PRAGUE (Jan. 16)
An anonymous threat to attack Jewish targets in Prague and Bratislava with stolen weapons is being taken seriously by Jewish community leaders, who have asked for police protection.
“We could not ignore the threat that stolen arms will be used to attack Jewish targets and we are in contact with the respective authorities,” Jiri Danicek, acting vice president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here.
He was referring to an anonymous telephone call Monday to the office of the Czechoslovak News Agency in Brno, Moravia.
The caller said that 70 submachine guns and 12 pistols stolen three weeks ago from the police academy in Holesov, southern Moravia, would be used to attack synagogues and other Jewish institutions in Prague, capital of the Czech republic, and Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.
He said the attacks would occur Friday, Jan. 17, unless a series of demands is met.
The caller, who spoke fluent Czech and claimed to speak on behalf of the “Marxist People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” referred to the Dec. 23 car-bomb attack in Budapest on a busload of Israeli-bound Jewish immigrants from what was then the Soviet Union.
He demanded that Czechoslovakia break diplomatic ties with Israel, halt direct flights to Israel and end transit privileges for former Soviet Jews bound for Israel.
The police disclosed that they had received a similar message on Jan. 11. They also confirmed that arms stolen from the police academy have not been recovered.
They believe the theft was committed by persons familiar with the academy.
The anonymous caller claimed the weapons were obtained with the help of Marxist former police officers who once worked at the academy.
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s representative in Prague, Samih Abdul Fattah, denied the PLO was involved in the arms threat and accused the Israeli secret service of fabricating the anonymous telephone threats.