A Campaign of Terror
Despite numerous terrorist attacks on aircraft in 1985, investigators immediately dismissed the possibility of sabotage in the Gander crash. Wing icing was immediately suspected as the cause despite a possible connection to the Iran-Contra Affair and the testimony of eyewitnesses who insist the aircraft was on fire as it fell from the sky. Was the true cause of the Gander crash covered up?Terrorism Timeline
April 18, 1983 - The U.S. Embassy is bombed in Beirut killing 57 including 17 Americans. The attack occurs during a CIA meeting, decimating the U.S. intelligence network in the Middle East. (see map below for location - #1)
October 13, 1983 - 241 U.S. soldiers are killed when the U.S. Marine Barracks is bombed in Beirut. The Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for reducing the barracks to a pile of rubble. (see map below for location - #2)
January 23, 1985 - A bomb explodes in the forward lavatory of a Bolivian 727.
March 9, 1985 - A bomb explodes in the baggage compartment of a Royal Jordanian L-1011. (see map below for location - #3)
June 14, 1985 - Terrorists hijack a TWA jetliner with 153 passengers on board as it flies between Athens and Rome. A flight attendant is killed and his body hurled onto the tarmac.(see map below for location - #4)
June 22, 1985 - 329 people die when an explosion destroys an Air India 747 over the Atlantic Ocean. (see map below for location - #5)
July 22, 1985 - Two bombs explode in Copenhagen injuring 27 people. The Islamic Jihad claims responsibility, warning that future attacks would extend around the world. (see map below for location - #6)
August 20, 1985 - U.S. Marine Lt-Col Oliver North secretly delivers missiles to Iran in an unsuccessful bid to free hostages held in Lebanon.
September 15, 1985 - A second missile shipment is intended to secure the release of CIA Station Chief William Buckley. Instead, the terrorists release Rev. Benjamin Weir, a Presbyterian minister held hostage by the Islamic Jihad for 16 months.
October 4, 1985 - The Islamic Jihad announces that American CIA agent William Buckley had been executed in June. Buckley had been kidnapped in March of 1984 in West Beirut.
October 7, 1985 - Terrorists seize the cruise ship Achille Lauro, holding 413 people hostage for two days. One of the hostages, an elderly man in a wheelchair, is executed. Intelligence and Special Operations Units are poised to retake the ship when the terrorists surrender. (see map below for location - #7)
October 30, 1985 - A bomb explodes in the baggage compartment of an American Airlines 727. (see map below for location - #8)
November 24, 1985 - Iran is outraged when North delivers a shipment of inferior missiles. No hostages are released and Iran threatens retaliation.
November 27, 1985 - U.S. Transportation Department warns airlines that Iran is planning a terrorist attack.
December 4, 1985 - North warns National Security Advisor John Poindexter to expect retaliatory attacks.
December 12, 1985 - Arrow Air crashes in Gander killing 248 members of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division and 8 civilian crew. Despite eyewitness reports and physical evidence of a pre-impact fire and explosion, sabotage is immediately ruled out, even before investigators reach the scene. Three years pass and official findings by the CASB report that wing icing was the most probable cause of the crash. Four of nine board members refused to sign the report, insisting evidence of pre-impact explosion and fire were ignored. (see map below for location - #9)