Report: Palestinian terrorist leader released early from Italian jail

The leader of a Palestinian cell which hijacked the Italian cruiser Achille Lauro was freed from jail early, according to judicial sources quoted in a Reuters report Thursday. Leon Klinghoffer, an American Jewish passenger, was killed in the 1985 hijacking. Four Palestinians shot the wheelchair-bound man dead during the incident, and threw his body overboard. His body was discovered only after the Palestinians had allowed the ship to dock in Egypt. They were later arrested in Sicily. According to the sources, Youssef Magied al-Molqui was released from a prison in Palermo on Wednesday, having served almost 24 years of his 30-year sentence. He was reportedly released early for good behavior, and a judge ordered that he be expelled from Italy.