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Shut Down Mercenary Training Facilities, Congresswoman Urges

July 11, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Reagan administration’s global campaign against terrorism should begin at home - with a shutdown of any schools for terrorists operating in the United States, a congresswoman said Wednesday.

Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., has written Attorney General Edwin Meese III asking what steps the U.S. Justice Department is taking to investigate and close mercenary training facilities in this country, her office said.

In her letter to Meese, Schroeder cited reports that one of two Sikhs sought for questioning in the crash of an Air-India jetliner off Ireland last month had attended a mercenary training camp in Dolomite, Ala., near Birmingham, and received instruction there in the handling of mines and grenades.

Meese’s office said the attorney general was preparing a reply to the congresswoman’s letter and directed queries on the matter to her.

Schroeder told the House of Representatives last week that she supports President Reagan’s plans to combat terrorism and added: ″I hope the president acts immediately to have the FBI close schools for terrorists that are operating in this country.″

Three Sikhs earlier arrested for questioning by the FBI in connection with a purported plot to assassinate Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to the United States in June were believed to have taken the two-week course operated in Alabama by a veteran of the Vietnam War, The New York Times has reported.

It quoted Marvis Louise Camper, wife of the school director, Joseph F. Camper Jr., as saying that the Sikhs that were there ″seemed like average people except for the fact that they wore three-piece suits with turbans and tennis shoes. They didn’t holler and scream and chant and weren’t uptight, abrupt and edgy, like you see on television of these terrorists that took the American hostages in Beirut.″

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