EFFORTS BY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
TO APPREHEND ABU ABBAS WELCOMED BY ADL
New York, NY, June 27, 1996...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
and its Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation today welcomed
assurances by the Department of Justice that the U.S. is urging the government
of Italy to apprehend Abu Abbas.
In a letter to Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and Lisa and Ilsa
Klinghoffer, Mark M. Richard, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, stated
that following Abu Abbas' appearance in Gaza in April "the United States
has contacted Italian authorities to urge the government of Italy to seek
custody of Abu Abbas pursuant to the outstanding Italian conviction and
Mr. Foxman and the Klinghoffers said, "We welcome the Justice Department's
assurances. Since the attack on the Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon
Klinghoffer, we have been demanding that Abu Abbas be brought to justice.
It is critical that democratic countries hold terrorists accountable for
their actions. We commend the commitment by the U.S. to pursue justice
in this case."
In an April 29 letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, ADL and the Klinghoffer
Foundation urged the United States not to allow Abu Abbas, the mastermind
of the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, to escape punishment,
and to "pursue any means available to bring this convicted terrorist
to justice." In July 1986, Mr. Abbas was convicted in absentia by
an Italian court for this terrorist act. Until he appeared in Gaza in late
April, his whereabouts were unknown.
The ADL, through its Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation
and William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute on Terrorism and Extremism, works
to combat the threat of terrorism through educational, political and legal
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.