THE United States -- which has taken an increasingly strong stand against terrorism abroad, as evident in US handling of the Achille Lauro affair -- cannot under any circumstances tolerate terrorist incidents at home, within its own borders. We are referring to the killing recently of Alex Odeh, a regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Mr. Odeh was slain when a bomb detonated as he was opening the door to his office in Santa Ana, Calif. This was the second time in recent months that the Arab-American group has been targeted for bombing. On Aug. 16 a pipe bomb was found outside the group's offices in West Roxbury, Mass., a Boston neighborhood. A police officer was injured when the bomb exploded as he soug ht to disarm it.
Mr. Odeh, a college instructor and family man with young children, was given to writing poetry -- and seeking to build bridges of understanding between Arab-Americans and other Americans, including members of the American-Jewish community. American Jewish organizations have joined Arab-American groups and the White House in condemning the bombing. The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, for example, said that the bombing was an act of ``domestic terrorism which cannot be tolerated.''
The night before his killing, Mr. Odeh was interviewed on television, in which he had spoken out in favor of Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Whether the bombing was directly aimed at Mr. Odeh, or at the offices of the Arab-American group, it is essential that the perpetrator, or perpetrators, be brought to justice.