The hijacking of the Achille Lauro

History of Sorts


I still vividly remember this story, I just couldn’t fathom the needless cruelty at the crime.

On October 7, 1985, four men representing the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the Italian MS Achille Lauro liner off the coast of Egypt, as she was sailing from Alexandria to Ashdod, Israel. The hijacking was organized by Muhammad Zaidan (a.k.a. Muhammad “Abu” Abbas), leader of the PLF.


A 69-year-old Jewish American man in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish-American appliance manufacturer, was murdered by the hijackers. They then threw his blood-stained body – still in his wheelchair – overboard in full view of many of the American and British passengers on board.


He was a relative of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and writer David Klinghoffer.

Abbas had been responsible for many attacks on Israel and its citizens in the early 1980s. On multiple occasions, he sent men on hang gliders and in hot air balloons on bombing missions to Israel, all of which turned out to…

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