List of terrorist incidents in 1981

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This is a timeline of incidents in 1981 that have been labelled as "terrorism" and are not believed to have been carried out by a government or its forces (see state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism).


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
12 January Bombing 0 0 San Juan, Puerto Rico 11 men disguised as soldiers penetrated into the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and placed bombs on several aircraft, destroying several of them. Boricua Popular Army


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
March 3 Armed Assault 0 1 Puerto Montt, Chile A commando of the MIR assaulted a supermarket in the city of Puerto Montt. Injuring a policeman Revolutionary Left Movement (Chile) Armed resistance in Chile (1973-90)
28 March Hijacking 2 (+4 attackers) 2 Indonesia 5 members of the islamic extremist group Komando Jihad hijack Garuda Indonesia Flight 206. They kill the pilot and an Indonesian commando before four of them are killed and one is arrested. Komando Jihad


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
27 April Kidnapping 2 0 Naples, Italy Christian Democracy politician Ciro Cirillo is kidnapped and his two bodyguards are killed by the Red Brigades. Cirillo was held until 25 July when a ransom was paid. Red Brigades


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
1 May Assassination 1 0 Vienna, Austria Austrian Socialist Party politician Heinz Nittel who was also the president of the Austrian–Israeli Friendship League. 21-year-old Iraqi Hesham Mohammed Rajeh was convicted for the shooting and was also linked to the 1981 Vienna synagogue attack Hesham Mohammed Rajeh Israel-Palestine conflict
16 May Bombing 1 New York City, United States One dead in an explosion in the toilets at the Pan Am terminal at New York's JFK airport. The bombing is claimed by the Puerto Rican Resistance Army.[1] Puerto Rican Resistance Army
May 22 Bombing 0 2 Santiago, Chile A high powered bomb exploded in the PDI headquarters in Santiago. Wounding 2 civilians Revolutionary Left Movement (Chile) Armed resistance in Chile (1973-90)


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
12 June Attempted Bombing, Shooting 4 Unknown San José, Costa Rica In an attack that was intended to dynamite the bust of John F. Kennedy in the park of the same name located in San Pedro de Montes de Oca, in the province of San José, like a protest against the American imperialism. In the process of confronting the police resulting in the death of three policemen and a taxi driver. The members were arrested.[2] "La Familia" militant group
28 June Bombing 73 Tehran, Iran 73 people are killed in a bombing targeting a meeting of leaders of the Islamic Republican Party at the party's headquarters. People's Mujahedin of Iran


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
11 July Shooting 9 Unknown Caqueta, Colombia Members of the FARC ambush an army patrol at the site called Riecito, in the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico (Caqueta). Two lieutenants and seven noncommissioned officers die. FARC Colombian conflict
15 July Shooting 12 (+11) Unknown Caqueta, Colombia Guerrillas of the M-19, ambush two patrols of the Army in the vicinity of Belen de los Andaquies (Caqueta). Twelve soldiers and 9 subversives die. Another 2 guerrillas are killed the same day on the road that leads from Florence to Morelia (Caqueta). M-19 Colombian conflict


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
3 August Bombing 2 72 Piraeus, Greece A bomb placed by Palestinian terrorists exploded in a travel agency killing two and wounding seventy two other bystanders. 15 May Organization Israeli–Palestinian conflict
10 August Bombing 0 0 Athens, Greece Two bombs exploded outside the Israeli embassy in Athens with no victims 15 May Organization Israeli–Palestinian conflict
20 August Shooting 6 5 Meta, Colombia, Colombia FARC guerrillas ambush troops from the 21 Vargas Battalion in the vicinity of La Uribe and La Macarena (Meta). 6 soldiers die.[3] FARC Colombian conflict
29 August Shooting, grenade 2 30 Vienna, Austria Machine gun and grenade attack on the Stadttempel synagogue in Vienna, 1981 Vienna synagogue attack killing two people and wounding 30. Marwan Hasan and Hesham Mohammed Rajeh were convicted.[4] Abu Nidal Organization Israeli–Palestinian conflict


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
24–25 September Shooting, hostage-taking 1 2 Paris, France Four gunmen from the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia open fire on the Turkish consulate in Paris before taking 56 hostages. One guard was killed and two other people were wounded. ASALA


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
6 October Assassination 11 (+1 attacker) 28 (+3 attackers) Cairo, Egypt A group of 4 Egyptian Islamic Jihad assassins led by Khalid Islambouli opened fire on a victory parade led by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, killing Sadat and 10 others and wounding 28. 1 gunman was killed and the three others were arrested and executed later. Egyptian Islamic Jihad
Egyptian Islamic Jihad
13 October Attack, Shooting 12 Unknown Colombia In a series of assaults perpetrated in Planeta Rica (Córdoba), Valparaíso (Caqueta) and Pavarando Grande (Antioquia), FARC guerrillas massacre 12 peasants.[5] FARC Colombian conflict
20 October Hijacking 0 0 Medellín, Colombia Guerreros of the M-19 seize a plane of Aeropesca in Medellín, and load with arms in the Guajira. They finally do it in the jungles of the south. M-19 Colombian conflict
20 October Bombing 3 106 Antwerp, Belgium Truck bomb attack on a synagogue in Antwerp, Belgium. Three killed and 106 wounded in the 1981 Antwerp bombing.[1] Unknown
20 October Robbery, murder 3 0 Nanuet, New York, United States Members of the May 19th Communist Organization (made up of former Black Liberation Army and Weather Underground members) rob a Brink's armored car at Nanuet mall, killing the guard and two police officers who responded to the scene. May 19th Communist Organization


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
29 November Car bombing 200+ Damascus, Syria A car bomb destroys four apartment buildings in the Azbakya district of Damascus, Syria, leaving more than 200 people dead. The Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners claimed responsibility for the attack, while the Syrian government put blame on the Muslim Brotherhood.[6][7] Syrian Muslim Brotherhood Islamist uprising in Syria


Date Type Dead Injured Location Details Perpetrator Part of
15 December Suicide car bombing 61 110 Beirut, Lebanon A suicide bomber affiliated with the Iranian group Al-Dawa drove a truck into the Iraqi embassy, killing Lebanon's ambassador to Iraq, Abdul Razzak Lafta, and 60 others. Al-Dawa Iran–Iraq War
17 December Kidnapping 0 0 Verona, Italy US Army Brigadier General James L. Dozier is kidnapped from his apartment in Verona, Italy and held hostage for 42 days by the Red Brigades.[8] Red Brigades

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