Canadian Professor Held Over Deadly 1980 Synagogue Bombing in Paris

Three Frenchmen and an Israeli woman were killed, 20 people were wounded in blast outside synagogue.

Canadian police arrested a University of Ottawa sociology professor Thursday in connection with the 1980 bombing that killed four people and more than 20 wounded outside a Paris synagogue.

Hassan Diab, 54, was taken into custody by agents of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada's national police force, at his home in Gatineau, Quebec, Diab's lawyer, Rene Duval, told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper.

RCMP confirmed that the arrest was made by members of a Canadian anti-terrorism team cooperating with a French investigation, carrying out a provisional arrest warrant under Canada's Extradition Act.

"This is a French investigation," RCMP Corporal Jean Hainey said. "The RCMP was simply providing assistance under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty."

Hainey refused to identify the man arrested as Diab.

The bombing on October 3, 1980, outside the Copernic Road Synagogue in Paris, killed three French men and a young Israeli woman.

The bomb was placed in a bag attached to a motorbike that was parked outside the synagogue in a street called Rue Copernic, in the posh 16th district of Paris.

The bomb exploded just minutes before a crowd of people were due to emerge from the synagogue. The attack took place on a Friday night, at the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

Twenty other people were wounded in the bombing, which was not claimed by any group.

According to L'Express, French investigators suspect that the bombing was organized by a small Palestinian militant group that was at odds with Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization.

Duval said, Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian who works part-time as a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University in Ottawa, is expected to appear in court Friday afternoon.

Two French judges issued an international arrest warrant against Diab earlier this month. Under Canadian law, French authorities have 45 days to add further evidence to support an extradition request.

Canadian police were not immediately available to comment.

L'Express said Diab had dual Lebanese and Canadian citizenship and was a sociology lecturer at a university in Ottawa.

A team of French police, magistrates and intelligence officers were in Canada were reportedly working on the case and would try to arrange Diab's extradition to France.