Mikulski Demands Extradition of Terrorist Who Killed Navy Diver from Waldorf - Southern Maryland Headline News

Mikulski Demands Extradition of Terrorist Who Killed Navy Diver from Waldorf


Calls on President Bush, Secretary Rice to take swift action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In separate letters to President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) expressed her outrage at recent news reports that Mohammed Ali Hamadi, the terrorist who killed 23-year-old Navy Diver (SW-2) Robert Dean Stethem, has rejoined the terrorist group Hezbollah after having been released from a Lebanese prison. Senator Mikulski called on the President and Secretary Rice to urge Lebanon to re-arrest Hamadi and hand him over for trial in the United States.

On June 15, 1985, Hamadi and his fellow terrorists bound, gagged, beat unconscious, and then shot Petty Officer Stethem in the head when they hijacked a jetliner traveling to Rome. The terrorists then dumped his body on the tarmac. Hamadi was convicted of murder in a German court in 1989. He was released in December 2005 and returned to his native Lebanon. In January, Senator Mikulski expressed her outrage that the German government ignored more than a decade of requests for Hamadi's extradition to face justice in the United States.

"Petty Officer Stethem was killed because he was a United States serviceman," said Senator Mikulski. "This United States Senator is grateful for his service and will never forget him and will not rest until justice is done."

Stetham was from Waldorf, MD. He is buried in Section 59 of the Arlington National Cemtery. In 1995, the USS Stethem was named in his honor by the Navy. The Stethem is a guided missile destroyer.

The two letters are below:

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America

Dear Mr. President:

As we join together in fighting this global war on terror, I wanted to bring to your attention a despicable situation. The media has reported that Mohammed Ali Hamadi, the cold-blooded murderer and terrorist, has been released from Lebanese prison and has re-joined the terrorist group Hezbollah. As you know, Hamadi brutally murdered a United States Navy diver, Robert Dean Stethem. Petty Officer Stethem was 23 years old and from Waldorf, Md. He was killed solely because he was an American serviceman.

I know you feel the same outrage and frustration that I feel about this situation. That is why I am asking you to instruct the State Department to exert the strongest possible diplomatic and political pressure on the Government of Lebanon to secure Hamadi's handover to U.S. custody. Until a transfer can be arranged, Lebanon should re-arrest Hamadi and keep him in custody to prevent him from rejoining the ranks of Hezbollah terrorists.

The United States has worked to bring Hamadi to justice since the Reagan Administration. Hamadi and his fellow terrorists bound, gagged, beat unconscious, and then shot Petty Officer Stethem in the head when they hijacked a jetliner traveling to Rome in 1985. The terrorists dumped Petty Officer Stethem's dead body out of the plane onto the Beirut tarmac, proving the utter indifference for life that is the hallmark of such despicable people. In 1989, Hamadi was convicted of murder in a German court. For more than a decade, the German government ignored repeated requests by the United States to turn Hamadi over for prosecution. In December 2005, Germany released him to his native Lebanon, where he has reportedly returned to his terrorist ways.

The families of our servicemen always hear that "a grateful nation never forgets." We need to make sure these are more than just words. Petty Officer Stethem was killed because he was a United States serviceman. I am grateful for his service and want to see justice done.

Thank you for your prompt, personal attention to this issue.



The Honorable Condoleeza Rice
Secretary of State

Dear Secretary Rice:

I wanted to bring to your attention a despicable situation. The media has reported that Mohammed Ali Hamadi, the cold-blooded murderer and terrorist, has been released from Lebanese prison and has re-joined the terrorist group Hezbollah. As you know, Hamadi brutally murdered a United States Navy diver, Robert Dean Stethem. Petty Officer Stethem was 23 years old and from Waldorf, Md. He was killed solely because he was an American serviceman.

I know you feel the same outrage and frustration that I feel about this situation. I ask that you exert the strongest possible diplomatic and political pressure on the Government of Lebanon to secure Hamadi's handover to U.S. custody. Until such a transfer can be arranged, Lebanon should re-arrest Hamadi and keep him in custody to prevent him from rejoining the ranks of Hezbollah terrorists.

Hamadi and his fellow terrorists bound, gagged, beat unconscious, and then shot Petty Officer Stethem in the head when they hijacked a jetliner traveling to Rome in 1985. The terrorists dumped Petty Officer Stethem's dead body out of the plane onto the Beirut tarmac, proving the utter indifference for life that is the hallmark of such despicable people. In 1989, Hamadi was convicted of murder in a German court. For more than a decade, the German government ignored repeated requests by the United States to turn Hamadi over for prosecution. In December 2005, Germany released him to his native Lebanon, where he has reportedly returned to his terrorist ways.

The families of our servicemen always hear that "a grateful nation never forgets." We need to make sure these are more than just words. Petty Officer Stethem was killed because he was a United States serviceman. I am grateful for his service and want to see justice done.

Thank you for your prompt, personal attention to this issue.



RELATED INFORMATION:

More Information on Robert Dean Stethem
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rdstethe.htm

The USS Stethem
http://www.stethem.navy.mil/

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