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Released Hijacker in Lebanese Custody

After his release from German prison, Hezbollah terrorist and convicted murderer Mohammad Ali Hamadi is in Lebanese custody in Beirut. But there is no extradition agreement between the United States and the long-time Syrian-controlled Lebanese government.

U.S. and German officials said Berlin notified Washington a couple of days before Hamadi was released. The United States, whose extradition request was turned down in 1987, did not ask that he be held longer because it saw no chance that Germany would turn him over now.

Instead, Washington approached the authorities in Beirut, where Petty Officer Stethem's murder occurred and where Hamadi arrived on Friday.

bq. A senior State Department official said Hamadi was in "temporary custody" in Lebanon, although it was not clear where or when he was arrested.

The Stetham family believes Hamadi's quiet release is directly tied to negotiations by the Germans for Susanne Osthoff, who was released by her Iraqi captors soon after Hamadi was freed.