A Bulgarian journalist has been accused of attempting to hijack a Russian fighter jet. Hristo Grozev, who is Bellingcat media's chief investigator, allegedly tried to hijack the aircraft from the inventory of the Russian Air Force, according to Moscow.
Russia's Federal Security Service claimed that Grozev was part of the hijacking operation which was led by Ukrainian military intelligence.
However, Ukraine's operation was foiled as the FSB prevented the planes from being hijacked, according to Russia.
The official investigation has found a Russian fighter pilot's direct involvement with the case.
A Russian Pilot Was Also Involved In The Hijacking
Grozev was supposed to hand over $4,000 to couriers, one of them being a Russian from Moscow. The money was supposed to be given to a Russian fighter pilot who had already "preliminarily agreed to the hijacking" of the plane", reported Bulgarian Military citing Russian media reports.
Russian TV channel Russia 24 also run reports that officials had detained the courier coordinator over the case. Dinar, the courier coordinator, is detained in Kazan. FSB officials have detained Dinar in his own apartment.
FSB Detained Courier Coordinator
Dinar had direct links Grozev as he stated that he is very angry with the Bellingcat investigator. Dinar said that he thought Grozev would not deceive him.
"Actually, I am very angry with Hristo Grozev. I can explain why. I trusted him as a person who would never deceive me... Therefore, I easily agreed to all this, because I was completely sure that nothing endangered anyone. I didn't think there was such dirty work there," Dinar told FSB officials.
Grozev Is Lead Investigator At Bellingcat
According to Bellingcat, an investigative journalism group, Grozev is the lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, focusing on security threats, extraterritorial clandestine operations, and the weaponization of information. His investigations into the identity of the suspects in the 2018 Novichok poisonings in the UK earned him and his team the European Prize for Investigative Journalism.