APPROVED FOR RELEASE
DtC SC OOWI-M
Or tne PLO
A rrvember group of the Palestine Liberation Organization might have oorvduoted me attacat to embarrass PLO Chairman Arafat and to demonetrtte It* operational capacities in tha aftarmetti ofecant Cairo Declaration. Fatah Forcend Arafat deputy Seieh KhaW't PLO LMfted Security Orpanttetlon have theeetern Europe to carry out attacks such aa thoee conducted today
It la highly unlikely that Arafat would condone an attack In Italy that would Jeopardize relations already strained by the Achilla Lauro hijacking. An anti-Arafat PLO group backed by Syriahird possibility. Several PLO leaders have long felt that Arafat's diplomatic efforts Iniddle East peace are potentially detrimental to the Palestinian cause. The attacks, therefore, would demonstfate the group's continued dedication to the armed struggle against Israel as opposed to Arafat's emphasis on
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Tt4 Aviv views the attacks as part of its ongoing conflict withIsrael probablyhe attacks aspretext for striking at PLOhe Bakuebanon, wtttah are within the envalope of Syrian air dstema misafltw that Israel wouM have to destroy nrst. An anack on Syrian missiles In La barton probaWy would spill over tnto Syria andyrianalong the Lebaneee border.
Italian Prima MWeterocialbrt. and Foreign Minister ArKmsoW. the ranking Christian Democrat In the granting coalition.oowiemn tha attack, but they wtfl Insist that Rome must watt for the raaufts of the Imnjstkjetton before assigning bierne. Doth Cnud and An<$reotti are syrt^thettc toward the PLO, and evidenceLO rote wouid be darneolng to them at home. pifBBBj
Craxl end Andreottt probably already have soughtrom Arafat that the PLO vrati not Involved. Oaxl in partlcuiar la likely lo try to avokl ratgWIng tha oftloism of the govern rnents handling of the Incident of tha Aor.Seokmg by insisting that hidttal process mustwsd to take fla eoureo. He Is also likely lo insist that Rome wtil nol ralMsg tiw Hi lackers of Aonfee Lauro or any other imprisoned terrorist to avoidha ruture.ssjjjjjj
Austrian Chenoelror Sinowatt wW condemn tha attaoka strongly, and all Austrian poHbcal pertlee are Hkety to strase malr determination that tha airport attack should notartisan ntaue during the campaign toew precldem In May. Austrian public statements are lately to Include reminders of Vienna's longstanding interestiddle East settlement that takes account of Palest mien Interests.Original document.