Norway Detains Suspect Linked to 1982 Paris Attack

This 2005 photo by David Monniaux shows the restaurant Jo Goldenberg on Rue des Rosiers in the Marais, a historically Jewish neighborhood of Paris. (CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Courthouse News)

OSLO (AFP) — Norway on Thursday detained a suspect linked to a 1982 attack in a Jewish neighborhood in Paris that left six people dead and 22 injured, pending a decision on his extradition to France, a court said.

Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, who has been living in Norway since 1991 and became a citizen in 1997, was remanded in custody by an Oslo court after he was arrested on Wednesday following a French extradition request.

Wearing checkered pants and a grey shirt, the 61-year-old suspect of Palestinian origin — also known as Walid Osman in Norway — denied the charges before the court.

“I think it’s wrong to arrest me because I’m innocent,” he said through an interpreter. 

“I do not accept the extradition because I do not trust the French government,” he added.

The court ruled that he would be kept in detention for four weeks, a ruling which was immediately appealed.

On August 9, 1982, a group — three men according to the European arrest warrant issued by France — threw a grenade into the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in a historically Jewish quarter of Paris, then opened fire inside the establishment and on passers-by. 

The attack has been attributed to the Abu Nidal Organisation, which splintered from the militant Palestinian Fatah group.

Already in 2015, France asked Norway to extradite Abu Zayed, suspecting him of being one of the shooters based on the testimony of a former leader of the Abu Nidal group and that of a former member.

Norway has previously not acted on the request because it did not extradite Norwegian nationals but a new agreement between the EU, Norway and Iceland that entered into force last year makes the extradition a possibility.

According to this agreement, a decision on extradition must be taken no later than 45 days after an arrest. 

The Norwegian judiciary is expected to consider the issue at another hearing.

© Agence France-Presse

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