CBS Evening News for Friday, Feb 19, 1988
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(Studio: Dan Rather) Reagan administration reported receiving threat from "oppressed of the earth," pro-Iranian group claiming responsibility for Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins' kidnapping. Reports introd.
(London, England: Tom Fenton) Terrorist group reported sending photo copies of Higgins' identification cards to United States officials. Group noted claiming Higgins working for CIA. Group reported linked to 1985 Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA) hijacking and kidnapping of United States journalist Charles Glass. [Terrorism expert Prof. Paul WILKINSON - says group's dangerous and controlled by Iranian government] Higgins noted prime target for kidnapping. [Johns Hopkins Univ. professor Fouad AJAMI - questions wisdom of placing Americans in Lebanon.] Lebanese gunmen shown assisting in search for Higgins. [WILKINSON - says United States should use Persian Gulf naval force to indicate displeasure with situation.] 1985 TWA hijackers' demand that Israel release political prisoners recalled. Higgins'kidnappers reported demanding release of hundreds of Arab prisoners held by pro-Israeli forces in south Lebanon prison camp.
(DC: Terence Smith) President Reagan quoted. [REAGAN - says will continue aiding UN.] Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci quoted. [UN spokesperson Mario ZAMORANO - comments on situation.] Dangers facing Americans in Lebanon noted. [REAGAN - says Americans are terrorists' targets.] [State Department spokesperson Charles REDMAN - denounces conceding to terrorists.] [Center for Strategic and International Studies spokesperson Robert HUNTER - comments on United Nations forces in Lebanon.] American officials quoted regarding Higgins' release.
(Studio: Dan Rather) Pentagon reported confirming Lebanese newspaper report regarding Higgins' employment with ex-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. Impact of Higgins' high rank discussed.