PARIS (May. 31)
A powerful bomb exploded last night outside a branch of the Rothschild Bank injuring two people and causing extensive damage to the bank and to adjacent buildings on the fashionable Rue du Faubourg St. Honore. Police Chief Pierre Sommeville said there were no clues as to the perpetrators yet. But police investigators are considering the possibility that the bombing was the work of an Arab group in retaliation for a pro-Israel rally held at the Paris fair grounds yesterday. (See story on page 2). A 24-hour police guard has been placed around other branches of the Rothschild Bank and at buildings housing Jewish organizations as a precautionary measure.
The newspaper Le Monde reported that it received an anonymous telephone call last night from a man who said the bombing was directed “against those who support Zionism.” The caller claimed to represent a hitherto unknown group calling itself “The International Revolutionary Front.” Police say the bombers could be a leftist anarchist group, possibly working with the Arabs.
The explosion occurred at 10:30 p.m. The bank was empty at the time. It is owned by Guy, Elie and Alain de Rothschild, all active in Jewish affairs, Baron Guy de Rothschild is president of the Central Jewish Welfare Funds (FSJU) and Baron Alain de Rothschild is president of the Council of Jewish Organizations of France (CRIF). Baron Elie de Rothschild is chairman of the French United Jewish Appeal.
The bank is located only a few blocks from the Elysee Palace, the official residence of French Presidents. The neighborhood is normally patrolled around the clock by police cars and plain clothes detectives.