Terrorism, Politics and Law

Terrorism, Politics and Law : The Achille Lauro Affair

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Antonio Cassese here provides a succinct and highly original analysis of one of the most pervasive nightmares of our time--the terrorist phenomenon. Is terrorism today different from the terrorism of the nineteenth century? How should the world community respond? Is terrorism a new form of piracy, and is any nation justified in stopping a terrorist by force, as it might a pirate? Or will this way of thinking simply escalate the already ghastly level of violence? To answer such questions, Cassese focuses on what he terms an exemplary case: the notorious hijacking of the Italian transatlantic liner the Achille Lauro in October 1985 by four members of a faction of the Palestinian Liberation Front, and the killing of the wheelchair-bound passenger Leon Klinghoffer. From October 7 to October 12 the lives of the hostages and peace itself hung by a thread, and later the Achille Lauro incident reverberated through the political life of the various nations involved. Egypt hovered on the brink of crisis; in Italy the hijacking created such tensions in the cabinet that the five-party coalition government seemed about to fall apart.
The United States was first swept by impotent fury at the murder of one of its citizens, then by euphoria that its fighter planes had carried the day. Cassese not only reconstructs the events of the hijacking but also evaluates its widespread implications, including the legality, or lack thereof, of the American interception of the Egyptian plane.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 190 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 17.78mm | 158.76g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691078386
  • 9780691078380