COPENHAGEN (May. 25)
A Danish court has ordered the detention of two Arabs and a Swede for three weeks pending an investigation into a suspected plot to assassinate former Israeli Premier David Ben-Gurion in Rio de Janeiro. The two Arabs have appealed the decision. Mouna Soudi, 23, of Jordan, an Iraqi identified only as Razak, 25, and Rolf Anderson, 25, a Swede, all said to be members of El Fatah, were arrested in a hotel here Thursday as they were abo it to leave to board a plane to Rio that was scheduled to land shortly before Mr. Ben-Gurion’s last Friday. The Swede had a hand grenade and a pistol. The Danish high court hearing was conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy.
The three have denied a charge of attempted murder and illegal possession of the weapons. Police said the Arabs planned to arrive at Rio’s Gallao International Airport a few minutes before Ben-Gurion’s plane was to come in. They planned to kill him then, the officers said. Sources close to Danish security police said prosecution evidence included detailed instructions issued in the name of El Fatah for shooting or bombing Ben-Gurion shortly after his landing. The instructions allegedly included plans of the airport. Police also produced suitcases with false bottoms in which were hidden three revolvers and 12 hand grenades.
According to police, air bookings were to be arranged for the Arab pair so that they would land at the Rio airport 10 minutes before Ben-Gurion’s arrival. To do this the Arabs had to catch a plane from Zurich. Security officials say the Swede was instructed to fly to Copenhagen to receive and hide the couple and then get them on an aircraft which would connect with the Swiss flight. Danish and Israeli agents traced how the Swede made the bookings for the Arabs and took them to their hotel. Danish security police and Israeli authorities have asked Swedish security police to investigate the Swedish side of the case. Israel has supplied the Danish security police with a list of identified members of El Fatah. The three were arrested after a chambermaid had seen their weapons.
(In Jerusalem, Premier Golda Meir expressed satisfaction that the plot had not succeeded. She made her statement at the beginning of today’s cabinet meeting.
(Mr. Ben-Gurion addressed a gathering in Rio of over 2,000 school children, telling them to study Hebrew and spend one year or more in Israel. He met with Guanabara state governor Negrao de Lima and invited him to visit Kibbutz Sde Boker.)