Hijacker Demands Pilot To Fly To SochiBy: Amanda Crum - February 7, 2014
A man claiming to have a bomb on his person attempted to hijack a plane from the Ukraine en route to Turkey today, demanding that the pilots redirect to Sochi.
NBC News reporter Richard Engel has been live-tweeting the incident as updates come in, saying it is an ongoing situation and that the pilots turned off their in-flight monitors so that they could safely land in Istanbul. The plane reportedly landed safely and was met with security.
Sochi has been the subject of quite a bit of ridicule this week after stories began pouring in about the deplorable conditions awaiting visitors to the Olympic games. However, security has been the main issue after two back-to-back suicide bombings in December took the lives of over 30 people in Volgograd. Officials said they would be putting security measures into place in the mountains and surrounding towns outside Sochi as well as requiring every visitor to give passport details at arrival. However, many were skeptical that there wouldn’t still be some attempts at violence during the games.
“There’s every belief they’ll make it secure and do whatever it takes to do that,” said an American senior law enforcement official. “But it is a large country, and these groups can get a lot of bang for their buck if they are able to do something in the country, wherever it is, during the Olympics.”
Authorities said in January that they were looking for four women they call “black widows” who may be planning terrorist acts at Sochi after two men released a video claiming responsibility for the suicide bombings. The women may be used by the men to gain entrance to the games since they can easily alter their appearance with makeup and clothing.
“That which we will do, that which we have done, is only a little example, a little step,” one the men, from the Islamist organization Anars Al Sunna, said in a video which was released last month.
“We’ll have a surprise package for you,” the other man said. “And those tourists that will come to you, for them, too, we have a surprise.”
This is an ongoing situation; we will update this article as we have more information.
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