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February 16, 2007

Hijacker Foiled By Crew And Passengers

Sweeeeet.

BBC reports the incident began shortly after the Boeing 737-400 took off from the capital city of Nouakchott, bound for the northern city of Nouadhibou. A lone man, believed to be North African, brandished two pistols and demanded the plane be flown to France.

Instead, the plane's flight crew initially attempted to land in Dakhla, in Western Sahara... but they were denied permission to do so by Moroccan authorities. So the crew headed to Gando, a Spanish military base in the Canary Islands.

A source close to the Mauritanian presidency told Reuters when the aircraft touched down, the pilot slammed on the brakes.

"When the pilot landed, he deliberately braked very hard," the unnamed source said. "The man fell to the ground and was jumped on by passengers. He fired two bullets but there are no serious injuries."

Read the article for more clues on the hijacker's motives and religion.

UPDATE: NOT A JIHADI PLOT.
Here's a better link, thanks to Kempermanx.
The hijacker was seeking political asylum in France. Originally was going to change the update to say he wasn't a terrorist, but he did hijack a plane full of civilians, after all. But there doesn't seem to be any anti-Western motivation here. Let's call it an immigration attempt gone wrong.


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posted by LauraW. at 01:59 PM

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