Varela says ’94 plane crash was an act of terrorism

Juan Carlos Varela was in Israeli meeting with PM Netanyahu last week. During his visit, the Panamanian president called for the reopening of a case involving a plane crash in Panama.

The crash, which took place in 1994 killed 21 people, many of whom were Jewish. While there were theories that a bomb was on board this was never confirmed. Eventually, the case was closed with the cause of the crash undetermined.

May 22nd, 2018, 24 years later, the Panamanian government explains that the incident was undoubtedly the result of a terrorist incident. President Varela explained his position and that the evidence warranting the reopening of the case, came from Israeli intelligence. 

Sources reported that the crash that took place over Panama, leaving prominent Israeli businessmen dead, came just a day after the bombing at a Jewish center in the Argentine capital, that left 85 people.

In a joint news conference, Varela spoke to a letter he received from Mr. Netanyahu last November, the letter spoke to the intelligence as "confirming that I lost my roommate and a senior member of the Panamanian Jewish community to a terrorist attack conducted by Hezbollah in Panama some years ago."

Previously, the FBI spoke of a man named Ali Hawa Jamal as the suspect believed to have carried the bomb on to the plane. The man, who died in the explosion, has been described as in his mid-twenties, of Middle Eastern appearance, traveling previously from Lebanon, Venezuela, and Colombia.