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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lebanese Refugee Camp Harbors Achille Lauro Terrorist

Lebanon Violence: Lebanese troops fought new gun battles with Islamic extremists in the north of the country while the plumes of black smoke rose from the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr Al-Bared. (Photo Credit: Ramzi Haidar, AFP/Getty Images)

Do you remember the 1985 murder of American, Leon Klinghoffer, aboard the cruise ship, Achille Lauro? Klinghoffer (69), Jewish and wheelchair bound, was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists. Some of the ship's staff were forced to dump his body over the side. Mr. and Mrs. Klinghoffer were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary.

Today, an Achille Lauro hijacker is reported to be alive and well inside the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon (shown in photo above). While Wikipedia shows that Bassam al-Ashker was paroled in Italy in 1991, and died in February 2004, it seems he may be alive, is attempting to fulfill his mission and is boastful of fighting Americans:
"I organize the training of young Palestinian recruits who we send to fight the Americans alongside the Iraqi resistance," Ashker told reporters. "I have even fought them myself in Fallujah and Ramadi," two rebel bastions west of Baghdad.
The hijacking of the Achille Lauro was masterminded by Abu Abbas (also known as Muhammad Zaidan) - a name well-know to those of us who pay attention to the War on Terror. He was the founder and leader of the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF). As the Achille Lauro passengers were freed, Abass escaped (???) capture, fled Italy, and was sentenced in absentia. He ran straight to Saddam Hussein, who personally protected him and afforded him safe harbor. Abass died in U.S. Custody in Baghdad in March 2004.

Reports are that Ashker spent 14 years in Iraq after his 1991 parole, before relocating to Nahr al-Bared.

Cross-posted from Maggie's Notebook