The Lawfare Project (LP) has filed a criminal complaint in Spain against Leila Khaled on terrorism charges, in the National Court of Madrid. Additionally, three other complaints regarding terror financing have been submitted to three different public agencies.
Leila Khaled—who in 1969 and 1970 hijacked TWA and EL AL flights—was released by the British authorities in exchange for Western hostages from four others civilian aircrafts hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Ms. Khaled is a member of the Politburo of the PFLP, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the EU Council. She is scheduled to attend a self-described “radical” Book Fair in Barcelona on May 14, 2017, when a translation of her biography will be presented by her and her editor. This Book Fair is sponsored by the City Council of Barcelona and four separate agencies of the Council, despite the ban on providing financial support (and, specifically, public funds)—directly or indirectly—to designated terrorist groups or their leaders.
The LP’s efforts have sparked the enhanced police control and financial surveillance measures that EU Council Decision 2017/154 and Common Position 2001/931/CFSP specify for foreign terrorist groups. We have also prompted an investigation into terror financing and the presence of a leader of a foreign terrorist organization who, under Spanish law, is subject to Spanish criminal jurisdiction when within the nation’s territory.
The LP will file for the application of the same police and financial surveillance measures in other EU countries where PFLP’s leaders and members may be present or active in the future.