Libya Chemical Milestones – 1970-1995

1970: Libya tries to buy an atomic bomb from China.

1979: German engineers from OTRAG rocket firm start work on a medium-range missile in the Libyan desert.

1983: Soviet-supplied research reactor starts at Tajura Nuclear Research Center.

1984: European firms start construction of Rabta chemical weapon plant.

1985: Libyan-supported terrorists attack Rome and Vienna airports.

1986: United States bans trade with Libya; Libyan-supported terrorists bomb discotheque in West Berlin; U.S. bombers strike targets in Tripoli and Benghazi.

1988: CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) Director says Libya has built the third world’s largest chemical weapon production plant at Rabta; Libyan terrorists suspected of bombing Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland.

1990: German businessman Imhausen receives a five-year prison term for tax evasion and helping to build the Rabta plant.

1991: U.S. intelligence says Libya is building a second chemical weapon plant underground at Tarhuna.

1992: United Nations denies Libyan aircraft landing rights and bans military cooperation with Tripoli.

1993: U.S. authorities thwart a Libyan attempt to buy ammonium perchlorate, used for rocket fuel, from Ukraine.

1994: Washington sanctions three Thai companies for helping Libya make poison gas.

1995: The Central Intelligence Agency says Rabta is inactive but still capable of producing chemical weapons.