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FBI Grill Ex SAA Pilot Over Al Qaida Links

Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:31 pm

FBI to grill ex-SAA pilot

A FORMER SAA pilot, arrested in the US on immigration charges this week, slipped into the country because details of his fraud conviction were not captured on an international fugitive database.

South African authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of Tanzanian-born Issaya Dominicus Nombo when he disappeared after being convicted of fraud and corruption in May last year. He was one of several men convicted in a fake pilot licence scam.

The US Bureau of Consular Affairs this week said Nombo obtained a student visa, which would not have been granted had his status as a fugitive been known. The 44-year-old was arrested by the FBI after his name was found on a document in a cave used by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

FBI agent Frank Perry said Nombo is "so far" not considered a "terrorist" but he needs answer a lot of questions.

Nombo was granted a student visa to complete his pilot training in Florida. Visa applications in the US are run through an international system to check on the background of applicants.

South African police said there was no obligation to put Nombo's name on the international data- base. - Mzilikazi wa Afrika