BEIRUT — A little-known group threatened today to assassinate Pope John Paul II if he goes ahead with his plans to visit Lebanon, which has been racked by civil war and a rash of kidnapings since 1975.
The Organization for the Defense of the Oppressed said in a statement that the Roman Catholic pontiff "will be one of the victims of the criminal (civil) war" if he visits Lebanon.
"We will give the Pope of Rome the same kind of reception we offered to the forces of (former President) Reagan," the group said, referring to the 1983 truck bombing of a Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed 241 servicemen.
Little is known about the group. On Friday, it threatened to attack French interests if French warships intervened in the civil war.