LEBANON: PROSPECTS FOR HIGGINS RESCUE GROWING DIM

Created: 2/26/1988

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Tod Secfrfi

LE GANGS':

(or Higgins Rescue Growing Dim

Chsnces th/it Lieutenant Colonel Hlcglns will fie rescued are lading at lime passes and as Amal reconsiders Its ellorts io line! him. In Iheays since Ihe kidnap/rig. Hizballah has had time lo reinforce ihe security around Higgins and to shlttSh^eburden ol guilt onto Amal lor trying loS

Meanwhile, crowds al rallies in Beirut orcheslrated by Hizballah to oppose Secretary stiuiw's visit to the Middle East yesterday chanted slogans demanding death lo the US and to Higgins. HizoaHah speakers urged confront alien with both the US and Ihe UN to rimove (hem from Lebanor

s unlikely that hlgglns will be leund soon. Hizballah leaoers ana Iran are now aware heormer member of Secretary Weinberger's staff and no doubt assume he has detailed knowledge of US programs and plans in Lebanon and Ihe Middle East, Amal will probablyursory search lor Higgins but will try to avoid ;fasnes yvllh Hizballah thai could expose its weakness in the south.

The abduction seems lo be partarger effort to Intensify pressure on the US, France, and the UN to end Iheir presence In Lebanon, lo resolve hostage Issues en Iranian and Hizballah terms, and probably to obtain the release ol Shia terrorists Imprisoned in Kuwait. HizbaHan's leaders and their Iranian patrons evidently think the US and France are particularly vulnerable because of their earning elections.parts ofprobably try more kidnapings. release videos, possiblyostage, and peek other publlciiy lo iostte the political process in both Washington and Pa/is.

Original document.

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