US STAFF IN MOSCOW TOLD TO AVOID PAN AM – FRANKFURT — 13/12/1988

[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 164

DECEMBER 13 1988

“There was a real push in the embassy community to make sure that everybody was aware that there had been a terrorist threat made, and that people flying Western carriers going through Frankfurt should change their tickets.”

Karen Decker, Consular Official at the Moscow US Embassy – ABC, Nov. 30 1989

MALTA

On Dec. 13 1988, Magdi Mousa flew to Malta from Copenhagen on a package holiday with accommodation at Mellieha Holiday Complex, Malta.

Mousa was scheduled to leave on 20th December 1988 but did not board his scheduled flight.

However, Mousa and Dr. Khaled El Nahal, a former director of Miska Bakery, went to see Helen Lehmann, a representative at Mellieha Holiday Complex, and produced a medical certificate asserting that Mousa was unfit to fly.

Mousa did not look ill to Helen Lehmann. Nevertheless, Mousa was allowed to change his return flight to Copenhagen to Dec. 29 1988. The medical certificate was signed by Dr. Khaled El Nahal.

US Staff in Moscow Are Warned.

Today, William Kelly, the Moscow US embassy administrative counselor, drafted a memo addressed to “All Embassy Personnel” and posted on the staff notice board.

“Post has been notified by the FAA that on Dec. 5 1988, an unidentified individual telephoned an US diplomatic facility in Europe and stated hat sometimes during the next two weeks there would be a bombing attempt against Pan Am airliner flying from Frankfurt to the United States. The FAA report that the reliability of the information cannot be assessed at this point, but the appropriate police authorities have been notified and are pursuing the matter. Pan Am also has been notified. In view of the lack of confirmation of this information, post leaves to the discretion of individual travelers any decisions on altering personal travel plans or changing to another American carrier. This does not absolve the traveler from flying an American carrier.”

Amnesty Reports

Today, Amnesty International charged that Iranian authorities have executed hundreds, possibly thousands, of people since June in the largest wave of political executions in Iran since 1980.

Supporters of the People’s Mujahedeen, which fought alongside Iraq’s army, have been the primary targets of this unprecedented wave of executions.

”Mujahedeen supporters are condemned to death and we will execute them,” President Ali Khamenei said in a radio broadcast earlier this month.

”The evidence for mass executions is now indisputable, with evidence coming from many sources including relatives of executed prisoners and recent statements by the authorities themselves,” the report said.

At least 11 religious leaders associated with Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, the man designated to succeed Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, have been executed as part of power struggles between political factions.

NOTES AND REFERENCES

Amnesty Reports Wave of Executions in Iran – December 11, 1988

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