Soldier’s ID Checked for Link to Blast : GI Found Dead on Day of Bombing at U.S. Base in Germany
Police said today that they are trying to determine whether terrorists used a slain American soldier’s identification card to enter a U.S. air base in West Germany that they bombed last week.
Arno Falk, a spokesman for the West German Federal Police, said the ID card was sent to the Reuters news agency in Frankfurt today.
Falk said investigators are trying to determine whether the terrorists used the card to enter the tightly guarded U.S. Rhein-Main Air Base and plant the car bomb that killed two people and injured 20 others.
The identification card accompanied a letter claiming responsibility for last Thursday’s attack at the base outside Frankfurt in the name of the French Direct Action and West German Red Army Faction leftist terrorist groups.
Copies of the letter were sent to other news agencies last week.
Shot to Death
The soldier was found shot to death the day of the bombing near Wiesbaden, in what U.S. officials at first said appeared to be an incident unrelated to the bombing. Wiesbaden is a 25-minute drive west of Frankfurt.
Wiesbaden police spokesman Dieter Bartz confirmed today that the personal documents of U.S. Spec. 4 Edward Pimental were missing when his body was discovered in woods.
Falk said Pimental had been shot in the back of the head and was also beaten on the head. In Washington, Army officials said Pimental was a native of Fall River, Mass., who worked as a missile repairman with the 563rd Ordnance Company and was 20 when he died. He claimed his residence of record as New York City, the Army said.
Rex Gribble, spokesman at the U.S. Army-Europe headquarters in Heidelberg, said witnesses last saw Pimental alive in the company of a man and a woman at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 as he left a Wiesbaden discotheque.
Struck Up Conversation
Wiesbaden police said witnesses told them that Pimental had struck up a conversation with the woman at the bar in the discotheque. The man, apparently a friend of the woman, joined her and Pimental as they left the disco, police said.
Police are seeking both people for questioning.
In a development in another attack on the U.S. military, a news agency received an anonymous letter today claiming that its authors attempted to burn railroad sleeper cars used by the U.S. Army on its route to West Berlin, police said.
The letter demanded better treatment for imprisoned members of the Red Army Faction but did not claim responsibility in the name of any specific group.
West German police said Monday that railroad employees found four sleeper cars reserved for the exclusive use of the U.S. military broken into at a railroad yard where they were parked in Frankfurt.
Blankets, pillows and other inflammable fabrics had been soaked with diesel fuel and stacked in the entrance of two of the cars, police said.
Police said they also found an “igniting device” that malfunctioned.