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AP Exclusive: US fugitive lived openly in Africa

Associated Press Featured Article

October 02, 2011

AP Exclusive: US fugitive lived openly in Africa

By Associated Press ,

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The former U.S. ambassador to Guinea–Bissau says an American fugitive who conducted a brazen 1970s plane hijacking lived openly in the African nation during the 1980s under his real name.

Retired Ambassador John Blacken tells The Associated Press (News - Alert) that George Wright — captured this week in Portugal — went by his real name when was living in the former Portuguese colony of Guinea–Bissau. He says the embassy did not know Wright was a fugitive.


Blacken said Thursday that embassy officials would have taken action if they had known Wright had escaped from jail while serving time for murder, and was wanted in the case of the jet hijacked to Algeria in 1972.

Blacken says "if we had received such a cable, we would have responded."

Related Images:


 A woman who said she was Maria Do Rosario Valente, the wife of fugitive George Wright is seen outside the house where neighbors said Wright lived in Almocagema, near Lisbon Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Wright was arrested Sept. 26, 2011 by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said. The FBI says Wright, who escaped the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J., in 1970, became affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. After releasing the passengers in exchange for a $1 million ransom, the hijackers forced the plane to fly to Boston, then on to Algeria. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco)

 A woman who said she was Maria Do Rosario Valente, the wife of fugitive George Wright is seen outside the house where neighbors said Wright lived in Almocagema, near Lisbon Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Wright was arrested Sept. 26, 2011 by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said. The FBI says Wright, who escaped the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J., in 1970, became affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. After releasing the passengers in exchange for a $1 million ransom, the hijackers forced the plane to fly to Boston, then on to Algeria. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco)

 An unidentified man enters the house where neighbors said fugitive George Wright lived in Almocagema, near Lisbon Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Wright was arrested Sept. 26, 2011 by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said. The FBI says Wright, who escaped the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J., in 1970, became affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. After releasing the passengers in exchange for a $1 million ransom, the hijackers forced the plane to fly to Boston, then on to Algeria. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco)

 A mailbox with the words U.S. Mail is seen outside the house where neighbors said fugitive George Wright lived in Almocagema, near Lisbon Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Wright was arrested Sept. 26, 2011 by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said. The FBI says Wright, who escaped the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J., in 1970, became affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. After releasing the passengers in exchange for a $1 million ransom, the hijackers forced the plane to fly to Boston, then on to Algeria. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco)

 This arrest photo taken Feb. 15, 1963 and provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections shows George Wright while in custody for the 1962 murder of a gas station owner in Wall, N.J. Wright was arrested Sept. 26, 2011, by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. The FBI says Wright, who escaped the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J., in 1970, became affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. After releasing the passengers in exchange for a $1 million ransom, the hijackers forced the plane to fly to Boston, then on to Algeria. (AP Photo)



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