RealNews

Six Cubans Charged with Hijacking Plane to Florida

Six Cubans were charged on Thursday with hijacking a Cuban airliner at knifepoint and forcing the pilots to fly it to Florida. The hijacking, which occurred on Wednesday night just before the United States launched its war in Iraq, forced the U.S. military, on heightened alert against the threat of attack, to scramble fighter jets to intercept the aging aircraft and escort it to a safe landing in Key West. The suspects, dressed in blue prison uniforms and shackled at the wrists, made their first court appearance in a Key West federal courthouse and were held for arraignment on March 25 on air piracy charges. They face a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted. U.S. authorities say the six took over the DC-3 as it headed from Cuba’s Isle of Youth to Havana, breaking down the cockpit door and trussing four crew members with tape and rope. Five of the six were armed with knives with 7-inch blades. Full Story

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