49. Telegram 147006 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan1 2

Although it is impossible now to foresee the course of events with respect to the hijacked aircraft during the next 36 hours, and although given their fanatical attitudes it may have none or minimal deterrent effect, it seems to us here that there might be some value, if the King is willing, for the commander of the Jordanian forces surrounding the site of the aircraft to get across to the PFLP personnel at the aircraft a warning that if they carry out their threat to destroy the aircraft and passengers, the Jordanian forces will do their utmost to assure that none of the PFLP personnel escape from the scene alive. We would hope that if matters do come to such a tragic pass the Jordanian [Page 2]forces would in fact implement such a threat for whatever value it may have in deterring future such tragedies.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AV 12. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted and approved by U. Alexis Johnson, and cleared by Sisco and Eliot.
  2. The Department of State communicated to the Embassy that it would be desirable for the Jordanian forces to warn the PFLP that if it blew up the aircraft and killed the passengers, Jordanian forces would assure that no PFLP members would survive.