LOS ANGELES (Jul. 10)
An American couple living in Israel have been indicted by a federal grand jury in a case linked to the mail-bomb deaths of an Arab activist and a suspected Nazi war criminal.
The couple, Robert and Rochelle Manning, who both hold dual American and Israeli citizenship, have been charged with mailing an explosive device with intent to kill.
Rochelle Manning, 48, was arrested last month as she arrived with her two children at Los Angeles International Airport, while Robert Manning, 36, remained in the family home at Kiryat Araba. The Jewish settlement near Hebron is known as one of the most militant in the West Bank.
According to federal officials, the Mannings conspired in 1980 to mail a bomb, disguised as a “new invention,” to the head of the Prowest Computer Corp. in Los Angeles. When the “invention” was plugged into an electric outlet, it exploded, killing Patricia Wilkerson, a secretary at the company. No motive has been given for the alleged crime.
At the same time, six present and former members of the Jewish Defense League have been subpoenaed by the grand jury in the case, JDL officials told reporters.
Several of the subpoenaed JDL officials charged that the grand jury was on a “fishing expedition” to smoke out evidence linking the Mannings to three other bomb cases in the United States, all dating back to 1985.
ARAB ACTIVIST AND SUSPECTED NAZIS
Victims in the three, so far unsolved cases were:
Alex Odeh, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who died when a bomb exploded in his office in Santa Ana, Calif., on Oct. 11, 1985. The Los Angeles Times quoted FBI officials as saying that the Manning couple and three other persons living in Israel are suspects in the Odeh slaying.
Tscherim Soobzokov, an alleged wartime member of the Waffen SS, who was killed in August 1985 by a bomb planted in his home in Patterson, N.J.
Elmars Sprogis, an alleged wartime police chief in Latvia, who escaped injury when a bomb exploded in September 1985 outside his house in Brentwood, N.Y.
The Mannings, as well as other suspects living in Kiryat Arab, were described by federal officials as former JDL members and currently ardent followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the extremist right-wing Kach Party in Israel.
In New York, the Village Voice reported that former JDL members Andy Green and Keith Fuchs are also suspects in the Odeh slaying.
Former JDL officials summoned to testify before the grand jury are Barry Krugel and Steve Samson. Four others have been subpoenaed to supply photographs, fingerprints and palm prints. They are Louise Solomon, Leah Krugel, Earl Krugel and Bruce Derflinger.
Rochelle Manning is being held without bail. Robert Manning has gone into seclusion at his Kiryat Arba home, the Los Angeles Times reported. U.S. authorities have not asked for his extradition from Israel.