A possible Arab terrorist attack on a Frankfurt synagogue during prayer services this Wednesday night, the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, has been averted.
Police disclosed that a large cache of weapons and ammunition was seized last week in an apartment facing the synagogue on Baumweg Street.
Four Arabs were taken into custody. According to the police, they are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a terrorist group headed by Ahmed Jabril.
Security sources said one of the Arabs entered West Germany from East Berlin. Earlier, he was in Damascus, where he met with Syrian intelligence agents and Jabril, the sources said.
The weapons found in the apartment included anti-tank missiles, which could penetrate the special concrete and armored glass structures fitted on some synagogues in West Germany as a routine safety precaution.
The newspaper Die Welt said the police are investigating the possibility that some of the weapons were intended for West German terrorists who work with Palestinian groups.
But it appeared that an attack on the synagogue was planned to coincide with remembrance of Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass), the first organized pogrom in Nazi Germany, which occurred on the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938.
Frankfurt, home to the largest Jewish community in West Germany, is to be the center of the memorial events.
The main one, at the West End synagogue Nov. 9, will be attended by Richard von Weizsacker, president of the Federal Republic, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
It will be heavily protected. For that reason, police believe, the terrorists targeted the smaller, more vulnerable synagogue on Baumweg Street.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.