17 Mar 2013

Airline bomber to be freed from US prison

4:13 pm on 17 March 2013

A Jordanian-born Palestinian man convicted of the bombing of a Pan Am jet travelling to Hawaii from Japan more than 30 years ago is set to be released from an American prison.

Mohammed Rashed left a bomb under a seat that exploded on Pan Am Flight 830 from Tokyo to Honolulu on 11 August, 1982, killing a Japanese teenager and injuring at least 15 other people.

A Justice Department spokesperson says Rashed, 63, has served about 23 years in prison, including time served in Greek and US jails, over the bomb plot.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which published his release date of Wednesday, said he is currently being held at the Federal Correctional Institution, McKean, a medium-security jail in Pennsylvania.

AFP reports the explosives expert was part of 15 May, an Iraq-based pro-Palestinian group that targeted US and Israeli interests in the 1980s, and received leniency in his Pan Am sentence for co-operating with international authorities as an informant.