Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Terrorist Bombing of Trans World Airlines Flight 840

April 3, 1986

The President condemns the attack on innocent air travelers aboard TWA flight 840 as a barbaric action of wanton international terrorism. He has directed all appropriate resources of the United States Government to assist in finding those responsible. Neither the United States or the world community can cease our efforts to bring to justice those who perpetrate and support such actions.

On the basis of the information now available to this government, this appears to be the act of a terrorist who placed an explosive device aboard the TWA flight. Four innocent air travelers, all U.S. citizens, were killed. A number of others were injured. Although a group calling itself the Arab Revolutionary Cell has claimed responsibility for placing the bomb aboard the aircraft, we have not ruled out any terrorist group, organization, movement, or individual as a potential perpetrator. Until all the facts are determined, we will not speculate on who may be responsible.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 10:35 a.m. in the Cantina Room at the Sheraton Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA. The explosion occurred at 6:25 a.m. e.s.t. while the airplane was en route from Rome to Athens.