The eightieth years of the last century became the time of the fiercest clash of the Israeli special services against Palestinian terror and Arab countries behind the backs of terrorists. At this time, the organizers of terror have relied on air terrorism in the war against Israel and the West ...
Today, going abroad by plane, we do not suspect that international passenger flights could well fall into the category of extreme travel. And so it was. Israel taught the world the principles of flight safety. He neutralized the most formidable weapon international terror.
On Thursday, 17, April, 1986, London Heathrow International Airport, London, ended passenger check-in for the Israel Airlines El Al Boeing-747 plane, which made flight No. 016 on the New York-London-Tel Aviv route. According to the agreement between England and Israel, the Israeli security services were checking baggage there.
Heathrow Airport 80's
The employee, who performed the routine baggage check and passenger interview, drew attention to a young pregnant woman who arrived at the check-in of one of the last.
It was a certain Mary-Anne Murphy, thirty-two years old, the maid of a London hotel. She answered calmly to the standard questions of the security officer, but she didn’t answer with a hitch. This aroused suspicion and a detailed inspection of her baggage was carried out.
In the double bottom of a large bag with gifts, we found one and a half kilograms of plastic explosive (Semtex, Czechoslovakia).
Image is for illustrative purposes only.
In the handbag, a “Commodore” calculator was found, in which a timer and an ingenious device were installed with a certain height setting.
Image is for illustrative purposes only.
Upon reaching this height, or after two hours and fifteen minutes, the transmitter should have sent a signal to the detonator. The device itself was activated by a battery inserted into the calculator. According to the plan, all 375 passengers were to be killed as a result of the explosion on board the aircraft, including Mary Ann herself.
Miss Murphy was shown a calculator and asked who got it and who was packing for her luggage.
She said that her future husband, Nezir Hindawi, did it, and fainted. Airport security officers arrested the woman and handed her over to the British police. Now I had to find out who was behind the attempt to organize a large-scale terrorist act on board an Israeli aircraft.
It should be noted here that the incident at the London airport was preceded by a series of attacks by Palestinian terrorists on the terminals of the Israeli airline El Al at airports in various countries. So, 27 December 1985, two groups of terrorists simultaneously attacked the terminals of "El Al" at the airports of Rome and Vienna. The goal was to kill airline passengers right at the airports.
Despite the sudden attacks, all of them were repulsed by operatives of the Israeli security service. At the Vienna airport, they shot three Palestinian terrorists and one was taken alive, one attacker was shot dead at the Rome airport, and two of his accomplices were captured. 16 killed civilians in these incidents and injured 120, but the terrorists did not achieve their goals.
The Palestinian terrorist organization Abu Nidal (known as Fatah Revolutionary Council, Fatah-RS, OAN, Arab Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims) claimed responsibility for the attacks in Rome and in Vienna closely related to the Syrian intelligence and intelligence of the German Democratic Republic - the Stasi.
The Palestinians and their mentors frantically searched for new methods of committing terrorist acts, and then their choice fell on the use of "live" bombs - unsuspecting passengers should be used as a "means of delivery" of explosive devices on board the aircraft. As a "live bomb" and was used by terrorists Mary-Ann Murphy, arrested at the London airport. During the investigation, it was possible to find out all the details of the preparation of the averted terrorist attack.
Leaving his pregnant bride with her mined carry-on baggage at Heathrow, Nezir Hindawi went to Kensington, to the Royal Garden Hotel, where the crews of the Syrian state rested aviation SAA (Syrian Arab Airlines). There he changed into a Syrian civilian airman uniform. fleet and on their official bus he headed to the airport to fly to Damascus with a flight departing from London at 14:00.
However, the message about the detected bomb appeared in the urgent release of television news. An SAA officer ordered Hindawi to go urgently to the Syrian embassy. There he was met by the ambassador - Dr. Lutof Alla Haydar. Haydar said that he had spoken to Damascus that everything would be fine, but for the time being he sent Hindawi and his escorts to an apartment in Kensington, filmed by the embassy. There they changed his appearance - they cut it, tinted his hair - and left to sleep. The next morning he escaped.
Sometimes prison is the safest place. Apparently for this, he considered it best to voluntarily surrender to the police.
First, during the interrogation, he said that he had no idea about any explosives - they said, he gave his bride a bag in which drugs were hidden, he wanted to smuggle them into Israel in order to sell it profitably. The police did not accept this version, since it was not supported by anything other than Nezir’s testimony. Then Hindawi told the police something that turned out to be verifiable. He said that as a Palestinian, although with a Jordanian passport, he decided to “fight the tyranny of King Hussein,” and to this end, he created the “Jordan Revolutionary National Salvation Movement” in 1985. It consisted of himself, his brother Ahmed Hasi and the merchant, Faruk Salame. The purpose of the movement was "the overthrow of King Hussein and the destruction of the Jews." As a leader of the Movement, he turned to Libya for help, even flew to Tripoli, but did not meet with understanding.
Then he flew to Damascus and met there with some "important person" who Hindawi did not introduce himself. However, he was really important as a man, because he ordered one of his subordinates, Hatam Said, to help the new movement with the solution of “practical issues”. Hindavi received a Syrian "service" passport in the name of Issam Share: such passports, for example, were issued to employees of the Syrian Aviation Company SAA. In April, Hindawi again visited Damascus, and returned to London on his new passport.
During interrogations, Hindawi admitted that he was recruited by Syrian intelligence to carry out the attack. Two Syrian officers directly contacted him, one of whom, Khatam Said, ordered him to carry out the attack aboard an Israeli aircraft. Said suggested using the woman as a means of delivering a bomb aboard the aircraft, since the woman causes less suspicion. As a payment for the terrorist attack, Syrian intelligence promised to pay 250 thousands of dollars to Hindawi. He was handed a plastic explosive, a detonator and explained what and how exactly should be done. The instructions were given by Adnan Habib, an employee of SAA. The goal was defined and agreed: El Al's London flight to Tel Aviv, 17, April. There went the Boeing 747, with the crew and passengers, a total number of 375 people, one of whom would be Ann Murphy, the Irish maid, girlfriend Hindawi.
She met at the Hilton Hotel in London with the Palestinian Nezir Hindawi, who called herself a Jordanian journalist, and became his mistress. Their relationship lasted about two years with interruptions related to the sudden disappearances of Hindawi from London, which he explained by his trips to Jordan. In early April 1986, Murphy told Hindawi that she was six months pregnant. A Palestinian offered her to marry and honeymoon for some reason in Israel. Murphy did not really imagine how a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship could get to Israel - after all, Israel and Jordan were not in good relations at that time, but she gave her consent to the trip.
Nezir bought for his bride all the necessary clothes and clothes for the wedding ceremony, issued her a passport and bought a ticket for the Boeing-747 of the Israeli airline El Al on 17 in April of 1986. He said that he would come to Israel from Jordan, since he does not have the opportunity to fly with her on an Israeli plane, and will meet her at Ben Gurion airport. All the obvious absurdity of Hindavi’s intentions did not arouse suspicion of the naive bride.
On the night before the flight, Hindawi arrived with a large travel bag at the bride's house and helped her to pack and pack the luggage. On the way to the airport Mary Ann Murphy noticed that Nizir was picking at her travel bag. Later it turned out that at that time Hindavi had put the bomb in working condition and set the time of the explosion on an electronic timer. He warned Murphy that, in the course of interviewing passengers at the airport by security officers, she would in no way tell about his participation in baggage collection. He explained to the bride that the Israelis might have some suspicions that could interfere with their wedding ...
This time his words were confirmed by independent sources. Both men, indicated to them as members of the Movement founded by him - his brother and Faruk Hassan - were already arrested in Germany in another case, in connection with the investigation of the terrorist cell disclosed there, and this cell also turned out to be linked to Syria. Both confirmed Hindawi’s testimony about his trip to Damascus. His Syrian passport turned out to be authentic, but the English visa that was in it was obtained in Damascus bypassing the normal consular procedure - it was issued to the employees of the British Embassy in Damascus on the special petition of the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An important person, with whom Hindavi spoke in Damascus, was identified by him from a photograph and turned out to be General Mohammed AlHoli, intelligence chief of the Syrian Air Force. Khatam Sa'id, who had so successfully resolved the practical issues of Hindawi, was Al-Holi's deputy, with the rank of colonel.
The Syrian ambassador, Dr. Haydar, actually called Hindawi to Damascus, and even twice. The first call, as it turned out, was made a few months before the events described, in 1985. The Ambassador warmly recommended the young man to the attention of the relevant services in his capital. The confirmation of the call (both the fact and the content of the conversation) was made by the British secret services. The second time Dr. Haydar called Damascus on April 17, now about the troubles that had happened.
This information surfaced during the trial, at which Hindavi recanted his testimony and explained his actions in a new way, proposing to the court (in consultation with his lawyer) another version of events. According to the new version, Hindavi pleaded guilty to the possession of the bomb and the fuse, but explained that there was no threat of an explosion, because:
“... Mossad apparently knew everything in advance, and he had to find the bomb before the plane took off, so he rejects the charge of attempting to kill 375 as absurd ...”. And he, Nezir Hindavi, is "... a victim of an Israeli conspiracy created to humiliate the Syrian special services ...".
The jury did not believe him. Hindavi was convicted on all counts and received 45 years in prison - the longest time at that time, to which an English court sentenced anyone. Reading out the verdict, Judge William Mars-Jones said: "In our courts there is no place for mercy towards terrorists."
Sir William Mars-Jones
At the trial, Mary-Ann Murphy’s innocence was proved - she was the victim of a Palestinian terrorist cheating and had to die among other passengers of the plane. Today, Anne-Marie Murphy lives in Ireland with her daughter.
It is possible that all this hype would gradually subside. Many hot news in a day or two no one is interested in anyone. As they say in the Middle East - this news has already turned herring. But Syria decided to launch a campaign to defend its good name.
After an urgent personal meeting between King Hussein and Syrian President Hafez Asad, the press was informed of the following:
Nezir Hindavi agent Mossad. It was added that he was not just a spy, but “... a hereditary traitor ...”, as his father, Sr. Hindawi, was “... recruited by the Israelis and convicted in Jordan for treason, which was confirmed by the Jordanians ...”. It turns out that "... Hindavi Sr. worked as a cook at the Jordanian embassy in London, was disclosed as an Israeli agent, tried, and sentenced to death ...", which he managed to avoid only by staying in England.
Why this was needed is completely incomprehensible. The argument about multi-level hereditary treachery may have been a completely brilliant find for the countries of the Arab East, but it did not work in Europe. Whatever the fiend of hell was not Hindawi's father, a former chef at the Jordanian embassy in London could hardly have manipulated the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The press began to check all the above and came to the conclusion that this “sensational information” was completely untrue. Moreover, the Jordanians did not answer anything in response to specific questions, and the Syrians said that "they gathered information from the Jordanians."
In the end, the “hereditary espionage” version (rare case) was officially denied in a communiqué by the British Foreign Office.
The biographer of Hafez Asad, the British writer Patrick Seale, knew Europe better than his patron. Therefore, instead of proving the unprovable and piling up on one another the mountains of obvious lies, he acknowledged that the Syrian services were really deeply involved in the “Hindawi case,” and focused on the main thing - that Hafez Asad himself was completely not involved, and was guilty only of excessive trust in his employees, which is generally characteristic of people of pure soul and high aspirations, such as, for example, the president of Syria. Well, what could have been done if his “... too enterprising officers set off on an adventure ...”, and he did not follow them?
What is true, Hafez Asad himself did not want to publicly dissociate himself from the "Hindawi case," and even the requests of the King of Jordan Hussein and the King of Saudi Arabia, Fahd, had no effect on him.
King of Saudi Arabia Fahd
Patrick Seale explains this fact "... with the pride of the president and his unwillingness to justify himself to anyone: let them think what they want about him, he doesn’t care about it ...".
If you put the pride of a proud leader aside, it must be admitted that the version of his court biographer does not look very much either ... The Prime Minister of the country personally gives a sanction to "active actions" in all countries. It is not a question of humanism, but of expediency. The physical elimination of even a sworn enemy may have undesirable consequences. Say, killing a leader of a terrorist organization can lead to the power of an even more dangerous person, or eliminate the source of important information, or cause trouble to a friendly intelligence service. The need for comprehensive coordination of actions that are irreversible by their very nature becomes quite obvious.
Of course, these rules are not a decree for Syria. But in the short years of independence, Syria went through 16 (sixteen!) Military coups, each of which was carried out by “initiative officers”, who then became the rulers of the country. Hafez Asad, a former pilot, former commander of the Air Force, former and. about. Minister of Defense. He very much watched his “initiative officers”, and precisely in order that they did not show “excessive initiative”.
Hafez Asad 80's
The president of Syria, like any president, has many services that monitor many aspects of life both at home and abroad. To a large extent, their function is to track each other, and for particularly sensitive assignments, Air Force intelligence was usually used, and its long-time ally, Mohammed Al-Kholi, who has known him more than 20 for years, commanded it.
It was this service and this person who carried out the “Hindawi Case”. Blowing up an El plane and killing, say, 200 the citizens of Israel is dangerous in itself. If the case were opened, the war would have been quite a possible outcome. Not only this, the explosion was supposed to kill a total of almost four hundred people. About half would be Israeli citizens — enemies, by definition, regardless of their gender or age. However, the other half of the passengers, as usual on international flights, would not consist of Israelis, but of foreigners - of the British, for example. It is impossible to imagine that General Al-Kholi should decide on such a matter without notifying the head of state. The explosion did not happen, but the scandal turned out to be fair.
10 November 1986, all countries of the European Union, except Greece, "... condemned international terrorism ..." and said that they "... would like to bring to the notice of the Syrian authorities that what happened is absolutely unacceptable." It was announced that "... all high-level visits both to Syria and from Syria are ceasing ...", that "... any new weapons supplies to Syria will not be allowed ..." and that "... the actions of Syrian diplomats and employees of Syrian airlines will be follow carefully ... ".
England broke off diplomatic relations with Syria, and the United States and Canada withdrew their ambassadors from Damascus, as is customary in such cases, "for consultation." Patrick Seale explained the actions of Margaret Thatcher by saying that "... she was informed by malicious people ...". Hafez Asad was less diplomatic and said that, firstly, "... one must distinguish freedom fighters from terrorists ...", and, secondly, that "... MOSSAD is to blame for everything ...". How he coordinated these two points is not entirely clear.
The Soviet Union issued a statement urging the West not to use "... the fabricated" Hindawi Case "..." to impose sanctions on Syria. This, in fact, was expected. The Soviet Union was a proven "friend of the Arabs" and he did not leave Syria alone in her diplomatic embarrassment. Far more useful, however, was the interview that the Washington newspaper gave the new, at that time, French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac.
He said that:
"... both he and his friend, Chancellor Kohl, are confident that Hindawi’s conspiracy was a provocation designed to humiliate Syria and destabilize its regime ..." and that "... perhaps the people associated with" Mossad "and opponents of President Assad ... ".
I quote this quote from a text taken from the biography of Hafez Asad, written by Patrick Silom and published in Berkeley, California, in 1988. Forces adds that the insight shown by the French prime minister in disclosing anti-Syrian conspiracies was immediately rewarded: two French citizens taken hostage in Beirut were released the very next day. Which, of course, once again confirmed that "... Syria has nothing to do with terrorism ...".
The point in the “Hindavi Dele” was set only in March 1987. According to Patrick Sil, the dossier sent by Hafez Asad by the President of Pakistan “... opened his eyes to how Abu Nidal’s organization abused Syrian hospitality. Assad was shocked ... ".
Diplomatic isolation was beginning to take its toll, and I had to find ways to cut off ties with at least the most odious terrorist groups that were based in Damascus - like the Abu Nidal group. The Americans insisted on his expulsion: among other unpleasant cases, the group was involved in the abduction of the Pan American aircraft in Karachi (an attack on the Pan American aircraft of flight No. 73 in Karachi, during which 22 people were killed and 50 was injured; 5 September 1986 of the year).
Assad did not cling too much to a man whom even in Palestinian revolutionaries was considered a psychopath. The problem was to take all the necessary steps without losing the merits. It was impossible to admit that it was not a mistake, but even that the political course had to be corrected. Therefore, Sil said that he was deeply shocked by the president of Syria, who, before the file sent to him, did not even suspect what a scoundrel had found refuge in his capital. Abu Nidal and his supporters were sent out of Damascus without much fanfare, and diplomatic relations with the United States were restored. (His real name is Sabri Khalil al-Bann. Before Osama bin Laden was considered the most dangerous terrorist in the world. In 2002, Abu Nidal will be found in Baghdad shot under unexplained circumstances.)
So the matter is over. It turned out to be very revealing in many ways. It is not often the case that such a case is covered not through the speculation of the press, but through a hearing in court, and even in a country with high standards of justice.
Perhaps, the reaction of European countries was unusual: some sanctions, although more symbolic, were still applied. A tougher reaction would probably be better. If, for example, flights of the Syrian SAA company were banned, as was done later with the Libyan aviation company after the “Lockerbie case” (The explosion of Boeing-747-121 aircraft of Pan American World Airways, made by Arab terrorists over Lockerbie (Scotland) with the plastic explosive Semtex, 21, December 1988, the plane made the 103 flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. A total of 270 people died), the lesson would have been learned and the flight would not have been exploded . Of course it's hard to talk about stories in the subjunctive mood ...
Some questions remained unanswered to this day. What to do, for example, if an act of war is committed anonymously, without acknowledgment of “authorship” and without a “return address”, to which a proper response could be sent? In an interview with the Irish Examiner newspaper, Mary-Anne Murphy said that she is still haunted by memories of how Nezir Hindawi tried to send her to certain death by packing plastic explosives in her carry-on luggage. In 2004, she broke her 18-year silence when Hindawi, who is serving a prison sentence, filed a pardon. Ann-Mary Murphy said that the offender is not worthy of condescension. “He has to rot in prison forever. If the House of Lords wants me to come and testify against Hindavi, I will. This person is the embodiment of absolute evil and there is not even a drop of remorse or pity, ”said Mary-Ann Murphy.
British officials, sending Hindawi behind bars, promised that he would be in prison for at least 30 years. However, changes in British law in the middle of the 1990-s led to the fact that already in the 2001 year, after serving a third of the prison term, Hindawi could apply for parole. Over the years, several ministers of justice and internal affairs have changed. They all rejected the Hindawi petition, which led to a series of litigation.
So, in 2003, Secretary of the Interior David Blanquette refused to refer the case to the pardon board. In October, a British court denied the Hindawi petition for clemency and early release in October 2004. In November 2009, Justice Minister Jack Straw refused to acknowledge the decision of the Council of Pardons, which recommended releasing Hindawi in October of the same year. Later, Straw’s decision was supported by his successor, Ken Clark.
In 2010, a law was passed that deprived members of the government of the right to impose a veto on the decisions of the pardoning committee, but the innovation did not affect the "Hindawi case." However, the British judges, who had considered the prisoner's appeal, concluded that the former Minister of Justice, considering the Hindawi petition, was initially determined to reject it. According to Lord Chief Justice Sir John Thomas, the documents submitted to the Minister did not give him the opportunity to form an “objective” view of the case. “This is contrary to the principles of justice, on which our courts always rely, no matter how monstrous a committed crime may be,” the judge said.
What happens to Hindawi in case of parole is unknown. It is still not clear, a citizen of which country he is - Syria or Jordan. The Ministry of Justice could not answer this question either. According to court documents, in the event of his release, he may be deported to Jordan. Well, for now, Hindawi continues to serve the sentence of the 32 year. He is already 64. When he is released in 2031, he will be 77 ...
Countries neglecting Israeli experience in the fight against terror are doomed to heavy losses. In this regard, I want to remind readers of the seizure and attempt to hijack the Tu-134 in November 1983, during which the Aeroflot airline Tu-134A was captured (Tbilisi-Batumi — Kiev — Leningrad flight SU-6833). Then two pistols “TT”, two revolvers of the Nagant system and two hand grenades were carried on board the aircraft, the capture and attempted theft of a Tu-154B-2 8 passenger aircraft in March 1988, when you didn’t carry out a thorough inspection of your carry-on baggage that allowed the criminals to bring on board two weapon rifles, 100 cartridges and improvised explosive devices, explosions on Tu-134-3 aircraft of the Volga-Aviaexpress airline (flight WLG1303 Moscow — Volgograd) and Tu-154Б-2 flight of the Siberian campaign “Siberian-Siberia” and the Siberian route “Siberian-Volgograd” and Tu-1047B-24. flight SBI2004 Moscow — C eyes), occurred XNUMX August XNUMX year in Russia and many others.
Boris Tenenbaum. "Hindawi case". Xnumx
Alexander Shulman. The story of Ann-Mary Murphy - “live bombs”.
Patrick Seale. "Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East (1988)"
Wikipedia articles, etc.