S.Con.Res. 126 (108th): A concurrent resolution condemning the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 1994, and expressing the concern of the United States regarding the continuing, decade-long delay in the resolution of this case.

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 22, 2004 (Passed the Senate (Engrossed)).

Source: GPO

SCON 126 ES

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. CON. RES. 126


CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Whereas on July 18, 1994, 85 innocent people were killed and 300 were wounded when the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (referred to in this resolution as the ‘AMIA’) was bombed in Buenos Aires, Argentina;

Whereas that attack showed the same cowardice and utter disregard for human life as the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001;

Whereas the United States welcomes Argentine President Nestor Kirchner’s political will to pursue the investigation of the AMIA bombing, as demonstrated by his Executive order opening the archives of Argentina’s Secretariat for State Intelligence (referred to in this resolution as ‘SIDE’) and by his decisions to raise the AMIA cause to national status, and to emphasize that there is no statute of limitations for those responsible for this attack;

Whereas it is reported that considerable evidence links the attack to the terrorist group Hizballah, which is based in Lebanon, supported by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, and sponsored by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran;

Whereas the decade since the bombing has been marked by efforts to minimize the international connection to this terrorist attack;

Whereas in March 2003, an Argentine judge issued arrest warrants for 4 officials of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran who are believed to have been involved in planning or carrying out the attack against AMIA and requested that the International Criminal Police Organization apprehend them;

Whereas the 4 indicted Iranians are Ali Fallahian, a former minister of security and intelligence; Mohsen Rabbani, a former cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires; Ali Balesh-Abadi, an Iranian diplomat; and Ali Akbar Parvaresh, a former minister of education;

Whereas Hadi Soleimanpour, Iran’s Ambassador to Argentina in the 1990s, also has an international arrest warrant pending against him by Argentine authorities for his suspected primary role in the AMIA bombing;

Whereas it is reported that suicide bomber Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen, carried out the attack on AMIA;

Whereas it has been reported that contact was made by the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires to Ibrahim Hussein Berro, who lived in a mosque in Canuelas, Argentina, in the days before the AMIA bombing;

Whereas Argentine officials have acknowledged that there was negligence in the initial phases of the investigation into the 1994 bombing, including the destruction or disappearance of material evidence;

Whereas the first major criminal trial regarding the bombing did not begin until September 2001, and those who are currently on trial are former policemen and civilians who are accused of playing roles only in the procurement and delivery of the vehicle that was used in the bombing;

Whereas the judge who had presided since 2001 over the investigation and trial related to the AMIA bombing was removed in December 2003 due to charges that he bribed a key witness in the AMIA case;

Whereas the new trial judge, Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, deals with many other important cases and has few supporting staff;

Whereas on March 17, 1992, terrorists bombed the Embassy of Israel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 29 people and injuring more than 200, and the perpetrators of the attack also remain at large;

Whereas an inability to extradite suspected Islamic militants and Iranian officials has debilitated the efforts of the Government of Argentina to prosecute masterminds and planners of the 1994 AMIA bombing;

Whereas evidence indicates that the tri-border area where the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil meet is suspected of harboring organizations that support terrorism and engage in drug and arms smuggling and an assorted array of other illicit, revenue-raising activities;

Whereas the Government of Argentina supports the 1996 Declaration of Lima to Prevent, Combat and Eliminate Terrorism, which refers to terrorism as a ‘serious form of organized and systematic violence that is intended to generate chaos and fear among the population, results in death and destruction, and is a reprehensible criminal activity’;

Whereas the Government of Argentina supports the 1998 Commitment of Mar del Plata, which calls terrorist acts ‘serious common crimes that erode peaceful and civilized coexistence, affect the rule of law and the exercise of democracy, and endanger the stability of democratically elected constitutional governments and their socioeconomic development of our countries’;

Whereas the Government of Argentina actively supports the development of the Three Plus One Counterterrorism Dialogue with Brazil, Paraguay, and the United States;

Whereas the Government of Argentina was successful in enacting a law on cooperation from defendants in terrorist matters, a law that will be helpful in pursuing full prosecution in the 1994 AMIA bombing and other terrorist cases; and

Whereas the Second Specialized Conference on Terrorism held in Mar del Plata, Argentina on November 23 and November 24, 1998, concluded with the adoption of the Commitment of Mar del Plata, calling for the establishment within the Organization of American States (referred to in this resolution as ‘OAS’) of an Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (referred to in this resolution as ‘CICTE’): Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress--

      (1) reiterates its strongest condemnation of the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and honors the victims of this heinous act;

      (2) expresses its sympathy to the relatives of the victims, who have waited 10 years without justice for the loss of their loved ones, and may have to wait even longer for justice to be served;

      (3) underscores the concern of the United States regarding the continuing, decade-long delay in the proper resolution of this case;

      (4) strongly urges the Government of Argentina to continue to dedicate and provide the resources necessary for its judicial system and intelligence agencies to investigate all areas of the AMIA case, including by implementing Argentine President Nestor Kirchner’s Executive order mandating the opening of the archives of the SIDE of Argentina, and to prosecute with due haste those who are responsible for the bombing;

      (5) calls upon the international community to cooperate fully with the investigation, including by making information, witnesses, and suspects available for review and questioning by the appropriate Argentine authorities;

      (6) encourages the President to direct United States law enforcement agencies to provide support and cooperation, if requested, to the Government of Argentina, for the purposes of deepening and expanding the investigation into this bombing and suspected activities in support of terrorism in the tri-border area where the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil meet;

      (7) encourages the President to direct the United States Representative to the OAS to--

        (A) seek support from OAS member countries for the creation of a special task force of the CICTE to assist, as requested by the Government of Argentina, in the investigation of all aspects of the 1994 AMIA terrorist attack; and

        (B) urge OAS member countries to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization if they have not already done so;

      (8) stresses the need for international pressure on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to extradite for trial individuals and government officials who are accused of planning or perpetrating the AMIA attack, and to immediately, unconditionally, and permanently cease any and all assistance to terrorists; and

      (9) desires a lasting, warm relationship between the United States and Argentina that is built, in part, on mutual abhorrence of terrorism and commitments to peace, stability, and democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

Passed the Senate July 22, 2004.

Attest:

Secretary.

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. CON. RES. 126

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Condemning the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 1994, and expressing the concern of the United States regarding the continuing, decade-long delay in the resolution of this case.