An anonymous caller said Tuesday the Red Brigades had killed Brig. Gen. James L. Dozier, but Italian police discounted the claim and pressed their search for the kidnapped American officer. Police raced to the country village where a mystery caller told them they would find the body.
An Arabic-speaking man claiming to represent the terrorist gang called the Beirut office of the Italian news agency ANSA. The US State Department couldn't confirm or deny the ANSA report.
ANSA quoted the caller as saying, ''The Red Brigades of Baader-Meinhoff make the following announcement: The Red Brigades claim responsibility for the condemning to death and the execution of the American general, James Dozier, judged guilty by a people's tribunal.''
Dozier was kidnapped by the Red Brigades from his apartment in Verona last Thursday.
Noting the Red Brigades had never made such a call from outside Italy, police investigators in Verona said they were skeptical about the authenticity of the call.
Investigators also said the phrase ''the Red Brigades of Baader-Meinhoff'' had never before been used by the terror gang even though it has praised the Baader-Meinhoff West German terror group. The Baader-Meinhoff name was mentioned by the Red Brigades, however, in a weekend communiqucf11e claiming responsibility for the Dozier kidnapping.