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Possible terrorist attempt Stockholm

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Possible terrorist attempt Stockholm

Old 1st Sep 2002, 06:34
  #61 (permalink)  
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Posters touched on a lot of good points here. Clearly the Swedes did a good job.

Point is that there are far more reliable ways for a terrorist to get weapons onto an aircraft rather than carrying them in their hand baggage. This makes me feel that this fellow was no more than a lone nutter. Did you notice that US security recently arrested a couple of suspect terrorists who were trying to get jobs at Detroit Airport? Perhaps the terrorists are trying to spread their actions around the various US carriers. (Detroit is a NorthWest hub).
 
Old 1st Sep 2002, 06:45
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Al Qaeda, being a 'smart' and (apparently still) well funded terrorist organisation, presumably run mules around the airline network looking for 'soft' points of entry.

It is fact that they chose Stockholm and Ryanair for this hijack attempt.

The jury is out as to whether the 'low cost' airline model can support as strong a security structure as a full service airline - the achived turn round times give the biggest clue to this. Stringent regulation is a pre requisite for safest practice and here we know that the IAA has a more relaxed culture than the CAA.

My point is this: Al Qaeda MUST have tested this plan and chosen this attack wth fore knowledge. We know it didn't work but perhaps it might have done?

Last edited by Caractacus; 1st Sep 2002 at 12:36.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 07:04
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Those that don't care for Ryanair and their lower cost structure now seem to say that they can't be as safe or security-conscious as full service (read expensive) airlines?

What a load of horsepucky.

Forget it guys....those that don't like low-cost airlines will have to get used to them...the ain't going away anytime soon.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 07:21
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More recent news

From the MSNBC website...

Hijack suspect at U.S. flight school

NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 1 — A man arrested in Sweden on suspicion that he was about to hijack a plane had taken flight training classes in the United States, Swedish police said Sunday. The disclosure emerged amid conflicting reports about the alleged hijacking attempt last week.

MARGARETA LINDEROTH, director of Sweden’s national security police, confirmed reports by NBC News and a Swedish newspaper that the suspect, Kerim Chatty, 29, took classes at the North American Institute of Aviation in Conway, S.C. But he did not complete the course and did not get a license, Linderoth said.

The school’s chief operating officer, Robert Sunday, said Chatty flunked out. “He just wasn’t a good student. ... He wasn’t cutting the mustard, and we let him go,” Sunday said.

At least three of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington attended or visited flight schools in the United States.

Reuters quoted unnamed Swedish military intelligence officials Saturday as saying authorities believed Chatty planned to crash the plane into a U.S. embassy in Europe and were looking for four men connected to the plan. But Linderoth flatly dismissed such speculation, calling it “false information.”

“I deny it absolutely,” she told The Associated Press. “We are [also] not looking for four more men.”

Nils Uggla, Chatty’s attorney, also said Chatty “denies that this has anything at all to do with terrorism or airplane hijacking. He is deeply sorry that he caused trouble for the others who were traveling.”

Uggla would not comment on the report about his client’s flight training.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Keith Petersen, would not comment, saying the investigation was “in the hands of Swedish authorities.”

PRELIMINARY CHARGES

Chatty was detained Thursday at Vaesteraas airport as he prepared to board a flight to London after police found a gun in his toiletries bag. Police said he was with a group of about 20 people bound for an Islamic conference in Birmingham, England.

Several passengers already aboard the aircraft were evacuated while police searched the cabin and luggage compartment. The plane took off for its original destination several hours late without Chatty and the group police said he was traveling with.

Chatty was held on a preliminary charge of planning to hijack a plane. A date for a preliminary hearing was not set. The other members of the group were questioned and released.

Organizers of the Muslim conference in Birmingham, hosted by the Salafi Bookstore and Islamic Center, said in a statement that they did not know Chatty and “have not had any communications with him.”

NOT A TERRORIST, ATTORNEY CLAIMS

Uggla said Chatty, who has convictions for theft and assault on his record, had an explanation for why he was carrying the gun, but he said he could not be more specific because of a gag order.

Uggla said Chatty “was very much against violence” and was being unfairly portrayed because of his religion and the proximity of the anniversary of Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States.

“He is Muslim, he is flying, and he has a gun, and it’s close to 11 of September,” Uggla said. “That makes people draw quick conclusions.”

NBC’s Robert Windrem reported that there was no evidence to link Chatty to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist organization, but he reported that U.S. officials noted that Chatty’s background fit a pattern of recent arrests of alleged terrorists.

Chatty’s background is similar to that of other suspected terrorists like Zacarias Moussaoui, indicted as a Sept. 11 co-conspirator; Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber; and Nizar Nawar, the Tunisian man who carried out the suicide bombing of a synagogue on the Tunisian tourist island of Djerba.

Reid, Moussaoui and Nawar were drifters who became devout Muslims and then were drawn into terrorist plots, the U.S. officials allege. Chatty has a long criminal record, as did Ressam and Reid, and British news reports said he was a recent convert to a more radical form of Islam.

NBC’s Robert Windrem and Javier Morgada, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


What's interesting is that Check 6 posted the FAA record that shows the man clearly had obtained a PPL. The news services are behind on this point at present. If he washed out at the South Carolina flight school, then he must have obtained the PPL at another flight school. I think we'll hear more about this shortly. I think this story will continue to develop over the next several days.

Last edited by Flight Safety; 1st Sep 2002 at 07:29.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 10:45
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There was a poster on this thread yesterday who claimed he was an instructor at the flight school where Chatty trained and knew him at that time. The post has been removed (not by us) and I would appreciate it if you could get in touch with me, preferably through the Private Message facility.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 10:56
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The airline is not responsible for security at the airport, all airlines whether low cost or not are all screened by the same staff and system at the airport. It is amazing that in the land of the neurotics an airport is not required to screen or search hold baggage if it happens to handle less than a 'significant' number of pax.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 11:52
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to bringing Ryaniar under British jurisdiction as an international security measure
What a load of zenophobic, pathetic, better-than-though bullsh!t Whoever proved that security at British airports was any better than anywhere else?
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 12:25
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Arrow

I do not intend getting involved in the, to my mind, very unprofessional squabbling about whether or not any particular airline/ religion/nationality/security service etc is better/ worse/ just the same as any other; all I would like to say is this: a passenger was found with a gun in his luggage, it may have been for the purpose of hijacking the aicraft or it may not. It may also have been an attempt to illegaly import a weapon into the UK. In either case we should be glad it was found. A hijack would have been dreadful and the damage caused by an illegal gun being imported may not have had quite the same large scale effects but could have spelled disaster for some families. I live in an area which suffered severe rioting in the not too distant past. I, for one, am just glad that another lethal weapon has been removed from circulation before anyone was hurt.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 13:13
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Gentlemen, my point is that terrorists choose soft targets they think they can breach. I.E. domestic U.S. carriers on 9/11.

This time they chose Stockholm/Ryanair presumably after a dummy run?

Becaue I make this point it doesn't mean I am anti Swedish/Irish.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 13:14
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More news details

Again from the MSNBC website...this report is similar to the last one, but has a lot of new details.

NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 1 — Swedish police confirmed Sunday that the man arrested on suspicion that he was about to hijack a plane last week had taken flight training classes in the United States, but they were sharply divided over the man’s intentions, with some saying he may have been planning to fly the plane into a U.S. embassy in Europe and others dismissing that possibility out of hand.

MARGARETA LINDEROTH, director of Sweden’s national security police, confirmed reports Saturday by NBC News and the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the suspect, Kerim Chatty, 29, took classes at the North American Institute of Aviation in Conway, S.C., near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic Coast. But he did not complete the course, for which he paid $5,000, and did not get a license, Linderoth said.

The school’s chief operating officer, Robert Sunday, said Chatty flunked out. “He just wasn’t a good student. ... He wasn’t cutting the mustard, and we let him go,” Sunday said.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported Sunday that the school teaches students only how to fly small planes, no bigger than the two-engine Piper Seminole. Even if he had finished the program, he would not have been able to fly a large passenger plane like the one he was boarding, the newspaper said.

“That’s the big story, to try to find out what did he do after he left our school, whether he had advanced training in a big plane,” the school’s retired president, Doug Beckner, told the newspaper. “All we were giving him was basic training, and we kicked him out. He would have had to train in a big simulator.”

At least three of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks attended or visited flight schools in the United States. In addition, the presumed organizer of the attacks, Mohammed Atta, lived for a while in Delray Beach, Fla., near Pembroke Pines, where Chatty was known to have lived after he left South Carolina, Aftonbladet reported Sunday.

The Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that friends said Chatty had made several trips abroad in the past year. It said he was questioned by police after Sept. 11 to establish whether he had any contacts with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist organization, which is believed to have carried out the attacks that killed 3,000 people in New York, suburban Washington and Pennsylvania.

TERROR ACCOUNT QUESTIONED

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Keith Petersen, would not comment, saying the investigation was “in the hands of Swedish authorities.” But just what Chatty was up to was the subject of intense debate among those authorities Sunday.

Reuters quoted unnamed Swedish military intelligence officials as saying that some investigators believed Chatty, whose father is Tunisian, planned to crash the plane into a U.S. embassy in Europe and that police were looking for four other men in connection with the plan.

But other police and security officials rejected that scenario, including Linderoth. “I have never heard that the man has planned to do what you say he has,” she said. “I deny it absolutely. We are [also] not looking for four other men.”

Reuters, which said it stood by its report, quoted its sources as saying they did not believe Chatty was tied to al-Qaida. Instead, they said they believed a copycat attack was being planned.

“There is nothing to suggest that this is al-Qaida,” one of the sources said. “It’s more likely that they are some kind of ‘wannabes.’ ”

Nils Uggla, Chatty’s attorney, said Chatty “denies that this has anything at all to do with terrorism or airplane hijacking. He is deeply sorry that he caused trouble for the others who were traveling.”

Uggla would not comment on his client’s flight training.

Friends and family acknowledged that Chatty had dedicated himself to Islamic fundamentalism and sometimes spoke of jihad, or holy war, but they stressed that his conversion took place only recently, several years after he sought flight training.

In Washington, a State Department official said on condition of anonymity that U.S. embassies in Europe had not been put on higher state of alert as a result of the incident. The official gave no other details.

PRELIMINARY CHARGES

Chatty was detained without a struggle Thursday at Vaesteraas airport as he prepared to board a flight to London after police found a 6.5mm pistol, loaded with three or four rounds, in his toiletries bag.

Those aboard the Irish Ryanair aircraft, which carried more than 180 passengers, were evacuated while police searched the cabin and luggage compartment. The plane took off several hours late without Chatty and a group of 20 other people, including two children, who were bound for a Muslim conference in Birmingham, England.

Chatty was held on a preliminary charge of planning to hijack a plane. He was moved to a high-security prison and was expected to be charged Monday with hijacking or illegal possession of a firearm.

The members of the group headed to the Muslim conference, most of them in formal Arab dress, were questioned and released after investigators determined that they had no connection to Chatty, police said.

Organizers of the Muslim conference in Birmingham, hosted by the Salafi Bookstore and Islamic Center, said in a statement that they did not know Chatty and “have not had any communications with him.”

NOT A TERRORIST, ATTORNEY SAYS

Aftonbladet reported that Chatty regularly visited a mosque in Stockholm and quoted friends as saying he spoke of fighting for Islam and “wanting to be part of jihad.”

But Uggla said Chatty, a bodybuilder and former boxer, “was very much against violence” and was being unfairly portrayed because of his religion and the proximity of the anniversary of Sept. 11.

“He is Muslim, he is flying, and he has a gun, and it’s close to 11 of September,” Uggla said. “That makes people draw quick conclusions.”

Uggla also said Chatty, whose long criminal record includes convictions for theft and assault, had an explanation for why he was carrying the gun, but he said he could not be more specific because of a gag order.

U.S. officials noted, however, that Chatty’s background fit a pattern of recent arrests of alleged terrorists, NBC’s Robert Windrem reported.

Chatty’s background is similar to that of other suspected terrorists like Zacarias Moussaoui, who has been indicted as a Sept. 11 co-conspirator; Richard Reid, who is charged with trying to blow up a plane by igniting bombs in his shoes; and Nizar Nawar, the Tunisian man who carried out the suicide bombing of a synagogue on the Tunisian tourist island of Djerba. Like Chatty, those three men were drifters who became devout Muslims.

NBC’s Robert Windrem and Javier Morgada, MSNBC.com’s Alex Johnson and Michael E. Ross The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


This quote is interesting...

But Uggla said Chatty, a bodybuilder and former boxer, “was very much against violence” ...
Do you think his lawyer realizes what he's saying?
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 13:18
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Al Qaeda, being a 'smart' and (apparently still) well funded terrorist organisation, presumably run mules around the airline network looking for 'soft' points of entry.

It is fact that they chose Stockholm and Ryanair for this hijack attempt.
Caractus

Have you passed on all your intelligence on this fact to the Swedish Authorities ??? Because they don't seem to be linking this to Al Queda. At least not publicly.

Reuters quoted unnamed Swedish military intelligence officials Saturday as saying authorities believed Chatty planned to crash the plane into a U.S. embassy in Europe and were looking for four men connected to the plan. But Linderoth flatly dismissed such speculation, calling it “false information.”

Well done to the security staff on duty, a potential bad day for aviation averted.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 14:41
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Trying to breach a soft target?
Possibly, but I'm quite sure these organisations know that a gun will show up in the screening. If they want to know if x-ray is used they only need to go to the airport and look at any departure.

An interesting point in the report from Reuters is that they quote a source in swedish military intelligence. The military are not involved in the investigation in any way at all, it's being conducted by the local police.
The military may, of course, be conducting their own investigation but we have rather strict laws on what the military are allowed to do in times of peace.


Regards from the land of the neurotics...
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 15:00
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Two points:

1. To get a handgun past security, you have to work with the screeners, that means they have to be part of your terrorist team. Look at the screeners on your next flight. Are you sure they are all loyal and lawful? Especially on a small airport, you mighht know in advance who is working on a particular day.

2. NY times reported today, that administrative office of Chatty's flight school burned down in May, destroying all student records.
Interesting coincidence, isn't it? There means there are more of these guys, and they do not want to be found.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 15:16
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From the September 1 New York Times

[Excerpts related to the flight school.]

Mr. Chatty underwent training at the North American Institute of Aviation in Conway, S.C., near Myrtle Beach.

The flight school specializes in training foreign pilots, particularly students from Scandinavia, who arrive with special visas allowing them to attend school and later work in the United States. School officials go to Scandinavia every year to test and recruit potential students, according to the school's Web site.

The flight school in South Carolina opened in 1972 and has trained about 3,500 pilots over the past three decades, according to its Web site.

The school offers a six-month course that trains students to fly and work as flight instructors, the first step to obtaining a commercial pilot's license. At about $35,000 including housing, the course is considered a bargain compared to comparable European programs.

Beginning in 1997, the school was 1 of 21 in an experimental program in the southeastern states that used the Internet to report foreign students who did not show up for classes to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents visited the school twice after Sept. 11 during sweeps of flight schools across the country, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported last year. Robert Sunday, the school's chief operations officer, told The Sun News at the time that his school took extra care in admitting its students. Typically students are required to have J-1 visas, a special educational visa that requires tougher screening than a typical student visa. Mr. Sunday also said the school immediately reports students who do not show up for class.

In May, a fire destroyed the administrative offices of the school. James Lamb, an instructor at the school, said he could not be sure whether Mr. Chatty was a student because student records were destroyed in the fire.

Morgan Martin, a former state legislator from Conway who serves on the state Transportation Commission, said the school had a good reputation.

"As far as I know it is a well-respected and well-run operation," he said.
____________________________________________________
Suspect Failed Training, Flight School Official Says

By SARAH KERSHAW

CONWAY, S.C., Aug. 31 — Kerim Chatty, like many of the students who come here to the flight school at the airport to train as professional pilots, was recruited from Scandinavia, passed a written exam gaining him entrance and a visa, and began instruction in September, 1996, a top school official said tonight.

Bunking in the dormitory-style quarters on the grounds of the sprawling Conway Horry County Airport, the school's jeadquarters, Mr. Chatty, now 29, was trained to fly Cessna 152 planes, and, later, Cessna 172 planes, along with other skills. But after five months, he was dismissed from the program with no pilot's license because of "lack of progress," said Robert Sunday, executive vice-president of the school, the North American Institute of Aviation.

Mr. Sunday said there was nothing in the school records to indicate the dismissal was the result of anything other than poor performance, but he said he was still planning to speak with some instructors who were not available yesterday because of the holiday weekend.

"He did not cut the mustard," Mr. Sunday said in an interview here tonight. "He never got a license and he was let go."

Mr. Sunday said that the school then notified immigration authorities to inform them that the visa granted to Mr. Chatty
with the school's help would need to be invalidated.

When Mr. Chatty enrolled, there were no criminal background checks required of prospective students, unlike now, when, because of Sept. 11, applications are painstakingly reviewed, Mr. Sunday said.

"Did he stick out like a sore thumb?" Mr. Sunday said. "No. Are we overplaying this thing? Yes. We're close to September 11th, and this of course should be checked out, but I'm thinking of Shakespeare and `Much Ado About Nothing.' "
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 15:16
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Question

Caractacus,

re: your earlier post - why would a short turn around time make for a poor security check?

It is the aircraft and the crew who make the short turn-round - not the passengers, who have to be there as early as required by the operator/authority to undergo security checks and other forrmalities.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 17:08
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Caractacus is clearly privy to information that the rest of us (and the authorities) are not.

Yesterday the Telegraph explored the angle that Chatty was 'known to police'. He appears to have a sizeable rap sheet, and is alleged to have been a minder for some Swedish criminals. Wonder if his 'client' could possibly have been on the flight too ?
Today's story, including comments from his parents (he's a nice boy etc.), does seem to reinforce the portrait of him as a wide boy.

Personally I doubt this was a (dis)organized terrorism act, just a pinball nutter. Rather disturbing to see that the minimum sentence for attempt hijack in Sweden is reportedly 6 months . Hope he gets a damn sight more than that.
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Old 2nd Sep 2002, 15:27
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Having travelled through Vasteras airport myself (inbound only) and seen the facilities, I would suggest that the security there could actually be more vigilant than at a larger airport where they could easily be distracted.

The fact that it was a Ryanair flight is irrelevant from the security screening perspective.

Though it would be interesting to know when he booked his flight and how much he paid for it.
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Old 2nd Sep 2002, 20:52
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Surely all that is known at this time is that this person was in possession of a gun whilst checking in for a flight. Where pray is the evidence of an intended hijack, assault upon a US embassy or indeed anything else? Once again the media and these forums are into feeding frenzy. What about waiting for a few facts to emerge? How anyone can assume, from what is known so far, that an embassy was to be targeted by a guy who had a go at a ppl six yrs ago beggars belief.
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Old 2nd Sep 2002, 22:51
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1) took flying lessons 1996 with bad results, sounds suspected to me, because no need to have a license to act as a kamikaze

2) got to know fundamentalist muslims during this flying course

3) tried another flying school in Florida 1998, but left because of a "sore neck"... and lived not far from Atta's place...

4) A certain Kassir (known as hitman for Bin Laden) was his mentor and was instrumental in his conversion to Islam.

5) During 9/11 Chatty was attending "a religious school in Saudi Arabia", such a coincident.

Too many "coincidents" to be a coincident....

CaPt.KaOs


PS we all must be aware of the fact that possible hijackers might read this message board too....
 
Old 3rd Sep 2002, 07:47
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Obviously no need for any 'evidence' or trial then!
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