Air Traffic Control Violation Sends Chilling Threat in Revenge for Murder of Iranian General

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Several air traffic controllers in New York City heard a frightening threat Monday in audio obtained exclusively by CBS News: “We’re flying a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged. ”
The threat refers to Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed last year in a US drone strike ordered by President Trump. It was made on the first anniversary of Soleimani’s death, for which Iranian officials have long vowed revenge.

It is not known who sent the threat. Although the government does not think the warning of an attack is credible, it is being investigated as an air frequency violation, CBS News has learned.

Sources told CBS News that the Pentagon and other agencies were notified of the digitized voice recording on Tuesday. The sources said they believed the threat was designed to suggest hitting the Capitol on the same day Congress is expected to count the Electoral College results.

Experts said the intrusion was of concern as it could affect the instructions pilots receive on how and where planes fly.

Sources told CBS News that a message was sent to air traffic controllers on Tuesday reminding them that any threat or an aircraft deviating from its flight path must be reported immediately.

The FBI does not comment but has said it takes “all threats of violence to public safety” seriously. The Federal Aviation Administration said it was in contact with law enforcement.

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