Five black American hijackers, who last week held a United States airliner to a million-dollar ransom, have been pleading with the Algerian authorities to give them back the confiscated ransom money.
GV EXT. Black panther building & plaque on fence
SV Hijacker & children seated
CU Children sleeping
SV Mrs MCNair reading hijacker's letter while others listen.
We would like to set the record straight as to our treatment since arriving in Algeria. We were not mistreated or imprisoned. And we regard the interrogation as normal and routine -- and we voluntarily participated in the interrogation. We had nothing to hide and we are proud of what we did, because we did it to strike a blow for the liberation of our people. We chose to come to Algeria because, as students of the world revolution, we knew of Algeria's reputation as a revolutionary country and as a keen and firm supporter of repressed and fighting peoples everywhere. We are shocked and bewildered to be branded as criminals for our revolutionary activities, and to see our successful revolutionary activities threatened with ultimate defeat by the Algerian Government. It was the United States Government itself that requested of the Algerian Government to allow the 'plane to land in Algeria. We feel that by allowing the 'plane to land in Algeria, the Algerian government is not obligated to go one step further and play the part of policeman for the United States Government. Therefore, we request that if the Algerian Government will not give us back our one-million dollars and allow us to remain in Algeria, we give us back our one-million dollars and we will go somewhere else.
Initials VS/17.20 SGM/1712
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Background: Five black American hijackers, who last week held a United States airliner to a million-dollar ransom, have been pleading with the Algerian authorities to give them back the confiscated ransom money.
The five claim their hijacking was a justifiable revolutionary act. Yesterday (Tuesday), they gathered with their children at the headquarters of the Black Panther's International Section in Algiers.
There they read out to newsmen the contents of a letter addressed to Algeria's President Houari Boumedienne. Mrs. Jean McNair, one of two women hijackers in the group, was filmed reading the letter by cameramen Louis Gimenez: