The center of Paris is an architectural and sociological and commercial delight, and it attracts Parisians who come by convenient public transportation from every other part of the city. Many of the places bombed by the terrorists in the last nine months are frequented by Parisians. To stay away from the city's public places, or to go and then feel worried and encumbered by bag checks, takes much of the joie de vivre out of Paris.
The terrorists, who are demanding the release of three Middle Eastern prisoners convicted or indicted for terrorist acts, have left 14 bombs in the past nine months-four in the past eight days-at such sites as the drivers' license bureau in police headquarters, the post office at the City Hall, the Galeries Lafayette department store, two suburban trains heading into major Paris subway stations, a bookstore on the Boulevard St. Michel, two shopping arcades on the Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower.
The Secret Army Organization was responsible for more than 700 bombings in 18 months, including 18 in a single night in Paris. The most murderous attack came outside Paris in June, 1961, when an explosion derailed the Strasbourg-to-Paris train, killing 28 people and injuring more than 100.