Terrorist Group Threatens Attacks in United States
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ A terrorist group that claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings in France threatened Wednesday to begin attacks within the United States.
An Arabic-language statement signed by the Committee for Solidarity with Arab and Middle Eastern Political Prisoners accused the United States of pressuring France into rejecting a demand to release the terrorists’ jailed comrades.
The statement was delivered to the independent Beirut newspaper an-Nahar.
″We shall meet soon in your great states. We shall get acquainted with your great states, your cities, your skyscrapers, your Statue of Liberty,″ said the two-page, type-written statement. ″We shall not wait for you to come here. Your streets will soon know us.″
The group has claimed responsibility for four bombings in Paris in the past 10 days. Another group, calling itself Partisans of Rights and Freedom also has claimed responsibility for the bombs, which killed three people and injured more than 100.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for a bomb that exploded in a Paris clothing store Wednesday, killing five people and injuring 52.
The statement accused the Reagan administration of pressuring the France into rejecting the group’s demand for the release of three Lebanese prisoners held in Paris on terrorist charges. They are George Ibrahim Abdallah, Anis Naccache and Varoujian Garbidjian.
Abdallah is serving a 4-year sentence for possessing weapons and false documents, and faces trial on charges of complicity in the assassinations of a U.S. military attache and an Israeli diplomat in Europe.
Naccache led the terrorist squad that tried to assassinate Shahpour Bakhtiar, Iran’s last prime minister under the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
Garbidjian, an Armenian, was convicted for a 1983 bombing of France’s Orly Airport that killed eight people.
Both Naccache and Garbidjian are serving life sentences.
The statement Wednesday claimed the French government sent an emissary last May to negotiate with the group at an undisclosed location. It said the French negotiator offered a truce until the end of July, ″promising to resolve the problem by then.″
″We told him, ’take from us another month. Take your time. But if the French government backtracks, our retaliation will be more severe than in previous instances.‴
The statement said the deadline had expired without any progress.
″On Sept. 1 we warned that we shall commence, and we did. We said it will be the big fire,″ the statement added. ″We have said the fire will grow bigger and wider and shall continue.″
It charged that the French government had ″violated its promise to resolve the problem under imperialist pressure from the United States and its lackeys.″