October 24, 2020: UK Closes Syrian Embassy
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Let's go back to the Syrian Embassy in London on October twenty fourth. Nineteen eighty-six. The Syrian ambassador. Dr, Lau tough Heidar didn't WANNA. Ever hear reporters voice again, it seemed that every television set in the United Kingdom was tuned to coverage of the trial a trial that had seemingly revealed his own country's duplicity just six months earlier, a terrorist named Nasar Hindawi had tried to blow up a plane although his plot was thwarted. The attempt made international news especially when he claimed that the Syrian government had put him up to. It Hindawi initially claimed that a Syrian intelligence official told him the suitcase contained drugs that needed to be smuggled and sold in Tel Aviv for a fee of two, hundred, fifty, thousand dollars. He was unaware that actually contained an explosive once the bomb was intercepted. Hindawi fled to the Syrian embassy and their ambassador. Heidar had taken him in and allegedly advised Hindawi to cut and dye his hair in the hopes that would help him escape justice. At least that was what Hindawi claimed. But ever since the would be bombers arrest in April Heidar had insisted on his country's innocence he acknowledged that he had met with Hindawi after the bomb was discovered but is an ambassador. It was his job to help all Syrian citizens even those who committed horrendous crimes. Of course British parliament didn't by his denials they called hi Dr Aligarh according to the Crown Serious guilt was plane. So it only stood to reason that British and Syrian relations should fail and on October twenty fourth the same day the jury delivered their guilty verdict against Hindawi Ambassador Heidar got the news he had one week to pack up his things and leave the embassy and the country for good. In the moment Haider's exit and the related terrorist trial was a shameful scandal, but few people would forsee the long term fallout of the ambassadors ouster. Up Next affoil terrorist bombing and how the political machine reshaped the narrative. Listeners who doesn't love a good ghost story rattling Chan's mysteriously moving objects unfinished business I am ready for all things spooky and so his podcast network starting October. First, we're bringing you the scariest most hair raising ghost stories ever imagined every Thursday on the new original series haunted places, ghost stories, Alistair murden summons, a new spine, tingling tale of rates phantoms, and chilling apparitions. These stories come from all over the world including Japan India the UK and even ancient Rome don't miss stone cold classics like the Kit bag by Algernon Blackwood A. 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Then suddenly my whole home was protected I didn't have to worry about tools or drilling or waiting around for technicians. The setup is also intuitive and the. Components blend into my home seamlessly as a single mom who's main job is related to true crime. I really appreciate the peace of mind that simply safe brings their pricing is fair and honest you can get twenty, four, seven professional monitoring and emergency dispatch starting at just fifty cents a day not bad for what US News and World Report called the best. Overall. Home. Security of twenty twenty head to simplisafe dot com slash today and get a free hd camera that simplisafe dot com slash today to make sure they know that our show sent you. Now back to the story. On October, twenty fourth nineteen, eighty, six, the united, Kingdom shut down the Syrian embassy and cut diplomatic relations entirely. It was a dramatic response to the failed terrorist plot to blow up an airplane. The would be bomber Nasar Hindawi. We said that Syrian intelligence agents had bribed him to commit the attack, but they didn't tell him to involve his fiancee and. Marie. Murphy. In Dolly and Murphy had met in Nineteen eighty-five, she'd worked as a maid at the London. Hilton where he was staying as a guest, they soon began dating right up until the end of the year when Murphy announced she was pregnant with Hindawi child unwilling to be a father Hindawi left her. But the next April Hindawi suddenly reinitiated contact. He said, he wanted to marry Murphy and raise the child but only if she'd fly to Israel a few days later for the wedding, he also insisted that they take separate flights. If any of that struck Murphy as strange, she didn't speak up since she was five months pregnant she probably didn't WanNa rock the boat and risk alienating Hindawi again. Before the trip Hindawi but Murphy a new suitcase. She had no way of knowing how to secret hidden bottom containing a plastic explosive especially because Hindawi generously helped her pack the bag ensuring, she wouldn't examine it too closely. He also gave her a calculator saying it was a present for a friend in Israel during the drive to the airport. He asked her to take it out of the bag. So he could test some of its features. Murphy couldn't imagine he was actually setting a timer. Unaware. Of the ticking bomb Murphy cleared. Security. Issue, she almost made it all the way to the plane except a security guard thought her suitcase seemed unexpectedly heavy. When he examined the bag, he found the explosive. The bomb never went off, but it still blew up Murphy's entire life for the next four months she had to grapple with the knowledge that her fiance had used her and her unborn child not carrying that they would have died on the aircraft along with everyone else by the time the trial began that fall Murphy's love had curdled into loathing on the stand. She made eye contact with Hindawi and yelled, you bastard you, how could you do this to me i? Hate you I, hate you your wicked. And the jury sympathized with her on October twenty fourth the same day that the UK cut ties with Syria in we was sentenced to forty five years in prison. His conviction made it easy for officials to cut ties with the Syrian government that allegedly sponsored him by October Thirty First Ambassador Heidar and his staff had left the embassy and we're boarding their flights back to Damascus. The UK in Syria were no longer allies. At least officially but a few years later, the crown reversed course. So did the United States and Canada both of whom had withdrawn ambassadors from Syria following the bombing. The renewed relationship wasn't because of brilliant diplomacy. It stemmed from more complicated motivations tied to the red scare. In the nineteen eighties. Syria and the Soviet Union were close is even though they also had ties to the UK and the United. States the western superpowers considered Syria a sort of unofficial middleman in the Cold War like how divorced parents might question their child about what their ex spouse is up to. But after the bombing plot as long as the UK in Syria weren't speaking to one another, they missed out unimportant intelligence the capitalist world needed the two nations to make up. So in nineteen, eighty, six, the French, and Greek governments both publicly announced that they weren't. that. Hindawi was a Syrian agent and in one thousand, nine, hundred, ninety while the Gulf War raged the UK normalized relations with Syria once more. It wasn't because of a sudden new finding about Hindawi's motives. It wasn't because Syria or ambassador hi, dr were vindicated instead the UK's decision was all about politics. Thanks for listening to today and true crime I'm Vanessa Richardson to hear more about the scandals that shaped United States policy. Be sure to check out political scandals on spotify today in true crime is a spotify original from podcast. You can find more episodes of today in true crime and all other originals for free on spotify. We'll be back with a brand new episode tomorrow in True Crime. Today in true crime was created by Max Cutler and is a spotify original from podcast. It is executive produced by Max Cutler Sound designed by Juan. With production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden, and Joshua Kern this episode of today in true crime was written by Angela Jorgensen with writing assistance by Abigail cannon I'm Vanessa Richardson. 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