Canada Deports Palestinian Terrorist—26 Years After He Entered Country
It took 26 years, but Canada has finally deported a Palestinian man wanted for murdering an Israeli.
Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, who slipped into Canada in 1987 after attacking an El Al plane in Athens and killing an Israeli passenger, was escorted to Lebanon on Saturday by Canada Border Services Agency officers.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney confirmed the 70-year-old former Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member had been deported on a chartered flight, and said the government was reviewing similar cases.
“We should never allow a situation like this to happen again. Mr. Mohammad flagrantly violated Canada’s fair immigration laws and this country’s generosity. He made a mockery of our legal system,” he said.
Canadian officials said they are currently examining the files of several Egyptian citizens implicated in terrorism. The minister said the review was looking at whether they could be sent home now that Egypt had undergone a change of government.
“It really was a thorn in our side, much like some of the known Nazi war criminals who were able to dodge the system,” Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told Canada’s National Post. “There was just something glaringly unjust about his ability to take advantage of everything that Canada had to offer even though he had blood on his hands.”
In 1968, Mohammad and another PFLP member stormed an Israeli passenger plane as it was preparing for takeoff in Athens. They fired 83 rounds and lobbed six grenades at the Boeing 707, killing a passenger.
A Greek court sentenced Mohammad to 17 years in prison, but he was released in 1970 after Palestinian terrorists hijacked a Greek airliner and threatened to kill everyone on board unless he was set free.
He eventually came to Canada with his wife and three children. In December 1987, he was told he would be deported — a decision later upheld by an immigration adjudicator. Mohammad then applied for refugee status. His claim was rejected, but he remained in Canada while his appeals were heard by the courts.