AP uncovers clue into Alon killing


An Associated Press investigation uncovered a lead into who was responsible for the 1973 assassination of an Israeli diplomat in Washington.

In a story to appear in U.S. newspapers on Sunday, AP says it obtained the FBI file into the case of the killing of Col. Yosef Alon, an assistant military attaché, through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The investigation into the killing outside Alon’s suburban Maryland home in the early hours of July 1 1973 went nowhere for years. Then, buried in the more than 7,000-page file, is a 1977 break in the case: “A sensitive source advised that the Black September Organization was responsible for the crime.”

Black September was the terrorist attack wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization. According to the FBI information, the source, a senior official in a Palestinian nationalist organization, told the CIA that two students arrived in the United States from Canada and contacted a professor living in the Washington area. The professor supplied them with weapons and two rental cars, and they flew out of Washington within hours of the killing, eventually returning to the Middle East. Too much time had passed since the killing to corroborate the details with flight manifests, and the case went cold again.

The FBI file information was corroborated by recently declassified CIA material from the 1970s. It is believed that Alon’s killing was a counter-retaliation for a number of killings carried out by the Mossad in Europe and Lebanon in retaliation for Black September’s role in the killing of 11 athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

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