13 October 2005

Another Terrorism Anniversary: Hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181

A Lufthansa 737 was hijacked on this day in 1977 on its way from Palma to Frankfurt. The 5-day ordeal included landings for refuelling in Rome, Cyprus, Dubai, and Aden before finally coming to an end in Mogadishu.


The plane stayed on the tarmac in Dubai for 3 days, at one point losing power causing temperatures in the cabin to reach 120 degrees.

Also in Dubai, Captain J├╝rgen Schumann requested permission to disembark in order to check the underside of the aircraft, where he disappeared for a few minutes. Upon his return, he was made to kneel down in the First Class cabin of the plane and was executed by the hijackers with a shot in the head in full view of the passengers. His body remained in the aisle until it was dopped onto the runway in Mogadishu.

Earlier in the hijacking, Captain Schumann had successfully been able to communicate information about the terrorists to authorities.

Finally, on October 17 in Mogadishu, West German Commandos of the GSG 9 conducted a successful rescue of the hostages, killing three of the hijackers and wounding the fourth.

The terrorists were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was known at that time to have received training and support from Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, North Korea, the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union.

Much more at GlobalSecurity.org and SpecialOperations.com.

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