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article imageTurkish authorities foil Sochi hijack bid by Ukrainian national

By Abdul Kuddus     Feb 7, 2014 in World
Istanbul - Turkish authorities foiled a hijack attempt by a Ukrainian national who wanted to divert an Istanbul-bound plane to Sochi, the site of winter Olympics.
Reportedly the alleged hijacker raised a scare claiming he was armed with a bomb and wanted the pilots to divert the Pegasus Airlines plane to Sochi.
The heavily drunk passenger tried to force his way in the cockpit but pilots denied his entry, according to reports.
Following the signal from the pilot, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet escorted the plane from Kharkov, Ukraine, and landed it safely at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, National Post reported.
The pilots fooled the hijacker into believing that the plane was being diverted to Sochi. They landed the plane at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen International Airport. Reportedly special security forces entered the plane and detained the alleged hijacker.
The plane was flying between Kharkov in Ukraine, and Istanbul.
“It was not immediately clear how the crew would have deluded the hijacker. Nor was it immediately clear whether a bomb or other explosive was aboard the plane,” the New York Times reported.
According to CNN, “Video from the safe zone on the tarmac showed police and security officials milling around a Pegasus Airlines jet, while buses removed passengers. Security officers were searching for a bomb aboard the plane, the transportation official said.”
The Sochi Winter Olympics which began on Thursday amid unprecedented security preparations in anticipation of possible terror attacks by Russian Islamist groups. The games will continue till February 23.
Russia deployed thousands of security officers turning Sochi into a virtual fort, but athletes, spectators and officials worldwide are concerned about possible terror attacks due to recent suicide bombings in Volgograd.
The United States also issued a warning Wednesday for Sochi-bound flights to watch for toothpaste tubes that could hold ingredients for making bombs on board a plane.
While the intention of the alleged hijacker is still not clear, the timing of the hijack drama could raise concerns about the security situation at the Sochi Olympics.
So far security at the Sochi venue has seen a prominent police presence.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Some of the tightest checks have been taking place at a station where passengers board a new train that takes spectators to the mountain sites where alpine ski events are to be held.”
More about Sochi hijack bid, Sochi, Plane Hijack
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