Sudan believed to be part of bomb plot U.S. puts country on terrorist list

August 17, 1993|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- The United States has evidence that Sudan played a role in the plot to bomb the United Nations and other targets in New York in June, according to a State Department official.

In part because of that finding, Washington has decided to put Sudan on its list of terrorist nations, the official said yesterday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not provide any information on what the evidence was that linked Sudan to the plot.

Under the designation, which is expected to be made shortly, Sudan will be labeled a country involved in state-sponsored terrorism and relations with the United States will be restricted.

Sudan will be excluded from receiving nonhumanitarian assistance, including military equipment, from the United States, and people engaged in trade will have to certify that material sold to Sudan does not also have a military application. But the action will be largely symbolic because there is very little trade between the two countries.

Another government official said that Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher had made a decision after "a very serious review of Sudan's actions."

American relations with Sudan have been strained for some time. Many people arrested in the planned New York attacks carried Sudanese passports and their spiritual leader, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, received his visa for his trip to the United States in Sudan.

In addition, Egypt and Algeria have accused Sudan and its ally Iran of financing and training terrorists seeking to topple their governments.

No government officials familiar with the investigation were able to confirm a report on ABC News last night that two diplomats in Sudan's mission to the United Nations were involved in the bombing plot.

FBI officials in New York refused to comment on a report in the ABC News account that the Sudanese mission was under surveillance.

The bombing plot, which law-enforcement agencies say they thwarted, was reported to have been aimed at the U.N. building, the New York headquarters of the FBI and the tunnels connecting New Jersey with Manhattan. The plot followed the bombing of the World Trade Center.

Yesterday, a judge federal judge in White Plains, N.Y., denied Sheik Abdel-Rahman's request to be released from federal custody while he awaits a deportation hearing.

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