Lufthansa Flight 181 Hijacked


On October 13, 1977, 4 terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian hijacked a Lufthansa flight out of Frankfort. After several stops, the plane eventually landed in Mogadishu, Somalia. The terrorists had a somewhat unusual demand. They wanted West Germany to release members of the Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhoff Gang.

The Red Army Faction was a left wing domestic terrorist group operating in West Germany. They were a Communist organization that had called for an end to capitalism. To further their goals the group had killed several wealthy business owners, robbed banks, and exploded bombs at sensitive locations. They had espoused several left wing causes including a Palestinian State. Members of the group had gone so far as to train with Palestinian terrorists in Jordan. Several of the Red Army Faction members had been arrested after a recent spate of violence and were being held in an West German prison. The close ties that they had formed with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine helped lead to this current standoff.

When the West German Government learned of the hijacking and demands, they took immediate action. West Germany had been plagued by numerous terrorist events from the Munich Olympic disaster to the current spate of violence from the Red Army Faction. They decided that enough was enough. They made an agreement with the Somali Government to allow West Germany to fly in police and handle the hijacking. They then dispatched the Grenzschutzgruppe 9 of the German Federal Police to Mogadishu. German negotiators told the hijackers that the Red Army Faction prisoners were going to be delivered to them for release. What actually was delivered was the Grenzschutzgruppe 9 officers, who stormed the plane and killed the hijackers. All passengers and crew were rescued. Nice job by the cops!


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