Accident or terrorism - the impact is the same - protect us from the planes that fall out of the sky - liberty for security.
The BBC reported twice that Milan was going to be attacked. The first came in October last year when the U.S. Embassy in Rome stated "terrorists might be planning to attack symbols of American capitalism in Italy." The second warning came just three weeks ago. Associated Press quoted a U.S. official as stating the warning was based on "very specific information". Milan was identified as a likely target.

Original link:

US warns of Italy terror attack

The United States says terrorists might be planning to attack "symbols of American capitalism" in Italy.
The US embassy in Rome said in a statement that the State Department had received information that unspecified targets might be attacked in the next month.

The statement urged all US citizens in Italy to be on their guard and "avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects".

The warning did not mention any link to the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

The statement said: "The department has received information that 'symbols of American capitalism' in Italy might be targeted for attack in the next month.

"US citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to increase their security awareness."

Security measures

Security at American interests in Italy has been stepped up as part of a worldwide heightened alert since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last month.

The Associated Press news agency says additional measures being considered include putting Italian licence plates on US military vehicles at the Aviano air base in northern Italy.

The Italian Government has also tightened security at several American companies by increasing surveillance and providing a police presence.

Original link:

US fears Easter attacks in Italy

American citizens could be targeted by extremist groups in Italian cities over Easter, the US State Department has warned.

The US did not identify the groups or nature of the attacks, but said the cities at risk were Florence, Venice, Verona and Milan.

A US official quoted by Associated Press said the warning was based on "very specific information".

"These groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets," the State Department warned.

Places of worship, restaurants, schools and outdoor events, were among the possible targets mentioned by officials.

American citizens are being advised to "increase their security awareness and avoid large crowds".

It is not the first time Washington has issued a terror warning about Italy - last October the US said terrorists could be planning to attack "symbols of American capitalism" in Italy.

Last month, Italian investigators uncovered evidence which they said pointed to a bomb plot against the US embassy in Rome.

They found holes carved into an underground passageway next to the diplomatic mission, which they said could have been used to plant a bomb.

Update - Son says father wanted to die...so...erm...that would make him a suicide hijacker right? Erm...no...not according to the government line...if it's not in the script it's an accident...just like American Airlines Flight 587 in Queens

Milan plane crash pilot wanted to commit suicide

Agence-France Press
Original link:

The pilot whose plane crashed into Milan's tallest building killing himself and two women was a failed businessman who wanted to end his life, his son said in comments in the daily La Repubblica.

The paper identified the pilot as Luigi Fasulo, who made a fortune in the airplane business then lost it all after becoming a self-styled investor.

He was reported variously as 65 or 67-years-old and said to live in Pregassona, a suburb of Lugano, Switzerland -- not far from where the flight originated.

La Repubblica quoted his son Marco and a friend, identified only as Franco, who both insisted the incident Thursday that immediately raised the spectre of a new September 11-type attack was a suicide.

"What do you mean an accident? It was a suicide, a suicide, I'm telling you. There were people who wanted to ruin him, to destroy him financially, so he committed suicide," Marco Fasulo said, without elaborating.

The friend Franco, meanwhile, recounted his last conversation with the pilot on Sunday. "I am ruined, they used up everything I had, it's a group located here, they got more than a million dollars (1.1 million euros) from me," the friend quoted Luigi as saying.

The aircraft, a light Piper Air Commander, crashed into the 25th and 26th floors of the landmark, 30-storey Pirelli tower in central Milan around 1600 GMT Thursday, sending shock waves in and outside the country.

The other two dead were women employed in the regional government of Lombardy, Italy's richest region, which fed fears it was a new terror attack against a Western target.

Concern started fading towards evening as details emerged. Italian Interior Minister Claudio Scajola said late Thursday the crash was "probably an accident" amid reports that the pilot had sent a distress message to the control tower of Milan's Linate airport shortly before the crash.

Local officials including Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini and chief regional administrator Roberto Formigoni, who rushed back from trips respectively to Canada and India, both cautiously backed up the suicide thesis in comments Friday.

"I think we can rule out the hypothesis of an attack, but we cannot completely rule out the idea that it was a deliberate act by someone who was not totally in control of himself," Albertini was quoted as saying.

Formigoni, in comments reported Friday, said he discussed the matter with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who "excluded the idea of any terrorist attack." When asked about a suicide, Berlusconi "did not rule this out."

La Repubblica said Fasulo had made his money with planes, owning a small company that rented out and sold aircraft. His fortunes failed when he switched focus and become a self-styled banker and financier, the paper said without giving sources.

The Piper Air Commander plane had taken off from Locarno, Switzerland, at 5:15 and was headed for Milan's Linate airport when he veered off course.

Thursday's crash will likely revive criticism of Italy's woeful recent aviation safety record, following the runway collision at Milan's Linate airport last October in which 118 people died, and several subsequent near misses.

The government in February sacked the entire board of the Civil Aviation Authority after allegations its members had been influenced by political parties seeking to cash in on contracts.

But wait! Now the pilot DIDN'T want to kill himself...the plot thickens...

Milan air crash theories emerge

Original link: http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/04/19/milan.crash/index.html

MILAN, Italy (CNN) --Friends and colleagues of the pilot whose aircraft crashed into a Milan high-rise have dismissed speculation that he deliberately flew his small plane into the building.

Prosecutors investigating Thursday's crash have offered three possible explanations for the cause: a technical problem with Luigi Gino Fasulo's Rockwell Commander 112TC; illness; or suicide.

Fasulo's plane crashed into the 26th floor of Milan's 32-story Pirelli Tower, killing him

and two women -- Anna Maria Rapetti, 41, and Alessandra Santonocito, 42, both lawyers. Eleven of the 36 injured inside and outside the building remained hospitalized Friday.

The building, which houses the Lombardy regional government, remained closed Friday, and surrounding hotels were still evacuated. But engineers said there is no risk the building will collapse.

A news report citing Fasulo's son, Marco, fueled speculation that the crash was an act of suicide, and not an accident. (Full story)

Rome's La Repubblica newspaper quote Marco Fasulo as saying the crash may have been a deliberate act induced by despair over financial problems -- reports that Milan police claim Marco Fasulo has since denied making.

"It was a suicide, a suicide, do you understand?" he was quoted as saying.

Fasulo's wife, Filomena, told CNN she plans to sue the newspaper over the report. Meanwhile, Fasulo's nephew, Luigi Fasulo, told Italian state television that the crash was an accident.

"Surely there was no intention on the part of my uncle to crash into the building," he said. "He was a person who loved life."

Fasulo, 68, from Pregassona, Switzerland, had been flying for over 30 years, held a commercial pilot's license and owned the plane.

Under Swiss law every pilot over the age of 50 has to undergo annual health check-ups. Fasulo passed his last medical in October with no problems.

Workers at Magadino Airport, the tiny airport in Locarno, Switzerland, where he kept his plane said he showed no sign of unhappiness.

Pino Scossa, a fellow pilot and Fasulo's friend of 40 years, told Reuters: "I saw him yesterday before he took off and he seemed very normal to me. The idea that he committed suicide seems absurd to me."

Pietro Marci, former head of the local flight club, added: "We're surrounded by mountains here. If he wanted to kill himself he could have flown into one of them."

Italian Transport Minister Pietro Lunardi, who has ordered a probe into the pilot's health, family situation and finances, told the Senate that Fasulo could have fallen ill at the controls. (Questions remain)

After making initial radio contact with the control tower, "there was silence, he was not operating any of the plane's controls in the last two minutes," he said.

Lunardi told reporters: "There's every reason to thing there was something strange -- the kind of target and the way it was hit straight on is spooky."

An Italian law enforcement official told CNN that authorities had no evidence of any link to terrorism.

The National Aviation Authority said Fasulo radioed the control tower at Milan's Linate Airport to report "a small problem" with his landing gear as he was approaching the airport tarmac to land.

The tower tried to put him into a holding pattern to the west of the tarmac, but the pilot turned north instead, the authority said.

When the tower contacted the pilot again to inform him he was making "improper maneuvers," he told officials he was trying to fix the problem with the landing gear so he could land, and that was the last time the tower was able to reach him.

Milan fire brigade officials have said the plane was on fire as it flew into the Pirelli building.

Evidence Proves Milan Skyscraper Crash Was Not An "Accident"

By Joe Vialls
The author is a former member of the Society of Licenced Aeronautical Engineers and Technologists, London.

Original link:

We think your name is Luigi Fasulo, the registered owner of a really neat little Rockwell Commander 112TC, a pocket rocket boasting a 200 horsepower turbocharged engine and a top speed in excess of two hundred miles per hour. We also think that  you took off from Locarno in Switzerland, but we cannot be sure about that.

Sadly perhaps, like Frank Corder who allegedly crashed his Cessna into the White House on 11 September 1994, and young Charles Bishop who allegedly  flew his plane into the Bank America building in Florida, no-one actually saw you board the plane, and no-one actually saw you at the controls when the aircraft took off.

When interviewed by Swiss television, Sandro Balestra, director of Locarno airfield, said you were known in the area for at least 30 years. The plane belonged to you.  Unfortunately at  the time of the takeoff, the control tower was closed but a radio registration system recorded the takeoff. The crash was recorded by Milan's Linate control tower.

No one seems to know how old you are, with major media outlets reporting your age anywhere between sixty and seventy-six years of age. But that doesn’t matter now, does it? You are certainly dead now Luigi, though how you died is a bit of a mystery.

Did you die a natural death, or were you killed and dumped down a disused mine shaft? Perhaps more likely, were you a silent and unconscious passenger aboard your treasured Rockwell, on  your last lonely flight into the financial center of Italy?

No matter, perhaps you would like to know how well your little plane performed, even with the extra weight of a high-explosive payload on board. The planners  needed the extra high-explosive  to cause serious damage to the building, because Charles Bishop’s slow bumbling Cessna was a bit of a flop last year, tail fin sticking out of the side of the Bank America building for all to see.

And of course they needed your little Rockwell plane because of its high speed, ensuring there would be sufficient inertia to penetrate the financial center before exploding.

The remote controls worked perfectly Luigi, and so did your little plane. You would be so proud of your little Rockwell if you were still alive!  The official photos show a near-perfect strike in the dead center of two floors, not even a five foot error up or down. Quite brilliant!

Mind you, your little plane has caused quite a stir in the other financial centers around the world, with stocks and shares taking a beating because of what the media reported as your “Accident”. 
The experts didn’t believe the media New Speak about the attack being an accident, any more than you or I. Perhaps it was simply another timely warning to the “New World Order” to back off, back off right now, before it is all too late.


By Christopher Bollyn - American Free Press

Original link:

Italian authorities and the mass media have tried desperately to play down a devastating kamikaze attack on a famous skyscraper in Italy's financial center as an accident - despite evidence to the contrary.

Locarno, April 25 - The crash of a small private plane into the Pirelli building in central Milan and the massive explosion that followed have raised suspicions that the attack was something other than an accident or a spectacular act of suicide, as authorities have claimed. The unexplained force of the explosion and the bizarre behavior of the experienced pilot suggest that the attack was something other than an accident.

The Italian pilot Luigi Fasulo, 67, lived near Lugano and was on a 20-minute flight from Locarno, Switzerland, to Milan when he reported trouble with his landing gear, according to air traffic controllers at Milan's Linate airport. He veered off course and flew northwest into the no-fly zone over the center of Milan. At 5:47 p.m., his single engine plane crashed squarely into the slim, 30-story Pirelli building impacting between the 25th and 27th floors.

Witnesses said that just before the collision, Fasulo's plane had banked, straightened and headed straight for the center of the building. The Pirelli building, Italy's highest tower, houses offices of the regional government of Lombardy.

After Fasulo's single engine Rockwell Commander struck the building's front facade a powerful explosion devastated its upper six floors blowing out the superstructure and setting the tower on fire. The force of the blast injured a dozen people and blew a female lawyer out of the building. The intensity of the explosion and the resulting structural damage suggest that something more powerful than the plane's 50 some gallons of aviation fuel contributed to the force of the blast. Two people in the building died and 34 were injured as a result of the crash.


"It sounded like a bomb," one witness said, "The pavement shook like an earthquake." In Bar Dany, around the corner from the Pirelli building and shielded by a large building, employees told AFP that the second of three shocks was an immense explosion - described as fortissimo - that shook the building and sent objects flying.

Claudio Chetta was in a meeting on the 24th floor of the Pirelli tower when she heard the explosion. "The building trembled and the windows crashed and collapsed all over us," he said. "The noise was deafening." Vincenzo Gatto, who works at Fashion Pizzeria about 200 yards across the plaza from the point of impact told AFP that a fire extinguisher fell off the wall as the whole building was shaken. "The explosion was very big. I think there was a bomb."


"Very, very strange" is how Roberto Formigoni, the president of the Lombardy regional government, described the crash. "It was an absolutely strange accident," Formigoni said, "The plane went in with the precision of a laser ray."

"There's something in all this that just doesn't square," Italian Transport Minister Pietro Lunardi said. "If this had occurred before September 11 you could talk of fate, but the way it happened and the precision of the target raise many doubts that it is an accident."

At 5:40 pm, Fasulo reported "a little problem with the landing gear," and asked for an emergency landing. The control tower told Fasulo that he was not lined up for the right runway and to circle the airport again. The tone of Fasulo's conversations with the control tower were reportedly calm as he informed them, at 5.43 pm, that he was attempting a manual solution to the problem with his landing gear; there was no distress signal. At this point Fasulo's plane veered off toward the city of Milan, entering a no-fly zone. Subsequent attempts by the tower to reach him by radio failed. The Pirelli building was off route for a plane that had been told to circle to the west above Linate airport.

"There's every reason to think there was something strange - the kind of target and the way it was hit straight on is spooky." Lunardi told the Italian parliament on April 19. Lunardi said the pilot appeared to have lost control of the plane. After making initial radio contact with the airport in Milan, "there was silence, he was not operating any of the plane's controls in the last two minutes," he said.

If the pilot "was not operating" the plane's controls, who or what flew the Fasulo's plane into the Pirelli tower? What happened during the 76 seconds after Fasulo lost radio contact is not clear, but his plane flew, or was flown, in the direction of central Milan, crossed a no-fly zone, dropped altitude, and crashed squarely into the center of the Pirelli skyscraper as precisely as a laser-guided missile.

Sandro Balestra, the director of the Locarno airport, told AFP that he had no explanation how an experienced pilot, who had flown into Milan hundreds of times, could have made such a mistake. Balestra described Fasulo as "an excellent pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flight time in over 30 years," although he told AFP that Fasulo had not flown much recently having lived in Brazil during the past year. Balestra confirmed that Fasulo had filed visual flight plans to Milan and his return to Lugano.

Fasulo had logged many hours running his air taxi firm with two planes, Playmatic Aviation. He had completed several emergency landings,
including once in a potato field, reportedly showing extraordinary cool headedness.

Several eyewitnesses reported that Fasulo's plane had been on fire before hitting the building, according to Celerissimo de Simone of the Milan police department. The plane "was in flames before it hit the building and it did not try to deviate its course, but just went straight in," said Fabio Sunik, a journalist who witnessed the crash from Milan's central train station, across the plaza from the Pirelli building.


Several eyewitnesses, including the assessor of Lombardy region, reported seeing a small red-orange plane following Fasulo's plane as it hit the Pirelli tower. A resident of Milan told AFP that it "is impossible" for a plane to be in the no-fly zone above the city - for two planes it would be "beyond impossible."

Few details have been reported about the second plane and neither its identity nor purpose has yet been firmly established. A professional pilot and former air traffic controller from Lugano told AFP that press reports that the second plane had followed Fasulo in order to assist him with his landing gear are false disinformation.


An Italian surgeon from Como, near Milan, informed AFP on April 20 that Fasulo's body had been found - but not his head. On April 23, a reporter for Milan's Corriere della Sera told AFP that although the paper had not reported that fact, it was true that the pilot's head had virtually disappeared. He added that the pilot had not suffered a heart attack, one of the theories behind the crash.

When asked if there was evidence that the pilot's headset had exploded, an assassination technique used by Israel and Russia, the reporter could not say. However, he made it clear that something catastrophic had occurred to the pilot's head causing it to disintegrate.

At the Locarno airport, where Fasulo's plane had been kept, Stefano Scossa, director of Aeromeccanica S.A., the company that maintains and inspects the planes, told AFP that they had not inspected Fasulo's plane for more than a year. Fasulo's plane had been maintained most recently in February by Aeroservice, a firm in Colombier, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Scossa said. Aeroservice told AFP that they had maintained Fasulo's plane but had "no information" to offer.

Scossa said that he had wanted to check the radio in Fasulo's plane earlier in the day and had found the plane locked. When asked about the possibility of someone tampering with Fasulo's plane or rigging it with a remote control device, Scossa said, "Yes, it is feasible. It is not too difficult, but it takes time." Regarding after-hours security at the Locarno airport, Scossa said, "There is no guard."

According to Scossa, a DC-6 was first flown remotely across the Atlantic Ocean in 1947. Scossa said a company he called "Test Flight International" in Mojave, Calif. produces and installs the equipment in military planes to enable them to be remotely controlled.

Scossa provided AFP with the specifications of the Commander-type plane flown by Fasulo. The 6 cylinder Commander has a maximum air speed of 164 knots or 188 m.p.h. The plane has a 70-gallon fuel tank and a wingspan of nearly 33 feet. Similar crashes in Florida and Washington, D.C. involving small private planes striking buildings failed to cause significant damage to the buildings.


Scossa said that his father, Pino, was a close friend of Fasulo's and had assisted him to fuel his plane before he left Locarno. Pino saw Fasulo with his headset on shortly after 5 p.m. "He was perfectly normal, jovial as usual," the elder Scossa, a friend of 40 years said. "Suicide is out of the question."

The suicide theory first surfaced the day after the crash when the Fasulo's son, Marco, was quoted as saying that his father may have committed suicide because of despair over his finances.

"It was a suicide, a suicide, I'm telling you," Marco Fasulo told journalists on April 18. "There were people who were trying to ruin him financially, so he committed suicide." Fasulo's younger son Giorgio, objected saying, "Is he crazy? It is not true. It was not a suicide."

Fasulo was known as a "home banker" and smuggler in Lugano, connected with circles involved in the Calvi-Ambrosiano case. Italian and Swiss police reportedly have a file on Fasulo, who had been caught in the past smuggling art works, jewels and drugs. Fasulo also reportedly earned money through dubious financial activities with Orazio Bagnasco, a financier who became famous for selling Bernie Cornfeld-type of funds through a firm called Europrogramme.

The Italian financial police exposed Fasulo for committing usury last year. Fasulo would extend private loans at lower rates than banks and cash dubious checks, in exchange for a large percentage. The Italian media said that Fasulo had access to the top layers of Swiss banks.

Two days after the crash, two Italian papers reported that the elder Fasulo had lent $1.54 million to Sergio Landonio, of Milan. Landonio was supposed to deposit his repayment in a bank account in Innsbruck, Austria,. However, when Fasulo went to retrieve the money last month, the account only had about $88.

Landonio had swindled Fasulo, forcing him to accept uncovered checks delivered by Russian mafia members in Innsbruck, Austria. "They have ruined us," Fasulo's wife told journalists on April 19. Hours before the crash, Luigi and Marco Fasulo had contacted Italian police in Como about the money. However, the authorities said they had no jurisdiction over something that occurred in Austria.

Marco Fasulo called Como police again that afternoon to say he had been threatened and followed, and people were watching his home. When the elder Fasulo was already at the Locarno airport, Marco again called the Como police station from his house in Pregassona, saying: "I am being threatened. Some persons followed me and they are here, checking the house."

Landonio was arrested in Nice, France, on Friday and was being held for questioning, according to an AP report on April 20. Landonio, had previously been investigated for an art-selling scam and other financial dealings. He was arrested after the crash because authorities feared he might flee.

While Fasulo's financial problems support the suicide theory, Milan police chief Enzo Boncoraglio said investigators had received no conclusive evidence to support the suicide theory. The Fasulo family also issued a statement ruling out suicide as the cause.