Jordan said Wednesday that the suspected mastermind of an attack on a Paris Jewish restaurant in 1982 that killed six people and wounded 22 had been arrested but was out on bail and banned from leaving the country.
Official sources said Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, who goes by the nom de guerre “Amjad Atta”, was “arrested on June 1 under an international arrest warrant. A court imposed a travel ban pending a decision on whether he will be extradited,” an official source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A source in the security services said the 62-year-old suspect was released on bail.
Amjad Atta was one of three men for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year.
Overall, between three and five men are thought to have taken part in the attack, which was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organization, a Palestinian terrorist group.
The other two main suspects in the 1982 attack have been named as Mahmoud Khader Abed Adra, alias “Hicham Harb,” who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank, and Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, alias “Souhail Othman,” a resident of Norway.
The Abu Nidal Organization, officially known as the Fatah-Revolutionary Council, was considered one of the most ruthless of the Palestinian terrorist groups.
Amjad Atta is thought to have been the number three in the group’s “special operations committee.”
The attack on the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant, a busy venue in the Marais district, a popular largely Jewish neighborhood in the center of Paris, began around midday on August 9, 1982 when a grenade was thrown into the dining room.
Two men then entered the restaurant, which had around 50 customers inside, and opened fire with machine guns. They also shot at passers-by as they tried to escape down the street. The entire incident lasted only a few minutes.
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 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.
And more than 30 years later, the French capital would again be rocked by an anti-Semitic attack, as jihadist gunmen took hostages at a Jewish supermarket and killed four — part of the Charlie Hebdo attacks that left 17 dead in total.