[sixties-l] Fwd: Red Army Woman Held After 3 Decades On The Run

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 11/13/00

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    >From: "red-rebel" <red-rebel@supanet.com>
    >Subject: Japan: Red Army Woman Held After 3 Decades On The Run - Rueters
    >Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000
    >Japan Red Army Woman Held After 3 Decades on Run
    >By George Nishiyama
    >TOKYO (Reuters) - The 30-year reign of a woman dubbed the ''empress'' for
    >her long leadership of one of the world's most notorious extremist groups
    >ended on Wednesday with her capture outside a hotel in western Japan.
    >Fusako Shigenobu, 55, who media reports said had checked into the hotel
    >disguised as a man, smiled and gave a thumbs up sign to reporters and a
    >crowd of onlookers as she arrived in handcuffs at Tokyo Station, where
    >police had brought her by train from the city of Takatsuki.
    >Shigenobu, leader of the leftist Japanese Red Army, had spent years on the
    >run from international law enforcement authorities.
    >Her arrest in Japan came as a surprise, because she had been believed to be
    >living in Lebanon. She was reported to be carrying a laptop computer and
    >several floppy disks when arrested, media reports said.
    >Police said she was being held for her alleged role in violent crimes by the
    >Japanese Red Army -- once one of the world's most feared extremist groups.
    >Government officials expressed relief at her arrest, and the news vied for
    >top billing in Japanese evening newspapers with the U.S. presidential
    >Evening television news programs carried live aerial footage of her being
    >brought to the capital.
    >``It's great that a person who was involved in all sorts of terrorist acts
    >from the late 60s has been arrested,'' Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori was
    >quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.
    >The top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, told a
    >news conference: ``I hope her arrest will become a stepping stone leading to
    >the capture of other members still on the run.''
    >On Wanted List
    >Shigenobu had been on the international wanted list for allegedly
    >masterminding the Japanese Red Army's 1974 attack on the French embassy in
    >the Netherlands city of The Hague, in which it took the French ambassador
    >hostage in return for the release of an imprisoned comrade.
    >The Japanese Red Army was born out of the 1960s anti-Vietnam War movement
    >and advocated the destruction of capitalism. Its members fought at home
    >against the presence of U.S. forces in Japan and then in the early 1970s
    >took their struggle overseas.
    >Shigenobu, originally a member of the Red Army Faction group, traveled to
    >Lebanon in 1971 and founded the Japanese Red Army, which linked up with
    >Palestinian extremists to become an implacable foe of Israel.
    >The Japanese Red Army became known in the 1970s for a series of deadly and
    >spectacular attacks, ranging from plane hijackings to hostage taking.
    >Among those was the 1972 attack on Israel's Lod airport in which 26 people,
    >including two Red Army members, were killed in a hail of machine-gun fire
    >and grenade blasts.
    >Last May, Tokyo police arrested four Red Army members who allegedly took
    >part in various hijackings, embassy seizures and other crimes after they
    >were deported from Lebanon.
    >But Lebanon granted political asylum to another member, Kozo Okamoto, for
    >his role in operations against Israel.
    >Okamoto, who was arrested for the attack on Lod airport and imprisoned in
    >Israel, had been freed in 1985 in an exchange of prisoners between Israeli
    >and Palestinian forces.
    >But with the end of the Cold War and moves for peace accelerating in the
    >Middle East, the group's presence became troublesome for many Arab nations
    >and it was dealt a blow after it reportedly lost its base in Lebanon in
    >Shigenobu's arrest may spell the end of the weakened organization, Japanese
    >media said.
    >The Japanese Red Army had its roots in another extreme leftist group, the
    >Red Army Faction.
    >Members of that group were allegedly responsible for hijacking a Japan
    >Airlines (JAL) plane on a domestic flight and forcing it to fly to Pyongyang
    >in March 1970 in what was Japan's first hijacking.
    >The suspects were granted political asylum in North Korea
    >and their extradition to Japan has been one of the issues hindering
    >normalization of ties between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

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