TEL AVIV (Oct. 25)
Letter bombs addressed to President Nixon, to Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Defense Secretary Melvin Laird were discovered today at the post office in Kiryat Shemona, a village near the Lebanese border. The bombs containing high explosives and an activating device were safely de-fused.
Police said they believe the letters were placed in the post office’s outdoor mail drop by one or more terrorists who managed to infiltrate into Israel from Lebanon. (See separate stories for letter bomb carrier in Amsterdam and warnings in London.)
According to police, postal officials at Kiryat Shemona became suspicious of a letter addressed to Nixon with no return address. The envelope seemed to contain a hard object. It was sent to the Tiberias police station for examination but before it arrived there two more similar letters were found addressed to Rogers and Laird. Police suggested that the terrorists were trying to implicate Israel in attempts on the lives of Nixon and the two Cabinet members.
ARAB NOTABLES MAY BE NEXT TARGETS
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have warned Arab notables on the West Bank, including Hebron Mayor Sheikh Mohammed All Jaabari, of possible terrorist attempts on their lives. The authorities said they learned of plans by extremist terrorist groups to assassinate the Arab leaders of Samaria and Judaea either by direct attack or with letter bombs.
The Arab dignitaries were warned to turn over to police for inspection all mail and gift parcels reaching them, unexpected or otherwise. Police said the letter bombs addressed to the American leaders were similar to those sent to various Israeli personalities here and abroad from Amsterdam last month.
(In Washington, White House press secretary Ronald Ziegler said “No comment” when asked for reaction to the letter bombs. At the State and Defense Departments spokesmen declined to comment immediately.)