ATTACK ON ISRAEL REVEALS LIBYA'S CONTINUING ROLE IN TERRORISM -- HON. WM. S. BROOMFIELD (Extension of Remarks - June 20, 1990)
HON. WM. S. BROOMFIELD
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 1990
- Mr. BROOMFIELD. Mr. Speaker, the recent terrorist attack on Israel clearly shows that Libya is still deeply involved in supporting and promoting international terrorism. Without the assistance of countries such as Libya, terrorist operations of this nature could not occur. America and its allies must continue to cooperate in isolating Libya, denying that government access to sensitive materials, and ensuring that Colonel Qadhafi pays a high price for playing with fire.
- Despite his slick public relations efforts designed to create a moderate image for himself, Colonel Qadhafi is still supporting international terrorism and continues to threaten countries that oppose him and his policies. The recent abortive terrorist attack on Israel is a classic example of how Libya actively supports terrorist groups. The members of the Palestinian Liberation Front [PLF] who carried out the attack were trained for the operation in Libya and were taken to a predetermined location in the Mediterranean in a Libyan boat. They were accompanied to the launching point by a Libyan liaison officer. The mother ship reportedly returned to Libya after launching the speedboats used in the raid. The Libyan role in planning and executing this operation was extensive. Libyan military personnel supplied the ships, weapons, training and most of the crew of the vessel from which the attack speedboats were launched.
- One of the two boats intercepted by Israel military units was captured offshore north of Tel Aviv, while another landed on a deserted beach south of the city. Four of the attackers were killed and twelve were arrested. No Israelis were hurt in the unsuccessful seaborne attack.
- A few days prior to the raid, Colonel Qadhafi allegedly allowed the head of the PLF, Mohammed Abbas, also known as Abul Abbas, to visit the terrorist group at their Libyan training base. Qadhafi also allowed Abul Ez, the deputy to Abul Abbas, to board the mother ship that carried the speedboats toward the Israeli coast. Abul Abbas is the head of the PLF,
- one of the six major factions under the PLO, and is also one of the 15 members of the PLO's Executive Committee. Prior to this recent attack on Israel, Abul Abbas was the mastermind of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise liner in which wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer, an American citizen, was shot and dumped overboard.
- In addition to training and equipping terrorist groups, the Libyan leader also shelters terrorists. He recently released from house arrest the infamous Abu Nidal, head of the radical Fatah-Revolutionary Council or Abu Nidal Organization [ANO]. Last year, Abu Nidal had decimated his own terrorist group when he ordered the execution of more than 150 followers in Libya. Recent reports reveal that Abu Nidal is rebuilding his organization and is again capable of mounting international operations. In the past, the Fatah-Revolutionary Council was responsible for the massacres at the Rome and Vienna airports in 1985 and a bloody attack on a synagogue in Istanbul in which 21 Jewish worshippers died.
- Libya has also supported non-Arab terrorist groups. In 1985 and 1986, the Irish Republican Army [IRA] took delivery of nearly 120 tons of arms and explosives from Libya, including a ton of Semtex explosive and 12 SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles. Some of those weapons and explosives have been used by the IRA in terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and in other European countries. Italy's Red Brigades [BR] terrorist organization has also received Libyan help.
- Last year, the irresponsible Colonel shocked the world when he completed construction of the Rabta chemical facility. That plant is capable of manufacturing nerve and mustard gases that can be used in both military and terrorist operations. Equally disturbing is a report that Libya has tested an inflight refueling system that will increase the range of Libyan fighter bombers. Now, the Colonel can launch chemical weapons attacks against distant targets. Of great concern is the fact that Europeans assisted in developing the plant and the refueling system.
- Last week, a West German businessman, Juergen Hippenstiel-Imhausen, who was accused of helping to build a chemical weapons plant in Libya, testified that he was involved in the Rabta project, but didn't know the factory would make chemicals for arms. He claimed that although he was suspicious that the project would be in conflict with West Germany's export laws, he failed to investigate the true purpose of the plant for fear of losing the lucrative contract. West German prosecutors, government and security officials have proof that the Libyan plant was built to produce poison gas, and not pharmaceuticals. The West German businessman was responsible for overall management of the project, and his company delivered production plans and equipment for the plant.
- The recent attack on Israel clearly reveals that terrorists need equipment, training and a support base from which they can launch their operations. Libya, Syria and other terrorist-supporting states provide such facilities. The United States and its allies should politically and economically isolate these pariah states that condone and support mindless terrorism, and should make them pay a high price for rendering assistance to international criminals. The Western World should also ensure that sensitive materials and equipment are not provided to terrorist-supporting states. America and its allies must ensure that our export control laws are obeyed and that stiff criminal penalties are given to violators of those controls. We must work together to combat international terrorism in all its forms. Through international cooperation we can shut down Colonel Quahafi's training camps and end his involvement in terrorism.