ATHENS (Jul. 26)
A Danish newspaper report widely circulated in Europe this week maintains that passengers killed and wounded July 11 aboard the Greek car ferry City of Poros were victims of the hidden war between Palestinian terrorists and Mossad, Israel’s secret service.
Nine people died and 88 were wounded when gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons and hand grenades while the vessel was on a one-day cruise in the Saronic Gulf, with 471 passengers aboard.
A car loaded with explosives blew up on a coastal road near Athens at about the same time.
According to the newspaper BT, Mossad agents in Greece learned that terrorists of the Abu Nidal group planned to drive an explosive-laden car aboard the crowded ferry and hold its passengers hostage for the release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.
Mossad then blew up the car, the paper said. When the terrorists aboard the ferry found out, they panicked and opened fire indiscriminately, setting the vessel ablaze.
Mossad agents aboard the ferry killed the terrorists, dived into the sea and were picked up by a speedboat that had been following the ferry, the newspaper account said.
An Israeli official asked to comment on this version told the Danish paper he found the scenario “very interesting.”
Meanwhile, Greek police said the weapons used aboard the City of Poros were Berettas sold to the Libyan army in 1975 and 1976.
They also seem to lean to the Abu Nidal hostage theory. A previously unknown group calling itself the Organization of the Martyrs of the Popular Revolution in Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.
It was publicly condemned, however, by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has a diplomatic mission in Greece.