On April 14, 1988, a car bomb exploded in front of the USO Club in Naples, Italy. The explosion killed five people, including a U.S. servicewoman, and injured 15, including four U.S. servicemen. Junzo Okudaira, a member of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) terrorist group, was indicted in the United States on April 9, 1993 for the Naples bombing. Okudaira is also a suspect in the June 1987 car bombing and mortar attack against the U.S. Embassy in Rome.
The JRA formed in the 1970’s after breaking away from Japanese Communist League–Red Army Faction. At its peak, the organization had as many as 40 members and was considered to be one of the best armed leftist groups in the world. During the 1970s, the JRA carried out a series of attacks around the world, including the 1972 Lod Airport massacre in Israel, two Japanese airliner hijackings, and an attempted takeover of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The JRA’s historical goal has been to overthrow the Japanese Government and monarchy; however, the group’s leader was arrested in 2000 and the following year the group announced its plans to disband. The organization’s history of close relations with Palestinian terrorist groups led many to believe that the JRA power structure moved to the Middle East.
The Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that brings to justice those responsible for this attack.