WASHINGTON (Aug. 29)
The U.S. general policy explicitly forbids payment of protection money to terrorists. State Department spokesman Paul Hare said today in the wake of a report from Israel that several European airlines are compensating Arab terrorists not to molest their planes. Hare said, in response to journalists’ questions, that he would look into the possibility that American airlines are making such payments and whether they have been given governmental instructions not to enter into such measures.
A State Department source said later that he assumed American airlines were fully aware of the government’s “adamant” opposition to hijackers. Ambassador Lewis Hoffbacker, head of the working group of President Nixon’s Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism, was not referring to the report of the blackmail payments but to ransom money when he told journalists yesterday that the terrorists had new sources of funding. Hare said.