ISIS in the skies: Fears of 9/11-style attack as two commercial pilots join terror group

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From the Daily Express

FEARS of a new 9/11-style terror attack on the West have been raised after two commercial pilots were revealed to have joined Islamic State (ISIS).

The men were employed by separate international airlines and were flying as recently as March, Australian authorities said.

Tommy Abu Alfatih and Ridwan Agustin, both Indonesian pilots working for high-profile airlines AirAsia and Garuda Indonesia, developed links with the jihadi group through social media.

A leaked document from the Australia Federal Police seen by Western security services stresses the threat to flight security the pair could pose. Worryingly, Abu Alfatih was still employed as a pilot up until just a few months ago, although his whereabouts are now unknown.

Agustin was sacked by AirAsia after he began showing signs of extremist influences, including posting supportive messages on ISIS websites and messaging foreign fighters in the Middle East. Recent photos of the radicalised pilot show him wearing Islamic dress and sporting a long beard.

“The content he posts online has also seen a change from innocuous to a likely radicalised persuasion,” the report said.Agustin is now believed to be in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.The pair also followed various Facebook pages which posted graphic ISIS executions. “Both appear to be influenced by pro-ISIS elements including extremist online propaganda by well-known radical Indonesia outlets and a suspected foreign terrorist fighter who is likely to be either in Syria or Iraq,” the report warns. “Pilots, air crew and others with access to and within the aviation environment can pose obvious threats if these persons are radicalised. Their access and knowledge of security and safety regimes provides the ability to attempt attacks as witnessed by past global events. It is noted that a recent edition of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire actively encouraged attacks within the aviation environment.”

 

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