SAO PAULO, Brazil— The 2009 crash of a stolen plane near the capital city of Brasilia exposed Brazil's vulnerability to terrorist acts, said a US diplomatic cable released Sunday by WikiLeaks.
On March 12, 2009, a man kidnapped his 5-year-old daughter, hijacked a small plane, and flew around of the city of Goiania for two hours before crashing into the parking lot of a shopping mall, killing himself and the girl. The crash "highlighted a vulnerability to potential terrorist actions," then-Ambassador Clifford Sobel wrote in a memo.
Brazilian authorities considered shooting down the plane, which had no flight plan and was viewed as a threat, according to the March 28, 2009, report. Air defense authorities followed the country's shootdown procedure, illustrating "the extreme caution with which a possible shootdown is approached, the broad understanding of the shootdown policy among air traffic controllers and the fact that the procedures are executed as written," Sobel said