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  INTRODUCTION: Terrorism in West Germany from various sources in the 1970's and 1980's greatly affected security procedures at 3rd Armored installations and dependent housing areas. This would result in periodic action against easier U.S. targets, such as the notorious Frankfurt incident below in which the 3AD's favorite shopping complex was attacked. Fortunately the bomb did not detonate the gasoline pumps.

Related Comments by Gen. Colin Powell

Info on Rhine-Main AB Bombing

NOVEMBER 24 & 25, 1985
See full text of articles further below.


Bombing at PX in Frankfurt Wounds 34

The New York Times (page-2 story on Nov. 25, 1985)
By James M. Markham

Bonn, Germany, Nov. 24, 1985 - At least 34 people were wounded today when a bomb planted in a car was detonated just outside a crowded American military shopping complex in northern Frankfurt, the authorities said.

The explosion, which the police said was from a bomb in a BMW with West German license plates, ripped into a laundromat used by American military personnel and their families. The car was parked between the low-slung, white PX complex and the car-wash unit of a gasoline station on Betramstrasse, and the police said it was very lucky that the stored gasoline had not been ignited.

The police said they had no clues as to what group placed the bomb, but the incident appeared to be the latest in an episodic West German terrorist campaign against American military installations.

In August, terrorists from the self-styled Red Army Faction staged a bomb attack on the nearby Rhein-Main air base, killing 2 Americans and wounding 20. Three bombs went off at an American installation in the Saarland the next month, causing damage but no injuries.

Scores of Vehicles Damaged

The impact of the explosion shredded the BMW into large chunks of metal and badly damaged a score of vehicles that were parked near it. The blast blew a hole in the wall of the laundromat and cut a six-foot crater in the ground. The PX building had to be shored up by firemen to prevent it from collapsing.

Flying shards of glass were strewn for hundreds of yards, and the windows were blown out of the headquarters of the nearby Armed Forces Network.

"It looked very bad," said a nurse at the 97th Military Hospital, where most of the victims were treated. "People - military personnel and many women - were everywhere. Many were bloody."

Maj. Chris Chalko, a military spokesman who happened to be driving to the complex when the explosion occurred, said the car containing the bomb was parked at the fringes of the PX in an area reserved for German employees. "It's not unusual to have German-plated cars in this area," the major said.

A checkpoint manned by American military policemen routinely stops non-military vehicles from entering the restricted PX area. Tonight military policemen bearing M-16 assault rifles cordoned off the area as American and West German bomb experts sifted through the debris for clues.

6 People Hospitalized

Bill Swisher, a hospital spokesman, said that 34 people had been treated for injuries after the blast and that 27 had been released. He said all were Americans except for a Filipino and a West German. None had life-threatening injuries, he added.

Most of those injured appeared to have been in the laundromat. "I heard a blast," said Victor Grossi, 18 years old, who works at a Baskin-Robbins shop in the PX complex. "I didn't see anybody outside."

Mayor Walter Wallmann of Frankfurt visited the site of the blast and expressed his condolences for the victims. The Frankfurt area has one of the densest concentrations of American military personnel in West Germany.

West Germany Seeking 2 Arabs
In Car Bombing at American PX
The New York Times

Bonn, Germany, Nov. 25, 1985 - The West German federal criminal police announced tonight that they were seeking two men 'believed to be Arabs in connection with a car bombing Sunday at an American military shopping center in northern Frankfurt. The attack wounded 35 people.

A police statement issued in Wiesbaden said the two men purchased the car used in the bombing at noon on Saturday at a used-car lot in Gravenbruch, outside Frankfurt. The federal agency said that in buying the silver BMW, one of the two men showed what appeared to be a Moroccan passport bearing the name "Azuz Mohsein" - most likely, "Mohsein Aziz."

The West German police started a nationwide search today for the bombers but reported that no group had taken responsibility for the blast at the American PX. In August, the Red Army Faction terrorist group staged an attack on the giant American Rhein-Main Air Base outside Frankfurt, killing 2 Americans and wounding 20.

Unusual for West Germany

Although West German terrorist groups have in the past had connections to Arab groups, such apparently overt involvement of Arabs in a terrorist operation was unusual in West Germany, according to experts. The Red Army Faction and other West German terrorist groups have traditionally taken detailed precautions to cover their tracks.

A wanted notice issued by the police for the two Arabs said one was 35 to 40 years old, spoke no German and wore a checkered Arab headdress at the used-car lot. The second spoke broken German and was said to be tall, athletic-looking and 30 to 35 years old.

The BMW, which was shattered in the blast, was parked just outside a restricted area of the PX. The explosion ripped into a laundromat, where most of the victims were wounded, but failed to detonate nearby gasoline pumps. A total of 47 automobiles were severely damaged in the explosion, many of them reduced to scrap.

The American Ambassador to West Germany, Richard R. Burt, today denounced what he called "a cowardly attack" on the military shopping center and vowed that such actions would not intimidate the United States.

In a telegram to Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, the West German Defense Minister, Manfred Woener, said today that his countrymen "turn with outrage against this unconscionable act."

A spokesman at the United States Army 97th General Hospital, Bill Swisher, said that only three of the victims remained hospitalized today and that they were all "in good condition."

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