Nezar Nawwaf al-Mansur al-Hindawi (Arabic: نزار نواف منصور الهنداوي, born 1954) is a Jordanian who was found guilty of attempting to place a bomb on an El Al flight in Heathrow airport, London on April 17, 1986. Hindawi packed the bomb into the carry-on bag of his pregnant Irish fiancée, Anne Mary Murphy. The bomb was found by El Al security. The incident became known as the Hindawi Affair.
Hindawi went to Syria in 1985, where he was allegedly recruited by officials in Syrian Air Force Intelligence to carry out a bombing on an El Al airliner. Once he received the explosives in London, he gave them to his pregnant fiancée Anne Mary Murphy, who unknowingly took his bag. When she attempted to board her flight from Heathrow Airport to Tel Aviv, El Al security officials stopped her, and the police began a search for Hindawi. Hindawi surrendered to police the following day and was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment.
Attempts at parole
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He became eligible for parole in April 2001, having served one third of his sentence, and it was ruled that he must be released on parole no later than 2016. However, his application for his case to be reviewed by the parole board, on the basis that he no longer posed a risk due to changes in the political climate in Syria, was rejected by Home Secretary David Blunkett in 2003.
In January 2004, the High Court ruled that this amounted to discrimination on the grounds of nationality, in breach of article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, among other arguments, and gave Hindawi leave to appeal.
In 2012, the parole board reversed a previous decision to free Hindawi. A Parole Board spokesman refused to comment on the case but said: "The only legal question which the parole review has to answer is the risk of a further offence occurring during the parole window, weighed against the benefits to the prisoner and public of a longer period of testing on parole. Risk is the overriding factor."
In March 2013, Hindawi was granted parole after having served 26 years in prison. However, rather than being immediately released, it was ruled that Hindawi should remain imprisoned until his deportation to Jordan.
- "El Al bomber too dangerous to release, court rules" by Jenny Booth, Times Online (archived)
- "Terrorism: The Syrian Connection" by Daniel Pipes, originally published in The National Interest, Spring 1989.
- The Hindawi Case: Syrian Connexions by The Institute for Counter-Terrorism
- "Man who plotted to bomb El Al flight loses appeal"
- "1986: UK cuts links with Syria over bomb plot"
- Gardham, Duncan (January 6, 2012). "'Most dangerous' terrorist Nezar Hindawi to remain in jail". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Plane plot bomber Nezar Hindawi released on parole". The Times. March 28, 2013.