TWA Flight 847: Greek police arrest a Lebanese man suspect in aircraft hijacking

File foto of the Lebanese man, accused of involvement in the hijacking of a TWA plane and the murder of a US navy diver in 1985. He has been arrested in Greece, police said on Saturday.
File foto of the Lebanese man, accused of involvement in the hijacking of a TWA plane and the murder of a US navy diver in 1985. He has been arrested in Greece, police said on Saturday.

A 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the hijacking of an American airliner in 1985 has been arrested in Greece, police say.mohammed-ali-hamadei. 2jpg

The man, who has not been named, was detained on Mykonos after disembarking from a cruise ship on Thursday.

His identity came up as being wanted by Germany during a passport check.

The TWA Flight 847 was seized by militants thought to belong to the Islamist group Hezbollah, a claim they denied. A US navy diver was killed. The hijacker demanded the release of 700 Shi’ite Muslims from Israeli custody and took the plane repeatedly to Beirut and Algiers.

The man was wanted by German authorities for the hijacking as well as a kidnapping committed in 1987.

Hezbollah specialist Magnus Ranstorp of the University of St. Andrews credits “leading” Hezbollah members Hassan Izz-Al-Din (later involved in the Kuwait Airways Flight 422 hijacking in 1988) and Mohammed Ali Hamadei, whose brother was one of the heads of the Hezbollah Special Security Apparatus, with assisting Hezbollah operatives in the “supervision and planning of the incident itself .

He is currently being held in a high-security prison in Greece until German officials identify him as the person wanted, Reuters news agency reports.

Two years after the hijacking, the suspect was reportedly arrested and tried in Germany and later exchanged with two Germans who had been abducted in Beirut.