• Short Summary

    In the aftermath of Sunday's (20 August) Arab terrorist attack in London, in which an El Al air stewardess and a terrorist were killed, British police on Monday were holding and interviewing an unidentified Arab.

  • Description

    GV El Al airline coach outside Europa Hotel, London.

    SV Bullet holes visible along side of coach.

    GV Taxi abandoned in centre of roadway.

    GV Police and security officers at scene of shooting.

    GV Chief of Anti-Terrorist Squad Commander Jim Nevill, talking with other officers.

    GV Scene of shooting.

    GV EXT Middlesex Hospital, London.

    SV TEL AVIV ISRAEL Meir Amit, Israeli Transport Minister speaking.

    CU Commander Jim Nevill speaking.

    GV & CU Armed policemen outside Palestine Liberation Organisation building, London. (3 SHOTS)

    GV Police searching shooting scene for forensic clues. (3 SHOTS)

    CU EL Al aircraft taxing along tarmac at Heathrow Airport, London.

    GV PAN Security and police officers on guard around aircraft as crew leave airport coach and board aircraft. (3 SHOTS)

    TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "The ambush was carried out by at least two men. They fired sub-machine guns and threw either grenades or bombs.

    Apart from the El Al crew bus, a taxi was bombed, and the windows of a private car shot out. Buildings nearby were pitted with bullet holes. It is believed one of those who died was an attacker, blown up by his own bomb.

    The Head of Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Squad, Commander Jim Nevill, in charge of the investigation, His men are questioning at least one man.

    The eleven El-Al injured were taken to Middlesex Hospital."

    SEQ. 8: AMIT: "We have to draw lessons. We have to see if all security measures have been taken properly and that there is no loophole that should be corrected. And also, we have to get in touch with the local authorities to see to it that all the proper measures of security will be taken. We are going to do these things, and also to approach the international institutions that are connected, or that has to do with these issues."

    HEWITT: "The Israelis are also complaining that their own airline security staff are not allowed to carry weapons in this country. What comment would you make about that?"

    SEQ. 9: NEVILL: "It's something I won't comment on. It is not the responsibility of my branch, and it would be very unfair for me to speak about this."

    REPORTER: "What about our own police than? Are they adequately armed for this sort of attack?"

    NEVILL: "Well, you know the policy of the Metropolitan Police, that our officers will be armed, and can be armed, if necessary. And, as far as I am personally concerned, I think our level of arming the police is just right at the moment."

    REPORTER: "But there's no suggestion that perhaps more of them should be armed?"

    NEVILL: "None whatsoever. We are quite adequately armed to deal with them in (INDISTINCT) eventuality."

    REPORTER: "Armed uniformed police on the streets of Britain have become a familiar sight, with the frequency of Middle Eastern violence occurring in London. These officers were outside the Palestine Liberation Organisation office this morning. There is understandable reluctance to have uniformed officers with guns, and they have been asked to be as discreet as possible. But it's thought there are several hundred armed officers now operating in London.

    As police have been pulling together the details of yesterday's attack, they have revealed that the gunmen fired up to sixty-five rounds. They now believe the gang had been in Britain for up to fourteen days. Police are still holding an Arab aged about twenty-two, but he was carrying no documents. and he's still to be positively identified.

    As El-Al flights arrived at Heathrow today (21 August), they were surrounded by armed police. The twenty-one relief crew for its flight to Tel Aviv, were driven onto the tarmac by coach, and escorted up the steps by armed officers. But the accusations that Israel has levelled at British security, concerns protection given to aircrews when they leave the airport."

    The dead girl was Irit Gidron, 29, from a settlement near Haifa. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Special Operations claimed responsibility for the attack. In a communique, the group said orders had been issued to members of the Zheuir Akasha commando unit to strike a group of Israeli pilots working for the Israeli military complex and El Al in London? Akasha, who called himself Captain Mahmoud, was the commando leader who hijacked a Lufthansa airliner late last year and was killed when West German border guards commandos stormed the airliner at Mogadishu airport. In retaliation for the attack Israeli warplanes on Monday struck Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon. A Palestinian military statement said three commandos died and fourteen civilians were injured in the strafing raids.

    Initials JS/0305


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In the aftermath of Sunday's (20 August) Arab terrorist attack in London, in which an El Al air stewardess and a terrorist were killed, British police on Monday were holding and interviewing an unidentified Arab. Police had chased and caught the man after the attack with sub-machine guns and bombs in an El Al airlines coach near a central London hotel. As the coach with 21 airline personnel on board was pulling up outside the hotel, the terrorists raked it with machinegun fire. Police said later four grenade-type bombs went off in the twenty seconds of violence. Eleven people were injured. Police said the dead man had been fatally wounded by his own bomb. Gavin Hewitt of the British Broadcasting Corporation reports, and the Israeli Minister of Transport Meir Amit comments on security.

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