Once a hijacker — of planes, not religions — apparently always a hijacker. “Al-Qaeda terrorist prisoners plotted to escape in hijacked helicopter,” from the Telegraph, March 31:
Al-Qaeda terrorists in a British jail were caught planning to escape in a hijacked helicopter.
Accomplices on the outside were to hire the helicopter for “business” then force the pilot to land in prison at gunpoint.
Nine Muslim inmates plotted to kidnap the jail imam during prayers with weapons hidden in the prison mosque.
According to the plan they would then move to a sports field using the imam as a shield and be picked up by the helicopter.
Wardens at Full Sutton prison in Yorkshire, acting on a tip-off, went to the plotters’ cells hours before the escape attempt was due to start.
The nine, including convicted terrorists, will now be transferred to other jails.
A source told the Sun: “This would have been one of the most damaging escapes ever. The intelligence was very strong and from a good source. It had to be acted on immediately.
“It involved some of the most dangerous al-Qaeda terrorists in jail, all of whom are a massive threat. It had been planned for months and the use of a helicopter shows it was sophisticated.”
The prison holds notorious terrorists like Omar Khyam who plotted to blow up Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.
Security sources said the jail imam was innocent.
The source added: “The imam is a respected figure for his ability to embrace all faiths.
And there it is: at first, it seemed weird that these Muslims would use an imam as their shield; now it’s clear they used him as they had concluded he was a munafiq (hypocrite), or worse, an apostate, deserving of death.
“But that makes him a target for the extremists in this jail who want to convert Muslims to their warped views.”
A spokesman for the Justice Department confirmed a possible plot had been uncovered on Friday. He said the Prison Service was investigating.