BONN (Nov. 20)
Two suspected Palestinian terrorists were indicted Nov. 9 in a Karlsruhe court for planning to bomb trains used by American armed services personnel in West Germany.
The suspects, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, were charged earlier with planning attacks on synagogues and other Jewish targets and with illegal possession of arms.
The two men, Hafez Kassem Dalkamoni and Abdel Fattah Ghadanfar, were arrested in October 1988, after a weapons cache was discovered in their rented apartment, near a Frankfurt synagogue. They have been held in jail since then.
Twelve other men connected to the find were subsequently freed.
The weapons lode contained devices which police believe were designed to explode on airplanes when they reached a certain altitude. They bore striking similarity to the bomb believed to have brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, last December, killing 270 people.
But an official of BKA, West Germany’s federal police, said last week there was no solid proof to link Palestinian terrorists to the explosive device that destroyed the Pan Am jumbo jet.
The bomb, built into a transistor radio, is believed to have been smuggled aboard the plane in Frankfurt, where the flight to New York via London originated.
Police found similar devices in apartments rented in the cities of Frankfurt and Neuss by members of the PFLP-GC, a violent group based in Syria and led by Ahmed Jabril.
But, according to Manfred Klink of the BKA, several possibilities exist to explain how and by whom the lethal device was brought aboard the plane. Since none is conclusive, no formal charges are possible in the case, he said.