Anger mixed with relief in Washington yesterday as some former hostages expressed outrage that four of the 12 Hanafi gunmen who had held them captive, including leader Hamaas Abdul Khaalls, were released without having to post a bond.
An air of uneasiness remained in the city, too, as some wondered whether such a large-scale siege would occur again. At least one rabbipondered in a sermon the disturbing anti-Semitic nature of recent events in general.
"It's a very shocking and frightening thing," said former hostage Samuel Fishman of the release of the Hanafis. Fishman, who was held with more than 100 others at B'nai B'rith, said he knew Khaalis's freedom resulted from a deal that ended the siege.
"But having been through a period of two days of brutalization and systematic terror I find it shocking," he added. Glady's Dohne, also held at B'nai B'rith, siad Khaalis was dangerous and should have been kept in custody.
"Whether he would actually commit violence himself or have his gunmen do it under his orders, I don't know," she said. "Just the same, I'd rather not meet him on the street."
Othe, hostages who agreed with Fishman and Dohne yesterday were joined by Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) who declared in a Senate speech that "a promise made at the point of gut has no moral force whatsover, Khaalis was free . . . even before his hostages were home.
Senate Majority leader Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) yesterday declared that it is "abhorrent in our society that individuals can commit these atrocious crimes and then be out on their own recognizance."
Fred F. Herzog, dean of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, said the release of Khaalis was "absolutely appalling. I do not share the opinion of the attorney general (Griffin Bell) that such agreements should be honored."
Bell had made such a statement after a recent hostage incident in Indianapolis. Yesterday, Bell said police had handled the situation well and he praised Washington Police Chief Maurice Cullinane. "He's good, he's cool," Bell said.
Wallace Muhammad, leader of the American Black Muslims, said in Chicago yesterday that he was surprised at Khaalis's release and still feared for his life at the hands of the Hanafis, who have become avowed opponents of the Black Muslims in the American Islamic world.
Muhammad said that because of the disputes that divided the Black Muslims in the early 1970s, "it may be possible" that members of his group committed the 1973 slayings of Khaalis's children in Washington.Those murders appeared to be the basic motivation for Khallis and his group taking more than 130 hostages in 3 locations this week.
"Any man capable of seizing the city hall, and the mosque in Washington and the B'nai Brith temple and that killed a yound reporter (WHUR's Maurice Williams) . . . is capable of killing me," Wallace said.
Khaalis's main demand had been that the killers of his children be brought to him. He had also demanded the withdrawal as sacrilegious of the film "Mohammad, Messenger of God" from public viewing.
The film was withdrawn, but was scheduled to be back on the screen yesterday in New york and Los Angeles. A woman who telephoned Reuter news agency and identified herself as Khaalis wife said yesterday that if the film goes on despite the official promises. "More trouble is coming, worse than before, all over the country."
Not everyone was angered by the released of Khaalis and the three other gunmen, however. "I trust the judgement of negotiators," said D.C. Councilman Marion Barry, who was wounded by the gunmen as they took over the District Building Wednesday. Barry was at home yesterday, recovering from his wound.
"If that (the deal) was responsible for saving the people here," said former B'nai B'rith hostage Betty Neal, "then I'm thankful for it."
B'nai B'rith official Bernard Simon, who also was a hostage there, agreed that if a promise of release to Khaalis was necessary then it was worth t.
Khaalis spent yesterday at his home, which also serves as the center for his followers, at 7700 16th St. NW. Under the terms of his release Khaalis can't travel outside D.C., must surrender his passport by Monday, must get rid of all firearms and can't make public statements.
Reliable sources told The Washington Post that the Hanafis had 28 guns register with the D.C. police in several names, including those of children.
Khaalis was seen standing in front of the brownstone house yesterday talking to one of two saber-armed guards who patrol the fensed area around the house.
He declined to speak with Post photographer Ken Feil, who said Khaalis seemed calm and "not the least bit . . . antagonistic."
Khaalis had been booked, taken to court and released so quickly Friday morning by Chief Judge Harold H. Greene of D.C. Superior Court that he reached haome about the same time that many of the hostages were reaching theirs.
U.S. Attorney Earl J. Silbert said he agreed in advance to ask that Khaalis go free only as a bargain "to save a human life."
Silbert said that Khaalis and his 11 companions had inflicted a "reign of terror" on Washington, and added that felony murder indictments would be sought from a grand jury for all 12. All have been charged by polie with kidnaping while armed.
Besides Khaalis, three other Hanafis were released without money bond Friday afternoon by Judge H. Carl Moultrie I under the bail reform act that required only personal bond when a defendant has community ties, a minor prior criminal record or none at all, and is considered by the judge as unlikely to flee before trial.
The three men thus released had been stationed at the Islamic Center on Massachusetts Avenue, where they held 11 hostages whom they treated in a generally polite and friendly way, according to interviews with some of the hostages afterward.
The eight remaining gunmen continued to be held in jail yesterday, six on $50,000 surety bonds each and two on $75,000 bond. These gunmen, with Khaalis, had held more than 100 hostages at the B'nair B'rith headquarters and at the District Building, the locations where most of the violence occured.
The siege had begun about noon Wednesday when the gunmen stormed the three locations. There followed nearly 40 hours of terror for the hostages and of tense waiting by officials and others as Khaalis made known his demands by telephone to police, federal officials and media reporters.
The siege came to an end about 1:30 a.m. Friday after Khaalis himself negotiated much of the previous night with city officials and the ambassadors of three Islamic nations - Iran, Egypt and Pakistan.
Four persons wounded when the violence began Wednesday remained hospitalized yesterday, including a gunshot victim doctors say may be paralyzed from the waist down for life.
Criminals in the District seem to have been fascinated to the point of inactivity by the siege. Police reported that the city was, as one put it, "quiet as hell" outside the siege.
While the Jewish community was generally still breathing its long sigh of prayerful relief yesterday, Rabbi Shelton E. Elster of Agudas Achim Congretations in Alexandria said he was concerned that what he called anti-Semitic statements by Khaalis over the airwaves might "set off" others who feel the sameaabout Jews.
"We are concerned," he added, "by the lack of any denunciation or repudiation of this violent act by Moslem leaders."
In Philadelphia, FBI director Clarence Kelley said that the wide publicity given up to the Hanafi terrorism might prompt other groups to seize hostages. "I hope this won't happen," he said.
Reaction to the media's coverage of the ordeal was as varied as the perspectives from which the siege had been witnessed. Police Chief Maurice Cullinane felt that "with the exception of a few isolated incidents the media did a very good job and were cooperative." He declined to single out any specific incidents.
A WRC radio poll found 70 per cent of the listerners calling in felt the coverage might have jeopardized the hostages' lives and might encourage future acts of terrorism. The other 30 per cent, according to a WRC reporter, felt the media had done "a good job in a difficult situation."