Terrorist Abu Abbas Captured in Baghdad

  1. Abu Abbas captured in Baghdad: US official
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    WASHINGTON (AFP) - Abu Abbas, a Palestinian who masterminded the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985, has been captured by US-led forces in Baghdad, a US official said.


    "He has been captured by coalition forces in Baghdad," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


    Abbas, leader of the Palestine Liberation Front, had been living in Baghdad under the protection of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), the official said.


    Details of the capture were expected to be announced by the US Central Command, a US defense official said.


    US Marines a week ago captured and searched a PLF training camp in Iraq (news - web sites) where they discovered bomb-making facilities.


    Chemicals, mortars, gas masks and AK-47s also were found inside the 20-building complex to the east of Baghdad, said Corporal John Hoellwarth, a Marine spokesman.


    The complex, which was the size of a battalion headquarters, featured pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, PLF faction leader Abbas and the PLF's flag, Hoellwarth added.


    Other photos included pictures of Abu Abbas posing with a brigadier general from Saddam's Republican Guard inside the camp.


    Abbas was sentenced in absentia in Italy to five life terms for his role in the Achille Lauro hijacking, in which an elderly, wheelchair-bound American tourist, Leon Klinghoffer, was murdered and thrown into the Mediterranean.


    The Italian luxury liner, which was carrying more than 400 passengers and crew, was seized in Egyptian waters by four heavily armed Palestinians who demanded that Israel free 50 Palestinian prisoners.


    Denied docking rights in Syria, they decided to kill one of the passengers to show that they were serious.


    Klinghoffer, 69, was pushed to the side of the ship, where one of the terrorist shot him in the head and chest and then threw his body overboard.


    Egypt, unaware that Klinghoffer had been murdered, gave the hijackers safe passage in exchange for freeing the ship and its passengers.


    But US Navy F-14 fighters from the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga intercepted an Egyptian airliner flying the terrorists to Tunisia, forcing it to land at a NATO (news - web sites) base in Sigonella, Sicily. The terrorist surrendered and were taken into Italian custody.


    His group's 1990 attack on a seaside hotel in Tel Aviv prompted the first Bush administration to sever contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization (news - web sites). The contacts were resumed after the 1993 Oslo accords.



    [FONT=century gothic]What this article does not tell is that after being forced into Italy, the Italians let him go because they said the evidence agaisnt him was not sufficient. 2 days later he was in Iraq. Where apparently he stayed.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    Sitting in his Gaza Strip office 13 years after the slaying of American tourist Leon Klinghoffer, former PLO guerrilla chieftain Abul Abbas offered a short laugh and a hard look.

    ''You never forget, all of you, do you?'' he asked a journalist.

    http://www.boston.com/dailynews/105/...freedom:.shtml

    18 years on the run, we got him, thank goodness.

    Thanks for the good news Helen !
  4. by   Talino
    'got him alright... but can he really be prosecuted??? Dang... don't I wish one of the Marines' M16 discharged by accident when they nabbed him.

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/...ted/index.html

    Abbas is general director of the Palestinian Liberation Front, one of multiple offshoots of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The U.S. State Department has designated the PLF a terrorist organization.

    Palestinian Cabinet member Saeb Erakat said Wednesday that the United States violated the Oslo peace accords when it apprehended Abbas.

    Erakat pointed to the Oslo accords, signed by Israel and the PLO and witnessed by the United States, Russia, Jordan, Egypt, Norway and the European Union, of which Italy is a member. That agreement specified that no member of the Palestine Liberation Organization will be arrested or brought to court for any action that happened before September 13, 1993, the day the first Oslo accord was signed, Erakat said.

    U.S. authorities filed a criminal complaint against Abbas over Klinghoffer's death in 1986, but a federal grand jury never indicted him. U.S. officials said they were scrambling to find out why the complaint was dropped and "actively discussing" what, if any, legal action to take next.

    "Right now everybody is talking to everybody -- several agencies, including the Defense Department," a senior U.S. Justice Department official said.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    He has been convicted already in Italy:

    "After the fall of Baghdad last week, Palestinian terrorist
    Abu Abbas tried to escape into Syria, but was turned
    away at the border by Syrian officials. Palestinian
    officials tried to intercede with the Syrian government
    on his behalf and he tried to cross the border a second
    time, but was again rebuffed by the Syrian government.
    He also tried unsuccessfully to flee to Iran.

    According to wire reports:

    Before his capture Monday night, Abbas had trie d
    twice to flee Iraq through Syria but was turned away, Palestinian officials close
    to the guerrilla leader's organization said Wednesday. They said he also had tried
    to get into Iran. After the fall of Baghdad last week, Abbas traveled to Mosul and
    then to the Syrian border but was recognized and turned back by Syrian officials.
    He returned to the Syrian border several days ago after Palestinian guerrilla
    factions based in Damascus tried to intercede with the Syrian government on his
    behalf, but was turned away again. He returned to Baghdad, where he has been
    living for most of the last 18 years, and was captured the next day, the officials
    said from south Lebanon, on condition that they not be identified further.

    This information appeared in hundreds of media outlets, but was buried near the
    end of the articles.

    Abbas is best known for the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in
    the Mediterranean Sea, during which an elderly American passenger, Leon
    Klinghoffer, was shot to death and dumped overboard in his wheelchair. Abbas
    was convicted by an Italian court in absentia for plotting the hijacking and
    sentenced to life in prison."
  6. by   oramar
    Do you know I actually saw a reporter have the nerve to say that this guy was no big deal because he has not murdered anyone in almost 15 years. EXCUSE ME
  7. by   Furball
    I wonder if he would have that same attitude if it were his elderly Grandfather so brutally murdered?

    There are quite a few brilliant reporters but there are an awful lot of incredibly stupid ones too.
  8. by   Hardknox
    But wait! What was he doing in Iraq? All the anti-war/anti-GWB protesters have told us there is NO connection with Iraq and terrorists. It's only about oil.

    I bet we soon find the WMD's Iraq never had.
  9. by   Furball
    Yes indeed...point A to point B isn't always a neat, straight line but the connection is there, nonetheless. So happy he's been caught!
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Hardknox
    But wait! What was he doing in Iraq? All the anti-war/anti-GWB protesters have told us there is NO connection with Iraq and terrorists. It's only about oil.

    I bet we soon find the WMD's Iraq never had.
    I NEVER said that!
    When you say "ALL" you are almost always in error.

    Most protesters belive SH had no direct connection to 9/11. Most do believe his regime paid suicide bombers families $$$. That IS a connection.

    If our troops find WMD I will believe it.
    I am letting readers on this BB know now I wil be wary if the CIA finds any.
    I trust most of our service members. The CIA has been both honest and not. Their job involves deception. To many have lied and been caught.

    I am glad he is caught. Hope he tells all he knows.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Apr 16, '03
  11. by   nursenoelle
    Does the Double Jeopardy rule of law include that we may not charge him for the same crime since Italy let him go?

    either way, we got him on the PLO training camp business, and yet another example of Iraq supporting terrorism.
  12. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by Hardknox
    But wait! What was he doing in Iraq? All the anti-war/anti-GWB protesters have told us there is NO connection with Iraq and terrorists. It's only about oil.

    I bet we soon find the WMD's Iraq never had.
    Yanno, I had exactly the same thoughts! But then, I'm just a evil, slobbering, unthinking warmonger. I also had the same thoughts when we had to fight our way into an Al Quaeda training camp in northern Iraq. I thought someone told us Al Quaeda wasn't in Iraq. But, I didn't post then because I figured it was just my slobbering, unthinking, warmongering side roaring out of the closet again.

    Kevin McHugh
  13. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by nursenoelle
    Does the Double Jeopardy rule of law include that we may not charge him for the same crime since Italy let him go?

    either way, we got him on the PLO training camp business, and yet another example of Iraq supporting terrorism.
    No, Noelle, double jeopardy applies to charging someone twice for the same crime in the US. If you are found innocent in a US court, you cannot be retried for the same crime. Innocent or guilty in another country has no impact on trying someone in the US.

    Interestingly enough, the Italians released Abbas BEFORE they tried him in abstentia. After his release, he was tried and found guilty. Interesting, if somewhat ineffective way to practice law enforcement.

    Kevin McHugg
  14. by   Mkue
    That kinda irks me that Italy released him "not enough evidence" and then tried him. I wonder what the story is behind that.

    "The White House says the arrest of Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas in Baghdad shows that U.S. forces will track down terrorists wherever they are trying to hide. "

    http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?o...BA2BAE479CF664
    Last edit by mkue on Apr 16, '03

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