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Airline Hijacker Pleads Guilty

Pan Am Flight 73 Terrorist Will Receive Life Sentence. A member of a Palestinian terrorist group agreed yesterday in federal court to spend the rest of his life in prison, admitting that he led the 1986 hijacking of a Pan American airlines flight in Pakistan in which 22 people, including two Americans, were killed. Zayd Hassan Safarini told U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, with the aid of an Arabic-speaking interpreter, that he was pleading guilty to 95 counts of murder, air piracy and terrorism “because I want to get this case over with, because I consider myself to be guilty.” Safarini and four fellow members of the Abu Nidal terrorist organization were convicted in Pakistani courts of hijacking the plane and its 379 passengers on the tarmac of a Karachi airport and terrorizing the passengers for 16 hours while demanding to be sent a pilot to help them take off. When no pilot arrived, the terrorists opened fire and tossed grenades at the trapped passengers, according to charges. Full Story

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