Hand of Terrorism

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Gastarbeiter (guest workers) and their families. Their close-knit ghettos near industrial centers would have given Agca plenty of cover, as they have for other extremists in exile. A contact with the P.F.L.P. would have been possible in such a ghetto. West German authorities say that militant Turkish right-wingers there have sent followers to Lebanon for training by the P.F.L.P. Turkish officials believe that members of Agca's own National Action Party were trained in Palestinian camps in Lebanon.

There is no solid evidence that Agca made such a journey, but he made a number of others on the way to his appointment in St. Peter's Square last week. He traveled to Rome at least three times before his most recent arrival and on one rail trip evidently brought in the Browning 9-mm used to shoot the Pope.

In early April, Agca was reported to be near Milan's cathedral by a woman who alerted the Turkish consulate; by the time police arrived he was gone. A few days later, he enrolled, under a false passport and the name Faruk Ozgun, at the University for Foreigners in Perugia. He attended language classes for only one day. Then, as if on a last fling, he was off on a two-week package tour to Palma de Mallorca; his tour operator remembered that he dutifully took all the sightseeing excursions.

On Sunday, May 10, Agca returned to Rome, checking in at the Pensione Isa, a colorless boardinghouse that is about a 15-min. walk from St. Peter's Square. It was there that police searched Room 31 and found Agca's Perugian student card, his false passport, an extra cartridge clip for the Browning and the letter in Turkish boasting of the Pope's death. In the familiar tones of 1979, it denounced "Russian and American imperialism" and made John Paul the scapegoat for both.

Agca had substantial cash in his pockets when arrested: $380 in Italian lire and another $50 in Swiss francs, and his travels had not been cheap. Who was supporting him—or might he have supported himself, as other terrorists have, with robberies? If his assassination attempt was ideological, what had Turkey's rightists, or for that matter Habash's P.F.L.P., to gain from the death of a Pope?

Somewhere in the tangled skein of Mehmet Ali Agca's life lay answers. As his story unravels in the weeks to come, the best news, after all, might be that he did indeed act alone.

—By Mayo Mohs. Reported by Roland Flamini and Wilton Wynn/Rome

Security in an Age of Fear

No sure way to protect public figures or private citizens

Despite their Renaissance garb, the Vatican's famous Swiss Guards are not entirely decorative. They carry halberds, but submachine guns are never far away. At the bronze door of St. Peter's they are stashed in a brass umbrella stand, unnoticed by tourists who click away at the guards' fanciful uniforms. Vatican security is, in fact, a mixture of modern and medieval. Plainclothes Swiss Guards and men from the papal gendarmes hustle alongside the Pope's car when he appears for audiences, just as the Secret Service does for the President of the U.S. But the agents do not turn completely away from the Pontiff to scan directly for possible assailants: Paul VI ruled that it was disrespectful for the guards to turn their backs on the Pope.

Outside the Vatican, Pope John Paul II is largely dependent

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