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  April 16, 2003

Attorney General John Ashcroft
Justice Department

Dear Attorney General:

We share the satisfaction all Americans feel at yesterday's capture of Abu Abbas, the terrorist leader responsible for numerous crimes including the attack on the Achille Lauro in 1985 which led to the murder of Leon Klinghoffer.

As the leader of a Palestinian terrorist group responsible for many violent acts in the 1980s and 1990s, Abbas has been unrepentant, defending terrorist attacks on Israel even while in exile in Iraq. The fact that he has yet to be punished for his crimes, including the murder of an American, is a travesty which the United States now has an important opportunity to rectify. We therefore urge you to seize this moment to strike another emphatic blow in this nation's war on terrorism. Under your leadership, the Justice Department must find a way to bring Abbas to justice in this country, and to make him answer for Leon Klinghoffer's death and for his organization's other acts of terrorism against Americans.

In the eighteen years since the Achille Lauro tragedy, we have worked closely with the Klinghoffer family, promoting awareness of the dangers of terrorism and urging action against the Palestine Liberation Front and other terrorist groups. On behalf of the Anti-Defamation League and its affiliated Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation, we stand ready to be of assistance in any way we can, and we thank you in advance for making this matter a high priority.

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director

Domestic Terrorism
  • Designation of The 2002 LAX Shooting as A Terrorist Act

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