List of attacks on legislatures

The following is a list of attacks on state or national legislatures.

19th century or earlierEdit

Attack Date Country Details
Gunpowder Plot 5 November 1605   England Failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.
Battle of York 27 April 1813   Upper Canada The U.S. Army temporarily occupied the Upper Canada capital of York (modern-day Toronto) during the War of 1812, plundering and burning many government buildings including the seat of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.
Burning of Washington 24 August 1814   United States A British Army force under the command of General Robert Ross marched into Washington D.C. after winning the Battle of Bladensburg in Chesapeake Campaign and burnt numerous buildings—including the White House and the U.S. Capitol—in retaliation for the Battle of York and similar American raids in Upper Canada. The U.S. federal government, including President James Madison, was forced to evacuate to Montgomery County, Maryland. To date, the incident remains the only time the capital of the United States was invaded or occupied by a foreign force.
Storming of the Venezuelan National Congress 24 January 1848   Venezuela Brawl at the headquarters of the Venezuelan Congress in Caracas between the Conservatives and Liberals, which had led almost two decades of continuous clashes.[1][2]
French demonstration of 15 May 1848 15 May 1848   France Intended to reverse the results of a Second-Republic election of deputies to the Constituent Assembly.
Burning of the Parliament Buildings in Montreal 25 April 1849   British Canada Part of week-long rioting by Montreal Tories against the passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill providing amnesties and indemnities following the Rebellions of 1837–1838

20th centuryEdit

Attack Date Country Details
1915 United States Capitol bomb attack 2 July 1915   United States German-American activist, spy and former Harvard University professor Eric Muenter hid a package containing three sticks of dynamite and a timer under a telephone switchboard in the U.S. Capitol's Senate reception room. The bomb exploded at 11:40 p.m., causing no casualties or injuries.[3] Muenter, who at that time was living under the guise of Stanford professor "Frank Holt" after killing his pregnant wife in 1906, then bombed the SS Minnehaha in New York City and shot J. P. Morgan Jr. in the span of the next 24 hours.[4][5] According to Muenter, his actions were in order to prevent United States involvement in World War I.[6]
Storming of the Winter Palace 7 November 1917   Russia During the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks besieged the Winter Palace in Petrograd, the last building held by the Russian Provisional Government. After several hours, revolutionaries infiltrated the palace, and the cabinet and other remaining occupants surrendered.
Storming of the Belgian Parliament 29 July 1920   Belgium Belgian World War I veterans storm the Palace of the Nation (parliament building), demanding the government hear their demands for compensation.[7]
Reichstag fire 27 February 1933   Germany Arson attack on the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament in Berlin. The day after the fire, the Reichstag Fire Decree was passed. The Nazi Party used the fire as a pretext to claim that communists were plotting against the German government, which made the fire pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.
1954 United States Capitol shooting 1 March 1954   United States Four Puerto Rican nationalists wanting Puerto Rico's independence shot 30 rounds from semi-automatic pistols from the Ladies' Gallery (a balcony for visitors) of the House of Representatives chamber in the United States Capitol.
Parliament of Canada failed bomb plot 18 May 1966   Canada Paul Joseph Chartier died when a bomb he was preparing exploded in a washroom of the Parliament of Canada. It is believed that he was preparing to bomb the House of Commons.
1971 United States Capitol bombing 1 March 1971   United States The Weather Underground set off a bomb in the United States Capitol causing an estimated $300,000 in damage.[8]
1974 Houses of Parliament bombing 17 June 1974   United Kingdom The Provisional IRA bombed the British Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring eleven people.[9][10][11]
Assassination of Airey Neave 30 March 1979   United Kingdom Airey Neave, British Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was assassinated by the Irish National Liberation Army with a bomb fixed under his car. The bomb detonated in the car park of the Palace of Westminster in London and mortally wounded Neave, who died shortly after being admitted to hospital.[12]
1981 Spanish coup d'état attempt 23 February 1981   Spain Attempted coup d'état in Spain. Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero led 200 armed Civil Guard officers into the Congress of Deputies during the vote to elect a President of the Government. The officers held the parliamentarians and ministers hostage for 18 hours, during which time King Juan Carlos I denounced the coup in a televised address, calling for rule of law and the democratic government to continue. Though shots were fired, the hostage-takers surrendered the next morning without killing anyone.
1983 United States Senate bombing 7 November 1983   United States Bomb explosion at the United States Senate motivated by United States military involvement in Lebanon and Grenada.
National Assembly of Quebec shooting 8 May 1984   Canada Denis Lortie, a former Canadian Forces corporal, stormed into the National Assembly of Quebec building and opened fire with several firearms, killing three Quebec government employees and wounding 13 others.
1987 grenade attack in the Sri Lankan Parliament 18 August 1987   Sri Lanka An assailant hurled two grenades into a room where Members of Parliament were meeting. The grenades bounced off the table at which Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayawardene and Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa were sitting, and rolled away. A Member of Parliament and a ministry secretary were killed by the explosions. The attacks are attributed to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a Sinhalese Nationalist militant organization.
1991–92 Georgian coup d'état 22 December 1991 to 6 January 1992   Georgia Paramilitary forces attacked, besieged and finally captured the Georgian Parliament building in Tbilisi, leading to the fall of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
1993 Russian constitutional crisis 4 October 1993   Russia Political stand-off between the Russian president Boris Yeltsin and the Russian legislature that was resolved by military force. The relations between the president and the parliament had been deteriorating for some time. The power struggle reached its crisis on 21 September 1993, when President Yeltsin intended to dissolve the country's highest body (Congress of People's Deputies) and parliament (Supreme Soviet). On 3 October, demonstrators removed police cordons around the parliament and, urged by their leaders, took over the Mayor's offices and tried to storm the Ostankino television centre. The Russian Army, which had initially declared its neutrality, stormed the Russian White House in the early morning hours of 4 October by Yeltsin's order, and arrested the leaders of the resistance.[13][14]
1996 Parliament House riot 19 August 1996   Australia Physical attack on Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, on 19 August 1996, when protesters broke away from the "Cavalcade to Canberra" rally organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and sought to force their way into the national Parliament of Australia, causing property damage and attacking police.
1998 United States Capitol shooting 24 July 1998   United States Attack that led to the deaths of two United States Capitol Police officers. Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson were killed when Russell Eugene Weston Jr., entered the Capitol and opened fire.[15] Weston's exact motives are unknown, but he had expressed a strong distrust of the federal government of the United States.[16] As of July 2018,[17] Weston, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, remained in a mental institution.[18][19]
Armenian parliament shooting 27 October 1999   Armenia Attack on the Armenian National Assembly in the capital of Yerevan by a group of five armed men led by Nairi Hunanyan that, among others, killed the two de facto decision-makers in the country's political leadership—Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan and Parliament Speaker Karen Demirchyan.

21st centuryEdit

Attack Date Country Details
Zug massacre 27 September 2001    Switzerland Friedrich Leibacher shot dead 14 people in the city of Zug in the canton's parliament before killing himself.[20]
2001 Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly car bombing 1 October 2001   India* Three militants belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out an attack on the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly complex in Srinagar using a Tata Sumo loaded with explosives, ramming it into the main gate with three fidayeen suicide bombers.[21][22] 38 people and three fidayeen were killed in this attack.[23]
2001 Indian Parliament attack 13 December 2001   India Attack on the Parliament of India in New Delhi, India on 13 December 2001. The perpetrators belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).[24] The attack led to the deaths of a total of 10 and led to increased tensions between India and Pakistan, resulting in the 2001–02 India–Pakistan standoff. The five assailants were killed outside the parliament.
2001 Odisha Assembly attack 16 December 2001   India High-profile attack by Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Durga Vahini.
2007 Iraqi Parliament bombing 12 April 2007   Iraq The canteen of the Council of Representatives of Iraq building was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing one to eight people and wounding 23 others.
Batasang Pambansa bombing 13 November 2007   Philippines Bombing that occurred at the Batasang Pambansa Complex (National Assembly Complex) in Quezon City. The blast killed Congressman Wahab Akbar and Marcial Taldo, a staff member of Congresswoman Luzviminda Ilagan, and wounded Ilagan, Congressman Pryde Henry Teves, and two others.[25]
2010 Chechen Parliament attack 19 October 2010   Russia Three Chechen militants attacked the parliament complex in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic, a federal subject of Russia.[26] At least six people were killed, including two police officers, one parliament employee and all three suicide commandos.[27]
Capture of the Crimean Parliament 27 February 2014   Ukraine During the early phase of the Russian annexation of Crimea, Russian special forces in unmarked uniforms entered the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea and took control of it.
2014 shootings at Parliament Hill, Ottawa 22 October 2014   Canada Series of shootings at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. At the Canadian National War Memorial, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier and reservist on ceremonial sentry duty was fatally shot by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Zehaf-Bibeau then entered the nearby Centre Block parliament building, where members of the Parliament of Canada were attending caucuses. After wrestling with a constable at the entrance, Zehaf-Bibeau ran inside and had a shootout with parliament security personnel. He was shot 31 times by six officers and died on scene.[28][29][30]
2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt 16 July 2016   Turkey Many government buildings, including the Turkish Parliament and the Presidential Complex, were bombed from the air.[31][32]
2017 Westminster attack 22 March 2017   United Kingdom Terrorist attack took place outside the Palace of Westminster in London, seat of the British Parliament. The attacker drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement along the south side of Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street, injuring more than 50 people, four of them fatally. He then crashed the car into the perimeter fence of the palace grounds and ran into New Palace Yard, where he fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer. He was then shot by an armed police officer, and died at the scene.
2017 Paraguayan crisis 31 March 2017   Paraguay As a response to a constitutional amendment that would permit President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election,[33] protests broke out in Asunción against the legislation. During the protests, the windows were broken and Congress was set on fire by protesters. Fencing surrounding the compound was also removed. Police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators.[34]
2017 storming of Macedonian Parliament 27 April 2017   North Macedonia About 200 Macedonian nationalists stormed the Macedonian Parliament in reaction to the election of Talat Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian, as speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia.[35]
2017 Tehran attacks 7 June 2017   Iran Series of two simultaneous terrorist attacks carried out by five terrorists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against the Iranian Parliament building and the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, both in Tehran, leaving 17 civilians dead and 43 wounded.[36][37][38]
2017 Venezuelan National Assembly attack 5 July 2017   Venezuela Colectivos and supporters of President Nicolás Maduro stormed the Palacio Federal Legislativo on the Independence Day of Venezuela, assaulting many members of the opposition-led National Assembly.[39] At least 12 opposition legislators and their staff were injured as a result of the attack.[40]
Storming of the Legislative Council Complex 1 July 2019   Hong Kong Siege, break-in, and subsequent occupation of the Legislative Council Complex in Hong Kong by anti-government activists during the campaign to halt the enactment of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill. Hundreds of protesters broke through the glass walls and metal doors and entered the building, ransacked and vandalised the interior with anti-government and anti-PRC slogans. It is considered a watershed event in the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests.[41] Nine days later, on 9 July, the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, announced that the extradition bill was "dead".[42]
2020 Salvadoran political crisis 9 February 2020   El Salvador Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele ordered 1,400 Salvadoran soldiers from the Salvadoran Army to enter the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador to coerce the approval of a loan request of 109 million dollars from the United States for Bukele's security plan.[43]
2021 United States Capitol attack 6 January 2021   United States Riot and violent attack against the United States Congress on January 6, 2021, carried out by a mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in an attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.[44] After attending a Trump rally, thousands[45] of his supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was beginning the Electoral College vote count. Many of the crowd breached police perimeters and stormed the building in an attempt to prevent the formalization of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.[46][47] These rioters occupied, vandalized,[48][49] and looted[50] parts of the building for several hours.[51][52][53] The riot led to the evacuation and lockdown of the Capitol, and five deaths.
April 2021 United States Capitol car attack 2 April 2021   United States A delusional man rammed a car into a barricade outside of the United States Capitol.[54] The perpetrator and a police officer were killed, and another officer was injured.[55]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Atentado al Congreso de 1848". Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Tal día como hoy en 1848 se produjo el asalto al Congreso Nacional".
  3. ^ "Bomb Rocks Capitol". United States Senate. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  4. ^ Kinghorn, Jonathan. "S.S. Minnehaha". The Atlantic Transport Line. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Intruder Has Dynamite – Forces His Way Into Banker's House at East Island, L. I. – Mrs. Morgan Risks Life – Leaps in Front of Husband, Who Thrusts Her Aside and Knocks Holt Down. – Wife Seizes His Revolver – As Financier Struggles on Flood She Aids Him Until the Servants Arrive. – British Ambassador Near – Sir Cecil Spring Rice a Guest at Breakfast Party Which the Shooting Interrupts" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 July 1915.
  6. ^ "Man Who Shot J. P. Morgan Twice Admits Setting Bomb At National Capital". Hartford Courant. 4 July 1915. Retrieved 30 October 2009. Former German Instructor At Cornell Talks Freely After Third Degree Is Used, and Says He Wanted To Stop Shipment of Munitions To Europe. Is Suspected of Other, Similar Crimes. Describes Construction of Rare Type of 'Infernal Machine'. Financier Reported in Excellent Condition. Has Two Bullet Wounds In His Hip.
  7. ^ "100 Jaar Geleden: De Eerste en Laatste Bestorming van het Belgische Parlement" [100 Years Ago: The First and Last Storming on the Belgian Parliament]. VRT NWS (in Dutch). 17 January 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1974".
  10. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY - 17 - 1974: IRA bombs parliament". BBC News.
  11. ^ Finn, Christina. "On this day in 1974 the IRA bombed the Houses of Parliament in London".
  12. ^ "1979: Car bomb kills Airey Neave". 30 March 1979 – via
  13. ^ "Remembering Russia's civil siege". Retrieved 10 March 2003.
  14. ^ "Putin is part of a continuum that stretches back to the tsars". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  15. ^ "2 dead, 2 hurt in U.S. Capitol shooting". Archived from the original on 29 October 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
  16. ^ Marion, Nancy E.; Oliver, Willard (2014). Killing Congress: Assassinations, Attempted Assassinations and Other Violence against Members of Congress. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-8360-1.
  17. ^ Remembering the ’98 Capitol shooting (Photos) WTOP-FM
  18. ^ Yehle, Emily (7 May 2008). "Weston unlikely to ever be tried". Roll Call. Washington, D.C.: Roll Call, Inc. pp. 1, 16.
  19. ^ "Capitol shooting suspect was 'low-level threat' to Clinton". Archived from the original on 13 September 2005. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  20. ^ "Gunman kills 14 in Swiss assembly". BBC News. 27 September 2001. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  21. ^ Terror unleashes on J&K State Legislative Assembly
  22. ^ Fidayeen storm J&K House, kill 29, The Tribune, 2001-10-02
  23. ^ AN AUDACIOUS STRIKE Archived 7 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine, Frontline (magazine), 2001-10-13
  24. ^ "Terrorist Attack on the Parliament of India". Embassy of India – Washington DC. 18 December 2001. Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  25. ^ Speaker says House blast that killed driver a bomb
  26. ^ "Terrorists launch deadly attack on Chechen parliament (Update 1)". RIA Novosti. 19 October 2010.
  27. ^ "Six dead in attack on Chechen parliament – Kadyrov". RIA Novosti. 19 October 2010.
  28. ^ "Garbled radio call delayed police response to Parliament Hill attacker: RCMP" Archived 2015-06-04 at the Wayback Machine, 3 Jun 2015
  29. ^ Independent Investigation Into the Death of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (PDF) (Report). Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 22 October 2014. ISBN 978-0-660-02415-8. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  30. ^ "October 22, 2014 House of Commons Incident Response Summary" Archived September 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, 3 Jun 2015
  31. ^ FOX HABER [@FOXhaber] (15 July 2016). "Ankara'da TBMM yine ateş altında.. TMMM'ne yine hava saldırısı oldu. Gelişmeler canlı yayınla FOX Haber'de" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Ömer Çelik [@omerrcelik] (15 July 2016). "Bugün YÜCE MECLİS'e saldıranlar hainlere ders verme günüdür." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  33. ^ Romero, Simon (31 March 2017). "Protests Erupt in Paraguay Over Efforts to Extend President's Term". The New York Times. p. A9. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  34. ^ "Paraguay congress set on fire amid presidential controversy". BBC News. 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  35. ^ "Macedonia: protesters storm parliament and attack MPs". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  36. ^ "Islamic State claims attacks on Iran parliament, shrine". Associated Press. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  37. ^ Erdbrink, Thomas. "Islamic State Claims Deadly Iran Attacks on Parliament and Khomeini Tomb". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2017."Iran shootings: Parliament and shrine attacked". BBC. 7 June 2017.
  38. ^ "Shootings reported at Iranian parliament and Khomeini shrine". The Guardian. France-Presse Agence. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  39. ^ "Colectivos irrumpieron y atacaron a diputados en la Asamblea Nacional". El Nacional (in Spanish). 5 July 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  40. ^ "Colectivos chavistas atacan Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela; al menos 12 heridos". El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). 5 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  41. ^ "'Three arrested' ahead of National Day over storming of Hong Kong's legislature". South China Morning Post. 30 September 2019. Archived from the original on 9 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  42. ^ Chan, Jacky Man-hei; Pang, Jun (10 July 2019). "The untold story of Hong Kong's protests is how one simple slogan connects us". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Crisis en El Salvador: cuáles son los motivos de la fuerte tensión entre el presidente Nayib Bukele y el Congreso". 10 February 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  44. ^ Reeves, Jay; Mascaro, Lisa; Woodward, Calvin (11 January 2021). "Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared". Associated Press. Retrieved 12 January 2021. Under battle flags bearing Donald Trump's name, the Capitol's attackers pinned a bloodied police officer in a doorway, his twisted face and screams captured on video. They mortally wounded another officer with a blunt weapon and body-slammed a third over a railing into the crowd. 'Hang Mike Pence!' the insurrectionists chanted as they pressed inside, beating police with pipes. They demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's whereabouts, too. They hunted any and all lawmakers: 'Where are they?' Outside, makeshift gallows stood, complete with sturdy wooden steps and the noose. Guns and pipe bombs had been stashed in the vicinity. ... The mob got stirring encouragement from Trump and more explicit marching orders from the president's men. 'Fight like hell,' Trump exhorted his partisans at the staging rally. 'Let's have trial by combat,' implored his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whose attempt to throw out election results in trial by courtroom failed. It's time to 'start taking down names and kicking ass,' said Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama. Criminals pardoned by Trump, among them Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, came forward at rallies on the eve of the attack to tell the crowds they were fighting a battle between good and evil.
  45. ^ Doig, Steve (8 January 2021). "It is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the size of the crowd". The Conversation.
  46. ^ Leonnig, Carol D.; Davis, Aaron C.; Hermann, Peter; Demirjian, Karoun (10 January 2021). "Outgoing Capitol Police chief: House, Senate security officials hamstrung efforts to call in National Guard". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  47. ^ Barrett, Ted; Raju, Manu; Nickeas, Peter. "Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol as armed standoff takes place outside House chamber". CNN. Archived from the original on 6 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  48. ^ "Trump supporters storm Capitol; DC National Guard activated; woman fatally shot". The Washington Post. 7 January 2021.
  49. ^ Pallini, Thomas (7 January 2021). "Photos show the aftermath of an unprecedented and destructive siege on the US Capitol that left 4 rioters dead". Business Insider.
  50. ^ Daly, Matthew; Balsamo, Michael (8 January 2021). "Deadly siege focuses attention on Capitol Police". Associated Press. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  51. ^ Landale, James (7 January 2021). "Capitol siege: Trump's words 'directly led' to violence, Patel says". BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  52. ^ Dozier, Kimberly; Bergengruen, Vera (6 January 2021). "Incited by the President, Trump Supporters Violently Storm the Capitol". Time. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  53. ^ "This is what Trump told supporters before many stormed Capitol Hill". ABC News. Retrieved 10 January 2021. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. Lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections. But whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. Our country has been under siege for a long time. Far longer than this four year period.
  54. ^ Balsamo, Michael; Tucker, Erick; Merchant, Nomaan (3 April 2021). "AP source: Suspect in Capitol attack suffered delusions". Associated Press. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  55. ^ Balsamo, Michael; Merchant, Nomaan; Long, Colleen (2 April 2021). "Man rams car into 2 Capitol police; 1 officer, driver killed". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 4 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.