NEW YORK – Mohammed Rashed, who placed a bomb that damaged a Pan Am jet over the Pacific in 1982, killing a Japanese high schooler, was released from federal prison Wednesday, a U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman said.
“He was released early this morning,” Chris Burke said, adding that Rashed, 63, was being held at a facility in Pennsylvania.
Rashed’s release was in exchange for information on other terrorist plots under an agreement that will also deport him to a country of his choice, AP said. It has not been disclosed which country he wants to go to.
In the 1982 incident, Rashed got off the Pan Am flight at Narita airport after planting a time bomb under a seat of the plane. The flight was on its way to Honolulu that Aug. 11 when the device exploded, killing Toru Ozawa, 16, under whose seat the bomb had been planted. Ozawa was setting off on a vacation with his family. Fifteen other passengers were also wounded, including Ozawa’s parent, but the pilots managed to land the plane.
Rashed, a Jordanian-born Palestinian, fled to Iraq and remained at large for several years before being captured in 1988 in Greece, where he was tried and handed a 15-year prison sentence. He was released in 1996 after serving eight years, and was extradited to the United States from Egypt two years later.
In May 2006, Rashed was sentenced to another seven years in jail as part of plea deal in the United States.
He is linked to Abu Ibrahim, who is on the FBI watch list of most-wanted terrorists and is believed to be living in Lebanon, according to media reports.