On this day: North Korea fined for terrorist attack

21st July 2010: Aftermath of Lod airport massacre

By Daniel Walters, July 21, 2011

Thirty-eight years on from the terrorist attack at Ben Gurion International airport in Israel – known at the time as the Lod Airport massacre - North Korea was finally fined nearly £200 million for supporting terrorists in an attack that killed 26 people.

The US Federal Court found North Korea guilty of aiding the terrorist's mission and of giving them material support.

The attack, which saw three Japanese terrorists throw hand grenades and shoot relentlessly and mercilessly at passengers, injured a further 80 people. It also led to increased political tension between Israel and Japan.

Two of the shooters were killed in the attack, with only one - Kozo Okamoto -surviving. All three were later identified as members of the far left terrorist organisation Japanese Red Army, linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Okamoto was later sentenced to life in jail after a court hearing. However, in 1985 he was released as part of a prisoner exchange for Israeli soldiers captured during the Lebanon war.

Among the 26 people killed as a result of the attack were 16 Puerto Rican Christian pilgrims, many of whose family members filed a lawsuit against North Korea.

What the JC said: "An Israeli spokesman this week revealed some of the findings of the preliminary investigation of Kozo Okamoto, the Japanese gunman captured after last week's massacre at Lydda airport, in which 24 civilians were killed and 78 wounded. Thirty-six of the wounded were still in hospital on Wednesday, two with severe injuries. The two other Japanese gunmen were killed, one by his own grenade, the other by his comrades' cross-fire."

See more from the JC archives here

Last updated: 9:13am, July 21 2011