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On June 14, 1985 two gunmen commandeered Trans World Airlines Flight 847 between Athens and Rome and forced it to fly to Beirut, Lebanon. There, they killed off-duty U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem and held thirty-nine U.S. citizens hostage for seventeen days. Later that year, a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. indicted four men on hijacking and murder charges arising out of the Flight 847 events. In early 1987 West German authorities arrested one of the indicted, Mohammed Ali Hamadei, as he attempted to bring three bottles of liquid explosives into West Germany.

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