Arrests in Sweden of Arabs suspected of guerrilla attacks appear to be part of an international police effort to find the group that blew up a Pan Am jet over Scotland last December.
Swedish courts Saturday ordered five men suspected of a series of bombings and planned attacks in 1985 and 1986 held in custody. Police linked them to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
The CIA has said it believes the Popular Front planted the bomb that blew up the Pan Am airliner over the village of Lockerbie, killing 259 aboard and 11 on the ground.
The suspects here were held "with probable cause" on suspicion of bombing the Stockholm and Copenhagen, Denmark, offices of Northwest Orient Airlines in 1985 and 1986. One person died and 20 were injured in the Copenhagen attack in May 1985.
The men also are suspected of planning to bomb offices of Israel's El Al airline in Copenhagen and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Their lawyers told reporters the men denied the charges.
Three of the men also are suspected of robbing a Stockholm post office of $37,000 this month.
A source with knowledge of the international Lockerbie investigation said one of those arrested had been spotted at an apartment raided by West German police last November. The apartment belonged to Hadj Dalkamouni, said by a West German federal prosecutor to be security and foreign section chief of the Damascus-based Popular Front.
Police said at the time they had found arms, explosives and a bomb including 12 pounds of the explosive Semtex, the type used in the Lockerbie bombing. They also found three radio cassette players similar to the one used to blow up the Pan Am jet.
According to the source, Swedish police were tipped off by their West German colleagues and had shadowed the man ever since.
A police spokesman in Lockerbie said crash investigators were being kept advised of developments by Swedish police, but added that reports of a link between the Pan Am bombing and the five arrests were just speculation.