PARIS (Aug. 21)
A bomb exploded last night outside the Bank Leumi Leisrael, slightly damaging the main entrance and window panes. The bomb, described by police as small but highly professional, went off shortly before midnight while neighboring cafes and restaurants were crowded.
Because of the exceptionally warm weather, many people were sitting at the time of the blast at outdoor sidewalk cafes. A police spokesman said it was “a miracle” no one was injured.
Police investigators say it is evident the bomb was set off by anti-Israeli terrorists but no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The Minister of Interior Pierre Joxe, and the head of the Paris police department viewed the damage and said the police department has been instructed to spare no effort to try and identify the terrorists.
Last night’s blast was the third attack against the Paris branch of the Israeli bank. An extremist leftwing French terrorist, Frederic Oriach, was sentenced in June 1983 to a six-year prison term after he was found guilty of having instigated several anti-Israeli attacks, including one against Bank Leumi. Oriach said at the time he was “an anti-Israeli Marxist revolutionary” but denied a role in the attacks.