After a 26 year legal battle, the Canadian government has deported a Palestinian terrorist convicted of attacking an El Al airlines plane in Athens and killing an Israeli passenger.
Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad “made a mockery” of Canada’s immigration system by avoiding deportation for 26 years, the government said Monday.
Mohammad, who slipped into Canada in 1987 following the attack, was escorted to Lebanon on Saturday by Canada Border Services Agency officers, The Canadian National Post reported.
“We should never allow a situation like this to happen again. Mr. Mohammad flagrantly violated Canada’s fair immigration laws and this country’s generosity. He made a mockery of our legal system,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
The sixty-nine-year-old member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had stormed an Israeli airliner in Athens in 1968, “throwing grenades and firing live rounds at innocent civilians,” Kenney noted.
A Greek court sentenced Mohammad to 17 years in prison, but the government released him in 1970 after Palestinian terrorists hijacked a Greek airliner and threatened to kill everyone on board unless he was set free.
Mohammad then travelled to Madrid, where he applied to immigrate to Canada with his wife and three children. He failed to disclose he had been convicted of a terrorist crime, and by the time Canadian authorities caught up with him, he was already in the country, according to the National Post.
“It really was a thorn in our side, much like some of the known Nazi war criminals who were able to dodge the system,” Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told the paper. “There was just something glaringly unjust about his ability to take advantage of everything that Canada had to offer even though he had blood on his hands.”