The German Government revealed yesterday that it had released a member of the Hezbollah Lebanese extremist group, who had received a life sentence for hijacking a TWA plane and killing a U.S. sailor, Washington Post wrote.
His release by a parole board has stirred anger amongst American officials and members of the sailor's family.
"We were certainly disappointed at the time that we didn't get our hands on him then, and we are disappointed now that he has been released before the end of his full sentence," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told Reuters.
He also said that the state will do anything in its power to bring Mohammed Ali Hammadi to the United States so he can be trialed.
"We're going to make every effort to see that he stands trial in the United States for what he did and face justice," he added.
"To have commuted his sentence -- it just doesn't make sense," Patricia Stethem, mother of the 1985 hijacking victim, told the Washington Post. "[The German officials] They're dealing with terrorists. They've released him back to Lebanon. . . . He's back where he can join up with the Hezbollah organization again," she said, referring to the possible connection between the release of archeologist Susanne Osthoff and that of Mohammed Ali Hammadi
The 1985 terrorist attack was one of the most intensively publicized, and the death of the American shocked the entire world, the attackers beating and killing him in the cockpit while the plane was on a Beirut airport. The body was thrown by the hijackers out of the plane.