- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Diver’s killer set free in Lebanon
U.S. officials yesterday said the killer of a U.S. Navy diver had been released from “temporary custody” in Lebanon but refused to rule out bringing him to the United States by force.
The Lebanese government criticized Washington’s request to hand over Mohammad Ali Hamadi, saying the militant already had served a prison sentence for the 1985 murder of Robert Dean Stethem of Waldorf, Md.
Hamadi, a member of the Hezbollah guerrilla group, was taken into custody upon returning to Lebanon after his release from a German prison Thursday. He had served 18 years for hijacking a TWA plane to Beirut and fatally shooting Petty Officer 2nd Class Stethem, who was 23 when he was killed.
“What I can assure anybody who’s listening, including Mr. Hamadi, is that we will track him down, we will find him, and we will bring him to justice in the United States for what he’s done,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
“We will make every effort, working with the Lebanese authorities or whomever else, to see that he faces trial for the murder of Mr. Stethem,” he said.
Attempts to bring Hamadi to the United States are complicated because the United States and Lebanon do not have an extradition treaty.
Mr. McCormack and other U.S. officials would not rule out using force to achieve their goal if diplomacy fails. They cited past cases of foreigners who were forcefully brought to the United States to stand trial.
“We saw that with the person responsible for the murder of an American citizen, Mr. Klinghoffer,” Mr. McCormack said on Tuesday in reference to Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled New Yorker who was shot in his wheelchair on a cruise ship in 1985 and thrown overboard while still alive.
“We tracked that person down and we brought them to justice in the United States,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes, but we will track them down and they will face justice in the United States.”
The mastermind of Mr. Klinghoffer’s murder, Mohammed Abbas, was captured in 2003 near Baghdad and died in custody 11 months later of what the Pentagon called “natural causes.”
In a case cited by another U.S. official, Aimal Khan Kasi, a Pakistani citizen who in 1993 shot five persons in their cars as they entered the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., was snatched in an FBI raid in Pakistan four years later and was executed in 2002.
Richard Stethem, the diver’s father, said yesterday that the United States should use force to apprehend Hamadi if necessary.
“We would like to see that strong of a measure to go get him,” he said. “That would be the right thing to do because of what he did to our son.”
Hamadi and three accomplices dumped Petty Officer Stethem’s beaten and lifeless body on the runway from the plane at the Beirut airport. Those three should be brought to the United States, too, said Patrick Stethem, the slain diver’s brother.
On Tuesday, U.S. officials said Hamadi was in “temporary custody” in Lebanon, but yesterday they said he was no longer being held.
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to 'man up' in horse carriage fight
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again