Younis, Fawaz (1959–)

aka Fawaz Yunis

Lebanese hijacker Fawaz Younis was captured in an elaborate FBI operation and brought to trial in the United States under antiterrorism laws passed in the 1980s. During his trial, members of the gallery gave Younis the nickname “teddy bear terrorist,” because of his affable demeanor and because no hostages were harmed during the 1985 hijacking of Royal Jordanian Airlines Flight 402.

Younis was born in Baalbek, Lebanon, but his family moved to the Shiite slums of Beirut when he was very young. He was just 15 when the Lebanese civil war began in 1974. In 1979, Younis joined the Shiite militant party, Amal. During the early 1980s, he worked as a used car salesman, but when Amal took control of western Beirut in 1984 Younis became a full-time officer in the Amal militia.

On June 11, 1985, under orders ...

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