After a TWA flight took off from LaGuardia for Chicago, a group of Croatian nationals masquerading as passengers handed a note to a flight attendant and announced a takeover.
Led by a 28-year-old resident of West 76th Street named Zvonko Busic, the group claimed to have five bombs on board, plus a sixth stashed in a locker in the subway station at Grand Central Terminal.
Busic forced pilots to fly first to Montreal, then to Newfoundland. The 727 next headed to London and finally to Paris, where the hijackers surrendered after 30 hours in the air.
But air piracy wouldn’t be their only crime. Though the bombs Busic claimed to have on the plane turned out to be fake, the one in the locker at Grand Central was real.
Police removed it from the locker, and when they tried to deactivate it the next day, it went off, killing NYPD officer Brian Murray (above) and wounding three others.
Busic and his fellow hijackers (above, in an AP photo), who considered themselves freedom fighters for Croatia, all served prison terms and shockingly have all been paroled.
Their act of terrorism and the death that resulted from it seems like a footnote of 1970s terrorism history.
“Police officer Brian Murray is the forgotten terror victim of 9/11—because his line-of-duty death at the hands of international villains was actually Sept. 11, 1976,” states a 2012 New York Daily News article.