The Libyan government "provided direct support in all phases of preparation" for an unsuccessful May 30 terrorist attack on crowded beach resorts in Israel, the State Department said yesterday.
In a paper it said was based on information from U.S. sources, the department said the six assault boats used in the raid were launched from the merchant ship Tiny Star, known earlier as the Inger M.
It said Libya provided personnel who accompanied the ship from a Libyan naval base to Ras el-Hilal, on Libya's Mediterranean coast. There it picked up at least 16 terrorists of the Palestine Liberation Front.
The department said the Tiny Star then left Libya for the drop-off point west of Israel.
"After launching the assault boats, the Tiny Star probably traveled west-southwest to blend in with the hundreds of merchant ships en route to and from the Suez Canal," the paper said.
"Libya provided direct support in all phases of preparation for the PLF attack against Israel, from assistance in planning the attack to providing personnel who accompanied the ship from which it was launched," the department said.
It said the PLF began preparing for the seaborne attack at least as early as October 1988.
Four Palestinian guerrillas were killed and 12 captured by Israeli forces in the May 30 attack. No Israelis were injured.