Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Achille Lauro Hijacking Incident

October 9, 1985

While we welcome the release of the passengers and crew of the Achille Lauro, we are saddened and outraged at this brutal killing of an innocent American, the second such terrorist murder in 3 months. We are particularly distressed that there has been no announcement yet that those responsible will be turned over to the appropriate authority for prosecution and punishment.

From the outset the United States Government made it clear to the Government of Egypt and the Government of Italy our opposition to negotiations with the terrorists and our expectation that the terrorists would be apprehended, prosecuted, and punished. The United States remains determined to see that those responsible for this heinous act be brought to justice and punished to the maximum extent. There must be no asylum for terrorists or terrorism.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 8:16 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. The murdered American was Leon Klinghoffer, a passenger on the ship.