PARIS (Feb. 5)
French police are taking seriously the claim by an Arab terrorist group, believed to be Lebanese, that it is responsible for the wave of bombings in Paris that injured more than 50 people in recent months.
The latest bomb ripped through a crowded bookstore in the Latin Quarter last night, injuring four people. Eight people were injured, three seriously, when a bomb exploded Monday night in a shopping arcade on the fashionable Champs-Elysees. An unexploded bomb found in the rest room of a restaurant on the lower level of the Eiffel Tower Monday night was safely defused by police.
A group calling itself the Solidarity Committee With Arab Political Prisoners and the Middle East, said it set off the bombs, and the police believe the claim is authentic, Le Monde reported today. The terrorists are believed to be Lebanese Shiites attempting to pressure the government to meet terrorist demands on four French hostages being held in Lebanon.
DEMANDS OF THE TERRORIST GROUP
The group, hitherto unknown, is demanding the release of two Arabs and an Armenian from French prisons where they were confined in connection with terrorist acts in Paris. One of them, Abdul-Kader Saadi, was implicated in the April 3, 1982 murder of Israeli diplomat Yacov Bar Siman-Tov. He was gunned down, reportedly by a woman, as he left his apartment building.
Saadi is also suspected of the murder, a month earlier of the Military Attache at the U.S. Embassy here. The other jailed terrorists are Anis Naccache, arrested for the attempted assassination of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar in Paris in 1980; and Varadjian Garbidjian, imprisoned for the 1983 bombing at Orly Airport which killed eight people.
The most recent bombings before Monday occurred last December 7 when 35 people were injured by explosions in two Paris department stores crowded with Christmas shoppers.
The kidnappers of the four Frenchmen held by pro-Iranian terrorists in Lebanon have demanded the release of the three men and payment of $1 billion in U.S. currency, matching the Iranian assets frozen by the U.S. when the Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Teheran in 1979.