Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Legislator Warns of New Terrorist Plot Against Israel

January 19, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Congressman John M. Murphy’s office told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that a formal acknowledgement from the White House had been received in reply to a letter the New York Democrat sent to President Nixon Jan. 12 informing him of a terrorist plot to crash a hijacked airliner into the heart of Tel Aviv. The letter urged “the United States to take the world initiative to eliminate air piracy.” According to an aide to Murphy, the White House reply thanked the Congressman for his letter and promised that “it will be brought to the attention of the President.”

Murphy wrote to Nixon that his knowledge of the terrorist plot was “based on intelligence I have had made available to me from official U.S. and international government sources.” He said “The plot involves the purposeful crashing of a hijacked airliner into downtown Tel Aviv.”

The legislator noted that such a disaster, apart from its human toll, would lead to a cessation of commercial air services around the world inasmuch as the International Air Line Pilots Association has decided “to call a world-wide suspension of service on the occasion of the next serious crime of violence against civil aviation.”


Murphy has introduced legislation that would authorize the President to Institute a boycott of air services against nations that fail to extradite or punish aerial hijackers and to deny landing rights to the aircraft of countries that provide sanctuary for sky pirates. The Murphy bill also requires the President to institute a secondary boycott against any country that continues to do air business with an offending nation and to apply sanctions against any nation used by terrorists as a base of operations, training ground or sanctuary.

In his letter to Nixon, Murphy wrote: “Skyjacking is one of the most devastating crimes in modern times against the general public and I am convinced the time for decisive action has come in this Congress. The other nations of the world are watching for the United States to set an example for proper legislation, and I intend to work for the strongest law possible to stop air pirates.”

Syndicated columnist Jack Anderson reported last Friday that a Black September plot “to hijack an airliner and crash it into the heart of bustling Tel Aviv” was discovered by “intelligence agencies which monitor the secret radio bands used by the Arab terrorists.” The same sources, he wrote, intercepted “similar ominous messages” shortly before the Lod Airport massacre of May 30 and the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes at Munich last Sept. 5. The earlier messages were vague about where the terrorists would strike but the latest ones were “more specific,” Anderson stated.

Recommended from JTA