Rare footage of Sheikh Mohammad negotiating with hijackers
He played an instrumental role in ensuring that none of hostages were harmed…
Before H.H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum became the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, he was the country’s Defense Minister, responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the UAE and its people.
Previously unseen archival footage has surfaced online of His Highness personally dealing with a tense situation concerning the hijacking of a Lufthansa Boeing 737 in October 1977 by four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In the video, Sheikh Mohammad can be clearly seen negotiating with the hijackers of Lufthansa Flight 181 to help ensure the safety of the passengers onboard.
In an article published earlier this year by Gulf News, professor Athol Yates of Khalifa University, author of a book about the safety and security challenges that the UAE faced in the 1970s, talks about the incident. Yates explains that “What was fascinating was the amount of direct involvement in the incident [from the newspapers], in terms of the reporting there was a lot of detail about the operational response,”
Speaking about His Highness’ direct involvement, he added “In an interview, Sheikh Mohammad said that it was his plan to keep the hijackers nervous in the event that they would give up, and in more quotes [he said] they kept up a constant movement of cars and helicopters to make [the hijackers] nervous,”
The hijacked plane left Dubai with none of the passengers harmed after being delayed for 18 hours thanks to the successful negotiations of the Sheikh.
It eventually landed in Somali capital of Mogadishu where it was later stormed by West German commandos who neutralised the hijackers and successfully rescued all 86 hostages.