Collett, a journalist based in New York, was on a writing assignment for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which handles the welfare of Palestinian refugees, when he was abducted in March 1985.
The Revolutionary Organisation of Socialist Muslims claimed responsibility. The group was part of Abu Nidal’s Fatah. A month later a videotape was delivered to his home in New York, showing the 64-year-old reporter alive. He next appeared on a videotape in December 1985 in which he asked Margaret Thatcher, then the Prime Minister, to release Muslim prisoners in Britain.
Four months later a videotape was released purporting to show a hooded Collett hanging in reprisal for the US air raid on Tripoli, the Libyan capital.