BUDAPEST, Oct. 11 (JTA) Rejecting earlier theories, Hungarian security officials now believe that the German Red Army Faction was behind a 1991 bomb attack near Budapest International Airport that targeted Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Confirming Interpol sources, Deputy Col. Zoltan Nagy, head of Interpol’s Hungarian Office, told JTA that “at least two or three Germans were involved” in the Dec. 23, 1991, terrorist attack, according to German police findings sent to Hungarian police in August this year.
The findings contradict earlier Hungarian police reports that blamed the attack on Arab terrorists.
Hungarian police reported a day after the attack that the Movement for the Liberation of Jerusalem, presumably an Arab group, had claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion, which was aimed against 28 Ukrainian Jewish immigrants traveling in a bus near the Budapest airport.
Four immigrants were lightly injured and two Hungarian policemen escorting the bus were seriously burnt. The explosive material, a Czech-made plastic called Samtex, was placed in a car near the bus’ route and detonated by remote control.
The Red Army Faction, a violent leftist group based in Germany, traces its roots to the 1960s student protest movement. It still exists despite the deaths of a number of its leaders, albeit with fewer numbers and fewer terrorist actions.
German police recently notified the Hungarian police that one of the terrorists was Hans Ludvig Meyer, a former member of the Red Army Faction who was killed in a shootout in Germany in 1999. Meyer’s DNA matched the hair samples and other objects that Hungarian police collected in apartments the terrorists had rented in Budapest.
Meyer was an aide to another German who arrived in Hungary on a forged passport under the name of W. Robert Georg Hamdaker. His whereabouts are unknown.
Meyer also was accompanied by a woman identified as Andrea Marina Klamp, who is now serving an 8- year prison sentence in Germany.
Klamp also was a member of the Red Army Faction, Nagy said.
Klamp “is the key figure now, as Meyer was killed three years ago and it is still unclear whether she was ‘The Third Man’ in the case,” Nagy said. “It is still unclear whether two or three Germans were involved in the attack.”
The Hungarian police is sending representatives to Germany to continue the investigation, Nagy said.
Asked why it took so long to find the German connection to the attack, Nagy said part of the reason is that Hungarian police did not have recourse to DNA testing until three years ago.
In addition, he noted, the American-led war on terror has created optimal conditions for international cooperation in investigating cases.