TEL AVIV (Sep. 9)
The aborted terrorist missile attack on an El Al airliner near Rome last week was viewed here and abroad today as a likely prelude to further terrorist attacks against Israeli and possibly other targets in Europe. International security services have issued alerts to French and Dutch authorities that terrorist attacks might be expected in those countries, it was learned here. Both France and Holland are reported to have reinstated special security measures that had been relaxed during the lull in terrorist activities over the summer.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan took a grave view of the Rome incident. “The presence of Russian-made ground-to-air missiles in the hands of Arab terrorists point to a partnership between the terrorists and states such as Russia which supplied the missiles and Syria and Egypt which received them and through which the missiles reached the terrorists,” Dayan said in a Kol Israel radio interview over the week-end.
The two missiles which Italian police, acting on information from Israeli intelligence agents, found in a house in Ostia, four miles from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, last Wednesday were of the Russian-made S-7 type, a new, highly sophisticated weapon. Dayan said the presence of these missiles in terrorist hands was extremely grave in that it gave the terrorists the technical means of striking at civil aviation. But graver still is the alliance of the terrorists with the countries from which they received the weapons, the Defense Minister said.
Israeli officials said here today that Israel has informed the United States of the extreme gravity with which it views the terrorist attempt in Rome. According to usually reliable sources here, the U.S. has already handed the Soviet Union a note protesting the supply of S-7 missiles to Arab terrorists.
Italian police, interrogating the five Arabs arrested in missile incident, are trying to learn how the weapons were brought into Italy, it was reported today from Rome. Italian intelligence sources believe a second gang of terrorists may have brought the missiles into the country and set up an arms cache for use of the group that planned to carry out the attack. Police sources said the authorities believe the four-foot missiles may have been smuggled ashore from a ship or carried into the country by a diplomatic courier whose baggage was not searched.