Athens, Greece — Palestinian hit squads opposed to Yasser Arafat may be preparing attacks on Arafat supporters and Western institutions in India, Pakistan, Greece, Italy and Spain, officials of several nations have warned.

The officials from Greece, Israel and some Arab countries said Monday Syrian backed Palestinian commandos already have slipped into the five countries.

The officials expressed fear the guerrillas may be planning attacks on Western institutions in those countries and on Palestinians who support Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The Jordanian newspaper Al Shaab quoted Palestinian officials earlier this month as saying they gave authorities in Athens, Rome and Madrid the names of 15 Syrian backed guerrillas alleged to have slipped into Greece, Spain and Italy.

Greek Public Order Minister Yannis Skoularikis said Greece has information ‘concerning the movements and possible targets of foreign terrorists at a government as well as a security level.”

“We are not ready to allow anybody to use Greek territory to settle its own accounts,” he said.

An Israeli source said, “We have information about pro-Syrian terrorists infiltrating into Europe, Pakistan and India but the problem is that you only know for sure after the event.”

A British Embassy spokesman in Athens said the mission was on maximum alert for several days up until Christmas because of threats from an unidentified Arab group that it would ram the mission with an explosives laden vehicle.

At the same time, sources close to the PLO reported that an Arafat foe with a history of involvement in inter Palestinian violence was recently seen in an Athens coffee house.

PLO officials said the central council of Arafat’s Al Fatah, the largest group in the PLO, recently discussed the movement of Syrian backed commandos into various European and Asian capitals.

Aides to Arafat said they have avoided visits to Athens because of concern about security.



Article extracted from this publication >> January 25, 1985