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Terrorism, Politics and Law: The Achille Lauro Affair

NCJ Number
A Cassese
Date Published
162 pages
The book identifies issues in and lessons for combatting international terrorism in the terrorist hijacking of the Achille Lauro, an Italian Cruise liner, in 1985.
This incident is selected for analysis because of what it revealed in the new trends in international relations in the context of combatting international terrorism. The analysis of state responses in the incident focuses on the extent to which the rules states have set for themselves in combatting terrorism are actually followed. Additionally, it examines how the nations affected negatively by rules violations by other nations react and their means of mending strained international relations. The book addresses the international agreement to give the hijackers a safe conduct, the attitude of the American government, the attitude of the Italian government, and the Italian judges' verdict. In drawing lessons from the Achille Lauro incident, the discussion focuses on the alternatives of violence or diplomatic negotiation in responding to terrorism; the costs and benefits of observing the law in responding to terrorism; long-term, medium-term, and short-term foreign policy objectives; the role played by national judges in transnational affairs; the nefarious consequences of terrorism; and whether the international community has the tools to combat terrorism. 90 references, 31-item bibliography, subject index.


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