Thirty-six years ago a man, Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary flew into New York with one thing on his mind, to destroy. His target was Israelis. He built three bombs. Thankfully that plot failed. He was caught and is in prison. He is also about to be released.
Al-Jawary, 63, was captured in Brooklyn a long time ago. He was sentenced to 30 years on April 16, 1993. He’s served his time and will be released in the middle of February. It’s not sure where he will be sent. The chances are strong that he will be deported. But where is his home country and who will take him in?
Al-Jawary has had his fingers in many different terror plots, much more than the courts have used to convict him. His name is well known though to the underworld of terror.
While his lawyer, Ron Kuby may have insisted last year that his client isn’t a threat his past doesn’t show that to be the truth.
In November 1972 Al-Jawary walked into Beirut’s U.S. Embassy to apply for a visa using a fake Iraqi passport. He got it.
On January 12, 1973 flew into North America via Montreal. Final destination: New York City. Five days after he had landed a tip from the Tel Aviv office had investigators locating Al-Jawary in New York. When questioned why he was in the US Al-Jawary told the gentlemen that he was going to take flight training at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. He also said he was nonpolitical. He told the agents that he would be leaving the States after the training was completed in a month to obtain work as a commercial pilot.
In the meantime Al-Jawary befriended a woman named Carol and her young son. They went on trips into Manhattan. It turned out those trips had a motive other than getting to know each other. Carol and her son were merely decoys. Al-Jawary used those trips to scout locations to bomb. He picked his targets, two Israeli banks and the El-Al cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport.
Al-Jawary rented three cars and built three large bombs in them. Two of those bombs used alarm clocks but the third was more sophisticated with an “e-cell.”
On March 4 he and possible others got the cars ready. Golda Meir was due in the city. Each of the cars had a Hebrew newspaper that contained news about Black September in them. For some reason though the bombs did not go off. Two of the cars had been towed from their spots on Fifth Avenue in front of the banks and the third was located at Kennedy Airport after the FBI was called.
Terence G. McTigue, who worked on the New York Police Department’s bomb squad was on the case. He knew these bombs. They contained a plastic explosive called Semtex. It was often used in letter bombs that had targeted Jews and Israelis. One person had already been killed by those bombs. He knew who used that chemical also, Palestinian guerrillas that were thought to be controlled by Yasser Arafat.
The Associated Press reports:
“The explosive material found in the rental cars was imported and found to be identical to that used in the recent worldwide letter bomb campaign,” according to declassified State Department documents obtained from the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Md.
The FBI got lucky. Al-Jawary had left behind 60 fingerprints. They also found a fake Jordan passport in a hotel room near Kennedy Airport that Al-Jawary had rented. They issued an arrest warrant. They were to late, Al-Jawary had left the country.
Years went by and no Al-Jawary. He reappeared in 1979 at a border crossing in Austria at the German border. He and another man were in a car loaded down with 88 pounds of high explosives, electronic timing-delay devices and detonators hidden in a suitcase. His passport said he was “Yousif Salim Sejaan.”
After taking to Al-Jawary authorities discovered there were plans to bomb targets in the country. Eleven Palestinians in Germany were arrested. And one man was released. By the time the FBI heard about it Al-Jawary was out of sight once again.
And that was the middle of a long twisting cat and mouse hunt. It ended in with his conviction in 1993 when after only 3 hours jurors convicted him.
And on February 19 that cat and mouse chase by just begin again. He’s served his time.
“What is he going to do when he gets out?” McTigue said. “He’ll be deported and received as a hero and go right back into his terrorist activities. He’s had years to think about nothing else but causing havoc and destruction.”
Maybe it’s time to be afraid.