The Laju Hijacking


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The Shell Oil Refinery located on Pulau Bukom Besar, (an island lying south of Singapore) was attacked by four terrorists who were armed with submachine guns and explosives. The group comprised two Japanese from the Japanese Red Army (JRA) or ‘Sekigun’ and two Arabs from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The bloop attack on the refinery forces them to hijack the “Laju”, a Ferry Boat, with five crew members as hostages. The terrorists started their bargaining. The terrorists agreed to release the crew of the ‘Laju’ in exchange for a party of ‘Guarantors’ . The team was led by Mr S.R. Nathan, then MINDEF’s Director of Security & Intelligence (now President of Singapore). The 12-men-team was made up of four SAF Commandos and eight other government officials. On 7 Feb 1974, arrangements were made to transfer the terrorists by boat from “Laju” to the Marine Police Headquarters and then by minibus to the airport. On 8 February 1974 at 0125 hours, the four terrorists left Singapore for Kuwait, and hostages were immediately freed unharmed.

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