ROME (Sep. 26)
A powerful bomb exploded at the British Airways office yesterday, wounding 14 persons, some seriously. Police arrested a Palestinian, Hassan Atab, 18, who had confessed to hurling the explosive through the door of the airline office.
Atab told police he was a member of the Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Moslems, the same group which had claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on a Rome cafe on September 16. The Organization is strongly opposed to Yasir Arafat’s leadership of the PLO and is believed to have ties with the pro-Syrian anti-Arafat group led by Abu Nidal.
Atab told police he was born in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut and had acted out of “hatred” for Israel. Another Palestinian, Ahmad al Hussein Abu Sareya, 26, charged with the September 16 attack against the Cafe de Paris, just up the street from yesterday’s blast, also said he grew up in a Beirut refugee camp.
The explosion yesterday sent shards of glass some 60 yards along one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods, smashed windows in nearby buildings, and shook the American Embassy building around the corner.