Japanese Red Army: Co-founder of terror organization apologizes for hurting innocent people after release from prison | world news

The co-founder of a Japanese terrorist group has apologized for hurting innocent people after she was released from prison after serving a 20-year sentence.

Fusako Shigenobu, who helped form the communist militant group Japanese Red Army, was convicted of masterminding the 1974 siege of the French embassy in the Netherlands after she was arrested in 2000 in Osaka where she was hiding.

The group tried to overthrow the Japanese government and start a world revolution.

They are alleged to have been behind a machine gun and grenade attack at the international airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, which killed 28 people in 1972.

Shigenobu, who was not physically present during the attacks, was met in Tokyo on Saturday by her daughter and a mob of reporters as she was released from prison.

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Shigenobu was met by her daughter and reporters in Tokyo. Photo: AP

“I feel strongly that I finally made it out alive,” she said.

“I’ve hurt innocent people I didn’t know by putting our fight first.

“Although times were different, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies.”

The Japanese Red Army, founded in 1971 and allied with Palestinian militants, took responsibility for several attacks, including the takeover of the US consulate in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1975.

Fusako Shigenobu, Japanese communist activist and former leader and founder of the now-disbanded terrorist group, the Japanese Red Army (JRA), is released after being convicted in Akishima City, Tokyo on May 28, 2022. Fusako Shigenobu was charged as joint principals in a conspiracy to attack the French embassy in The Hague in 1974 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.  (The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images)
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Shigenobu was not present in any of the group’s attacks. Photo: AP

A year after her arrest, Shigenobu declared the group disbanded. According to Japanese media, she had surgery for cancer while incarcerated.

Kozo Okamoto, who was injured and arrested in the attack on the Israeli airport, was released in 1985 during a prisoner exchange between Israeli and Palestinian troops and is reportedly in Lebanon.

Okamoto and several other members of the group are still wanted by Japanese authorities.

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