LONDON (Jul. 8)
The Israeli Embassy here is maintaining a pained silence over the involvement of two Israelis in the aborted attempt to kidnap Dr. Umaru Dikko, the former Transport Minister of Nigeria and an avowed opponent of the present military regime in that country.
The Israelis, whose names have not been disclosed, were found hiding in a crate about to be loaded aboard a Nigeria-bound aircraft at Stansted Airport Thursday night. In a second crate, British police found Dikko heavily drugged and, reportedly, another man in possession of drugs and a hypodermic syringe.
Dikko is recovering at a hospital near London. His alleged would-be kidnappers are in custody. The Israeli Embassy said, when the arrests were announced Friday, that it had no more interest in the case than if the two Israelis had been picked up on drug charges.
Since then however, the two men, first described as mercenaries, have been alleged by the press to be former agents of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization, and possibly still connected with Israeli authorities. According to press accounts, they masterminded the kidnap attempt and were to accompany Dikko to Nigeria where he is on the wanted list.
Parallels are also being drawn by the press here between the Dikko episode and the Israel government’s kidnapping of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from Argentina nearly 25 years ago. As in the Eichmann affair, the abduction of Dikko took place after an unsuccessful extradition attempt.