Lydda Gunman Remanded for Trial New York, European Airports Selected As Targets for New ‘kamikaze’ a
Menu JTA Search

Lydda Gunman Remanded for Trial New York, European Airports Selected As Targets for New ‘kamikaze’ a

Download PDF for this date

Plans for more “Lydda style” massacres at air terminals in New York and in Europe have been disclosed by Kozo Okamoto, the Japanese gunman captured in the May 30 massacre at Lydda Airport. A Japanese Embassy official, Jun Matsufuji, who visited Okamoto in jail confirmed today that the prisoner had related the plan to his interrogators.

The Japanese diplomat also confirmed that Okamoto and his two fellow gunmen slain during the airport shooting, trained in Lebanon together with two other Japanese. At least one of them, identified as Osmau Maruoka, returned to Japan shortly before the Lydda massacre, reportedly on an assassination mission whose victims were to be the Israeli Ambassador in Tokyo, Eitan Ron, and other prominent persons.

Yesterday, Tel Aviv Chief Magistrate Zion Alouff remanded Okamoto to jail pending his trial which, according to unconfirmed reports, will be before a military tribunal. Okamoto is presently confined to a top security cell, the same one occupied by Adolf Eichmann more than ten years ago. The young Japanese prisoner has asked for a lawyer although he constantly speaks of his wish to kill himself. His jailers have taken precautions to make sure that Okamoto gets no implements with which he might attempt suicide. His meals consist of pre-sliced meat and pitah, the round Arab bread for which he needs neither knife or fork.

Japanese authorities have asked Israeli authorities for the fullest possible legal material in connection with the forthcoming trial. It will be the first trial of a Japanese national by a military tribunal outside Japan. According to Israeli law, only a military tribunal which includes two lawyers may impose the death penalty.

Judge Alouff also issued detention warrants yesterday for Therese Khalsa and Rena Tanus, the Arab terrorist girls who participated in the hijack of a Sabena airliner at Lydda Airport May 8. They will be tried soon before a military tribunal.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund