BUENOS AIRES, July 19 -- President Carlos Menem said Tuesday internal security may be lacking in Argentina and charged that Argentines are involved in the bombing of a Jewish organization in Buenos Aires that killed 26. 'Perhaps we have let up a little on the subject of internal security,' said Menem.
A Moroccan man and an Iraqi man have been arrested in connection with Monday's bombing, and Menem said Argentine groups may have provided logistical support in the incident. 'Those responsible for placing the bomb had help from the same local groups who cheer on the Santiago del Estero disturbances and the (Mexican) rebellion in Chiapas,' said Menem. Government workers in Santiago demonstrated violently last year owing to government delays in paying their wages. Monday's bombing of the Mutual Israeli-Argentine Association building virtually leveled the seven-story structure, killing 26 and injuring 142. Menem denied he received warnings from Israeli officials about possible attacks against Argentina's Jewish community. Chilean officials said Monday they were given such warnings by the Israeli Embassy in Santiago in the last month. Menem also denied reports foreign officials had warned his government about the 'permeability' of Argentina's borders and the selection by terrorist groups of Argentina as a prime target for bombings. Menem used the incident to push further for the death penalty in Argentina and the creation of an Internal Security Ministry 'to fight against incidents like the bombing' of the Jewish organization.