Cold Case: 1973 killing of Israeli diplomat remains a mystery

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On the early morning of July 1, 1973, Col. Yosef Alon, a former fighter pilot who helped found the Israeli Air Force, was shot at the entrance of his Chevy Chase home.

It was about 1 a.m. Alon and his wife, Dvora, had just returned home from a dinner party for a co-worker of Alon's at the Israeli Embassy.

Dvora heard five gunshots and turned to see a light-colored car driving away. Alon collapsed in his yard.

Their 18-year-old daughter, Dalia, used towels to stanch the bleeding. He was taken to a hospital, where he died at 1:27 a.m.

It was assumed that the Alon was assassinated by Arab spies. The FBI launched a massive investigation, but no one was ever charged and the agency officially closed the case in 1976.

Five years ago, the Associated Press obtained declassified documents that revealed the CIA had received credible information in the late 1970s that the killing was the work of the Black September Organization. That Palestinian terror group was responsible for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich.

The CIA hypothesized that two university students entered the United States through Canada and made contact with a D.C.-area professor.

After the students had shot Alon, they ditched the rental car with the weapons still inside and flew out of Washington Dulles International Airport.

Fred Burton, a former State Department counterterrorism agent who was a 16-year-old neighbor of Alon at the time of slaying, investigated the killing for his 2011 book "Chasing Shadows." He concluded that some of the plotters may still be alive and in hiding.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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