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U.S. Asks Bonn to Extradite Hijack Suspect

January 21, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department delivered a formal request Tuesday for the extradition of a Lebanese hijacking suspect from West Germany as U.S. efforts were begun to prevent any retaliatory attacks, officials said.

"The extradition request has been delivered to the German authorities," said Justice Department spokesman Patrick Korten. "We have filed all the necessary papers and supporting documentation."

The extradition request for Mohammed Ali Hamadi, 22, accused of conspiracy to commit air piracy and murder in the June, 1985, hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and the death of a U.S. Navy diver on board, now goes to the West German courts for approval, officials said.

The Justice Department previously agreed to West German demands to waive the death penalty for Hamadi if he is convicted.

Security Tightened

Law enforcement officials acknowledged concern about possible retaliation by terrorist groups in Lebanon against U.S. or West German citizens for Hamadi's arrest and the extradition attempt.

They said the FBI and other agencies have begun to tighten security, both overseas and within the United States, possibly including U.S. airports.

On Sunday, unidentified gunmen kidnaped Rudolf Cordes, 53, a German business executive, in Beirut. No group has claimed responsibility.

However, in Bonn on Tuesday, West German government spokesman Friedhelm Ost confirmed speculation that "the federal government . . . has learned there is a connection" between the kidnaping of Cordes and the arrest of Hamadi. He declined to provide any more information.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher contacted Middle Eastern countries for help in freeing Cordes. A government source said those countries include Iran and Syria.

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