BONN (Nov. 3)
Federal police sources said today that West German terrorists who were trained by the Palestine Liberation Organization, left Beirut along with the PLO units that evacuated the city in September.
The sources said this will make it more difficult for German urban guerrillas to operate, but they can still count on military help from the PLO at bases other than in Beirut. Interior Minister Friedrich Zimmermann warned last week that imminent danger still exists of terrorist attacks by German groups with contacts abroad.
Meanwhile, Ulrich Wegener, the first chief of West Germany’s anti-terrorist unit, said in a newspaper interview that he and his men will be forever grateful for the help they received from Israel in their difficult task. He said that shortly after the massacre of the Israeli Olympics team in Munich in 1972, he went to Israel to participate in an army training program there.
Wegener said that when he returned to Germany, he was able to organize and train the GSG-9 unit which has since won a worldwide reputation for its effective counter-terrorists operations. In 1977 it freed nearly 100 hostages in a Lufthansa airliner hijacked by Palestinian terrorists to Somalia.
Wegener recalled that soon after that operation he went to Israel to thank his friends and colleagues for their help. At that time, however, there was no public mention of Israeli assistance. But the then Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, included thanks to PLO chief Yasir Arafat in a speech to a packed special session of the Bundestag after the Somalia operation.