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This is a timeline of incidents in 1996 that have been labelled as "terrorism" and are not believed to have been carried out by a government or its forces (see state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism).
- Russia, January: Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis, 350 Chechen militants took 3,000 hostages in a hospital. The attempt to free them kills 65 civilians and soldiers.
- United Kingdom, January: Provisional Irish Republican Army plants a bomb that police defuse at the Canary Wharf towers in London.
- India, January 3: A bomb explodes in the Sadar Bazaar area in New Delhi, India. Kills six and injures 31, was blamed on Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front guerilla group.
- Indonesia, January 9: The separatist Free Papua Movement kidnapped several Western and Indonesian scientists. In May, after weeks of failed negotiations, the Indonesian Army launched a rescue operation in which two hostages and six guerillas were killed.
- Sri Lanka, January 31: A LTTE suicide bomber detonates at Central Bank in Colombo, killing 90 and wounding 1,400.
- United Kingdom, February 9: IRA plants a bomb near the South Quay station in London, killing two people and causing over $1 billion worth of damage. (see 1996 Docklands bombing)
- Israel, February 25 - March 4: Four suicide bombers leave 60 dead and 284 wounded within days in a series of suicide bombings.
- Egypt, April 18: 18 people are killed when Islamist gunmen fire on the Europa hotel in Cairo.
- Dečani, FRY, April 22: In an attack on kafana Čakor, three people: Stana Radusinović, Đorđe Dragić and Blagoje Okuka were killed and one, Branko Bibić, heavily injured. This is one of the first terrorist attacks of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
- Russia, June 11: A bomb explodes on a train traveling on the Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya Line of the Moscow Metro, killing four people and seriously injuring at least twelve.
- United Kingdom, June 15: A bomb containing 1500 kg of explosives was detonated by the IRA in Manchester city centre. Due to a warning being given the area was evacuated and nobody was killed. Following the large number of bombings in major English cities and the huge monetary damage inflicted on the British State, it was decided to reopen peace negotiations with the IRA. The Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998 securing the 1997 IRA ceasefire which is still in place. (see Manchester bombing by IRA).
- Saudi Arabia, June 25: Khobar Towers bombing – In all, 19 U.S. servicemen and one Saudi were killed and 372 wounded, by Hizballah Al-Hijaz (Saudi Hizballah) with Iranian support, see FBI Most Wanted Terrorists
- Turkey, July 1: A PPK suicide bomber detonates in Tunceli, killing 6 and injuring 30.
- Sri Lanka, July 24: LTTE plants bomb on commuter train in Sri Lanka kills 57.
- United States, July 27: Centennial Olympic Park bombing, killing two and wounding 111.
- Russia, August: Marina Roscha Synagogue in Moscow is bombed shortly after being rebuilt after a fire in 1993.
- France, October 17: The Algerian Armed Islamic Group bombs an underground train injuring 28 people.
- Turkey, October 22: A female PPK suicide bomber detonates in Sivas, killing 3.
- Russia, November 11: A cemetery in Moscow is bombed during a mafia dispute.
- Comoros and Ethiopia, November 23: 125 people died after a hijacked jet (Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961) crashed into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Comoros.
- Peru, December 17: Japanese embassy hostage crisis begins in Lima; it ends April 22, 1997 with the deaths of 14 rebels, two soldiers and a hostage.
- China, December 25, 1996: Five people injured including two night watch men and some shop keepers in Lhasa when a bomb was set off at 1:30 AM by several Tibetan activists.
- India, December 30, 1996: A Delhi bound of Brahmaputra Express carrying 1,200 people on board, following a blast in Kokrajhar, Assam, India. Blame placed on tribal Bodo guerillas group, which kills at least 250 people and injures many more.