– MOHAMMED AFROZE
* Mohammad Afroz Abdul Razak was born in 1975 in Mumbai, India to a Muslim family. In 1997 Mohammad Afroz arrived to Melbourne Australia, to take flying lessons. Afroz appears more hapless foreign student than trainee terrorist to his friends. He was “a very dumb student [who] wasn’t interested in learning to fly” said his Melbourne instructor. Mohammad Afroz left Australia in 1998 after he received his restricted license, a basic permit, on a second attempt.
In 1999 Mohammad Afroz left Mumbai once again, that time to USA. In America he attended Tyler International School of Aviation in Texas, United States. At the end of his time at the Tyler School, Mohammad Afroz returned to India, spending several months with his family, evidently making no effort to look for a job. In 05/2000, his passport entries show, he made a brief visit to Hong Kong – to meet Ilyas (Probably an unidentified Al Qaeda currier). They met at the Pakistan Hotel, a down-market establishment frequented by budget travelers from South Asia. In 07/2000, Afroz was again sent for a training course, this time at the top-flight Cabair College of Air Training at the Cranfield Airport near Bedford in the UK.
Mohammad Afroz fled UK on 09/22/2001 back to India. He was arrested in Mumbai on 10/06/2001. The event that led to his arrest was an affair with a bar attendant in Navi Mumbai which led to a drunken altercation. After initial investigation Mohammad Afroz was charged with “committing depredation on territories at peace with India”. Indian police also charged him with three robberies committed in India.
In his interrogation Mohammad Afroz, nicknamed “The Pilot”, confessed to spending £150,000 on flying lessons before September 2001, at the same Florida flying school as some of The 9/11 hijackers. In addition, in 08/2001, Mohammad Afroz enrolled in a £50,000 one-year residential course at the Cabair College of Air Training in Bedford, UK.
According to reports of the confession by Mohammad Afroz, he and his associates were in the boarding lounge about to board the Manchester to London flight they were to hijack, saw the extent of the damage in America, panicked and fled ( at the same day all flight in UK were grounded anyway as a basic precaution). The, so to speak, suicide squad included men from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mohammad Afroz also claimed that a parallel Al Qaeda cell have intended to simultaneously fly a plane into the Rialto Tower in Melbourne, Australia and House of Parliament in India. There was no other evidence to support those allegations.
On 07/22/2005, a day after the failed London 7/21 bombings, an Indian court in Delhi sentenced Mohammed Afroze to 7 years in prison for his participation in a wider plot in which airplanes were to have been crashed into the House of Common (Britain Parliament) and the Tower Bridge in London which had been planned for 09/11/2001, (The 9/11).
Mohammed Afroze sentence is inconsistent with the alleged role in Al Qaeda as an international conspirator and cell leader. Afroz’s tale gained little credence in Britain. Intelligence sources said they investigated and ruled out his claims and suggested that two months of interrogation at the hands of the Indian police had brought the confession to his lips.
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