US embassy cable - 86MADRID8158

SHI'IA TERRORISTS PARDONED BY SPANISH GOVERNMENT

Identifier: 86MADRID8158
Wikileaks: View 86MADRID8158 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Madrid
Created: 1986-07-14 18:19:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER SP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 141819Z JUL 86
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9393
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
NATO COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL BARCELONA
AMCONSUL SEVILLE
AMCONSUL BILBAO POUCH
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 08158 
 
TERREP 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PTER, SP 
SUBJECT:  SHI'IA TERRORISTS PARDONED BY SPANISH GOVERNMENT 
 
REF:  A) MADRID 659, B) MADRID 793 
 
1.  (U) THE GOS JULY 12 OFFICIALLY PARDONED TWO LEBANESE 
SHI'IA TERRORISTS CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS 
IN PRISON EACH FOR A BOTCHED 1984 ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT 
AGAINST A LIBYAN DIPLOMAT IN MADRID.  THE TWO, MOHAMMED 
RAHAL AND MUSTAFA ALI JALIL, HAVE BEEN EXPELLED FROM 
SPAIN AND ARE EXPECTED TO BE LEAVING FOR LEBANON AS 
SOON AS TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE COMPLETED.  UNDER 
THE TERMS OF SPANISH IMMIGRATION LAW, RAHAL AND JALIL 
HAD TO BE PARDONED IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR 
EXPULSION AS SIMPLE UNDESIRABLES. 
 
2.  (U) THE RELEASE OF RAHAL AND JALIL WAS THE OBJECTIVE 
OF A 1984 KIDNAPPING OF THE SPAINISH AMBASSADOR IN 
BEIRUT (HE WAS RELEASED AFTER BEING HELD FOR 4 HOURS) 
AND THE JANUARY 1986 KIDNAPPING OF A SPANISH POLICEMAN 
AND TWO LOCAL HIRE EMBASSY EMPLOYEES, ALSO IN BEIRUT. 
THE RELEASE OF RAHAL AND JALIL WAS ALSO AMONG THE 
ORIGINAL SET OF DEMANDS IN THE TWA 847 HIJACKING 
(REF A). 
 
3.  (C) IN THE MOST RECENT INCIDENT, KIDNAPPERS 
(REPORTEDLY RELATIVES OF THE TWO SHI'IA GUNMEN) HELD 
THE SPANISH POLICEMAN AND EMBASSY EMPLOYEES FOR SEVERAL 
WEEKS WHILE NEGOTIATIONS FOR THEIR RELEASE WERE BEING 
CONDUCTED.  LEBANESE JUSTICE MINISTER NABIH BERRI ACTED 
AS INTERMEDIARY IN THE TALKS BETWEEN THE KIDNAPPERS 
AND GOS INTERIOR MINISTRY SUBSECRETARY RAFAEL VERA. 
DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS, WHICH ULTIMATELY RESULTED 
IN THE RELEASE OF THE THREE SPANISH EMBASSY EMPLOYEES, 
CONTACTS AT MFA ADMITTED TO US THAT THE GOS HAD 
AGREED TO CONSIDER OPTIONS FOR RELEASING THE TWO 
TERRORISTS (REF B).  AT THE TIME THE THINKING WAS 
THAT RAHAL AND JALIL WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO LEBANON 
TO FINISH OUT THEIR SENTENCES THERE. 
 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
4.  (C) NO ONE HERE IS UNDER ANY ILLUSION THAT THE 
RELEASE OF RAHAL AND JALIL IS ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE 
QUID PRO QUO FOR THE RELEASE FIVE MONTHS AGO OF THE 
SPANISH EMBASSY HOSTAGES.  FREEING THE TWO OVER A 
SUMMER WEEKEND WILL REDUCE PUBLIC ATTENTION ON THE 
GOS MANUEVER SOMEWHAT, BUT THE MOVE IS INCONSISTENT 
WITH GONZALEZ' PUBLIC HARDLINE ON TERRORISM AND SETS 
AN UNWELCOME PRECEDENT. 
 
5.  (U) BEIRUT MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
 
ENDERS 

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