On July 1, 1973, Col. Yosef Alon - a charismatic former fighter pilot and the assistant air and naval attache at Israel's Embassy in Washington - was gunned down in his suburban Maryland driveway. Recently declassified CIA documents, Alon's voluminous FBI case file, and interviews reveal that years after the shooting, the agency received a tantalizing tip about who likely pulled off the assassination and how the deadly plot was carried out.
On the same day as the murder, monitors from the State Department heard the PLO's Voice of Palestine radio announce: "Col. Yosef Alon...was executed.... His is the first execution operation carried out against a Zionist official in the U.S.'' According to portions of the FBI file that remain secret, "A sensitive source advised that the Black September organization was responsible for the crime.'' The CIA had learned from a "Fedayeen senior official'' that two students had entered the U.S. via Canada and traveled on either Lebanese or Cypriot passports to Washington.
In addition, Black September had tried to detonate three car bombs in New York City in March 1973.