The State Department said Friday that there have been at least seven attempts to bomb allied interests around the world in the last 24 hours, along with a “credible terrorist threat” to U.S. diplomats in Tanzania.
There were no reports of injuries in any of the incidents. Details about the attacks were sketchy.
Margaret Tutwiler, spokeswoman for the State Department, refused to disclose any details about the planned attack in Tanzania other than to say that it was “definitely” linked to Iraqi terrorists.
She said Americans are urged to postpone all non-essential travel to Tanzania because of the plot against the U.S. officials there.
She listed four other incidents:
Malaysian police detonated a homemade bomb planted outside an American Airlines office in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
Officials said the police bomb squad was summoned after an airline employee received an anonymous call that an explosive device had been planted in front of the office.
The placement of the bomb followed a series of bomb threats in Malaysia against firms and institutions linked to the United States and Britain. In most cases, the callers said they were retaliating because of the involvement of the two countries in Operation Desert Storm.
A bomb thrown over the wall of an American recreational club in Kampala, Uganda, exploded on a tennis court. The U.S. ambassador to Uganda, John A. Burroughs, had left the court just moments before the explosion.
Four small bombs caused minor damage at U.S. and British banks and at the home of the French military attache in Athens, Greece.
After the explosions at a Citibank branch, the home in the central city and a branch of British-based Barclays bank, a man claiming to speak for the leftist Nov. 17 terrorist organization telephoned a local newspaper to say a fourth bomb had been placed at another Citibank branch. Police said the fourth bomb exploded in front of that bank a few minutes later.
The caller told the newspaper that the bombings were to protest the allied military operation in the Persian Gulf.
Greece deported eight Iraqis and Palestinians earlier this week, charging that they were “a threat to national security.”
The Nov. 17 group has been blamed for the deaths of 14 people in terrorist attacks since 1974. Three of the victims were American security personnel.
Demolitions experts defused a bomb at an American bank in Ankara, Turkey.
In Manila, two Iraqi students linked to an attempted bomb attack earlier this week on a U.S. library were ordered deported.
One of them, Husham Abdul Sattar, 26, son of Baghdad’s ambassador to Somalia, shouted defiantly as he was led away from the deportation hearing in handcuffs that he will “join the Iraqi Army to fight Americans in Kuwait.”
He and his brother, Hisham, 25, were to be held in an isolation cell at the Manila airport until they leave today, officials said.
One terrorist was killed and another was injured when the bomb exploded as they were preparing to place it in the Thomas Jefferson Library in Manila’s financial district.
Officials say they are still looking for more members of two Arab guerrilla groups believed linked to the attack.
In New Dehli, the U.S. Embassy advised its citizens to leave India and postpone travel there because of possible terrorism. More than 100 million Muslims live in India, and Muslim organizations there have held several anti-U.S. rallies in recent weeks.
In Jordan, a crowd of Palestinians at a refugee camp cheered enthusiastically and waved banners reading “Death to America” when a spokesman of the Islamic Jihad movement asked them to volunteer for suicide missions against targets in the West.
Nader Tamini, son of the founder of the radical movement, spoke to about 1,000 Palestinians staging a march to protest Operation Desert Storm.
“Anyone who wants to enlist to go on a suicide mission against Western interests, especially in Europe, can now contact the Islamic Jihad movement,” Tamini said.
Tamini also predicted the downfall of one of the several Arab leaders who are supporting the attack on Iraq, but he did not say which one.
In the United States, three Iraqi brothers were arrested in Tucson, Ariz., and several semiautomatic weapons were seized as part of a continuing effort by the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to locate as many as 3,000 Iraqi nationals who may be in the United States illegally.
Local officials said the three had not been linked to any terrorist activities, but Duke Austin, chief INS spokesman in Washington, expressed concern about their firearms.
Federal officials said Hassan Saleh, 25, and Anas Saleh, 24--former students at the University of Arizona--and their brother, Ali Amon Saleh, 26, were taken into custody because of their failure to maintain required student status.
All three were being held at the INS detention center in Florence, Ariz. They face a deportation hearing on a date yet to be set.
The discovery of two AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifles at the home of Hassan and Anas Saleh led U.S. Immigration Judge John Richardson in Phoenix to set a relatively high bond of $100,000 for both of them. Bond for the third brother was set at $10,000.
Their attorney, Roger C. Wolf, said the brothers left Iraq in 1971, when they were small boys and that their parents now live in the United Arab Emirates. He said they have little connection with Iraq and no political interests.
Although the attorney said two of the brothers had left the University of Arizona only this summer after the gulf crisis interrupted their financial support, University Registrar David Butler said the school’s records show the brothers have not been enrolled there since 1988.
Salim Hammound, president of the Arizona chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Friday that he believes many of the Iraqis whom federal authorities are trying to locate are reluctant to return to Iraq because they are not in sympathy with Saddam Hussein’s regime and fear that they would be drafted into the Iraqi army if they do return.
“These persons should be handled on a case-by-case basis and shouldn’t be singled out for the federal search at all,” Hammound said. “Thousands of foreign students from many nations have overstayed their visas.”
The INS’ Austin said officials are properly concerned “with the operational requirements of the U.S. maintaining its security” at this time.