BONN (Sep. 3)
East German authorities have made available to Western investigators two key documents which may help to prove the involvement of its former secret police in the April 1986 bombing of an West Berlin discotheque.
The bombing of La Belle Club, a popular night spot for American soldiers, was reportedly carried out by Libyan agents, prompting the April 15 bombing of Tripoli by American fighter jets.
An American serviceman and a Turkish woman were killed in the discotheque blast and 155 people were wounded. Both West German and American officials had blamed state-sponsored international terrorists for the blast and immediately pointed fingers at Libya.
West German security officials at the time were reported investigating the Libyan People’s Bureau in East Berlin, which had the status of an embassy, for smuggling terrorists into West Berlin from East Berlin.
The bombing was part of a protracted series of terrorist bombings and attacks throughout Europe and Asia.
In recent months, there has been an over-abundance of admissions by East German authorities that the Communist government, with the particular involvement of the notorious Stasi, or secret service, had trained and harbored notorious terrorists from several countries.
East German authorities had been reluctant to make available the discotheque bomb documents, some of which had been destroyed.
But East Germans have lately become nervous about ongoing revelations of Stasi involvement in terrorist acts in the West and of help it gave Arab terrorists who operated against Jewish and Israeli targets.
The German unification treaty, signed last Friday in East Berlin, calls, among other things, for the Stasi files to be placed under an administrator whom East Germans will select.
TRAINING ONLY RECENTLY DISCONTINUED
Moreover, the West German government approved a proposal to include in the treaty amnesty for all former Stasi agents who have not yet been charged with any specific crimes or who would receive a sentence of less than three years.
The provision of the incriminating documents follows East Germany’s acknowledgment last week that officers of the Palestine Liberation Organization only recently ceased training programs in East Germany for terrorist activities and had finally been ordered to leave the country.
East German leaders had publicly admitted to that training course for the first time early this year, as the country supposedly shed its Communist and pro-Arab tilt. At that time, authorities said the training had been terminated.
Three weeks ago, East German Defense Minister Rainer Eppelmann admitted that the notorious and deadly training program had, in fact, only just been discontinued.
Israel’s ambassador to West Germany, Benjamin Navon, said last Friday that it was “intolerable” that East Germany had continued to train operatives of the PLO, rendering completely false the claims made by German leaders since the beginning of the year that the country had ceased the training and had ordered the PLO terrorists from the country.