A special security force–code-named “Cobra”–has been set up to protect Soviet Jews emigrating to Israel via Austria during the anniversary period of the Six-Day War. The Jewish Agency rents a manor house at Schoenau village, near Vienna, that it uses as a stopover for hundreds of Soviet Jews who travel to Israel via Austria.
Well-guarded at the best of times, visitors to Schoenau in recent days reported the grounds swarming with policemen armed with submachine guns, German shepherd dogs and helicopters swooping overhead. Army jeeps and soldiers patrolled the area. Police sources and Vienna newspapers said the Israeli secret service had warned the Austrians of possible Arab terrorist attacks on Jewish-run installations here during the anniversary period.
The sources said the special “Cobra” force was put on “Red Alert” at Schoenau and at Vienna airport and railroad stations. They said the “Cobra” force was made up of specially-trained police officers, familiar with modern-day guerrilla tactics. The men were brought in from all parts of this Apline nation, the sources said.
So far, no Arab attacks on Jewish installations have ever been reported here. Many political observers attribute this to the fact the Arabs don’t want to get into the “bad books” of neutral Austria. But, during this anniversary week, the authorities are taking no chances–even a part of the forest surrounding Schoenau manor was thinned out to prevent anyone from sneaking up by surprise.
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.