PARIS (Jan. 1)
French police have arrested three men–two Portuguese and one Egyptian–who were allegedly planning to blow up the Rue Copernic Synagogue, the site of a terrorist attack five years ago. The three were arrested here Sunday and formally charged yesterday by an investigating magistrate. According to police sources, the trio was planning the attack on behalf of an unidentified Palestinian organization.
Police said a bag containing a map of Paris with the synagogue location marked in red ink was found in the hotel room occupied by the three men during their stay in Paris. The three also carried the various elements needed to build an explosive device. Letters apparently intended to be released after the attack claimed it was carried out by “a Christian anti-Zionist organization.” These, too, were found in the hotel room.
A powerful bomb exploded on October 30, 1980 outside the Rue Copernic Synagogue while hundreds of worshippers attended Succoth services. Four passersby where killed, including an Israeli woman, and 20 people were injured. The terrorists were never caught. Police learned that the man who planted the bomb carried a Cypriot passport and fled to Beirut after the explosion.