December 12, 1893, Hezbollah and the Tehran-backed Iraqi Islamic Da’wa Party carried out seven coordinated bombings in Kuwait targeting several sites including the US and French embassies and the Kuwait airport.

The attacks killed five people and wounded 86 people. The attacks could have caused many more deaths if not for the bombs’ faulty rigging which prevented three quarters of the explosives planted at the American embassy compound from detonating.

September 20, 1984, Beirut, Lebanon: US embassy annex bombing

On September 20, 1984, Hezbollah attacked the US embassy in East Beirut using a car bomb, killing 23 and injuring 60 others.

June 14-30, 1985, Athens, Greece: Hijacking of TWA flight 847

The Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane was travelling from Cairo to San Diego with stops in Athens, Rome, Boston and Los Angeles. It was hijacked on 14 June, 1985 after taking off from Athens, and forced to land in Beirut.

The hijackers – thought to belong to Hezbollah – demanded the release of hundreds of Lebanese Shia detainees in Israeli custody.

When their demands were not met, the hijackers shot dead 23-year-old US Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem who was one of the plane’s 153 passengers.

The passengers were released – with some of them having been held hostage for 17 days – after a number of the captors’ demands were met.

December 1985 – September 1986, Paris, France: Paris attacks

A series of terrorist attacks in Paris from December 1985 through September 1986 killed 13 people and wounded over 300 others.

A French special terrorism court in 1992 sentenced in absentia five members of Hezbollah to life in prison for their roles in the attacks.

March 17, 1992, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Attack on the Israeli embassy

On March 17, 1992, a suicide bomber attacked the building of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 wounding 242 others.

July 18, 1994, Buenos Aires, Argentina: AMIA bombing

On July 18, 1994, an operative of Hezbollah drove a car bomb at the building of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), killing 85 and injuring over 300 people.

February 14, 2005, Beirut, Lebanon: Assassination of PM Rafic Hariri

On 14 February 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was killed along with 21 others in an explosion in the capital Beirut.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, set up by the UN to investigate the killing, found compelling evidence for the responsibility of Hezbollah the assassination.

October 19, 2012, Beirut, Lebanon: Assassination of Wissam al-Hassan

On 19 October 2012, Wissam al-Hassan, a leading Sunni figure who was in charge of a top intelligence unit, died in a car bombing near the Achrafieh neighbourhood of Beirut. Seven others also died and nearly 80 people were injured.

In 2005, al-Hassan led an investigation into the death of PM Hariri which implicated the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

December 27 , 2013, Beirut, Lebanon: Assassination of former Lebanese Finance Minister Mohamad Chatah

On December 28, 2013, Mohamad Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister, died when a car bomb struck his convoy in downtown Beirut.

Chatah who was a vocal critic of President al-Assad and Hezbollah had served as ambassador to the US.

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