A Swedish trade union has invited convicted Arab terrorist hijacker Leila Khaled to speak at its upcoming May Day celebration.
A post on the SAC-Syndikalisterna Facebook page proudly announces that “Palestinian freedom fighter Leila Khaled” will be one of the speakers at the Stockholm LS of SAC – Syndikalisterna celebration, set for May 1.
Born in Haifa during the British Mandate, Khaled left at age four when her mother took the children and fled to Lebanon during the 1948 Arab war against Israel.
She became the first woman in history to hijack an airplane as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. Khaled led the terrorist cell that hijacked a TWA flight from Los Angeles to Damascus on August 29, 1969. Two Israeli passengers were held hostage for 44 days by the terrorists.
Khaled also participated in one of four simultaneous hijackings carried out by the PFLP on September 6, 1970.
Known as the Dawson's Field hijackings, the attacks on Jordanian soil infuriated then-King Hussein and triggered the 10-day “Black September” massacre of Palestinian Arabs.
Altogether, the terrorists attempted to hijack five aircraft bound for New York City, including one El Al flight from Amsterdam, diverting them to a remote former British airstrip near Zarka, Jordan. Crew members and 56 Jews were segregated and held, while the majority of passengers (310) were freed. The empty planes were blown up.
The attack against the El Al flight was foiled. One member of the terrorist cell, Patrick Arguello, was shot and killed – but his partner, Khaled, was subdued and turned over to British authorities in London. Two others were prevented altogether from boarding the plane.
Khaled later served prison time for the attack and then dropped out of sight after being released. She resurfaced when she began making the rounds on the international speakers' circuits. A resident of Amman, Jordan, she nevertheless also has served as a member of the Palestinian Authority's Palestinian National Council (PNC).