PARIS (Jul. 22)
Two separate bomb blasts, within minutes of each other, rocked a synagogue and an American airline office in Copenhagen. At least 17 people were reported to have been injured, four seriously, at the Northwest Orient Airline office. No one was reported injured at the synagogue, but five people were injured at an adjacent Jewish old age home from flying glass.
An anonymous caller claiming to be speaking for the Islamic Jihad (Islamic Holy War) organization, a group associated with Shiite Moslem fundamentalists in Lebanon, told a news agency in Beirut that the attacks were carried out by the organization in reprisal for an Israeli raid yesterday near the Shiite village of Kabrikha near Israel’s Upper Galilee border. Three people were reported killed and 10 wounded. (See separate story.)
The caller warned, “From now on, retaliation for American-Zionist aggression against our people will be immediate” and will “be aimed at every Zionist, American or reactionary establishment in various parts of the world.”
According to reports from Copenhagen, a bomb was flung into the airline office near the downtown railroad station. The explosion caused a violent flash and blast which could be heard throughout the area.
At the synagogue, the blast blew out windows and a door and damaged a nearby Jewish senior citizen’s home, which was later evacuated. Five residents of the home suffered severe cuts from glass splinters. Police began taking extra security measures to protect Jewish installations in Denmark, which has a Jewish population of 10,000.
Copenhagen’s Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior denounced the bomb attack on the synagogue as “an act of total madness.” Prime Minister Poul Schluter said it was sad “that Denmark has become a target for international terrorism after many years of being spared the death and destruction inflicted on other European countries by terrorists.”
Later today another bomb was discovered in Copenhagen’s port area but it was defused by explosives experts.