Newspaper Says Kidnappers Threatened To Harm Hostages With AM-Lebanon-Hostages, Bjt
BONN, West Germany (AP) _ The kidnappers of two West Germans held in Lebanon are angry with the Bonn government for not meeting their demands quickly and have threatened to harm the hostages, a newspaper said Saturday.
The kidnappers, believed to be Shiite Moslem extremists, have demanded the release of Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Lebanese who was arrested in Frankfurt Jan. 13 and is wanted in the United States in the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner.
The mass-circulation newspaper Bild said in an unattributed report that the kidnappers ″threatened in their last letter to take ‘bloody’ action.″
The newspaper did not say under what circumstances the hostages might be harmed, but said the kidnappers are ″angry with Bonn’s delaying tactics.″
Bild said the kidnappers also want West Germany to release Hamadi’s brother, Ali Abbas Hamadi, who was arrested in Frankfurt last month on suspicion he helped arrange the abductions of the two West Germans, businessman Rudolf Cordes and technician Alfred Schmidt.
The government has imposed a news blackout on efforts to free Cordes and Schmidt, and officials refused comment on Saturday’s report.
In the past, officials have acknowledged that they are in contact with the kidnappers and have received written messages and photographs from them.
Cordes and Schmidt were taken hostage in Lebanon shortly after Mohammed Ali Hamadi’s arrest on explosives charges.
In a related development, West German border police said Saturday they stepped up checks at the border between France and West Germany’s Saarland state where the Hamadi brothers lived at one time.
Authorities are investigating whether the Hamadi brothers were part of a group that may have planned terrorist attacks in France and West Germany, Bonn security sources have said.
A border police official in Saarland state said Saturday authorities checked numerous cars crossing the border on the Mannheim-Paris expressway.
Checkpoints also were set up at other highways in Saarland state, and helicopters were used to monotor the border area, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The offical would not say who or what police were looking for.
Last month, shortly after the arrest of Ali Abbas Hamadi, police found explosives hidden outside the Saarland village of Beckingen near the towns of Merzig and Saarlouis where the Hamadi brothers had lived.
On Friday, West German government officials said they may try Mohammed Ali Hamadi for hijacking instead of granting a U.S. request that he be extradited.
Hamadi has been indicted in the United States on charges of air piracy and murder in the hijacking to Beirut, Lebanon, during which a U.S. Navy diver was killed and 39 American passengers were held hostage for 17 days.
Government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the kidnappers’ main objective appears to be to prevent Hamadi’s extradition to the United States.
A trial in West Germany might help convince the kidnappers to release the hostages or at least not kill them, the officials said.