By SAM GREENHILL
16th May 2008
Airport security was condemned as a joke last night after an Afghan
involved in the Stansted hijacking was found to be working at Heathrow
as a cleaner.
Police arrested Nazamuddin Mohammidy at Terminal 5 where he showed his
British Airways pass allowing him access to secure areas.
The Tories said it was a breathtaking breach of security and demanded
immediate action from the Government.
Mohammidy, 34, was one of nine Afghans who won the right to live in
Britain after hijacking a passenger flight in Afghanistan in 2000. The
Boeing 727 was flown to Stansted in Essex where the captors threatened
to kill the 160 passengers unless they were granted asylum.
The gang was jailed but later released and given the right to remain in
Britain rent-free, receiving 150,000 a year in benefits.
It emerged police pulled over Mohammidy as he was driving round Terminal
5 because they thought he was an unlicensed cab driver. He told them he
worked at the airport and they were stunned when they checked out his
story and found he was a former hijacker.
Mohammidy works for a contractor used by British Airways to clean its
offices and training centre at Heathrow.
The airline insisted he did not have an "airside" pass which would let
him near planes, but his BA credentials did grant him access to
restricted areas, it is understood.
Yesterday Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "It is clear the
Government do not have a grip on airport security.
"This individual should patently not be permitted access to secure
locations at our airports, and immediate checks must be made on all
Tory aviation-spokesman Julian Brazier has written to Transport Minister
Jim Fitzpatrick describing the breach as "beyond parody."
After police pulled in Mohammidy at Terminal 5, they also discovered he
was in breach of bail conditions over an assault charge.
He is accused of beating up a former landlord and is due before
magistrates on Monday.
Earlier this week Mohammidy, who has been living in Hounslow, West
London, appeared in court over the bail breach but magistrates in
Uxbridge bailed him again.
Scotland Yard confirmed the incident in which he was stopped at
A spokesman said: "In December 2007 officers stopped and searched a man
under section 44 of the Terrorism Act at Terminal 5. Inquiries revealed
he was in breach of bail."
British Airways said in a statement: "We have been helping the police
with their inquiries into a man who is employed by our cleaning
contractors. He does not work at the airport and does not hold an
airside pass. He works at one of our properties about a mile away."
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