Bonn (Aug. 31)
The Federal Service for Domestic Security of West Germany reported today that it has detected in recent weeks an increase in the activities of the Palestine Liberation Organization and of Libyan agents among members of the Arab community in the country. According to the services, both are engaged in a major campaign to recruit young Arabs and Moslems for military training.
According to the services, the PLO concentrates its activities primarily in West Berlin, where thousands of young Arabs reside. Most of them come through East Berlin which has a very cheap air connection to Lebanon. About half of the young Arabs come to West Berlin after having already received some kind of paramilitary training and political indoctrination in East Berlin.
The PLO, the report continued, offers the young people an opportunity to fly back to Lebanon and to there join units engaged in fighting against Israel. The recruits are told that the cease-fire along the Israeli-Lebanese border is only temporary and the battle against the “Zionist aggressor” will take place soon.
The Western powers in West Berlin do not check the personal documents of people arriving there from East Berlin, so that the access to the western side of the divided city is uncontrolled.
The Libyan government is trying to recruit soldiers for the so-called Moslem Liberation Army. The recruitment takes place through personal contacts and through advertisements in publications circulated among Arabs and Moslems in West Germany. One of the major aims of the Liberation Army is to “liberate Palestine” and to “fight Zionism.” Officials of the domestic security service said the recruiting campaign is under close scrutiny but that no further action is taken.
Meanwhile, police in Nuremberg said they now know definitely that the Jewish publisher, Shlomo Levin, and his non-Jewish woman friend, Frida Poeschke, were murdered last December by neo-Nazis. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, the leader of a so-called sports group, and his woman friend, Franziska Birkmann, are under suspicion. Both are currently under arrest.
Hoffmann was arrested a month ago when he returned to West Germany after spending several weeks in a PLO training camp in Beirut. In the past two years, Hoffmann was active in recruiting German neo-Nazis for military training with the PLO, a fact which was officially confirmed by the Bonn government in a recent annual report by the Federal Service for Domestic Security.