Friday, May 1, 2009

Hijacker and Killer of U.S. Citizen Released From Custody in Italy

The government of Italy has released from prison one of the Palestinian hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, the notorious terrorist incident from 1985 in which an elderly and handicapped U.S. citizen was murdered.

The surviving family members of the victim released this statement: Daughters Of Leon Klinghoffer Outraged At Early Release Of Achille Lauro Hijacker

New York, NY, April 30, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the daughters of Leon Klinghoffer today expressed outrage at the early release of terrorist Youssef Magied Al-Molqui from a prison in Palermo, Sicily. Al-Molqui was convicted of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and of the shooting death of Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American tourist. He served 23 years of a 30-year sentence.

Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer issued the following statement:

We are outraged at the news of the release of Youssef Magied Al-Molqui for good behavior. He is the terrorist who was responsible for actually shooting our father, Leon Klinghoffer, in cold blood, in his wheelchair.

We were furious with the Italian court's short sentencing at the time, and we are outraged to now learn that he will be leaving prison early for "good behavior." [TSB note: That all that good. In 1996, Al-Moqui failed to return to prison from a furlough and skipped out of Italy to Spain, where he was recaptured a month later.] There should be no good behavior clause for terrorist murderers. This is a travesty.

The Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of the Anti-Defamation League is dedicated to educating the world about the deadly realities of terrorism, working to combat the threat of terrorism through educational, political and legal means.

According to the Associated Press, Al-Molqui is now in a holding center for immigrants in Trapani while Italian officials work to expel him. Is there something stopping the U.S. government from seizing this scumbag and delivering him to the U.S. justice system?

The leader of the attack on the Achille Lauro, Abu Abbas, was captured in Baghdad by U.S. forces in 2003 but died of a heart attack before he could be brought to the U.S. for trial, so this country has not yet punished anyone for the heinous murder of Klinghoffer. Italy has no death penalty, and I assume that extradition of Al-Molqui would require the U.S. to agree not to seek to execute him, but we could still seek a life sentence. Spending the rest of his life in a SuperMax prison is the very least Al-Molqui deserves.

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