A hijacker who avoided prosecution for more than four decades returned to the United States and surrendered, officials said on Monday.
Luis Armando Pena Soltren, 66, who has lived in Cuba for 41 years, surrendered to authorities at the same New York airport on Sunday, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
As the 1968 charges allege, he terrorized dozens of passengers when he and his cohorts wielded pistols and knives to hijack Pan American flight 281, said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Soltren, a U.S. citizen, and two accomplices used weapons hidden in a diaper bag to hijack the Pan Am flight on Nov. 24, 1968, authorities said.
He was set to appear in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday to face kidnapping and aircraft piracy charges.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, dozens of U.S. planes were hijacked to Cuba as the Cold War with Cuban leader Fidel Castro intensified.
Some hijacked the planes to make political statements, while others sought asylum or ransom payments from the U.S. government.
Soltren's motive was unknown. An attorney for Soltren had yet to be appointed.
An FBI spokesman said he could not comment on why Soltren returned to the United States.