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Feds Capture 70s-Era Black Nationalist Hijacker

September 28, 2011  | 

Coordinating with Portuguese authorities, the FBI captured the last black nationalist involved in the hijacking of a 1972 airline hijacking that resulted in the highest amount ever paid in exchange for hostages at the time.

George Wright, 68, was arrested as he walked to a cafe near his home in Portugal on Tuesday. Wright is a convicted killer who escaped from prison in 1970, and resurfaced two years later when he and four other members of the Black Liberation Army commandeered a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami.

After the FBI paid the hijackers $1 million for the release of 90 passengers, the plane was flown to Algeria. Algerian officials seized the plane and money and returned it to the U.S., but the hijackers were let go. Four were captured in France in 1976.

Wright, operating under the alias of Larry Burgess, escaped.

The feds are seeking Wright's extradition for the 1962 murder of Walter Patterson, a World War II veteran and Bronze Star recipient, during a robbery of the Collingswood Esso gas station in Wall, N.J. Wright could be required to serve the remainder of a 15- to 30-year sentence for the murder conviction, announced the FBI.

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