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Swedish hijack suspect released

Chatty
Police in Britain have released Kerim Chatty

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A Swedish Muslim has been released without charge after being held on suspicion of trying to hijack a London-bound Ryanair plane.

Kerim Sadok Chatty, 29, was arrested last month after trying to board the jet near Stockholm with a gun in his hand luggage. Police said they released him on Monday.

A probe was launched into possible attempts to hijack the plane, but chief prosecutor Thomas Haggstrom said in a statement: "The investigation of that suspicion continues.

"Nothing in the investigation indicates that Chatty would have intended to crash the plane against any target in Sweden or in any other country."

The Muslim, of Tunisian origin, must remain in the Stockholm area and report regularly to the police, Haggstrom added.

Chatty had been held in custody at a high security prison in Stockholm during the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the U.S..

He was arrested on August 29 after allegedly trying to take a handgun, hidden in a toiletries bag, onto the jet at Vasteras Airport, near Stockholm.

Chatty, who converted to Islam after a period of petty crime, had admitted he had the gun but denied planning to hijack the plane bound for Stansted Airport, London.

His lawyer Nils Uggla said Chatty had good reason for having the gun and was innocent of planning to hijack the plane, but said he could not give the reason because of a gag order.

Chatty, who had taken flying lessons in South Carolina before being kicked out for failing his tests, was with a group of 20 people said to be heading for an Islamic conference in Birmingham when they boarded the plane.

The 20 have been questioned by police and released without charge.



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