An Iraqi citizen was arrested in Rome on U.S. charges in the attempted bombings in 1973 an El-Al Airlines building and two Israeli banks in New York, law enforcement officials said.

Khalid Duhan Al-Jawary, 45, was held on U.S. warrants after authorities in Rome detained him for traveling with false documents, James Fox, agent in charge of the FBI's New York office, said Friday."We think we struck gold in a major terrorist case," Fox said at a news conference with Police Commissioner Lee Brown. "This man has been an international fugitive for 18 years."

The U.S. government wants Al-Jawary extradited to stand trial on charges he planted three powerful, but faulty, bombs on March 4, 1973 - the day Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was to arrive in New York for a visit.

Fox said the FBI linked Al-Jawary to the 1973 case because fingerprints taken in Italy matched those obtained at the time of the attempted bombings.