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The London Telegraph reports today that a itinerant Lebanese-born British pilot has been held in Mexico, suspected of having a link to the 9/11 attacks in the US. Mexican and US intelligence services jointly arrested Amer Hykel near the resort city of Cabo San Lucas, but have yet to give any specifics on the role he may have played:
A Briton who described himself as a wandering pilot has been detained by Mexican authorities and could be linked to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, officials have said.
Amer Haykel, 45, identified as a British citizen of Lebanese descent, was arrested on Monday at the volunteer fire station of Todos Santos, on the Pacific coast about 35 miles north-west of Cabo San Lucas.
Mexico's federal attorney general's office said US authorities linked Haykel "to extremist groups believed to be involved with September 11 attacks in New York". It did not say if he faced any charges or if he was believed to be involved in any terrorist actions. Haykel told acquaintances that he was a pilot wandering the world. He seemed like "a straightforward person", said Gabriel Garcia, of the Cabo San Lucas fire station.
The mysterious wanderer had attracted official attention before. Mexican intelligence had tracked him down in Cancun two months ago, but he disappeared until a tip placed him at the Cabo fire station, looking for shelter and complaining that someone had been following him. Ironically, however, apparently he has successfully evaded surveillance to that point.
No one has any more details than that at the moment. The AP reports that US officials have concerns that al-Qaeda may try to stage attacks on the US from Mexico or Central America by air, and perhaps this mystery pilot could have been working his way through various staging areas masquerading as a migrant worker. Last week, Mexico handed over another suspect, a Pakistani that was charged with trafficking in jet-engine parts.
It appears that Mexico may have already become an AQ staging area. Perhaps now would be a good time to start getting serious about border control.
UPDATE: No threat from Haykel -- it turned out to be a clerical error.Sphere It View blog reactions
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From Captain’s Quarters: The London Telegraph reports today that a itinerant Lebanese-born British pilot has been held in Mexico, suspected of having a link to the 9/11 attacks in the US. Mexican and US intelligence services jointly arrested Am... [Read More]
Tracked on June 23, 2005 8:49 AM
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