Official Says Attacks in Greece and Germany Fit ‘Khadafy Pattern’
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) _ A new round of terrorist attacks in Europe fits the pattern of a Libyan- backed plan of indiscriminate violence against Americans that has targeted more than 30 U.S. diplomatic installations and several U.S. diplomats, an administration official said Saturday.
The official, speaking on condition he not be identified, said the administration is not prepared to link Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy directly to the explosions last week aboard a TWA airliner approaching Athens and in a Berlin nighclub jammed with American soldiers.
However, he said, the incidents ″vindicate what we have been saying that there is a pattern, that there is a master plan″ of terrorism aimed at Americans that is being backed by Khadafy.
The official said the plan has included targeting of more than 30 U.S. diplomatic installations abroad and of a number of American diplomats overseas this year. He said none of these attacks had been carried out, but some of them had been thwarted.
″This is a Khadafy pattern,″ the official said. ″We are seeing the footprints of the Khadafy terrorist plan all over the Middle East and Europe.″
Asked about a U.S. response to last week’s attacks, he said, ″Clearly our patience is wearing thin″ and added, ″One of the tenets of our anti- terrorist policy is that we want to get to the right people. If it’s Khadafy, we go to that person.″
The official noted that France on Friday had expelled two representatives of the Libyan People’s Bureau, or embassy, in Paris ″for plotting terrorist acts against Americans.
″All nations are affected by it (terrorism) and all nations have to work to do something about it, and one of the ways is the Libyan People’s Bureaus which are located in a number of European countries, capitals,″ the official said.
Asked specifically whether the United States is asking allies to throw out Libyan representative, the official said he would ″not go that far.″
White House spokesman Larry Speakes said Reagan, who winds up a 10-day vacation at his California ranch on Sunday,″is deeply concerned about the increasing number of terrorist incidents aimed at Americans in Europe and worldwide.″
″He has instructed his top advisers and officials to stay on top of it and provide an early assessment,″ Speakes said.
He said Reagan wanted to see measures taken by the United States in cooperation with its allies to prevent such terrorist incidents, but he did not elaborate on what these steps might be.
He said Reagan was briefed on the West Berlin explosion Friday night and again Saturday by Donald Fortier, deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs.
The official who spoke to reporters said the latest terrorist incident was being assesed by officials in Washington and ″we are not yet ready to draw specific conclusions about who did this or whether or not it points to Libya.″
″But we think that these type incidents do fit a pattern which seems to be an idea of indiscriminate violence, that you strike out at Americans but whoever else is killed or injured does not matter.″
″Authorities know of well over 30 U.S. diplomatic installations in Europe and the Middle East (that have been targeted),″ he said. ″They have also targeted a number of high-ranking U.S. diplomats.″
The official said the United States would be calling upon European governments to cooperate in dealing with terrorism, noting that their citizens are increasingly being victimized by terrorist attacks even though Americans are the targets.
″European countries are now beginning to feel the brunt of this,″ the official said. ″First of all, it was tourist trade and loss in U.S. travel dollars there. But they’re also affecting European citizens - citizens of European countries are being killed.″
He said the United States wold be urging European countries, privately through diplomatic channels, ″to vigorously pursue and assist us and cooperate with us in the pursuit of potential terrorist activities and doing what can be done to thwart them.″
″Some times over the last couple of years,″ the official said, ″our claims of Khadafy’s efforts in terrorism have been scoffed at, both publicly in the United States and by inactivity of other governments.
″But what we are doing now is indicating that ... all nations are affected by it and all nations have to work to do something about it.″