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November 15, 2000
FBI registers case for Kandahar hijack: PTI
Sumir Kaul in New Delhi
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States has registered a case in connection with the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar on Christmas eve last year, Central Bureau of Investigation sources said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The sources said the FBI had recently registered a case at its headquarters as a US passenger, Jeanne Moore, was aboard the ill-fated IC-814 plane.
FBI sleuths had examined Moore, who had spelt the word "coffin" for the hijackers when they made a list of demands to the Indian Government.
The FBI recently set up an office in India after its director Louis Freeh met CBI director R K Raghavan and offered co-operation in various fields to curb growing terrorism in the world.
The plane was at Kandahar airport from December 26 to December 31. This southern Afghanistan city is believed to be the place where Saudi billionaire-terrorist Osama bin Laden is hiding.
The US had fired missiles at the suspected hide-out of bin Laden on August 20, 1998.
The FBI and CBI are sharing information and leads in the hijack case.
Meanwhile, a two-member CBI team, which returned on November 13 from Dubai, where it had gone in connection with investigations into the hijacking, has examined the Dubai mission staff, which handled the hijacking case.
The team also collected details from the time the Indian mission received the body of Rupin Katyal, killed by hijackers up to the release of the 27 passengers at Dubai's Al-Minhat airport.
The visit to Dubai came close on the heels of a meeting that the FBI team had with CBI officials. The move also followed issuance of a look-out notice by Interpol against the five hijackers and two of their accomplices.
The agency had approached Interpol for issuance of a red corner notice against the hijackers -- Ibrahim Athar, Sunny Ahmed Qazi, Zahoor Ibrahim, Shahid Akhter Sayed and Shakir and accomplices Yusuf Azhar and Abdul Rauf, agency sources said.
Yusuf Azhar and Abdul Rauf are believed to be key conspirators.
The CBI on June 21 filed a chargesheet against 10 people in the case, which included these seven and three Indian nationals.
The plane was diverted to Amritsar and Lahore before landing at Dubai's Al-Minhat airbase, where 27 passengers were released and the body of 25-year-old Katyal, who had been stabbed, was thrown onto the tarmac. From there, the plane flew of Kandahar.
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