Terrorism: The Voyage of The Achille Lauro

Achille Lauro A Mediterranean pleasure cruise turns into a 52-hour nightmare at sea

By the time the Italian liner Achille Lauro had reached Alexandria, on the fifth day of a Mediterranean cruise, its 755 passengers had settled into the pleasant routine of shipboard life. There were Ping Pong tournaments, shuffleboard games and lazy afternoons around the pool. In the evening there were dinner and dancing followed by midnight buffets, and every night a troupe of Polish dancers put on a ballet performance.

Among the American passengers was a group of eleven old friends from New York City and northern New Jersey. Mostly in their 60s and 70s, they liked to vacation together on the...

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