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Events in Gander -- An Overview

Prelude: Soldiers in the Sinai

Troop Movement and Security

Post-Crash Investigation

The Toxicology Reports: Burned Alive

Arms to Iran: Enter One Oliver North

The Governments' Lines


List of Sources

Gander: The Untold Story

Prelude: Soldiers in the Sinai

Annex I to the Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel of 1979 provided for U.N. forces to occupy a portion of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, as observers, between Egypt and Israel. (7:345) The 101st Airborne division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky was one of four divisions that constituted the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). The sole purpose of the MFO was to "operate checkpoints, reconnaissance patrols and observation posts along the international boundary." (7:345)

Although the MFO was designated solely as a peacekeeping force, many times they were targets of hostile acts by the Islamic Jihad, or Islamic "Holy War," a religious fundamentalist group responsible for various terrorist acts against the United States, such as the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, and the hijacking of TWA flight 847 in June of 1985. In February of 1984, the MFO's director, Leamon "Ray" Hunt was gunned down in his car in the streets of Rome, Italy. Officials investigating Hunt's murder pointed the finger of guilt at Lebanese terrorists. (2:12-20)

As a result of the Marine barracks bombing, the U.S. began withdrawing its troops from Lebanon, leaving the largest collection of United States troops in the Middle East, concentrated in the Sinai. (2:20) The rotation of these troops every six months involved a massive, cooperative effort between the Egyptians and the U.S. The movement of these troops around the region would require that the utmost of security precautions be taken, or would it?

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