Categories
April Today in Terrorism

April 17, 1986: Jordanian plants bomb in pregnant fiancée’s luggage

On this day in 1986, Irishwoman Ann-Marie Murphy was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London by El Al Airlines security as she tried to board one of their planes to Israel. In a false bottom of Murphy’s bag, the security agent found 10 pounds of plastic explosives and a calculator rigged to act as a detonator.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – One of the common vows used in Western marriage ceremonies is “’till death do us part”. The marriage is planned, the death is not supposed to be!

I have been happily married to my wife for over 30 years. We have three wonderful children, three incredible grandchildren and have built a pretty good life for ourselves. Now in retirement, we are beginning to truly enjoy the fruits of our long labour – not that it was a slog!

This, I think, is the type of life most young couples hope for when they decide to get engaged. OK, maybe their idea of retirement is a little more relaxing than my own. But you get the point.

This is the dream, isn’t it? I mean the show was called Happy Days! (Photo: Miller-Milkis Productions)

For some, however, engagements or marriages end and that dream doesn’t work out. At least, in most cases, one partner doesn’t decide to sacrifice the other to carry out a terrorist attack!

Sound too weird to be true? Read on.

On this day in 1986

Irishwoman Ann-Marie Murphy was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London by El Al Airlines security as she tried to board one of their planes to Israel. In a false bottom of Murphy’s bag, the security agent found 10 pounds of Semtex explosives and a calculator rigged to act as a detonator.

She claimed she had no idea the bomb was there and that her bag had been packed for her by her fiancé, Nezar Hindawi. Had she been able to board the plane, the bomb would have gone off mid-flight, likely killing everyone on board.

Murphy was five months pregnant. With Hindawi’s child. He had sent her to Israel to ostensibly meet his family and promised they would be married there that same week when he followed her on a separate flight.

She was a bit apprehensive. But what else could she do? She was pregnant.

Ann-Marie Murphy’s sister

An unsuccessful attack

Thankfully, the security agents had followed their gut feeling that something about this passenger was off (she was flying alone while five months pregnant, could not provide a method of payment for her accommodations in Israel and had not packed her bag herself). Murphy was likely innocent, Hindawi was most certainly not.

In fact, in an even stranger turn of events, Hindawi turned himself in to police when the plot was foiled. But this one decent act does not make up for the fact that he attempted to sacrifice his fiancée and unborn child in order to carry out a terrorist attack (the exact motives of which are still unclear).

Didn’t anyone think to tell him that death is not the only way out of a marriage? And, besides, they weren’t even married yet. Talk about overkill.

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *