[Jacques Chirac] took note of this, and also that he had just come from the funeral of the policeman who died last Sunday while removing a bomb from a crowded restaurant on the Champs Elysees. Delivering the eulogy at the funeral, Chirac said his government is determined to battle "this absolute evil led by the barbarians of modern times."
Before his statement on television, Chirac had a long telephone conversation with President Francois Mitterrand, who is on a state visit to Indonesia. Mitterrand has been criticized for leaving France at this time, but he has insisted that terrorism must not be allowed to interfere with the normal activities of the president. Chirac has supported him in this.
Theories abound about the true identity of the terrorists and their goals. Many official police reports indicate that the government believes that the terrorists are made up of the Abdallah family and the Lebanese Revolutionary Armed Faction. But Denis Baudouin, Chirac's spokesman, hinted Thursday that the government also thinks the matter is more complicated than that.