Abdallah’s Brothers Offer to Give Themselves Up With France-Explosion
TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) _ Two brothers of a reputed terrorist jailed in France offered today to give themselves up to French authorities but denied they were involved in Paris bombings purportedly carried out to free their brother.
″We haven’t done anything. We will turn ourselves to the French or Lebanese judicial authorities if a charge is brought against us,″ Maurice Ibrahim Abdallah told a news conference.
France has offered a one-million franc reward - $150,000 - for information leading to the arrest of Maurice Abdallah and his brother, Robert Ibrahim Abdallah. No charges have been filed against the two Lebanese men, but French officials said they were wanted for questioning in the recent series of bombings.
French police said today that a portrait of a suspect in Friday’s bombing of a Paris cafeteria, drawn according to the description of a ″credible witness,″ strongly resembled Robert Abdallah.
Robert and Maurice’s brother, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, reputed to be the leader of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Faction, is awaiting trial in France on charges of complicity in the killings of a U.S. military attache and an Israeli diplomat. He is serving a four-year prison term for illegal possession of weapons and other charges.
Five bombings in Paris - the most recent today - have killed 7 people and wounded more than 100.
The Committee for Solidarity with Arab and Middle East Political Prisoners and the Partisans of Rights and Freedom have made conflicting claims of responsibility for some of the bombings and have said they are seeking the release of Abdallah and two other Middle Easterners jailed in France.
Maurice, 23, and Robert, 20, said they have not been in France for two years. Both said they are studying social sciences at Lebanese University in the northern port city of Tripoli.
Maurice said he was last in France in 1984, ″when I had to leave due to financial problems. I could not pay my tuition fees.″
The brothers appealed to Justice Minister Nabih Berri, Druse warlord Walid Jumblatt, Interior Minister Abdullah Rassi and Prime Minister Rashid Karami to ensure their safety.
″We believe the distribution (in France) of our photographs with our names plus rewards means it (France) is inciting for our killing,″ the brothers said in a letter they addressed to Karami and his Cabinet.
The Abdallahs come from Qoubaiyat, a predominantly Christian town about 30 miles northeast of Tripoli.
Georges Abdallah, 35, is a Christian who has described himself as a fighter for the Palestinian cause.