The Forgotten Flight: Terrorism, Diplomacy and the Pursuit of Justice

Stuart H. Newberger. Oneworld, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-1-78607-092-0
On Sept. 19, 1989, a suitcase bomb exploded on UTA Flight 772 en route to Paris from N’Djamena, Chad. The DC-10 crashed in Niger’s Ténéré Desert, killing all 170 people on board. Six Libyans were implicated in the heinous terrorist act, but the machinations of French President Jacques Chirac and Libyan leader Moammar al-Gadhafi yielded only convictions in absentia and a paltry settlement for the families of the victims. The world took little note of this chilling tragedy, coming as it did nine months after the Lockerbie bombing, which claimed bigger headlines as well as U.S. and U.K. involvement. Newberger, a Washington, D.C., attorney who had gained stature as a terrorism-victims litigator, attracted the attention of the owner of the ill-fated UTA aircraft. Their case set in motion a barrage of legal and diplomatic wrangling to secure a settlement for the American families of the UTA victims. Newberger deftly breaks down the diplomatic flourishes and political motivations of the four countries involved in a complex web of determining culpability for state-sponsored terrorism. This is an engrossing and approachable narrative that skillfully distills the intricacies of this niche of international law and sensitively conveys the sorrows of the loved ones seeking a measure of justice. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/24/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
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