Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Convicted Terrorist Deported To Lebanon After Prison Term
Convicted Terrorist Deported To Lebanon After Prison Term

Associated Press
Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page A10

A Lebanese hijacker, the first terrorist convicted in the United States for an attack against U.S. citizens on foreign soil, was deported Monday after nearly 16 years in federal prison, authorities said yesterday.

Fawaz Yunis, a member of the Amal Militia in Lebanon, led the 1985 hijacking of Royal Jordanian Airlines Flight 402 in Beirut. Yunis and four gunmen unsuccessfully tried to fly to Cyprus before returning to Beirut, where they blew up the plane after releasing the passengers unharmed. Two of the hostages were U.S. citizens.

Yunis was apprehended overseas by U.S. officials in 1987 and convicted by a federal court in March 1989. Authorities with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he was released from federal prison in Petersburg, Va., in February and deported to Lebanon Monday. He was deported because he is considered an illegal immigrant.