TWA Flight 841 (1974)
On September 8, 1974, a Boeing 707-331B
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 (tail number
Tail number
A tail number refers to an identification number painted on an aircraft, frequently on the tail.Tail numbers can represent:* An aircraft registration number * United States military aircraft serials-See also:...

 N8734) operating as TWA Flight 841 took off from Ben Gurion International Airport
Ben Gurion International Airport
Ben Gurion International Airport , also referred to by its Hebrew acronym Natbag , is the largest and busiest international airport in Israel, handling 12,160,339 passengers in 2010...

, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 en route to JFK International Airport, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. It was scheduled to land in Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, followed by Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, and then proceed to New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. After stopping for 68 minutes in Athens, it departed for Rome. About 30 minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed into the Ionian Sea
Ionian Sea
The Ionian Sea , is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy including Calabria, Sicily and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, and a large number of Greek islands, including Corfu, Zante, Kephalonia, Ithaka, and...

. The out of control aircraft was observed by crew on the flight deck of Pan Am 110. They watched the aircraft execute a steep climb, the separation of an engine from the wing, and the death spiral. All 79 passengers and nine crew members were killed.

The airline's Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 office said 49 passengers boarded the plane there for Rome and the United States. They included 17 Americans (plus a baby) 13 Japanese, four Italians, four French, three Indians, two Iranians, two Israelis, two Sri Lankans, an Australian and a Canadian. The nationalities of 30 other passengers and the nine crew members were not immediately known at the time. Reuters reported a total of 37 Americans aboard.

In Beirut, it was reported that a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 youth organization claimed it had put a guerrilla on the plane with a bomb. However, a spokesman for TWA said sabotage was "highly unlikely." Later, the National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 determined that the plane was indeed destroyed by a bomb
A bomb is any of a range of explosive weapons that only rely on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy...

 hidden in the cargo hold, which caused structural failure resulting in uncontrollable flight.

Suspicion has fallen on Abu Nidal
Abu Nidal
Abu Nidal , born Sabri Khalil al-Banna , was the founder of Fatah–The Revolutionary Council , a militant Palestinian group more commonly known as the Abu Nidal Organization...

 and his terror organization. This was the first known instance of a young Arab boarding an American plane in a suicide mission
Suicide mission
The term suicide mission commonly refers to a task which is so dangerous for the people involved that they are not expected to survive. The term is sometimes extended to, but is not limited to, suicide attacks such as kamikaze and suicide bombings, where the people involved actively commit suicide...

, predating the September 11 attacks by nearly three decades.

In January 2009, the Associated Press published an investigation saying that Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary
Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary
Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary , also known as Abu Walid al-Iraqi, is a convicted terrorist. A Jordanian and Iraqi citizen of Palestinian origin, he served 16 years for plotting to attack New York City in 1973, placing three self-manufactured bombs in cars which failed to detonate.-Black...

, responsible for the 1973 New York City bomb plot
1973 New York City bomb plot
The 1973 New York City bomb plot was a plan by the Palestinian militant group Black September to detonate three car bombs in New York City at the same time Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir arrived there in March 1973. The bombs failed to explode, but the main suspect, Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary, was...

, was linked to the bombing of TWA Flight 841.

External references

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