Saturday, September 22, 2018

Judge denies bond for foreign student accused of trying to steal commercial jet at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (KMLB)

Orlando Melbourne International Airport (KMLB) officials said that Trinidad and Tobago native Nishal Sankat breached airport security around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

Nishal Sankat, 22, is accused of trying to steal a commercial airplane.

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Nishal Sankat made a first appearance before a judge on Friday. The 22-year-old is accused of trying to steal a commercial airplane.

“In his attempt to harm himself, Mr. Sankat advised that he intended to take the aircraft in the process of harming himself,” said FBI Special Agent Hackard. “In that process he had no regard for the potentiality of harming others in the process.”  Sankat looked nervous going before the judge, he was unable to stand still. 

The dark green suit he's he wore is designed to prevent him from hurting himself.  Investigators telling the judge they got an urgent call around 2 a.m. on Thursday morning regarding a possible terrorist incident at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport.  

Investigators say Sankat scaled the barbed wire fence, ran onto the tarmac, and boarded the American Airlines jet sitting there for maintenance.  They say he got into the cockpit, was about to sit down in the pilot's seat,  when suddenly the maintenance worker on the plane spotted him and asked,  “Who are you?” 

“He didn't get any type of answers so he told him to come with him. At that point he escorted the defendant to a golf cart. They drove over to the hangar. He started talking to him again, asking him questions and he fled from the maintenance man,” testified another Special Agent from the FBI task force member. 

The maintenance man caught up with Sankat and securing him until investigators arrived. Investigators spent all day yesterday interviewing Sankat and several more hours Friday morning.  The special agent told the judge they're not done yet.  

“There were several factors involved that caused concern to us and we have not yet fully been able to vet those out yes,” said Special Agent Hackard.

Sankat is being held on a no bond status.  The fed and prosecutors fear he’s a flight risk due to his dual citizenship between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.  Plus they say he has access to money.  Sankat told the judge his parents give him a $5,000 stipend.  

Original article can be found here ➤

Shayne Graves, Orlando Melbourne International Airport (KMLB) maintenance worker.

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Channel 9 spoke with the airport maintenance worker Friday who stopped a man as he boarded an American Airlines jet that was undergoing maintenance.

"I knew right away -- I mean we're trained," said airport maintenance worker Shayne Graves. "No badge. Looked down -- no shoe on that foot. This isn't right. Nothing's right about this kid." 

The 22-year-old flight student jumped a security fence at the Melbourne International Airport Thursday and reached the cockpit of an empty jet before two maintenance workers stopped him, investigators said. 

Melbourne airport officials said that Trinidad and Tobago native Nishal Sankat breached airport security around 1:30 a.m. 

Authorities said Sankat tried to steal the airplane.

Graves confronted Sankat while he was on the plane. Graves said he didn't hesitate to act because he thought about the 9/11 attacks.

"I said this isn't going to happen again," Graves said, sobbing.

"He was looking around, and I said, 'You’re coming with me. You're coming off this airplane.' I put him on the ground at the entrance door, got him on that golf cart, and we went into the hangar," Graves said.

Graves said the suspect appeared to be on drugs.

Sankat was studying aviation management at the Florida Institute of Technology and had completed some flight training, school officials said. Investigators said he was not rated for the type of aircraft he is accused of trying to steal.

"I really think he's a guinea pig, testing airport security. I really do," Graves said.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, is now investigating, but Sankat already faces state charges of violation of a visa, criminal trespassing and criminal theft of an aircraft. 

Officials said Sankat is being cooperative. He is being held at the Brevard County Jail.

Original article can be found here ➤

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