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Caller Says Madrid TWA Bomb A Response To Reagan’s Threat To Terrorists

July 2, 1985

Undated (AP) _ An anonymous telephone caller in Beirut has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the TWA and other airline offices in the Spanish capital of Madrid, saying the attack was a reply to President Reagan’s threat to strike against terrorists.

In addition to the Madrid attacks, authorities today investigated explosions that wrecked cars of American servicemen in Athens, Greece, and an airline baggage area in Rome. The blasts killed one person and injured 39.

The anonymous caller told a Western wire service in Beirut that the Organization of the Oppressed was responsible for a attacks on the offices of TWA, British Airways and the Jordanian airline in Madrid on Monday.

Hijackers of the TWA Flight 847 to Beirut said they belonged to the Organization of the Oppressed on Earth.

Spanish police said they believed the two men carried out the Madrid attacks. They said they were investigating possible links between the attacks and the hijacking of the TWA jet.

At least one person died and 27 were injured in the Madrid attacks, which came a day after 39 American TWA hijack hostages were freed by Shiite Moslems in Beirut.

″Let Reagan know that our hands will reach the whole world, and we shall never remain silent after this. We thank all the alliances which helped us to carry out the bombing of the TWA office, the caller said.

Officials in Madrid said a young man who appeared to be an Arab entered the crowded British Airways office there and hurled an explosive device against a wall. Most of the victims were Spaniards, including the woman who was killed. The blast also damaged the TWA office on the floor above the British office.

The bomber ran into the street where a companion joined him and they fled on foot, officials said. Minutes later, two men in a car fired at the nearby office of the Royal Jordanian Airline and threw three grenades at the building. The grenades did not explode, however, and there were no casualties.

At one point the hijackers demanded that Spain free two Shiites who were sentenced last week to 23 years in prison for plotting to kill a Libyan diplomat in Spain. The Spanish government rejected the demand.

No one claimed responsibility for an explosion in a suitcase at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport that injured 12 people or a firebombing inAthens, in which there were no casualties but police said five cars were burned.

Scores of travelers fled in panic when the bomb exploded in Rome.

Airport director Raffaele Casagrande told reporters, ″The investigation is still ongoing to determine what happened.″

The blast blew a foot-wide chunk out of the concrete floor and riddled the plaster ceiling with holes.

A police official said the explosion occurred in an area run by Alitalia, the government airline.

Police searched for clues amid the wreckage of twisted luggage conveyors and metal containers, pieces of luggage, clothing, shoes and broken glass. Casagrande said it was not known where the bag was headed.

At the time of the explosion, the area was handling baggage from two inbound flights - one from Lagos, Nigeria and one from Athens - and from two outgoing flights to New Delhi and Madrid, officials said.

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