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'Mastermind' of 1982 Jewish diner attack held

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'Mastermind' of 1982 Jewish diner attack held
Emergency teams carry a body from the restaurant shortly after the bombing. Photo: AFP
16:51 CEST+02:00
The suspected mastermind of an attack on a Paris Jewish restaurant in 1982 that left six people dead and 22 injured has been arrested in Jordan, a source close to the case said Wednesday.
Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, alias "Amjad Atta" was one of three men for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year.
 
He was arrested in Jordan on Wednesday, though further details remain unknown.
 
The other two men suspected to have been involved in the attack have been named as Mahmoud Khader Abed Adra alias "Hicham Harb", 59, who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank, and Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, alias "Souhail Othman", 56, in Norway.
 
The attack began around midday on August 9th, 1982 when a grenade was thrown into the busy restaurant in the Marais district, a popular and largely Jewish neighbourhood in the centre of Paris.

Two men then entered the restaurant, which had around 50 customers inside, and opened fire with machine guns.

Overall, between three and five men are thought to have taken part in the attack, which was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organisation, a Palestinian militant group.

They opened fire on passers-by as they escaped down the street, using "WZ-63" Polish-made machine guns.

 

(The scene after the bombing. Photo: AFP)
 
The investigation has made little progress over the years. One of the few pieces of evidence was one of the guns, found in the Bois de Boulogne park on the western edge of Paris shortly after the attack.
   
At the time, France often suffered the spillover from the conflict in the Middle East, with numerous clashes involving Arabs and Jews on its soil.  
Two years prior to the Goldenberg attack, a bomb exploded outside a Paris synagogue, killing four and wounding around 20.
 
In 1978, Palestinian militants opened fire on passengers at Orly airport south of the capital, targeting passengers for a flight to Tel Aviv. 
Three gunmen died along with two police officers and three passengers.
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