U.S. Frees 'Black September' Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Golda
The Black September terrorist who plotted to murder former Prime Minister Golda Meir was released Thursday from a United States prison after having served only about half of his 30-year sentence, according to the Associated Press.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok, Khalid Al-Jawary was released into the custody of immigration officials and will be deported.
The 63-year-old would-be assassin was credited on Thursday by a federal immigration judge who signed the deportation order with time served and freed early for good behavior.
Rusnok would not tell reporters where he is being held, nor to which country he would be deported, nor when this would happen. Officials said the terrorist's family resides in the Middle East, but would not say where.
Until his release, Al-Jawary was imprisoned at the Supermax facility, considered the most secure federal prison in America. Other terrorists held at Supermax currently include 9/11 mastermind Ramzi Yousef and co-conspirator Zakarias Moussaoui.
Al-Jawary, who had fake passports from Jordan, France and Iraq, used the nom de guerre of Abu Walid al-Iraqi. He claims, however, that his real name is Khaled Mohammed El-Jassem. FBI officials still are not sure of his real identity.
Two retired FBI agents who worked on his case in 1973 slammed officials for freeing the terrorist. "Bad move," commented Jim Phelan. "He's not going to change." Phelan and his partner, John Syron, both noted that the bombs planted by Al-Jawary would have killed many people if they had been successfully detonated.
Long History of Terrorism
Al-Jawary was convicted and sent to prison in 1993 for planting three car bombs in a 1973 terrorist attack on New York City.
The Black September operative had strategically planted two powerful bombs on Fifth Avenue, one of the toniest and most crowded shopping streets in the Big Apple. He also placed a third bomb at John F. Kennedy International Airport. All three were set to coincide with the arrival times of then-Prime Minister Golda Meir, but miraculously failed to detonate.
Al-Jawary had also been arrested in Germany in 1979 for attempted terror attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets.
In 1980, while working for senior Fatah commander Abu Iyad, he barely escaped an assassination attempt in Beirut that killed two of his bodyguards and incinerated his vehicle. Iyad is believed to have been responsible for masterminding the murders of the 11 Israeli athletes in at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
The senior terrorist, whose faction was linked to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was subsequently murdered in Tunisia in 1991 by a rival Arab faction. It was this event that finally led to Al-Jawary's capture -- he was caught as he passed through Rome on the way to attend his commander's funeral.