Pilot at Bangladesh national air carrier arrested over plot to fly plane into houses of top govt leaders

A pilot with Bangladesh's national air carrier Bangladesh Biman was arrested on Wednesday (Nov 1) on suspicion of terrorism offences.
A pilot with Bangladesh's national air carrier Bangladesh Biman was arrested on Wednesday (Nov 1) on suspicion of terrorism offences.PHOTO: AIRBUS

DHAKA (REUTERS) - A pilot with Bangladesh's national air carrier Bangladesh Biman was arrested on Wednesday (Nov 1) on suspicion of terrorism offences, including plotting to keep passengers hostage and flying a plane into the houses of top government leaders, police said.

Sabbir Enam, 31, was detained on Tuesday and formally arrested on Wednesday, a senior police official said.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the special security force of the Bangladesh police, arrested Enam and three others, including his mother, said RAB director Mufti Mahmud Khan, who is responsible for the legal and media wing of the force.

He told Reuters that Enam had close links with the militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and was planning to fly a plane into the residences of top government leaders.

"He also had plans to take a flight, keeping passengers as hostage, (and heading) to some Middle Eastern country," director Mufti said.

No further details of the plans, or if or when they were ever to be carried out, were immediately available. The arrested pilot was not available for comment.

JMB is an Islamic militant organisation which in 2005, detonated 500 bombs at 300 locations across the country. Its aim is to set up an Islamic state.