PARIS (Aug. 5)
The European Bureau of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was today threatened with “explosion and execution” by a secret right-wing organization. A man claiming to speak for the organization, “Deliverance,” told JTA duty editor Reine Silber, “slogans, explosions and executions. The Jews out of the country.” When Ms. Silber told him to repeat the message, he hung up. The JTA informed French security about the threat.
The “Deliverance” group, believed to consist of neo-Nazis, smeared violent anti-Semitics of neo-Nazis, smeared violent anti-Semitic slogans on Paris walls several months ago. Today’s threat seemed to indicate that the group was indicating a certain progression in its campaign from slogans to explosions and is now preparing “executions.” In recent months the JTA bureau has adopted a number of basic security precautions such as keeping its front door locked at all times and asking all visitors to identify themselves before being admitted.
The explosion which damaged the offices of the Fonds Social Juif Unifie (FSJU), the central Jewish welfare organization in France, here early Saturday morning might also be connected with the JTA which used to be housed in its early days in the FSJU building. Similar explosions also occurred at the same time in front of the offices of two right-wing papers, “L’Aurore” and “Minute.” Neither paper is directly connected with either Israel or with Jewish affairs although both papers generally have a pro-Israel policy. Unconfirmed reports said that bombs similar to those which wrecked the FSJU offices and the newspapers were also found near the premises of the state-owned French television and two private radio stations, “Europe Number One” and “Radio Luxembourg.”
PFLP DENY BOMBING ACTS
Meanwhile, spokesmen for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Paris and Beirut this afternoon denied that their organization carried out the attacks against the FSJU building and against the two French papers. The PFLP spokesmen also denied the authenticity of a communique released earlier today claiming to have been issued by the extremist Palestinian organization.
PFLP spokesmen personally known to a number of French information media called upon the French news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP) bureau in Beirut and on a number of papers in Paris to issue their denial. The earlier communique claiming responsibility for the attacks reached the various papers in the form of a typewritten sheet. Both the AFP and the evening paper “Le Monde” tried unsuccessfully to obtain verbal confirmation as to its authenticity.
French police circles also expressed doubts today that the PFLP carried out the attacks. These circles stressed that “the attack was carried out by amateurs who used gas cannisters instead of high powered explosives. Arab terrorists usually are not short of dynamite, plastic and other more modern means for mass destructions.”
Police circles also stated, “The Palestinians would not have rented cars showing driving permits and other means of identification even forged ones but would have stolen the vehicles necessary to carry out the attacks.” In all three attacks Saturday rented cars filled with gas containers and plastic detonators were used, police reported. Police also said that “Arab terrorists have never in the past been short of money and would have paid the necessary 2000 francs (about $400) guarantee in cash and not by way of a check which even if forged could still serve as a possible police clue.”
FULL INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED
At the same time, the police are investigating the possibility that left-wing “amateurs” could have been manipulated or influenced by Palestinian extremists. The French police brought back to Paris dozens of members of its political branch who had been on holiday to carry out the investigation.
The deputy head of the French criminal branch. Deputy Commissioner Andre Jobard, is personally handling the investigation. Police circles said that government instructions are to find the culprits “at whatever cost in manpower time and energy.” Government circles here confirmed that Minister of Interior Michel Poniatovsky has ordered a thorough investigation and is being personally informed of all developments.