International Terrorism

Authored by: Geraint Hughes

The Routledge History of Terrorism

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415535779
eBook ISBN: 9781315719061
Adobe ISBN: 9781317514879


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On Sunday, September 6, 1970, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked three airliners (one each from TWA, Pan Am, and Swissair), taking 300 hostages and flying them to a commandeered airfield in Jordan. They were joined three days later by the passengers and crew of a British airliner taken by the PFLP en route from Bombay to London. The hostage-takers issued demands to the United States, British, West German, and Swiss governments to release Palestinian terrorists in their custody, and on September 12, they blew up their captured planes in front of assembled journalists. “Skyjack Sunday” and its aftermath was a stunning coup de théâtre for the PLFP comparable in its effect to 9/11. Furthermore, the hijackings not only forced Britain, Switzerland, and the Federal Republic of Germany to free convicted terrorists, but it brought global political and media attention to the Palestinian cause. It was truly an act of “international” terrorism. 1

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