RealNews

Case of Missing Jetliner Unsolved

After months of scouring Africa, U.S. investigators have all but concluded that the 727 jetliner that mysteriously disappeared after departing from an Angolan airport in May crashed or was taken to a remote hangar to be stripped for parts. U.S. intelligence officials had expressed fears that the 153-foot, 200,000-pound aircraft might have been stolen by terrorists for use as a weapon against Western targets in Africa. But an examination of satellite photographs and visits to dozens of African airfields failed to yield any evidence that it is on the continent, leading U.S. officials to largely discount the terrorism scenario. Nearly two years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the case demonstrates that Western intelligence officials remain on hair-trigger alert for the possibility of terrorists’ gaining access to large aircraft — especially in Africa, where concerns over terrorism have risen dramatically in recent months, U.S. officials said. U.S. and other Western intelligence agencies still regularly unearth indications that the al Qaeda terrorist network remains interested in using aircraft to launch attacks. Full Story

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