Sale of Explosive May Provide Clue to 2 Argentina Bombings

A Swiss court investigating in illegal sale of explosives may have found an important clue in two unresolved bombings in Argentina.

The Swiss are investigating a shipment of several tons of the high-power explosive Exogen, according to Spanish journalist Norberto Bermudez. The firm Expal manufactures the explosive in Spain.

Most of the shipment in question was sent to Croatia, but a fraction was rerouted to Argentina shortly before the March 17, 1992, bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. Exogen may have been used in that attack, which left 29 dead and some 100 wounded.

Bermudez, who came to Buenos Aires to deliver a copy of the Swiss findings to the Aregntine court investigating the case, said that “the Exogen passed customs at the city’s Ezeiza Airport.”

Also, Exogen may have been used in the July 18, 1994, bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center that left 86 dead and at least 300 wounded.

Authorities have not been able to determine exactly what type of explosives were used in the attacks.

According to the Swiss investigators, the explosives were sold by Syrian arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar.

Al-Kassar became a well-known figure in Argentina after the public learned that he had obtained Argentine citizenship papers and a passport in record time.

Al-Kassar was investigated by Spanish authorities on charges of having cooperated with the terrorists who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985.

Apparently, al-Kassar told Spanish investigators that an aide of Argentine President Carlos Menem’s accompanied him to get his passport “in person.”

Al-Kassar was cleared of all charges in Spain but remains under investigation in Argentina.

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