Pakistan

KARACHI – The man who was arrested from a PIA flight after it was diverted to Stansted Airport in London on Tuesday over bomb scare has been identified as terror convict Khalid Baqa.

According to reports, the 52-year-old suspect has been charged with false representation under the Fraud Act and would be presented before Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in London on Feb 23.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane PK-757 heading to Heathrow airport was forced to land at London’s Stansted Airport over security threats. Reports surfaced that the diversion took place due to a disruptive passenger.

Stansted airport spokesman had said: “The aircraft is likely to continue its journey onwards to Heathrow today pending inquiries that the police are making into the individual on the aircraft.”

The identity of the suspect has now been confirmed as Khalid Baqa. What adds suspense to the story is the fact that in 2013 Khalid Javed Baqa was imprisoned for two years after pleading guilty to possessing collections of terrorist publications and CDs.

The CDs seized from him had sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki and beheading scenes. Apart from that, the disks had bomb-making procedures, will of one of the convicts of London blasts and his confessional statement. Scenes of the 9/11 attacks were also recorded on CDs.

British police said the plane was diverted over a bomb scare but the PIA said the response by British authorities was excessive.

The PIA said in a statement that the UK authorities received a “vague security threat through an anonymous phone call” suggesting there was a problem with the flight.