Home / Mid-East / TWA Flight 847: Hijack suspect freed after same-name error

TWA Flight 847: Hijack suspect freed after same-name error

TWA Flight 847 out of Athens to Rome has been hijacked

Image copyright
Alain Nogues/Getty

Image caption

The Trans World Airlines plane flying from Cairo to San Diego was hijacked on 14 June 1985

A Lebanese man detained in Greece on suspicion of hijacking a plane in 1985 has been released after police found they had the wrong person.

Mohammed Saleh, 65, was detained on Thursday in Mykonos after his identity came up during a passport check as being wanted by Germany.

TWA Flight 847 was seized by militants thought to belong to the Islamist group Hezbollah, a claim it denied. A US navy diver was killed.

Mr Saleh was released late on Monday.

A man with an identical name is wanted by authorities for the hijacking, along with a kidnapping committed in 1987, the Lebanese foreign ministry said.

However, Mr Saleh’s father’s name does not match that of the suspect, the ministry told AFP.

An Arabic-speaking interpreter questioned Mr Saleh, who was later released without charge.

He has been moved to a hotel and after he gets his passport back he will fly to Beirut via Athens, the Lebanese foreign ministry said.

The Trans World Airlines plane was flying from Cairo to San Diego with stops in multiple cities when it was hijacked on 14 June 1985 after taking off from Athens. It was forced to land in Beirut.

A total of 153 passengers and crew members were held hostage, some for 17 days. A number were tied and beaten by the hijackers, who demanded the release of hundreds of Lebanese Shia detainees in Israeli custody.

When the prisoners were not released, Robert Dean Stethem, a 23-year-old US Navy diver who was one of the hostages, was shot dead and his body was thrown on to the tarmac at Beirut airport.

Negotiations led to the release of the remaining hostages as some demands were met.

Greek media said the real wanted man had been arrested in Germany two years after the hijacking but was later exchanged for two Germans who were abducted in Beirut.

TWA Flight 847: Hijack suspect freed after same-name error}

Check Also

Lebanon scraps WhatsApp tax as protests rage

Media captionLebanon protesters: “We can make a change” Protests raged for a second day in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *