29 Feb 12
The “Murphy Incident,” Heathrow Airport, UK, April 1986, from a friend with El Al:
“Ann Marie Murphy, an attractive, twenty-six-year-old Irish woman, obviously pregnant, showed up at London’s Heathrow Airport for an El Al flight to Tel Aviv less than an hour before its scheduled departure.
She was traveling alone, and, when questioned by El Al Security about why she was going to Tel Aviv, she replied, ‘… to see the holy places’ When subsequently asked where she would be staying, she indicated her hotel was ‘the Jerusalem Hilton.’
There is no Hilton Hotel in Jerusalem. Questioning continued:
How much cash do you have? Do you have a credit card? Her answers to both questions clearly indicated she could not cover a single night at any Hilton property!
A subsequent physical inspection of Ann Murphy’s luggage, which had already passed X-ray inspection, revealed a secret compartment. It contained several pounds of a sophisticated, military explosive, rigged with a detonator, disguised as a pocket calculator. It was set to explode several hours later, when the aircraft was somewhere over the Adriatic Sea.
Murphy’s on-again/off-again boyfriend was Syrian intelligence officer (under direct control of the Assad, the Elder’s, regime) Nizar Hindawi, who was in the UK, falsely representing himself as a Jordanian journalist.
It was Hindawi who had placed the bomb in Murphy’s luggage. Hindawi was also the father of her unborn child. It was her second pregnancy, courtesy of Hindawi. The first had ended in a miscarriage. In a yet earlier attempt, Hindawi had gotten a young Polish girl pregnant under similar circumstances.
British Intelligence had been onto Hindawi for some time, and they knew about his fraudulent romance with Murphy, so they were likely waiting for her when she arrived. In any event, incisive questioning by a twenty-two-year-old law student, who had been working for El Al only two months, quickly unraveled her bogus story. He almost certainly saved the lives of everyone on board the flight in question, and may have prevented a shooting war between Israel and Syria!
Murphy had been carefully coached by Hindawi, with regard to what to say to airport security agents. However, the problem with such coaching is that, sooner or later, the coached person will run out of plausible answers. Their ‘story’ predictably deteriorates from (1) unlikely, to (2) suspicious, to (3) bizarre, to (4) preposterous.
Hindawi was subsequently arrested in London by British Police, convicted, and sentenced to forty-five years in prison, where he remains today. Local Syrian ‘diplomats’ tried to smuggle him out of the country, but, at some point, Hindawi decided to take his chances with the British, rather than with his unhappy handlers back in Damascus!
Murphy was never prosecuted, as investigators became convinced she was merely a naive dupe. She subsequently gave birth to Hindawi’s child.
The Murphy Case was a classic success story. Not so two years later with the Lockerbie bombing. That case was an eerie replay, this time involving a Libyan agent and a Finnish girl. They were not intercepted in time! There is little doubt Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi (now deceased) personally ordered that attack.
Ever the slow learners, when Richard Reid (the ‘Shoe-Bomber’) unsuccessfully attempted a similar murderous plot in December of 2001 on American Airlines Flight 63, from Paris, France to Miami, FL, he had already been unmistakably identified as an overt threat by profilers (on two different days) at de Gaulle Airport in Paris. However, local French Gendarmes ultimately asked American Airlines to put him on the flight anyway, just to get him out of their hair! The American pilot reluctantly acquiesced.”
Comment: Israelis know, oh so well, about the effectiveness of profiling, and they have no compunction, nor apology!
The rest of the confused, naive world, including the USA, is slowly, reluctantly, grudgingly catching up. Our current “shotgun” approach is unfocused and far less effective, and we know it!
It is the height of self-deception to believe we’ve seen the last of this!
“They’re mortal. They must have mortal weaknesses.”
Professor Clayton Forrester (played by Gene Barry) describing Martian invaders in the 1953 movie version of HG Wells’ classic novel, “War of the Worlds.”