One wonders how much of this — and similar arrangements today — is simply a product of cowardice and expediency, and how much comes about from a degree of approval for the goals, if not the means, of the terrorists.
Francesco Cossiga, former president of Italy, confirmed that his country for years provided Palestinian terror groups with sanctuary and allowed them to set up domestic bases in a secret deal according which the terrorists promised not to target Italian interests…
“The terms of the agreement were that the Palestinian organizations could even maintain armed bases of operation in the country, and they had freedom of entry and exit without being subject to normal police controls, because they were ‘handled’ by the secret services,” the former President wrote…
The pact with the Palestinians didn’t turn out too well for Italy. Palestinian factions are blamed for attacks against Italy in the 1970s and 80s, including an attack at Rome’s airport, its main synagogue, and the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in which the Palestinian terror pushed overboard a wheelchair bound American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer. Cossinga also said that Palestinian groups were to blame for a devastating 1980 explosion at an Italian train station that killed 85 people and wounded some 200. He said that was likely a “work accident” by Palestinians transporting explosives into Italy. — Israel Insider
You may recall that the Achille Lauro hijackers sailed to Port Said, Egypt, and after negotiations were allowed to board an Egyptian airliner bound for Tunisia. US President Reagan sent naval aircraft after them, and the plane was forced to land at a NATO base in Sicily. After a standoff between Italian police and greatly outnumbered US Navy SEALS, the Italians took custody of the prisoners — except for their leader “Abu Abbas” who was allowed to go to Tunisia. A few of the hijackers were tried, but most ‘escaped’.
Abu Abbas ultimately was captured by the US in Iraq, where he died in captivity.
As Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know… the rest of the story.”