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State Dept. Official Discounts Syrian Link to Berlin Bombings

May 07, 1986|United Press International

WASHINGTON — A State Department official who demanded anonymity today discounted a reported Syrian link to the terrorist bombings of the La Belle discotheque and an Arabian friendship society in West Berlin.

West German authorities said two Arabs have confessed they obtained explosives from the Syrian Embassy in East Berlin to bomb the German-Arab Friendship Society in West Berlin on March 29. (Story, Page 20.)

One of the men is Ahmed Hasi, a key suspect in the April 5 disco bombing that killed an American serviceman and provoked U.S. bombing raids on Libya nine days later.

The State Department official who requested anonymity said the U.S. government has reached no conclusions on the March 29 bombing and noted that the bombed Arab friendship society has links to Syria.

"What is the Syrian Embassy doing blowing up one of their own operations?" the official asked. "On the face of it, it wouldn't appear to make an awful lot of sense. But we don't have any information of our own."

The official noted that Syria has been involved in terrorist attacks in recent years, "but when they are, there are usually quite discreet targets."

"Their wont has not been to explosions in crowded rooms," he said. "It doesn't fit into any pattern."

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