BONN (May. 14)
The arrest of 11 armed Palestinian terrorists in West Germany during the post two weeks has raised fears in official circles that their comrades will resort to bomb threats or kidnappings to obtain their release. The arrests were confirmed today by the Interior Ministry which said the terrorists, carrying explosives and time fuses, were apprehended near the Austrian and Dutch borders and in West Berlin.
The arrests coincide with reports of increasing activity by Palestinian groups in West Germany. Horst Herald, president of the Federal Police Agency (BKA) told the Interior Committee of the Bundestag last week that terrorist attacks must be anticipated. He said terrorist acts were probably linked to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. Counter-intelligence sources said security measures have been tightened at Egyptian, Israeli and Jewish institutions in West Germany.
According to police reports, the 11 arrested terrorists are members of either the Palestine Liberation Organization or of various splinter groups. Documents found on them, and their boast that they would not be in jail for very long, heightened fears that other terrorists may attempt to seize hostages for their release. Herald did not refer to the PLO in his report to the parliamentary committee but spoke of Palestinians generally.
Meanwhile, observers here continued to express amazement over last month’s revelation of contacts between Federal police officials and the PLO in Beirut. The purpose apparently was to persuade the PLO into closer cooperation with German police to prevent further crimes by the German Red Army terrorist organization, The latter are known to have received training in the past from the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PLO reportedly told the police that it had no dealings with German terrorists. The Bonn government so far has neither confirmed nor denied that its police had semi official contacts with the PLO.