New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 31, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels HwaM-Zeitung Wednesday, July 31,1986 3A
Hostage families finally find listening ear
WASHINGTON (AP) — Peggy Say, whose brother has been held captive in lebanon since last March, says she’s encouraged that the U.S. government is laboring to gain freedom for him and six other American hostages.
In talks Tuesday with Reagan administration officials and members of Congress, Ms. Say and relatives of other kidnap victims urged the administration to take immediate steps to secure their freedom.
“Our frustration level had just about reached the eruption point,” Ms. Say said after meeting with Robert Oakley, head of the State Department’s counterterrorism office. “I think the families finally felt that somebody’s listening to us.”
Following a news conference on the plight of the hostages, Ms. Say and the other relatives met in closed-door discussions with Oakley, lawmakers and other administration officials.
The State Department subsequently issued a written statement quoting Oakley as having told the familes: “I realize that the absence of visible progress toward the release of the seven Americans can easily be construed as an absence of effort on our part.
“The only satisfactory evidence that a serious effort is being made is, of course, the return of the hostages. But I can assure you that there is a constant effort at all levels of the administration.”
Ms. Say is the sister of Terry Anderson, a correspondent for The Associated Press. Anderson, a native of l*orain. Ohio, and a former resident of Batavia, N Y., was kidnapped in west Beirut in March.
Ms. Say said the group hopes to meet with Vice President George Bush on Thursday and persuade him to head a committee to focus on the problem.
Jeremy l^evin, a t able News Network correspondant who escaped after being held in lebanon for nearly a year, said the kidnappers are demanding the release of 17 Arabs being held in Kuwait for the 1984 bombings of the American and French embasssies.
He accused the administration of failing to share that information with the public, adding that people lack a clear idea of why the hostages are being held.
“Without that public expression of concern,” Levin said, ‘‘I think it is likely that the government will continue to treat this crisis differently from the (TWA Flight 847) hijacking crisis, and these men will continue to suffer, as I did, in squalid solitary confinement, locked away in a dark room, wrists secured to the wall with a chain too short to permit standing.”
Oakley said one difficulty has been the captors’ unwillingness to identify themselves ‘‘or enter into any meaningful dialogue.”
“Our policy toward giving in to such terrorist blackmail remains firm,” Oakley said in the statement. ‘‘We will not and cannot give in to such demands or encourage any other governments to do so.”
The New York Times reported today that most of the seven hostages were believed captives of a family of Shiite Moslem fundamentalists seeking the release of a relative being held in Kuwait.
The relative of the Shiite family is among the 17 men being held in Kuwait in connection with the embassy bombings, according to unidentified hostage family members and unidentified sources in lebanon cited by the Time story.
The Shiite family has been identified as the Musawi clan of the Baalbek area, in the Bekaa valley in eastern Lebanon, Time reported.
The six remaining hostages besides Anderson include .William Buckley, a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut; the Rev. Benjamin Weir, a Presbyterian minister; Peter Kilburn, a librarian at the American University of Beirut; Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco; David Jacobsen, manager of the American University of Beirut Hospital; and Thomas Sutherland, the dean of American University of Beirut’s school of agriculture.
Countries reach airspace pact
WASHINGTON (AP) - The likelihood of an aircraft straying into Soviet airspace will be decreased under a preliminary agreement between the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union, the Transportation Department said.
The pact announced Tuesday calls for establishing a radio link to better monitor commercial airplanes crossing the north Pacific Ocean. The agreement is aimed at preventing a recurrence of the tragic shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 when the jumbo jet penetrated Soviet airspace in September 1983.
The agreement was tentatively approved Monday in Tokyo, said Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole.
It would set up a special communications network linking air traffic control centers in Tokyo and Anchorage, Alaska, with Soviet air traffic controllers in Khabarovsk, U.S.S.R.
Mrs. Dole, in announcing the agreement, said it was ‘‘an encouraging step toward enhancement of the safety of civil air trafic in the North Pacific region.”
The communications line would be used if any civilian airliner had trouble or got off course in the northern Pacific area and headed into Soviet airspace, officials said.
U.S. and Japanese controllers do
U.S.-Far East air traffic
not have the capability to monitor aircraft all the way across the Pacific, but the planes could be tracked with cooperation from the Soviet controllers, officials have said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said its air traffic controllers in Anchorage lost contact with the KAL flight long before it was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter plane, killing all 269 people aboard.
The Soviets have claimed that the plane, which was several hundred miles off course and flew for five hours in Soviet airspace, was on a spy mission.
Most western aviation and government experts have said it probably strayed so far off course due to erroneous programming of its on-board computers.
No definitive explanation of the plane’s route variation has emerged.
Marshals set for flight duty
DALLAS (AP) The Federal Aviation Administration says the first federal air marshals to be assigned regularly to high-risk international flights in more than three years will report within two weeks for training and assignment Federal law enforcement agencies including the FBI, Sec ret Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will provide the initial group of air marshals, said FAA spokesman Fred Farrar The FAA is recruiting ' outside of the government for ait marshals who will be trained and eventually will replace the federal agents as full-time employees of the agency, Farrar told W Do‘is Morning News.
He said tile recruiting program
began July 22, but declined to list the number of agents or marshals being sought.
The use of federal agents is an interim measure ‘until the idlers are trained to take their place," said Farrar. “I can’t tell you how long that’s going to be.”
Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole announced plans to increase the force of federal air marshals in late June while 39 .American hostages from hijacked TWA Flight 847 were being held in Beirut, lebanon.
Farrar said agents would be called to duty in less than two weeks and will undergo some training before being assigned to flights.
He said air marshals have been
employed by the FAA "in one form or another” since a series of hijackings in the early 1970s.
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BEIRUT. lebanon AP> A suicide bomber detonated his ex-plosive-laden car near an Israeli patrol in the southern lebanese town of Amouli toda\ and a witness said three soldiers and five lebanese were killed However, an Israeli army statement said two soldiers were slightly wounded in the attack and taken to a hospital It said they were part of a patrol to prevent terrorist activities in the security zone north of the Israeli border Israeli military sourc es who spoke on condition of anonymity said preliminary reports indicated that the driver and one other lebanese were killed rn the explosion There was no way immediately to reconcile the conflicting casualty reports, and no claim of responsibly for the blast A U N. official said peacekeeping soldiers heard an explosion in the area of Amouli followed by heavy machine gun fire Journalists based in the market town of Nabatiyeh near Ar noun said the explosion occurred at 8 a in. at the public square facing Husseimeh mosque
One injured lebanese, who was rushed from Amouli to the hospital rn Nabatiyeh told reporters he saw “at least three Israeli soldiers laying dead and two others being treated for wounds.”
The injured witness, who spoke on condition he not be identified said at least five Lebanese civilians were killed in the blast Arnoun is near the Crusaders-built medieval castle of Beaufort, four miles from the Israeli frontier.
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The witness said the suicide bomber, parked at Amounts Barakeh Square, waited until the Israeli foot patrol, accompanied by an armored personnel carrier, was close to his car. Then he detonated the bomb
The bombing occurred at the edge of the security zone the Israeli forces left in a southern lebanon after withdrawing most of the troops from lebanon in June.
Wednesday’s bombing was the fourth suicide attack this month against Israeli troops and their militia allies of the South Lebanon Army which man the border buffer zone.
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