Monday, October 12, 2009

Pan Am 281 Hijacker Surrenders

Here's CNN:
Soltren "will finally face the American justice system that he has been evading for more than four decades," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Yes, thanks to our friendly southern neighbor Fidel. Here's the New York Murdoch Post with a bit more:
"He wanted to get this behind him," a source said.

The State Department arranged for security personnel to accompany Soltren early yesterday morning on a flight to Kennedy Airport.
And here's the Gray Lady:
Last month, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District, filed a request in United States District Court asking that the case against Mr. Soltren be activated, explaining: “The government believes that the defendant will be returning to the United States shortly.”
The Times goes on to say there's no word on whether the Cuban government played any role in his return. How could they not? There were State and FBI personnel aboard the plane. It's unlikely our recently unclinched fist allows US personnel to fly into Cuba and snatch dissidents now, nor would Fidel allow them to casually leave of their own accord. So please. The real question is how deep their involvement was and why. Keep in mind this man was a Puerto Rican terrorist.

As to Soltren's motivation, there's no doubt he probably wanted to 'get it behind him' and see his family again. But at 66 wouldn't he naturally assume that getting it behind him might mean only seeing his family during prison visitations? Was that enough (maybe) or was this perhaps calculated based on the current Attorney General and his past history with Puerto Rican terrorists in general, banking on some kind of humanitarian sentence or outright pardon at some point?

Regardless, the Cuban angle seems the most intriguing part of this story.

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