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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 13, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas Cheers greet accused hijackers'capture By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Some Americans cheered it as “better than an old war movie,” and others said the military capture of four men who hijacked a cruise ship and killed a wheelchair bound New Yorker was a long overdue demonstration that the nation could stand up for itself in the face of terrorism. “Go ahead and cheer,” editorialized the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press Dispatch. “It’s like the movie Network.’ Here’s a message to you, Mr. Terrorist: We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore,” said Jack Sferlazza in Stamford, Conn. But a former U.S. senator of Lebanese descent noted a “lynch mob” atmosphere in the reaction to Middle East terrorism, saying some people feel it’s OK “to kill some Arabs.” “The fact that we finally took retaliation shows that America is no longer a guinea pig — we’ve been constantly abused, tested, and we’ve been so helpless,” said tee Reba, 27, an actor who lives in the New York City neighborhood that was home to slain tourist Leon Klinghoffer. “When the attempted rescue mission of the hostages in Iran failed before it reached the ground, that was an embarrassment,” said fellow New Yorker Leda Mitrofanis, 21, referring to President Jimmy Carter’s aborted attempt to reach Americans held captive in Tehran in 1980. “Now we kind of evened up the score.” “We have to show our country is strong and powerful,” said Juan Rolan, 17, another resident of Klinghoffer’s neighborhood. He thought the Navy’s performance in forcing the Egyptian airliner carrying the four alleged hijackers to land at a NATO base in Sicily was “better than an old war movie.” “I give three cheers to the Navy.... I think they should let these terrorists know we’re* not going to play footsie anymore,” said Postal Service employee Pete Oliver, 38, of Stamford, Conn. Klinghoffer, 69, who was confined to a wheelchair, was reportedly shot and thrown overboard by Palestinian terrorists who seized the ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean on Monday. “Our family will not rest until something is done,” said his sister, Ruth Mintz of Delray Beach, Fla. “I think the hijackers should be severely punished,” wrote 11-year-old Ezra Genauer, one of the pupils at the Seattle Hebrew Academy who wrote condolence letters to the Klinghoffer family. “America did a great job of catching the hijackers.... I hope that this never happens again.” “If only (the U.S. governmeni) can get a hold of them and kill them. If you have these kinds of people around no one is safe anyplace,” said Sandra Kleinman, of Merrick, N.Y., whose mother, Anne Schneider, 73, was one of those held hostage on the ship. There seems to be a mood that “to go ahead and to kill some Arabs, it’s OK,” said former Sen. James G. Abourezk of South Dakota. “There is this sense of (a) kind of lynch mob, from President Reagan on down; it’s cowboy time, on the part of the president, on the part of the media, on the part of the Congress,” said Abourezk, national chairman of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The West Coast leader of that organization, Alex Odeh, was killed Friday when a bomb exploded in his office at Santa Ana, Calif. The night before, he had called Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat “a man of peace,” in reference to the PLO’s role in negotiating an end to the hijacking. Some callers “state loudly that we should have more Arabs killed,” said M.T. Mehdi, president of the Arab-American Relations Committee in New York City. The public opinion and market research firm Mount Vernon Associates Inc. of New Haven, Conn., said a telephone survey it made Friday found 91.5 percent of Connecticut residents supported the U.S. action. Only 0.7 percent were opposed and 7.7 percent were not sure. The survey also found that 74.5 percent strongly agreed that military force was justifiable in dealing with terrorism, and that 72 percent said Reagan is doing a good or very good job on foreign affairs in light of the capture. In New York City, a Daily News-ABC News poll found that approval of Reagan’s handling of the hijacking soared to 78 percent Friday, after the capture, up from 33 percent Thursday. Strategic defense forces In number of units 12,900 7 I/ Y/ / 'A 2 [ United States [J Soviet Union 7,000 3,200 SAM launchers 300 Modern interceptor aircraft n 118 Air defense radars 0 IOO ABM launchers 1,500 Hardened leadership bunkers Chicago Tribune Graphic Source The White House Reagan says Soviets hiding 'Star Wars' WASHINGTON (AP) President Reagan on Saturday accused the Soviet Union of “dangerous deception” in concealing a strategic defense program that he said involves 10,000 Soviet scientists and engineers and could put a missile defense system in space by the end of the century. In his weekly radio address, delivered from Camp David, Md., Reagan said his Strategic Defense Initiative, known popularly as the “Star Wars” shield against nuclear attack, “is crucial to maintain the military balance and protect the liberty and freedom of the West." “The Soviets refuse to admit that they have any strategic defense program at all," the president said. “This is not only deception. It is dangerous deception, for without a full picture of what is going on the people of the world cannot know what they need to know to keep the peace.” Reagan said the Soviet Union has the world’s only operational anti-ballistic missile system, the world’s only operational anti-satellite system and the world's most extensive strategic air defense network. In addition, he said, “The Soviets have been engaged in a number of acts that raise questions about their commitment to the anti-ballistic missile treaty of 1972, including construction of a new radar in Central Sibera which is an out-and-out violation of the treaty.” “But that’s not all,” he said. “The Soviets have for a long time been doing advanced research on their version of SDI. They don’t talk about that. All they say about SDI is that the United States shouldn’t have it But as many as 10,000 Soviet scientists and engineers are believed to be working on research related to SDI.” “They are doing so well that our experts say they may be able to put an advanced defensive system in space by the end of the century.” Reagan said U.S. research on SDI is being conducted within the limits of the ABM treaty. “We welcome the day when the Soviet Union can shoot down any incoming missile, so long as the United States can shoot down any incoming missile too,” the president said. Reagan described SDI as a means to “a balance of safety as opposed to a balance of terror" and repeated his frequent argument that it “may result in getting rid of nuclear weapons altogether." “The sooner the Soviet Union comes clean about its own strategic defense programs and joins with us in a real dialogue to reduce risk of war, the better it will be for the world,” he said. Hostage's widow spat at terrorists NEW YORK (AP) - The widow of the American killed by hijackers aboard an Italian cruise liner told President Reagan on Saturday that she spat in the faces of the terrorists in Italy, where she identifed the men for authorities. Reagan, who initiated the telephone call with Marilyn Klinghoffer, reportedly replied: “You did? God bless you.” The conversation was recounted by Letty Simon, a family spokeswoman appearing outside the Klinghoffer’s Manhattan apartment, where Mrs. Klinghoffer arrived after a flight from Cairo, Egypt, to Newark, N.J., aboard an Air Force jet. Mrs. Klinghoffer, 58, remained inside. Mrs. Klinghoffer, after saying she “spat in their faces,” told Reagan “I will do anything I can” to see the killers of Leon Klinghoffer, 69, brought to justice, said Ms. Simon. Reagan called Mrs. Klinghoffer to express his sympathy at the death of her husband, the White House said. “Mrs. Klinghoffer told the president how much she appreciated what he had done,” said Mark Weinberg, an assistant presidential press secretary. “She also told him she had an opportunity to face the four terrorists and she told them how despicable they are.” Mrs. Klinghoffer and other Americans who were held hostage on the Achille Lauro stopped Saturday at Siracusa, Sicily, en route to the United States and identified the hijackers in a “lineup,” officials and relatives said. U.S warplanes intercepted an Egyptian jet carrying the hijackers and forced it to land in Sicily, where the terrorists were being held for trial. At the sidewalk news conference here, Mrs. Klinghoffer’s son-in-law, Jerry Arbitrer, said “the family is holding up well.” Asked whether Mrs. Klinghoffer would return to Italy to testify against the hijackers, he replied: “Marilyn said, ‘I want to get them! I want to get them. I will do anything to get them! ’ ” Charlotte Spiegel, who accompanied the Klinghoffers on their cruise, said Mrs. Klinghoffer did not learn her husband had been killed until the day after he was shot and thrown overboard along with the wheelchair to which he was confined because of a stroke. Mrs. Speigel, also of New York City, said Klinghoffer was separated from the other hostages because his wheelchair would not fit through a passageway through which the terrorists led the other hostages. The hijackers told Mrs. Klinghoffer that her husband had suffered a stroke and had been taken to the infirmary, but they refused her repeated requests to see him, Mrs. Speigel told reporters. It was not until after the hijackers had been removed from the vessel and the hostages freed that the captain broke the news to Mrs. Klinghoffer, said Mrs. Spiegel. 'U.S. real terrorists, not us/ PLO aide says 1 db C BEIX1RADE, Yugoslavia (AP) — A PLO official and an aide, who had accompanied the four hijackers who seized control of an Italian cruise ship and then surrendered, flew from Rome to Belgrade Saturday “for a brief rest,” a fellow passenger said. The Yugoslav J AT airliner landed at 10:30 p.m. after having been delayed by airport authorities in Rome for three hours. Reporters at the airport said Mohammed Abbas, a lieutenant of Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat, and his aide were allowed to bypass normal customs procedures. Abbas, wearing a blue safari suit, did not talk to reporters. But a passenger on the plane said he had talked to Abbas during the flight, and that the Palestinian told him who he was and displayed an Iraqi passport. The passenger, who spoke with the condition he not be identified, quoted Abbas as saying he came to Belgrade “for a brief rest,” and would be in the capital “for two or three days.” “We shall continue our struggle to liberate our comrades from Israeli jails,” the passenger quoted Abbas as saying. He said Abbas also told him: “It is the Americans who are the terrorists, not us. “The American government’s act of state terrorism gives us the right and encouragement to use all means in our liberation struggle. “We will continue to fight the U.S. government, but not the American people.” Abbas was another Arab accompanied by in a light blue suit. RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL CARPET DYEING & CLEANING SERVING N.B. AND ALL COMAL CO. In Rome, the Italian news agency ANSA said the United States had filed a protest over Abbas’ departure. In Washington, the Justice Department said Abbas had been released even though the United States had sent Italy a warrant for his arrest. 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Clippings and Obituaries for the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung