US embassy cable - 85STATE38496

INTERNATIONAL LINKS OF LARF

Identifier: 85STATE38496
Wikileaks: View 85STATE38496 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1985-02-07 22:58:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PTER
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O P 072258Z FEB 85
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY
USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BONN PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 
S E C R E T  STATE 038496 
 
TERREP 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:OADR 
TAGS:        PTER 
SUBJECT:     INTERNATIONAL LINKS OF LARF 
 
REF:  1. ROME 1902, 2. STATE 31565  3. STATE 014859 
 
 
1.  SECRET ENTIRE TEXT. 

2.  REFTEL 1 RAISES A NUMBER OF ISSUES AND QUESTIONS 
ABOUT CONNECTIONS BETWEEN EUROPEAN AND LEBANESE TERRORIST 
GROUPS AS THEY MIGHT RELATE TO INVESTIGATON  OF 
LADISPOLI SEVEN. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MIGHT BE 
USEFUL IN DISCUSSIONS ON THIS SUBJECT WITH ITALIAN 
MAGISTRATE. 
 
3.  AN ETA-LARF LINK.  ACCORDING TO ROME 1902 THERE IS 
REASON TO SUSPECT THAT SOME OF THE RECENT BOMB ATTACKS ON 
TRAINS CLAIMED BY BASQUE FATHERLAND THE FREEDOM (ETA) 
HAVE, IN FACT, BEEN CARRIED OUT BY THE LEBANESE ARMED 
REVOLUTIONARY FACTION (LARF) ON BEHALF OF ETA. 

4.  WE HAVE NO IDEA OF THE EVIDENCE UPON WHICH THIS IS 
BASED.  IN LATE 1984 THERE WERE THREE INCIDENTS IN WHICH 
ETA WAS SUSPECTED OF CARRYING OUT BOMBINGS ON RAILWAY 
STATIONS OR NEAR RAILWAY TRACKS, BUT NOT AGAINST A 
TRAIN.  TWO OF THESE WERE LOW-LEVEL EXPLOSIONS CAUSING NO 
CASUALTIES AND LITTLE DAMAGE.  THE THIRD WAS A 
BOOBY-TRAPPED DEVICE THAT KILLED SEVERAL CIVIL GUARDS, 
BUT WAS CONSISTENT WITH PAST ETA ACTIONS. 

5.  THE REFERENCE IN ROME 1902 MAY BE TO A FEBRUARY18, 
1984 EXPLOSION AT URRUGNE NEAR THE FRENCH-SPANISH BORDER 
THAT APPARENTLY WAS DESIGNED TO CAUSE A MID-COURSE 
COLLISION BETWEEN TWO TRAINS, ONE BOUND FOR MADRID, THE 
OTHER FOR PARIS.  THE EXPLOSION CAUSED NO INJURIES OR 
COLLISION, BUT ONLY A STROKE OF LUCK PREVENTED A MAJOR 
CATASTROPHE.  CLAIM FOR THE ATTACK, HOWEVER, WAS NOT MADE 
BY ETA BUT BY IPARRETARRAK ("MEN OF THE NORTH"), A FRENCH 
BASQUE GROUP FIGHTING FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF THREE 
BASQUE-POPULATED FRENCH PROVINCES.  ALTHOUGH THE TWO 
GROUPS ARE SEPARATE ORGANIZATIONS, THE SIMILARITY OF 
THEIR AIMS COULD CAUSE CONFUSION.  IN THE PAST ETA HAS 
GENERALLY SHUNNED RELATIONS WITH IPARRETARRAK NOT WISHING 
TO OFFEND THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT. 

6.  THE FEBRUARY 18 INCIDENT WAS A POTENTIALLY MUCH MORE 
VIOLENT ATTACK THAN USUAL IPARRETARRAK ACTIONS, AND IT 
REPORTEDLY ANGERED SEVERAL JAILED IPARRETARRAK MEMBERS. 
THE BOMBING, HOWEVER, APPARENTLY WAS THE WORK OF 
IPARRETARRAK MEMBERS WHO (CLAIMED) THAT THEY HAD WARNED 
FRENCH OFFICIALS ABOUT THE BOMB TEN MINUTES BEFORE IT 
WENT OFF AND DID NOT INTEND TO CAUSE A TRAIN COLLISION. 

7.  THE RED BRIGADES-LARF LINK.  AGAIN ACCORDING TO ROME 
1902 LARF AND THE ITALIAN RED BRIGADES (RB) HAVE BEEN 
PROVEN TO HAVE CONNECTIONS.  WE SUSPECT THAT THIS 
ASSERTION IS BASED ON THE TESTIMONY OF LEAMON HUNT'S 
DRIVER WHO HAS IDENTIFIED MOHAMAD FAHS -- ONE OF THE ROME 
SEVEN -- AS HUNT'S ASSASSIN.  GIVEN THAT BOTH LARF AND 
THE RB CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR HUNT'S DEATH, SOME 
ITALIAN OFFICIALS MAY BELIEVE THAT FAHS WAS CONNECTED 
WITH LARF AND PERHAPS "CONTRACTED" BY THE RB TO KILL HUNT 
-- HENCE A LARF-RB LINK.  ALTHOUGH IN NO POSITION TO 
DISPROVE THIS THEORY, WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO CONFIRM THIS 
LINK BASED UPON AVAILABLE EVIDENCE. 

8.  THE LARF  ISLAMIC JIHAD LINK.  WE CANNOT YET VERIFY 
THAT THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN LARF AND ISLAMIC 
JIHAD.  THE TWO GROUPS APPEAR TO BE COMPOSED OF MEMBERS 
FROM SEPARATE ISLAMIC SECTS.  THEY ARE ACTIVE IN 
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, AND USE DIFFERENT MO'S. 

9.  "ISLAMIC JIHAD" IS APPARENTLY THE OPERATIONAL 
COVERNAME USED BY ONE OR MORE PROIRANIAN RADICAL 
LEBANESE SHIITE ORGANIZATIONS.  THESE GROUPS, GENERALLY 
KNOWN UNDER THE RUBRIC HIZBALLAH (PARTY OF GOD) ARE 
OFFSHOOTS OF THE MODERATE AMAL ORGANIZATION LED BY NABIH 
BERRI.  SOME HIZBALLAH MEMBERS RETAIN TIES TO AMAL AND 
MAY EVEN KEEP UP MEMBERSHIP IN IT. 

10.  HIZBALLAH HAS PROBABLY BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR SEVERAL 
MAJOR ANTI-WESTERN TERRORIST ACTS IN LEBANON.  THE 
EARLIEST OF THESE, BEGINNING IN 1983, INVOLVED CAR BOMBS 
LOADED WITH HIGH EXPLOSIVES SUCH AS HEXOGER.  LATER 
ATTACKS IN LEBANON CLAIMED BY ISLAMIC JIHAD ALSO INCLUDED 
SHOOTINGS AND KIDNAPPINGS.  ALTHOUGH ANONYNOUS CALLERS 
ALLEGED TO BE SPOKESMEN FOR "ISLAMIC JIHAD" HAVE CLAIMED 
RESPONSIBILITY FOR ATTACKS OUTSIDE LEBANON (MURDER OF 
GENERAL OVERSSI, MINING OF RED SEA AND DECEMBER L983 
KUWAIT BOMBINGS) WE CANNOT SUBSTANTIATE THIS. 

11.  LARF, ACCORDING TO MOST REPORTING, IS COMPOSED OF 
LEFTIST/MARXIST LEBANESE AND/OR PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANS 
FORMERLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE 
LIBERATION OF PALESTINE.  LARF SEEMS TO OPERATE ON A 
SMALLER SCALE THAN ISLAMIC JIHAD. 

12.  INFORMATION ON MOHAMED FAHS.  WE HAVE NO INFORMATION 
ON MOHAMAD FAHS THAT IS NOT ALREADY KNOWN TO THE ITALIANS. 

13.  THERE FOLLOWS A LIST OF LARF ACTIONS: 

NOVEMBER 1, 1981 
ATTEMPTED SHOOTING OF CHRISTIAN CHAMPMAN US CHARGE 
D'AFFAIRS IN PARIS 

JANUARY  8, 1982 
ASSASSINATION OF COL. CHARLES RAY US ASSISTANT MILITARY 
ATTACHE IN PARIS 

APRIL 9, 1982 
ASSASSINATION OF SECOND SECRETARY IN CHARGE OF POLITICAL 
AFFAIRS AT THE ISRAELI EMBASSY IN PARIS - YACOV 
BARSIMANTOV 
 
AUGUST 21, 1982 
ATTEMPTED BOMBING OF CAR BELONGING TO US COMMERCIAL 
COUNSELAR RODERICK GRANT IN PARIS 

SEPTEMBER 17, 1982 

BOMBING OF CAR BELONGING TO ISRAELI DEFENSE PURCHASING 
MISSION IN PARIS SERIOUSLY WOUNDING THREE OCCUPANTS PLUS 
BYSTANDERS. 

SEPTEMBER 30, 1983 
BOMBING OF MARSEILLE TRADE FAIR, KILLING ONE WOUNDING 
27.  ALSO CLAIMED BY ARMENIANS AND RIGHTIST FRENCH GROUPS. 
                                                . 
FEBRUARY 1, 184 
ASSASSINATION OF LEAMON HUNT SINAI MULTINATIONAL FORCE 
AND OBSERVERS DIRECTOR, IN ROME.  ALSO CLAIMED BY RED 
BRIGADES 

MARCH 26, 1984 
ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF ROBERT HOMME US CONSUL GENERAL 
TO STRASBOURG 

14.  GROUPS USING THE COVER NAME ISLAMIC JIHAD 
ORGANIZATION (IJO) HAVE CLAIMED CREDIT OR ARE BELIEVED TO 
HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FOLLOWING ATTACKS IN 
1982-1984: 

MAY 24, 1982 
CAR BOMBING AT THE FRENCH EMBASSY IN BEIRUT IN WHICH  2 
PERSONS WERE KILLED AND 27 WOUNDED. 

MARCH 15-16, 1983 
GRENADE/ROCKET ATTACKS ON U.S. AND ITALIAN MULTINATIONAL 
FORCES IN BEIRUT. 

APRIL 18, 1983 
AMERICAN EMBASSY TRUCK BOMBING IN BEIRUT. 

JUNE 5, 1983 
ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF THE LIBYAN AMBASSADOR TO 
LEBANON IN THE NAPOLEON HOTEL IN BEIRUT. 

OCTOBE 2, 1983 
TWIN TRUCK BOMBINGS AGAINST AMERICAN AND FRENCH 
MULTINATIONAL FORCES IN BEIRUT. 

NOVEMBER 4, 1983 
TRUCK BOMBING ATTACK AGAINST AN ISRAELI MILITARY BUILDING 
IN TYRE. 

DECEMBER 12, 1983 
SIX BOMB ATTACKS IN KUWAIT IN WHICH THE TARGETS INCLUDED 
BOTH THE AMERICAN AND FRENCH EMBASSIES. 

DECEMBER 21, 1983 
TWO BOMBINGS IN BEIRUT AGAINST A FRENCH MULTINATIONAL 
FORCE HEADQUARTERS BUILDING AND A BAR FREQUENTED BY 
WESTERNERS. 

JANUARY 17, 1984 
KIDNAPPING OF THE SAUDI ARABIAN CONSUL HUSSEIN FARRASH IN 
BEIRUT. 

JANUARY 18, 1984 
ASSASSINATION OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT PRESIDENT 
MALCOLM KERR IN BEIRUT. 

FEBRUARY 7, 1984 
ASSASSINATION OF GHOLAM ALI OVEISSI AND GHOLAM HOSEIN 
OVEISSI, TWO LEADING MILITARY FIGURES OF 
PRE-REVOLUTIONARY IRAN, IN PARIS. 

FEBRUARY 8,1984 
ASSASSINATION OF UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AMBASSDOR IN PARIS. 

FEBRUARY10,19984 
KIDNAPPING OF AN AMCIT FRANK REGIER, AN ELECTRICAL 
ENGINEERING PROFESSOR AT THE AUB IN BEIRUT. 

MARCH-APRIL1984 
THREATENING LETTERS RECEIVED BY U.S., BRITISH, FRENCH, 
AND ITALIAN DIPLOMATS AND SEVERAL U.S. BUSINESSES IN A 
NUMBER OF NEAR EAST/SOUTH ASIAN AND EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES. 

MARCH 7,1 984 
KIDNAPPING OF CABLE NEWS NETWORK BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF 
JEREMY LEVIN. 

MARCH166, 1984 
KIDNAPPING OF AMERICAN EMBASSY POLITICAL OFFICER WILLIAM 
BUCKLEY. 

MARCH 27, 1984 
A FRENCH DIPLOMAT, SAUVEUR GLIOZZO, WAS SHOT AND 
SERIOUSLY INJURED IN BEIRUT. 

APRIL 2,1 984 
BOMBINGS IN WEST BEIRUT TARGETING DRUZE-OWNED 
ESTABLISHMENTS. 

MAY 8, 1984 
KIDNAPPING OF U.S. CLERGYMAN BENJAMIN WEIR IN BEIRUT. 

JUNE 7, 1984 
EXPLOSION AT THE SAUDI EMBASSY. 

JULY 1984 
PLACING OF MINES IN THE GULF OF SUEZ AND THE RED SEA. 

AUGUST 5, 1984 
ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF KHALID ALMARZOOK, PUBLISHER 
OF AL-ANBA, IN MARBELLA, SPAIN. 

SEPTEMBER 12, 1984 
ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF A LIBYAN DIPLOMAT IN MADRID. 

SEPTEMBER 14, 1984 
ONE SAUDI WAS KILLED AND ANOTHER WOUNDED IN A TERRORIST 
ATTACK IN MARBELLA.  THE SAUDIS WERE CIVIL ENGINEERS. 

SEPTEMBER 20, 1984 
BOMBING OF AMERICAN EMBASSY ANNEX IN EAST BEIRUT. 

DECEMBER 3,1984 
KIDNAPPING OF MR. KILBURN, LIBRARIAN OF THE AMERICAN 
UNIVERSITY IN BEIRUT. 

JANUARY 8,1985 
KIDNAPPING OF FATHER JENCO, HEAD OF CATHOLIC RELIEF 
SERVICES IN BEIRUT. 

NOTE:  IN SOME CASES, OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS HAVE ALSO 
CLAIMED CREDIT FOR THE SAME INCIDENT.  THE BEST AVAILABLE 
EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT LIBYA WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 
GULF/RED SEA MINES. 
 
SHULTZ 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04