Australia Police have issued a $1 million reward for information about the bombings of two Jewish institutions in Sydney 40 years ago, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Ten years ago, a reward of $100,000 was offered, to no avail.
In 1982, both the Israeli consulate in Sydney and the Hakoah Club in Bondi were attacked - a bomb exploded outside the consulate, and another one was detonated in the basement of the club, which at the time was hosting hundreds of competitors for the Maccabi Games.
Police at the time linked the two attacks and described them as the works of Palestinian nationalist terrorists believed to be members of the Palestinian May 15 Organization. Hussayn al-Umari, believed to have made the bombs, is still wanted by the US Department of Justice in relation to a number of bombing attacks.
According to police, three local people were behind the Sydney bombings. Facial composites were made up of them based on witness descriptions, and at least one of the three is thought to be currently in Australia.
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Paul Toole said he hoped the $1 million reward would be the “final push” members of the public needed to offer up information.
“These two horrific targeted attacks were international acts of terrorism and, despite extensive damage caused to the Israeli consulate and the Hakoah Club, we are extremely fortunate that no one was killed,” Toole said.
Counter terrorism and special tactics commander Mark Walton welcomed the latest development, telling the Herald, “These attacks have remained in the hearts and minds of Jewish, Israeli and Australian communities – and certainly never forgotten by investigators – who’ve worked diligently to prepare evidence for the information of the NSW coroner.”
In a press conference on Monday, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Darren Bark stressed the ongoing impact of the bombings on the Jewish community in Sydney.
“These bombings were an act of terror on home soil against innocent Australians with an intent to kill,” he said. “The community deserves to know the truth about what took place that day.”
Police have stated that the $1 million reward will be paid to anyone who has information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the attacks.