On 7 October 1985, four members of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro as it was in the Mediterranean Sea en route from Alexandria, Egypt to Port Said. After the Israeli Government refused their demand for release of 50 imprisoned Palestinians, they killed disabled American passenger Leon Klinghoffer and threw him and his wheelchair overboard. The terrorists surrendered to Egyptian officials and boarded a flight to Tunisia. The flight was intercepted by U.S. Navy fighter aircraft and was forced to land in Italy. The four hijackers were arrested by the Italian Government but their alleged leader, Abu Abbas, was allowed to depart. This incident awakened governments around the world and the IMO to the security threats faced by passenger vessels.
(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)