1988 Naples bombing

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1988 Naples bombing
LocationNaples, Italy
Date14 April 1988
8:00 pm (UTC+01:00)
TargetAmericans
Attack type
Bombing
WeaponsCar bomb
Deaths5
Non-fatal injuries
15
PerpetratorJapanese Red Army

The 1988 Naples bombing was a terrorist attack against a United Service Organizations (USO) military recreational club in downtown Naples, Italy on April 14, 1988. A powerful car bomb exploded in front of the USO club in Calata San Marco which caused the deaths of five people, including an American, and injuries to 15 others. The attack was perpetrated by a Japanese Red Army (JRA) member and came on the second anniversary of the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.

Victims[edit]

Four Italian civilians were killed along with a female American assigned to the U.S. Navy center in Naples. She was identified as 31-year-old Angela Simone Santos from Ocala, Florida. Four American sailors were also among the wounded, and some North Africans were also hurt. Many sailors at the USO probably escaped injury as they were in basement rooms that were shielded from the blast.[1][2]

Responsibility[edit]

Two previously unheard Arab groups claimed responsibility, one of them saying "Imperialist Americans must die two years after their barbarous attack against the Libyan Arab state," referring to the 1986 United States bombing of Libya. Police later identified Junzo Okudaira as the main suspect, a member of the far-left Japanese Red Army (JRA) with links to groups in Lebanon. Okudaira was already wanted in Italy over a rocket and bomb attack against the American and British embassies in Rome in 1987, where nobody was hurt.[1][3] Okudaira was staying at a hotel under a false Taiwanese identity. The Libyan ambassador said that the Libyan government had nothing to do with the attack.[4]

A few days before the bomb attack, JRA member Yū Kikumura was arrested in the United States.[5] Kikumura was thought to be planning a bomb attack on a U.S. Navy centre in New York City in retaliation to the Libya bombing of 1986, and to be simultaneous to the bombing in Naples.[6][2]

In 1993, Okudaira was convicted in absentia for murder. He has never been caught.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Suro, Roberto. "A Japanese With Lebanese Links Blamed in Naples U.S.O. Bombing".
  2. ^ a b Times, Roberto Suro and Special To the New York. "5 Die in Blast Outside U.S.O. in Naples".
  3. ^ Times, John Tagliabue and Special To the New York. "Rome Explosions Shake U.S. and British Embassies and Wreck Car".
  4. ^ "Police today were looking for a suspected Japanese terrorist..."
  5. ^ MONTALBANO, WILLIAM D. (16 April 1988). "Japanese Terrorist Sought in USO Blast in Naples" – via LA Times.
  6. ^ Times, Robert Hanley and Special To the New York. "U.S. Links Man With 3 Bombs To a Terror Plot".
  7. ^ "Jury Indicts Fugitive In Uso Bombing".