The FBI said yesterday that two Cuban exile fugutives, charged with the 1976 car-bombing assassination here of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier, are wanted for questioning about three bombings Sunday night at Kennedy International Airport and in New Jersey.
Joseph MacFarlane, who heads the New York FBI office, said the FBI had no specific evidence linking Jose Dionisio Suarez and Virgilio Pablo Paz to the Sunday blasts, but that the two fugitive are known to be connected with Omega 7, the violent, right-wing anti-Castro terrorist group that claimed credit for the explosions.
MacFarlane said that "scientific examination" of the bombs at Kennedy Airport and at two storefronts with Cuban links in New Jersey showed that the same group or person had made all three bombs. Four Trans World Airlines baggage handlers were injured in the Kennedy blast, which occured when a bomb exploded in a suitcase about to be loaded onto a Los Angeles-bound TWA flight.
Michael V. Townley, the American-born Chilean secret police agent who has confessed to building and planting the bomb that killed Letelier, heavily implicated Suarez and Paz in the killing when he testified at the recent trial of three other Cuban exiles who were convicted in connection with the assassination. But Suarez and Paz have so far evaded a worldwide search for them.
MacFarlane said that by publicly announcing that the FBI was searching for them in connection with the New York and New Jersey bombings, the bureau hopes that someone might tip off the FBI about the fugitives whereabouts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Lawrence Barcella jr., one of the prosecutors in the Letelier case, said he was "disturbed" about the FBI's tactics, saying that if Suarez and Paz actually were int he New York area, they certainly would flee the area if they knew the FBI was looking for them.
The Kennedy Airport blast was caused by four or five sticks of dynamite with a timing device, the FBI said, adding that it assumed the device would have blown a hole in the TWA jet if it had gone off inside the plane.
The other two bombings took place at the New Jersey Cuban Program in Weehawken, which handles immigration, job placement and social work for Cubans, and at the Almacen Pharmacia in Union City, which ships medicine to Cuba. TWA was targeted apparently because it has flown charter flights to Cuba.