ATHENS (Aug. 7)
Greek police announced here today that a representative of the Black September movement has arrived in Athens to help with the investigations of the attack last Sunday on passengers waiting in the airport’s transit lounge. This is the first time that a member of the terrorist organization has come into the open and has accepted to undertake a semi-official mission. The Black September investigation seems to indicate, according to Greek sources, that the Palestinian organizations continue to believe that the two assailants were manipulated by “mysterious” forces.
The correspondent for the French daily Le Figaro, quoted spokesmen for the Palestinian organizations today as denying that they have been involved in the Athens massacre which resulted in three deaths and 55 wounded. The Palestinian spokesmen, according to the French paper, called for “a thorough investigation and an appropriate punishment whatever the two men’s motives or good faith.” (Le Figaro also quoted unidentified Palestinians as claiming that both the Athens shoot-out and the hijacking of the Japan Air Lines jumbo jet last month were carried out by the Israeli secret service to embarrass the Palestinian organizations.)
MURDERERS PREPARED FOR THE ATTACK
The two terrorists, Talant Hussein, 23, and Mohamed Jahad, 20, were brought today before an investigating magistrate and formally charged with voluntary homicide, assault and a breach of public order. According to the Greek criminal code, they risk capital punishment if found guilty. While the terrorists were in the court house an angry crowd massed outside to demand death punishment for the two terrorists.
A Greek police spokesman said today that the two men had thoroughly prepared their attack. The two had previously visited Athens Airport to study the layout. On the day of the attack, they arrived by plane–one from Lebanon and the other from Libya. They were given the weapons by “an unknown man” in the men’s room of the transit lounge.
The two men said that their aim was to attack the passengers of an El Al plane due to take off for Tel Aviv. They apparently made a mistake, however, attacking instead the passengers of a TWA plane bound for New York. A Greek police spokesman said that there was no El Al plane at Athens Airport at the time of the attack.
(A Radio Europe Number One correspondent said in Paris today that the Greek police were looking for “the third man” believed to be the person who had handed over the weapons to the two assailants. The radio also said that Greek police denied the two men belong to black September organization.)