Ukraine Launches Terror Probe over Sochi Hijack Attempt
The Ukrainian national who allegedly tried to hijack and divert a plane to Sochi is being investigated for links to terror groups.
Ukraine Security Service investigative department chief Maxim Lenko, as cited by CNN, told journalists that the authorities had opened an investigation into an attempt to commit a terror act and an attempt to hijack a plane.
The Ukrainian man, identified as Artem Hozlov, is from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.
On Friday afternoon, Hozlov boarded a Pegasus Airlines flight from Kharkov to Istanbul.
Claiming that there was a bomb on board the plane, he tried to divert it to Russia's Sochi, where the Winter Olympics were opening.
He was said to have been seeking to get to Sochi, where "there are (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and (Ukrainian President Viktor) Yanukovych, whose hands got blood on them."
He was also said to have demanded demanded the release of Ukrainian "hostages"
His plans were thwarted after the crew tricked him into believing that his demand had been men and that the plane had landed in Sochi while it had actually landed in Istanbul. The plane was surrounded by police and the man was taken into custody by Turkish authorities. None of the 110 people on board the plane was injured in the accident.
The Ukrainian national is expected to remain in Turkey during the course of the investigation.