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World History

Sunday, June 30, 1985. :   39 Americans being held hostage in Beirut are released after 17 days in captivity.

     Islamic Jihad was originally the name of a militant Islamist group based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, but has also been adopted by various other militant groups. On 14 June 1985, a group of Americans was captured and held hostage after the plane they were on was hijacked by two members of the extremist Islamic Jihad group. TWA Flight 847, heading from Rome to Athens, was diverted by Lebanese gunmen demanding the release of over 700 Shiite Muslims imprisoned in Israel, and in southern Lebanon prisons run by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army.

Whilst most of the group was released, 40 remained as hostages. One man, US Navy diver Robert Stethem, was killed on the first day of the hostage crisis after the terrorists' demands were not met, and four others were held by the radical Hezbollah group. The remaining 35 were kept in different Beirut safe-houses. The freedom of the hostages was gained on 30 June 1985, after intervention by the Syrian President, Hafiz al-Assad.

In 1987, Imad Mughniyah, a senior officer with Hezbollah, was secretly indicted for the TWA hijacking, but remains at large. Mugniyah is included in both the FBI and EU list of wanted terrorists, having been implicated in many of the noted terrorist attacks of the 1980s and 1990s, primarily American and Israeli targets.


Today in History

Thought For Today
But you belong to God, my children, because the Spirit who is in you is more powerful than the spirit in those who belong to the world.
1 John 4:4 (c) GNB
When life makes a turn for the worse, ask God for the power and strength to win.

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