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Suspected Armenian Terrorist Questioned in Synagogue Bombing

November 18, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An Armenian who is suspected of terrorist activities is being questioned by French police on possible links with the bombing last year of the Rue Copernic synagogue. The man, who identified himself as Dimitri Giourgu, was arrested last Wednesday at Orly Airport while attempting to board a plane for Beirut.

The man, who according to his own declarations to the police, is a member of the Secret Armenian Liberation Front (ASALA), carried at the time of his arrest a forged Cypriot passport almost identical to that of the main suspect in the synagogue bombing, Alexander Panadryu, the man who bought the motorcycle on which the bomb was placed. Both passports bear the same series of numbers, except for one digit.

Some of the eyewitnesses to the synagogue bombing who had encountered Panadryu were asked to identify Giourgu, but failed to do so. Police in the criminal division nevertheless feel that Giourgu’s link to the Rue Copernic bombing, which killed four persons and injured 20, is sufficiently strong to present him to the investigating magistrate dealing with the case. Police say that Giourgu’s arrest is the first serious lead they have had in the case.

The headquarters of the ASALA is in Beirut and four of five Armenian terrorists detained recently in France were born in Lebanon and had operated for years in close contact with various Palestinian organizations. Police noted that the Armenians and some of the Palestinian terrorist groups use similar explosives and guns. Police investigators speculate that anti-Turkish Armenians and anti-Jewish Palestinians might have concluded a mutual assistance pact, acting at times on behalf of each other.

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