Ar­gentina seeks ar­rest of 1992 ter­ror sus­pects

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JONATHAN GIL­BERT

AR­GENTINA’S SUPREME Court has taken steps to re­vive the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the 1992 bomb­ing of the Is­raeli em­bassy in Buenos Aires by re­quest­ing in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rants for two Le­banese sus­pects.

The probe into the tragedy, a sui­cide car bomb at­tack that killed at least 22 peo­ple, had been largely paral­ysed. Hizbol­lah is widely be­lieved to have been be­hind the bomb­ing.

The Supreme Court judges re­quested an ar­rest war­rant for Hus­sein Mo­hamad Ibrahim Suleiman, a Le­banese who they be­lieve was an op­er­a­tive for Hizbol­lah.

The judges say Mr Suleiman, who was ques­tioned in Jor­dan in 2001, en­tered Ar­gentina from Brazil with ex­plo­sives weeks be­fore the at­tack. Th­ese ex­plo­sives were then used in the bomb­ing.

The court said it has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing Mr Suleiman since 2005, but that it only re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion of its find­ings about him from Is­raeli diplo­mats last month.

Ear­lier this year, Pres­i­dent Cristina Fernán­dez de Kirch­ner crit­i­cised Is­rael for what she said was its lack of in­ter­est in the case.

“I still can’t un­der­stand why Is­rael com­plains about Amia but doesn’t say any­thing about the bomb­ing of its own em­bassy,” she said, re­fer­ring to a sim­i­lar car bomb at­tack two years later on the Amia Jewish com­mu­nity cen­tre in the Ar­gen­tine cap­i­tal that killed 85 peo­ple.

The court also re­newed its re­quest for the ar­rest of José Sal­man El Reda, a Le­banese who has lived in Colom­bia. His brother is be­lieved to have been in­volved in the Amia bomb­ing.

Mr El Reda was once ar­rested in Ar­gentina with a stash of fake dol­lars that in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve may have fi­nanced a ter­ror­ist at­tack. But prose­cu­tors never proved a con­crete link to the em­bassy bomb­ing, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal news me­dia re­ports.

The two bomb­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions are re­garded a na­tional dis­grace.

The Amia case has been marred by set­backs, in­clud­ing the mys­te­ri­ous death this year of Al­berto Nis­man, the pros­e­cu­tor lead­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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