Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
1986 Berlin discotheque bombing
The April 6, 1986 La Belle discotheque bombing was a terroristic attack on a discotheque in West Berlin that was frequented by US soldiers. It killed a Turkish woman and two U.S. servicemen, and injured 230 people, including many other U.S. servicemen.
- Sgt. Kenneth T. Ford, 21
- Nermin Hannay, 29
- Sgt. James E. Goins, 25
Of the injured victims, some were permanently disabled.
Libya was blamed for the bombing after telex messages had been intercepted from the Libya's East Berlin embassy, and then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan retaliated by ordering airstrikes against the Libyan capital of Tripoli. At least 15 people died in the U.S. airstrikes, including the 15-month-old daughter adopted by leader Moammar Al Qadhafi, and more than 100 were injured.
In 2001, A Libyan diplomat, Musbah Abdulghasem Eter, and two Palestinians, Yasser Mohammed Chreidi (or Yassar Al-Shuraidi or Yassir Chraidi) and Ali Chanaa were convicted of aiding in murder and one of the Palestinians' former German wife, Verena Channa was convicted of murder. They were given sentences of 12 to 14 years in prison. The judge said it was not clear whether Qadhafi or Libyan intelligence had actually ordered the attack, though there were indications they had.
Two weeks before the Berlin blast, Gadhafi called for Arab assaults on American interests worldwide after a U.S.-Libyan naval clash in the Mediterranean, in which 35 seamen on a Libyan patrol boat in the Gulf of Sidra were killed in international waters.
Chreidi, alias Yousef Salam, was extradited from Libya to Germany in connection with the bombing. He was working for the Libyan Peoples' Bureau in East Berlin at the time of the bombing. Chreidi has been tied to suspected Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, who lived in and was financed by Libya in the 1980s. Eter was reported to be the Libyan spy agency's point man at the embassy in what was then Communist East Berlin.
On August 17, 2003 it was reported that Libya had signalled the German government that it is ready to offer compensation for the bombing. Lawyers for non-US victims are seeking a total of 40.25 million in compensation, including 1 million for the Turkish woman's family, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported.
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