Overview and all Relevant Posts
June 1 2010
I have been meaning to make a master post for the whole PFLP-GC/Autumn Leaves gang and episode - brief text with links. But even before that lofty goal, I've amassed enough posts just on this one player and/or his handiwork to warrant its own post. This way I can organize the highlights and push the mess of posts back a bit.
The Maltese Double Cross. Terrorist bomb-maker active with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, General Command (PFLP-GC) in the early 1970s and again in the mid-late 1980s. His specialty was the altimeter bomb - desgned to kill airliners, it would hide inside electronics inside luggage and only detonate after reaching a certain altitude.
By 1988 at the latest, Khreesat was also working for Jordanian inteligence, General Inteligence Directorate (GID), making him a double agent when he was called back into Jibril's fold in the autumn of 1988. To help Iran avenge the downing of Flight 655 in July, a PFLP-GC cell was formed in Neuss/Frankfurt West Germany, centered around helping Khreesat build more altimeter bombs. His GID bosses instructed him to infiltrate the group and not to arm any of his bombs. Instead, four armed bombs were intercepted, with a fifth disappearing just six weeks before the Lockerbie bombing.
Khreesat was arrested by German police but released, and fled back to jordan where he remained. He was at first a suspect but then he was found to be an ally, who gave clues to the FBI in two November 1989 interviews. And then the Libyan clues took over anyway.
A PDF document compiling parts of agent Marshman's 1989 report, following interviews with Khreesat in Jordan. These portions were read out at trial, here compiled by original page number (about 60% complete).
Birth of Airborne Death
This post covers his early work - three airplane bombings in 1970 and 1972, mostly from a technical perspective.
1980s Boom Boxes and Ice Cubes
This post covers the technical aspects of Khreesat's 1985-88 handiwork. Timer variation, altimeter settings, etc.
An older post discussing the Khreesat bomb's detonation timing re: Pan Am 103. A little muddles with the "35-45 minutes" claim, better understood (and more complex) in the link above.
Marwan Khreesat: How many Times an Agent?
My first post, a little more suspicious of Khreesat himself - emphasis on clues he might be a triple agent, willfully helping the PFLP-GC. Why did he disobey orders and build five armed bombs? (See next entry) Also some details of the GID end of his 1988 mission, first to Yugoslavia and then to Germany.
A Passing Magic Touch, and the Rest Unseen
"Abu Elias" is at least what Khreesat blames for making his bombs live. He's also the one who slippped away with the one that was suspected of bringing down Flight 103. He also may well be the one who built it. Khreesat did nothing but solder two wires (he says) and get credit as the bomb-builder to suspect.
PFLP-GC Radio Recycling and the Khreesats' Luggage
Some details on the five Toshiba BomBeat radios used in the 1985 trial bombs, the presence of two of these in Germany in 1988, Khreesat and his wife, their luggage, and the possibility that the PFLP-GC tried to frame Khreesat for the bombing.