PARIS (Dec. 30)
The three terrorists who attacked the El Al terminal at Vienna airport were planning to commandeer an Israeli plane, take the Israeli passengers hostage and fly to Israel to carry out a terrorist attack there, Austrian radio and television announced today quoting official sources.
The Austrian television said that the two surviving terrorists — the third was killed in the shootout with the Austrian police while trying to escape — told investigators that this was their plan. They said that this is why they had not made any preparations for their escape. They commandeered a car after the attack and were captured by the Austrian police a few miles from Vienna.
Austrian officials said they intend to continue investigating the attack until all light is shed on the atrocity.
CONDEMNATION OF THE TERRORISTS
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Western Europe, condemnations of the terrorists and of “all those who back them” poured in. In Strasbourg the 21-nation Council of Europe condemned today the two attacks at Vienna and Rome airports, and reaffirmed its determination to fight international terrorism.
The Council of Europe Secretary General Marcelino Oreja also sent a telegram of condolence to the Italian and Austrian governments to express “my feelings of solidarity in the fight against international terrorism.”
1,000 PEOPLE ATTEND SIMPSON FUNERAL
In Rome, close to 1,000 people, among them the U.S. and the Israeli Ambassadors, attended the funeral of 11-year-old Natasha Simpson, killed during the Friday attack. A personal representative of the Pope attended a Roman Catholic mass in the chapel of the North American college. Later, a private Jewish service was held and kaddish was recited.
The girl’s father, Victor Simpson, an Associated Press news editor based in Rome, is believed to be Catholic. The girl’s mother, Daniela Petroff Simpson, who works for Time magazine, is Jewish.
Israel’s Ambassador Eytan Ron and U.S. Ambassador Maxwell Rabb attended the mass which was celebrated by a dozen clergymen and attended by Archbishop Justin Rigali of Los Angeles, head of the Vatican diplomatic academy.