Actually, Abu Abbas is an "ex-terrorist" because under the Oslo Accords there is amnesty for all acts of terrorism committed before 1993, and Abu Abbas has taken that opportunity to renounce violence. Because of the Oslo Accords, Abu Abbas legally visits the State of Israel, so that Israel as well as Iraq could have been accused of "harboring" Abu Abbas.
While Abu Abbas is associated with a string of miserable attempts at terrorism, the most notorious operation with which his name has been associated, the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, was not even his idea. Ari Ben-Menashe, a salesman for the Israel Defense Forces' armaments business, wrote in his 1992 book, Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network, that the hijacking of the Achille Lauro was actually ordered and funded by the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. Ben- Menashe writes: "That was, in fact, an Israeli 'black' propaganda operation to show what a deadly, cutthroat bunch the Palestinians were." Ben-Menashe states that Mossad officers posing as mafiosi paid Abu Abbas millions of dollars to assemble a team to attack the cruise ship.
"The team was told to make it bad, to show the world what lay in store for other unsuspecting citizens if Palestinian demands were not met. As the world knows, the group picked on an elderly American Jewish man in a wheelchair [Leon Klinghoffer], killed him, and threw his body overboard. They made their point. But for Israel, it was the best kind of anti- Palestinian propaganda. " An April 23, 1996 Associated Press report states that Abu Abbas returned to Gaza and helped Yasser Arafat by apologizing for the hijacking and the killing of Klinghoffer, saying, "The hi- jacking was a mistake, and there were no orders to kill civilians," apparently meaning that the order came from the Israeli agents posing as Mafiosi and that he, Abu Abbas, had not given any such order. [ http://www.mediamonitors.net/gillespie1.html ]
Abu Abbas is wanted in Italy for the Achille Lauro hijacking, but Israel never handed him over, and indeed why should they wish to do that, since the question of the Israeli government's instigation of that hijacking would be raised in the trial?
The life and unexplained death of a Palestinian militant