21 November 1979

The United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, is attacked by a mob and set on fire.

On 21 November 1979, Pakistani people, enraged by a radio report claiming that the United States had bombed the Masjid al-Haram, Islam’s holy site at Mecca, stormed the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, and burned it to the ground. The Grand Mosque had suffered a terrorist attack, but the U.S. was not involved. The U.S. diplomats survived by hiding in a reinforced area, although Marine Security Guard Corporal Steven Crowley, 20, Army Warrant Officer Bryan Ellis, 30, and two Pakistan staff members were killed in the attack.

On 20 November 1979, a Saudi Arabian Islamic zealot group had led a takeover of the Mosque in Mecca. The group’s demands included calling for the cutoff of oil exports to the United States and the expulsion of all foreign civilian and military experts from the Arabian Peninsula. However, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini allegedly claimed that Americans were behind the attack on Islam’s holiest place. This claim was repeated in media reports the morning of 21 November.

The event started as a small, peaceful protest against U.S. policies in Cambodia, as well as suspected U.S. involvement surrounding the military coup d’état of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977. The protesters shouted anti-American slogans. At first glance the event seemed to be a small protest outside the embassy’s walls. Later, buses filled with Jamaat-i-Islami supporters began arriving in front of the main gate. Hundreds of people began climbing over the walls and trying to pull the walls down using ropes. According to an American investigation, the protesters opened fire after a bullet fired at the gate’s lock by one rioter ricocheted and struck other protesters. Who actually fired first has not been determined. Twenty-year-old Marine Steve Crowley was struck by a bullet and transported to the embassy’s secure communication vault along with the rest of personnel serving in the embassy. Locked behind steel-reinforced doors the Americans waited for help to come and rescue them from the smoke-filled building.

After nightfall a Marine unit was able to sneak out a back exit from the vault as the front door was too damaged to open. Finding the embassy empty they led the rest of the 140 people from the vault out into the courtyard.

21 November 1974

The Birmingham pub bombings kill 21 people.

01CDC6BC0000044D-0-Rescuers_pick_through_the_rubble_after_the_explosion_which_also_-a-2_1448013335230

Bombs have devastated two central Birmingham pubs, killing 19 people and injuring over 180.Police have said they believe the Provisional IRA planted the devices in the Mulberry Bush and the nearby Tavern in the Town.

The explosions coincided with the return to Ireland of the body of James McDade, the IRA man who was killed in Coventry last week when the bomb he was planting blew up prematurely.
The two blasts were only seconds apart and happened at about 2030 GMT, when the bars were packed with mainly teenage drinkers.

Police attempted to clear both pubs, but the bombs went off only 12 minutes after a man with an Irish accent telephoned the Birmingham Post newspaper with a warning.The first attack was in the Mulberry Bush, which is located on the ground-floor of the 17-storey Rotunda office block.

The second device exploded 50-yards (45.7 m) away in an underground bar, the Tavern in the Town.Michael Willis, 18, was in the Tavern when the bomb went off.”I was going to put a record on the juke box when there was an explosion.

“There were bodies everywhere and I had to clamber over them to get out – the screaming and groaning from the injured was terrifying,” he said.Many of the injured were ferried to nearby hospital in taxis and private cars, and dozens of ambulances from all over the West Midlands were called in.

Assistant Chief Constable for West Midlands Police Maurice Buck said the carnage caused by the bombs was “disastrous and appalling”.

21 November 2012

1353505623449-cached
A bomb is thrown onto a bus in Tel Aviv, wounding 28 people.

The 2012 Tel Aviv bus bombing was a mass-injury terror attack carried out on November 21, 2012, on a crowded passenger bus driving in the center of Tel Aviv’s business district. The attack was carried out by an Israeli citizen of Arab descent, who remotely detonated an explosive device, which he had hid on the bus in advance. 28 civilians were injured in the attack, among them three who were injured seriously. The attack was not a suicide bombing, and police said they are investigating whether the attacker left a bomb on the bus or threw something on and ran. Police did say that one man was seen fleeing the site, but would not confirm reports that a suspect had been arrested. It was the first mass-injury terror attack in Tel Aviv since the 2006 Tel Aviv shawarma restaurant bombing, in which 11 people were killed and 70 were injured.