Israelis Say Arrests Foiled Attacks On Diplomats
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ The Israeli Embassy said Monday the arrests of three men suspected of being guerrillas of the Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist group prevented attacks against diplomats in Peru.
On Friday the government disclosed the arrests of the three Arabs. It said one was suspected of helping plan the simultaneous December 1985 raids at the Rome and Vienna airports in which 14 people were killed and 120 were wounded.
″The Israeli Embassy congratulates Peruvian authorities and police for having frustrated the criminal attempt of Palestine terrorists to attack Peruvian citizens and diplomats of Israel and other countries,″ the embassy said in a news release.
Police identified the three suspects as Hocine Bouzidi, 36, who they said carried Algerian identity papers; Mohamed Abdelrahman Abed, 19, of Egypt, and Ahmad Assaad Mohamed, 19 of Lebanon. Officials said they were arrested in the Lima suburb of Miraflores July 16 but the arrests were not announced pending an investigation..
Police said an Interpol report listed Bouzidi as being a member of the Abu Nidal Central Committee and was linked to planning more than 30 attacks in Europe and the Middle East since 1976.
They said their investigation indicated the suspects may have been planning attacks against Peruvian, U.S. and Israeli targets here.
A police spokesman said documents were recovered showing the men kept the U.S. Consulate, the Iraeli Embassy, the Synagogue of Israel in Lima and the Israeli-owned Shalom travel agency under surveillance.
The government said Saturday that the three also were suspected of trying to establish links with Peru’s Maoist Shining Path rebel group and recruit members for joint attacks. Shining Path guerrillas have been fighting the government since 1980.
Officials said Saturday the three might be deported but did not name a country or say if any extradition requests had been received. Police said Bouzidi has been in Peru since mid-June and the others seven months.
The radical Abu Nidal group split off from the Palestine Liberation Organization. Among its attacks were the December 1985 airport raids and the November 1985 hijacking of an Egyptian jetliner in which 59 people were killed when Egyptian troops stormed the craft in Malta.