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French judge issues arrest warrants over 1982 Palestinian attack on Paris Jewish restaurant

media The scene after tha attack in the rue des Rosiers in 1982 AFP

A French anti-terror judge has issued international arrest warrants for three suspects in France’s most deadly anti-Semitic attack since World War II 32 years acter the event. The move comes less than two months after the murder and hostage-taking in a Paris kosher supermarket that followed the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Judge Marc Trévidic issued warrants on 20 February for three alleged members of the Fatah-Revolutionary Council group (Fatah-RC), a breakaway from Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation led by Abou Nidal, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2002.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

Fatah-RC has long been held responsible for the attack, in which a commando threw a grenade into the famous Jo Goldenberg restaurant in rue des Rosiers, a long-time Jewish area of Paris, and then went inside and opened fire on the roughly 50 customers.

They then ran down the street, firing at passers-by, leaving six people dead in total and 22 wounded.

RTL radio and Paris-Match magazine revealed this week that the warrants have been issued, based on a years-long inquiry by the DGSI secret services.

The three suspects are:

  • Mahmoud Khader Abed Adra, alias "Hicham Harb", 59, who now lives in Ramallah on the West Bank;
  • Walid Abdulrahman Abou Zayed, alias "Souhail Othman", 56, who lives in Oslo, Norway;
  • Souhair Mouhamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, alias "Amjar Atta", 62, who now lives in Jordan.

The first two are accused of taking part of the attacks, while al-Abassi is believed to have supervised it.

The warrants send “a strong message to all terrorists”, commented Alain Jakobowitz of the League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra).

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