The flight guard forces (Air Marshals) of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps have defused several plots hatched by the terrorist ISIL group to hijack the Iranian planes, an IRGC commander revealed on Saturday.
Speaking to FNA on attempts to hijack the Iranian planes in recent years, Deputy Chief Liaison Officer of Flight Guards Corps Ya’qoub Baqeri spoke of the terrorist ISIL group’s failed plots in this regard.
“The ISIL and other Salafi groups sought to hit a blow to our country this way, but fortunately, they couldn’t put their plots into practice,” Baqeri said on Saturday.
In relevant remarks in December 2013, Baqeri said that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had praised the IRGC forces for their strong and excellent measures in protecting Iranian flights against hijacking attacks.
“In 2005, the ICAO inspected the method used by the IRGC for security (of Iranian flights) and we received an excellent score,” Baqeri added.
He underlined that the IRGC forces had been so much successful in protecting the Iranian flights that many world states had voiced their willingness to be informed of the details of their work and receive trainings in this field.
“We have had meetings with the representatives of different world states and they had some requests to receive training, but this has not happened yet due to our security considerations,” Baqeri said.
Also, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Flight Security Guards announced in December 2012 that the country had thwarted 120 plane hijacking attempts in the last 28 years.
Lieutenant Commander of IRGC’s Flight Guards Corps Colonel Safar Ali Moussavi said since 1984 his forces had defused 120 hijack attacks, but explained that physical operations on board flights only happened in 20 cases, 12 of which included shootings.
“Since 1984, we have had 20 cases of clashes on board the planes, 12 of which have led to shoot-out and bloodshed,” Moussavi said, adding that the most dangerous hijacking in the country occurred on an Ahwaz-Bandar Abbas flight, at the end of which his forces could foil the hijacking attempt which was staged by 20 terrorists.
“In 100 other cases, the hijacking started when the plane was still on the ground and the clashes and shootouts, thus, took place before take off,” he added.
Moussavi said that the latest hijacking in the country was related to the Tehran-Damascus flight in 2010, which was foiled, and added that no cases of hijacking took place in Iran this year.
In November 2010, Iranian security forces foiled an attempted hijack of a plane bound for the Syrian capital, Damascus.
The plane en route from Tehran to Damascus landed safely at the Syrian capital’s airport after the man threatening to hijack the airliner was arrested by the security guards on board.
Later, the IRGC announced that the hijacker was an affiliate of anti-revolutionary groups.