Khobar Towers Tragedy and Response   [open pdf - 30MB]

"For some Americans, the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001 may have overshadowed the Khobar Towers bombing of June 25, l996.Yet as horrific as the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center were, the bombing in Dhahran-terrible in its own right-should still command our attention. There is no distinguishing of the importance among these, or any other terrorist events, to those who lost their loved ones in them. That the Khobar Towers tragedy was followed by ones even larger in scale does not diminish its importance: it furthers it. The 'Bleeding Kansas' of the 1850s prefigured a far bloodier Civil War in the 1860s, and the blasted facade of Building 131 anticipated the yet more deadly terrorism of the twenty-first century. This history is based largely on tape-recorded oral history interviews conducted by the author and held by the Air Force Historical Studies Office, on Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. Other historians contributed a few more of these sessions and those sources are identified in the endnotes and backmatter. Where I conducted the interview, the endnotes describe it as an interview 'with' the participant; where another historian asked all or most of the questions, the notes call it an interview 'of' the participant. In the endnotes which have shortened citations, the use of one of these prepositions or the other tells the reader whether the interview cited was conducted by the author or another historian. In every case, the AFHSO [Air Force Historical Studies Office] holds copies of these taped interviews. Many of the interviewees offered painfully vivid accounts of the Khobar Towers bombing and its aftermath. Their stark honesty made it difficult to quote some parts of their interviews. I tried to describe accurately the horrors of a terrorist attack and at the same time to respect the feelings of those who survived the bombing that night and of the families of those who did not."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Air Force Historical Studies Office: http://www.afhso.af.mil/
Media Type:
Jamieson, Perry D. Khobar Towers Tragedy and Response. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program, 2008
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