Israel Security Police Tipped off the U.S. on Zambia ‘copper Plot’
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Israel Security Police Tipped off the U.S. on Zambia ‘copper Plot’

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Israeli police officials said today that the Israeli Security Services tipped off United States and Zambian authorities about an international plot to blow up a Zambian bridge in which five persons have been arrested in Israel and two in the United States.

According to authorities, the goal of the plot was to destroy a bridge which is essential to the transport of Zambian copper and thus to affect the world price of the metal. Israeli officials had intended to keep the story secret but after the United States authorities revealed contacts between Israelis and Americans in the plot, the Israeli police revealed Israel’s detective work against the alleged plotters.

(As pieced together from Israeli and United States sources, Jay Aubrey Elliott, a traveling representative of the Friedrich Zoellner Corporation, a metals company associated with a German concern, was alleged to be the key personality in the plot. He and Rolf Duenbier, a vice-president of the metals firm, were arraigned yesterday in New York City before U.S. Commissioner Earle N. Bishopp, on charges of having conspired in the United States to injure or destroy property in a foreign country, a violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act. Mr. Duenbier, a German-born naturalized citizen, was held in $20,000 bail. Mr. Elliott was held in $50,000 bail.)


Israeli officials said Israeli security put a watch on Elliott when he and his wife came to Israel as tourists. They started the surveillance after learning that Elliott was trying to recruit former experts in explosives among friends of Mrs. Elliott’s wife, according to the Israeli police. Mrs. Elliott, a former Israeli citizen, is now an Austrian citizen, police said.

The police said that Elliott apparently learned that he was being watched and left Israel on October 13, leaving his wife behind. The police then moved in and arrested four Israelis and Mrs. Elliott. All five were released on bail after being charged with conspiring against a friendly nation. Details were then reported by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to the United States and Zambia and the arrests in the United States followed.

The four men arrested in Israel were Itzhak Berkowitz, a former member of the underground Stern group; Benjamin Edutti, a former member of the underground Irgun; Efraim Romen and Raphael Zoriano. The four Israelis and Mrs. Elliott stood mute during arraignment. The Israeli police said that Elliott visited Israel twice in his efforts to enlist Israelis in his plan.

(Stephen E. Kaufman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, said, in reporting on the two arrests in New York, that the two defendants allegedly offered two Miami men $25,000 plus expenses to blow up the bridge. The Miamians, who were named as co-conspirators but not as defendants, informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the approach, Mr. Kaufman said.)

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