Shia Muslim kidnapers holding at least two American hostages threatened today to punish them in retaliation for Israel’s air attacks today on Palestinian and pro-Iranian guerrilla bases in Lebanon that left 15 people dead.
The threat came in typewritten statements in Arabic signed by the Islamic Jihad, the pro-Iranian faction holding American journalist Terry Anderson and educator Thomas Sutherland.
One of the two identical statements attributed to Islamic Jihad, or Islamic Holy War, went to a Western news agency with an instant color photograph of Anderson. The same statement without a photograph was delivered to a Beirut newspaper.
The statement denounced Israel’s retaliatory air strikes.
“Committing this stupidity and this attack shall not pass without a punishment,” it said. “The criminal America must realize it will not get away with what it has done, especially in connection with the hostages we hold, so that will be a lesson to whoever strikes at the dignity and glory of our people and moujahedeen (holy fighters).”
In the photo, Anderson, 40, with a bushy beard, was looking directly into the camera. He was wearing a Commodore Hotel T-shirt, as he wore when he was kidnaped.