New York Air Traffic Controllers Receive Threat of Revenge for 2020 Assassination of Iranian General Soleimani; FBI Investigating Incident

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Funeral of Qassem Suleimani assassinated by American drones, Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran Tehran, Jan 7, 2020. Editorial credit: Saeediex / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
Funeral of Qassem Suleimani assassinated by American drones, Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran Tehran, Jan 7, 2020. Editorial credit: Saeediex / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

NEW YORK, NY – On Monday, air traffic controllers in New York received a frightening message mixed in with the typical radio chatter they endlessly deal with every day – a threat of revenge initially believed to have been sent by agents of a hostile foreign nation.

“We are flying a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged,” said the voice of an unidentified individual in an audio clip possessed by CBS News.

The message, sent just one day after the one-year anniversary of assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who was originally killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump on January 3, 2020, near Baghdad International Airport.



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Trump had authorized the killing of Soleimani – referred to by the U.S. President as a “monster” and officially designated as a terrorist – as a result of the general having been involved with the deaths of numerous Americans for well over a decade, as well as deterring future such actions.

“If you look over his past — he’s been called a ‘monster,’ and he was a monster,” Trump said. “And he’s no longer a monster; he’s dead. And that’s a good thing for a lot of countries. And he was planning a very big attack and a very bad attack for us and other people. And we stopped him.”

Spokespeople for the Federal Aviation Administration noted that they had reported Monday’s radio threat to the FBI. However, government officials have noted that they do not believe the threat contained in the message has any credibility, saying that it is fairly easy for an individual to access the frequency that air traffic controllers use. However, the unauthorized breach of the frequency is under investigation, reports say.

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