JERUSALEM (Jan. 16)
A terrorist outrage that could have caused many civilian casualties was averted here this morning when police sappers safely dismantled a powerful explosive device concealed in the trunk of a car parked in one of the busiest sections of the city. But two-and-a-half hours passed from the time the car first aroused suspicion until the police pried open the trunk.
A special internal investigation committee recently established by the city’s police department is trying to determine the cause for the delay that might-have been fatal. The car, a silver Mercedes with Tel Aviv license plates, was first spotted at 6 a. m., local time by a news vendor. it was parked on a side street just off one of the main thoroughfares, Ben Yehuda Street.
A woman soldier was summoned, but she apparently saw nothing suspicious about the vehicle. Later, local shopkeepers coming to work reported the car to police. Several policemen arrived, looked into the car, but they, too, found nothing suspicious.
By 8:30 a.m., the car had not been moved and police broke into the trunk to discover the explosive device. The area was promptly cordoned off and large numbers of persons breakfasting in nearby cafes were evacuated while the sappers went to work. Police searched the neighborhood for additional bombs and pronounced it all clear, after which the streets were reopened to traffic. The Mercedes turned out to be a stolen car.