Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Plane Forced to Land: Link to Boston Terror Threat?

Posted by Lyana at LGF

A group of suspected illegal immigrants was being questioned early Tuesday after federal officials forced their single-engine plane to land here.

The Cessna carried at least four suspected illegal immigrants who were detained along with the craft's pilot by homeland security officials in connection with a possible smuggling operation, according to newspaper and broadcast reports.

OK just a routine immigration case, right?

Capt. Jeff Humphrey, San Antonio police special operations commander, told the San Antonio Express-News in Tuesday's editions that the five suspects were under investigation in connection with a smuggling operation involving Chinese nationals.

The newspaper said the five had been flying south of San Antonio when they were intercepted and ordered to land. Federal agents and San Antonio police surrounded the plane after it landed.

Federal authorities said the plane was flying in American airspace illegally and that those aboard the craft appeared to be Chinese, according to San Antonio television and radio station WOAI.

The Express-News said federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials asked for backup from San Antonio police, who provided a Chinese linguist to translate for the two male and two female passengers.

Could be a coincidence, but I have to wonder if it is related to the this story.

The only recent update I could find that was directly related to the terror threat story was that Mexican authorities have detained the man suspected of calling in the original tip, and is being questioned.

Oh, I almost forgot this detail about the grounded plane:

Online records of the Federal Aviation Administration show the 20-year-old plane is co-owned by Afzal Hameed of Dover, Delaware. The other co-owner is listed as Alyce S. Taylor, but no address is given for her.

Update - lawhawk found this article that states that offically the two stories aren't linked, but the investigation seems to be headed in that direction.

And Michelle Malkin has dug up some dirt on Afzal Hameed:

Guess who trained at Alpha Tango Flying Services--which, by the way, caters to Saudi Arabian flight students(!!!!):

Among their clients were three Arab flight students investigated by the FBI, including Al Qaeda operative Abdul Hakim Murad, who was arrested in Manila in 1995 and later convicted in New York of plotting to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the Pacific, then crash a suicide plane into CIA headquarters.

Curiouser and curiouser...
papijoe 10:10 AM