If Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi learned a lesson from the U.S. retaliatory air strike two years ago, he could have forgotten it and may need a reminder. In any event, he seems to be up to the same old dirty tricks again.
Scripps Howard News Service reports that a new wave of terrorism is underway, and American experts believe that one of Gadhafi's partners in it is the notorious Abu Nidal. Nidal, who broke with the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1973 and organized the murderous Fatah Revolutionary Council, was expelled from Syria last year and has set up headquarters in Libya.Gadhafi also is suspected of using the Japanese Red Army, a small terrorist group that suddenly has become active after several years of quiescence. In addition, he has been aiding the underground Irish Republican Army. A ship carrying 150 tons of Libyan-provided weapons to the IRA was intercepted on the high seas last November by French authorities. The arms included surface-to-air missiles.
What especially concerns American authorities is the possibility that Gadhafi may be plotting attacks in the United States, which has been largely immune to the activities of foreign terrorists. A member of the Japanese Red Army was arrested in April on the New Jersey Turnpike after his car was found to be carrying three homemade bombs.
A JRA member also is suspected of being responsible for a car-bomb attack on an American USO club in Naples, Italy, in which a U.S. servicewoman and four others were killed.
Abu Nidal's organization is suspected in as many as seven terrorist attacks in the past three months. An Israeli counter-terrorism specialist said the other day, "It's a fact that Abu Nidal is back in international business."
American authorities haven't yet found a "smoking gun" to tie Gadhafi to the recent upsurge in terrorism. When and if they do, it may be appropriate to have U.S. military forces unload another strong dose of anti-terrorism medicine on the Libyan dictator.