Palestinians Seize Achille Lauro Cruise Ship (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Four Palestinian terrorists, wishing to force Israel to release some of their comrades from prison, hijacked an Italian ship and murdered one of their hostages.
Murder on the High Seas
On October 7, 1985, the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro left the Egyptian port of Alexandria with 350 crew members and 97 passengers. The ship was headed toward Port Said, Egypt, where it was to pick up 750 more passengers. Once the passengers were all on board, the vessel was scheduled to visit Ashdod, Israel.
The ship, which had begun its Mediterranean cruise at Genoa, Italy, had originally carried five members of the terrorist organization known as the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), which is part of Yasir Arafat’s wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). At Alexandria, one of the five, Abdulrahim Khaled, had left the vessel. He is thought to have been the right-hand man of Mohammed Abu Abbas, who planned how the ship would be hijacked.
The four sea pirates’ original plan was to seize control of the vessel when it reached Israel, and to hold it until Israeli authorities released Palestinian terrorists who were being held in prison. But an Italian steward aboard the Achille Lauro accidentally discovered the hijackers’ weapons and alerted the captain....
(The entire section is 984 words.)
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