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Action Against Terrorism Urged

December 14, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The U.S. must take “unilateral action to protect our own citizens” in view of the failure of the United Nations to approve strong international legal action on terrorism, Rep. Herman Badillo (D.NY) told the American Jewish Congress last night. Badillo said he favored passage of a measure introduced by Ogden Reid (D.NY) that would close American airports to any foreign airline operating in any country which refuses to prosecute or extradite skyjackers.

His call for strong unilateral action was echoed by Phil Baum, associate executive director of the AJCongress, who said the “hopeless incapacity” of the UN to act against terrorism was demonstrated Monday by the General Assembly’s Legal Committee.

“The UN can and will do nothing, and if we are to protect ourselves against random political violence, we had better accept that hard fact and look elsewhere,” Baum declared.

He urged the U.S. Government to “adopt legislation authorizing unilateral withholding of programs of economic assistance, as well as other privileges and benefits, to those states that endorse or harbor terrorist groups, “and called on airline managements, pilots and other elements of the business community to isolate such nations.

Capt. John Ferguson, representing the Air Line Pilots Association, told the meeting that continued acts of air terrorism could be traced to “the greed and immaturity of pilots, airline managements and governments.” He asserted “some pilots oppose work stoppages because they don’t want to lose money, and the U.S. Government and the airline companies don’t want to spend the necessary money for security.”

Capt. Ferguson called on the Government to assume the cost of the electronic gear and armed guards he said were needed to prevent air hijacks, “We’re in a war with criminal elements,” he said, calling it “a function of government and not business to take over law enforcement.”

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