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Leila Khaled

July 30, 2008

Just stumbled across a biography of this fascinating woman, about whom a new documentary has been made that looks fascinating. A DVD has been released but, alas, it’s Region 2.

It may be old news to you, but I had never heard of her (or seen these iconic photos). From the 2002 AlJazeera interview:

In 1969, aged 25 and armed with grenades and handguns, she became the first woman ever to hijack an airliner, diverting a TWA flight to Damascus, where she escaped after securing the release of hostages in exchange for political prisoners, and destroying the plane on the ground.

Leila went on to undergo plastic surgery, and repeat the exercise on a larger scale a year later, when she was involved in a coordinated series of hijack operations culminating in the exploding of three airliners in Jordan, and another in Egypt.

But Leila’s attempt to gain control of an El Al flight in Amsterdam went disastrously wrong. As she and her Nicaraguan accomplice Patrick Arguello attempted to storm the cabin midair, the pilot pulled the throttle, sending the plane into nosedive.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2008 12:14 PM

    hmm.. thank you very much. usefull information

  2. May 15, 2009 1:49 PM

    I’m interested in where you found the first of the two photos – the one of Leila in the peaked cap. I’m currently working on a biography of her for Pluto Press and would like to trace the copyright for this images. You can contact me via my website.
    Many thanks,
    Sarah Irving

  3. May 7, 2012 2:21 PM

    you probably won’t remember, but we were in touch what seems like a very long time ago after I posted the comment above this one. So this is just to let you know that the Leila Khaled biography mentioned is finally out in the big wide world – At last!


  1. Leila Khaled Update …and more Terror From The Skies! « Black Century

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