Suspect in 1982 Paris Attack Arrested in JordanJune 22, 2015 in Jordan
According to a source close to the case, the suspected mastermind of an attack on a Jewish restaurant in Paris France in 1982, which left six people dead and injured 22 others, has been arrested in Jordan.
Zuhair Mohamed Hassan Khalid al-Abassi was one of three men for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year. According to a French legal source, he was arrested on 1 June and an extradition request is underway. An official source from Jordan has indicated that “ a court (has) imposed a travel ban pending a decision on whether he will be extradited.”
According to a Jordanian source close to the case, extraditing to France the suspected mastermind of the attack may prove difficult as “Jordan does not usually extradite its citizens to other countries, even in the case of an extradition agreement,” adding, “in such a case, they are generally tried in specialized Jordanian courts.” Al-Abassi appeared, without legal representation, before Judge Talal al-Saghir, who specializes in extradition cases. According to the source, when asked if he was the person being sought by Paris in connection with the attack, the suspect replied in the affirmative. The judge has since ordered that Al-Abassi’s passport be surrendered. The suspect has been released on bail, pending resolution of the issue. According to security sources, Al-Abassi was detained in the city of Zarqa, which is located some 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Amman.
Between three and five men are believed to have taken part in the attack, which was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organization, a Palestinian militant group. The other two main suspects in the attack have been named as Mahmoud Khader Abed Adra, who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank, and Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, who is a resident of Norway. The attack on the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant, in Paris’ Marais district, began around midday on 9 August, when a grenade was thrown into the dining room. Two men then entered the restaurant, which at the time had around 50 customers inside, and opened fire. They also shot at passers-by as they escaped down the street. The entire incident lasted several minutes. Over the years, the investigation has made little progress.