A Moment in Air Force History

Which terrorist attack occurred on June 25 1996?

A. Car bombing of Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe on Ramstein
B. Car bombing on Rhein-Main
C. Hijacking of the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean
D. Bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia

Answer: D. On June 25, 1996, Terrorists bombed the Khobar Towers near King Abdul-Aziz Air Base in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 U.S. Air Force members and injuring another 370 Americans and Saudis. They were participating in Operation Southern Watch enforcing United Nations Security Council resolutions on Iraq. As a result of the bombing, most Air Force members moved to more easily defended sites in the desert. Though 14 were indicted, the investigation remains open.

Did You Know? On Aug. 31, 1981, a Red Army Faction car bomb exploded outside the HQ USAFE building injuring 12 U.S. military members and two German civilians. Six of the victims were seriously injured, including then assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Brig. Gen. Joseph Moore. Two terrorists were convicted of the bombing in 1986. On Aug. 8, 1985, a car bomb exploded on Rhein-Main, killing two and injuring 20 people. The Red Army Faction and the French Direct Action, claimed responsibility. On Oct.7, 1985 four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front hijacked the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro and demanded Israel release 50 Palestinian prisoners. To prove their intent, they shot a disabled American tourist, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, and threw his body overboard with his wheelchair. After two days, the Egyptian government, unaware of the murder, provided the hijackers with safe passage in exchange for freeing the ship and its passengers. Once aware of the murder, U.S. Navy fighters intercepted an Egyptian airliner flying the hijackers to freedom and forced it to land in Sicily. The terrorists were taken into custody by Italian police, and sentenced to life terms.