Terrorist Hindawi is refused parole

A terrorist jailed for 45 years for plotting to bomb an Israeli plane has lost his legal battle to be released early.

In 1986, Nezar Hindawi planned to blow up an El Al plane carrying 370 people by planting a bomb in the luggage of his pregnant fiancée.

The Parole Board had previously suggested he should be released early and deported to Jordan. But a hearing held in December ruled that it was not yet safe to release him.

Its decision, announced on Friday, was made after weighing the benefits for the prisoner and the public, and considering Hindawi's progress in prison, statements, and reports from probation and prison officers.

Now 57, Hindawi has been eligible for early parole since 2001. But successive home secretaries and justice ministers, including Alan Johnson and Ken Clarke, refused to grant him freedom.

Irish citizen Anne-Marie Murphy, who later gave birth to Hindawi's daughter, knew nothing of the plot 26 years ago.

It is widely believed that Syria instigated the attempted bombing on the Heathrow to Tel Aviv flight. The device was discovered by El Al security who stopped Murphy. Hindawi surrendered and was handed what is thought to be the longest-ever specific prison term ordered by an English court.

Last updated: 12:16pm, January 12 2012