Norwegian Police Arrest Palestinian Terrorist Wanted for Deadly 1982 Attack on Paris Kosher Restaurant
by Ben Cohen
Police in Norway on Wednesday announced the arrest of a suspect in the deadly attack by a radical Palestinian terrorist faction on a kosher restaurant in Paris in 1982 that claimed the lives of six people.
A spokeswoman for the PST — Norway’s counterterrorism agency — told the AFP news agency that a man in his sixties had been arrested in the southern town of Skien “on a European arrest warrant issued by the French authorities.”
While the PST statement did not name the suspect, for the last five years, France has been pressing Norway to detain and extradite Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed — one of the two terrorists who opened fire with machine guns into the crowded dining room of Chez Jo Goldenberg on Rue des Rosiers in Paris during its lunchtime service on Aug. 9, 1982. Two US citizens were among the fatalities in the attack, which also left more than 20 people wounded.
Abu Zayed, a naturalized Norwegian citizen, has been living openly in Norway for nearly 30 years under the name “Souhail Othman.”
The PST confirmed that it had already received an extradition request from the French authorities for the man in their custody. “It will be examined carefully to see if the conditions are met,” the spokeswoman said.
Abu Zayed was identified and tracked down by the French authorities in 2015 on the basis of intelligence they received from former members of the terrorist Abu Nidal Organization.
At the time, France’s top magistrate tasked with combating terrorism, Marc Trévidic, issued arrest warrants for Abu Zayed and several other suspects in the atrocity, including Souhair Mouhamed Hassan Khalid al-Abassi ‐‐ aka Amjad Atta ‐‐ a Jordanian citizen who was reputedly the mastermind behind the attack.
However, Norway refused a February 2015 extradition request for Abu Zayed from the French government. “There is no legal basis in Norway for expelling a Norwegian citizen to France or any other country,” a government official explained at the time.
Abu Zayed’s partner in the attack — 57-year-old Nizar Tawfiq Mussa Hamada, who lives in Jordan — is also wanted by France.
In May 2019, the Jordanians roundly rejected a French appeal for Hamada’s extradition.