A longtime acquaintance of Japanese Red Army founder Fusako Shigenobu was indicted Friday on charges of harboring the terrorist in Japan in 1998 and later helping her to escape capture.

Tsuneari Murata, a 55-year-old doctor in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, allegedly gave Shigenobu, who was then on the international wanted list, the key to his apartment in Funabashi in August 1998, allowing her to take refuge there, prosecutors said.

Shigenobu organized the Japanese Red Army, which was later responsible for a number of terrorist incidents, in Lebanon in 1971.

Murata, who was quoted as telling investigators he had visited Shigenobu in Lebanon in the spring of 1986, went with her to the Karuizawa resort area of Japan in the fall of 1998, and met with her again in a bar near Meiji University about a year later.

A former student of Meiji University, Shigenobu got to know Murata through student movements, police said.

Murata, who has known Shigenobu for more than 30 years, is the sixth of her acquaintances to be indicted.

Arrested in Osaka in November 2000, Shigenobu was later indicted on charges of attempted murder stemming from the 1974 seizure of the French Embassy in The Hague, and of using a forged passport.

While Shigenobu was not at the scene of the 1974 terrorist attack, she has been accused of masterminding it in a bid to free a Japanese Red Army member who was detained in Paris.

Members of the Japanese Red Army are believed responsible for a string of international terrorist incidents, mainly in the 1970s.

Japanese police say Shigenobu’s followers were also involved in the 1972 attack at Lod airport, now called Ben Gurion airport, in Tel Aviv, which killed about 25 people.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.