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New aircraft over Norway

Two days after the CIA aircraft "N88ZL" took off from Guantanamo Bay with a course for Afghanistan, it was in Norwegian airspace.


[CIA mission] Norwegian airports and Norwegian airspace are used by aircraft that can be linked to secret CIA operations. Avinor's communications director Ove Narvesen confirms to Ny Tid that a new CIA aircraft has flown over Norwegian territory. The plane was most likely on a CIA mission. The overflight was not cleared by the Norwegian authorities, who have previously criticized the United States for not complying with international conventions in connection with the detainees at the Guantanamo base. Neither Olav Akselsen, chair of the Storting's Foreign Affairs Committee, nor the US State Department has responded to inquiries from Ny Tid in connection with the case.

- Unfortunately, we have no information about this aircraft, says press contact at the American embassy in Oslo, Ellen Sporsdøl.

In recent months, Ny Tid has uncovered a number of such aircraft in Norwegian airspace, including a CIA aircraft that landed at Gardermoen on 20 July 2005. The assignment in Norway is unknown.

The aircraft labeled "N88ZL" belongs to the company Lowa Ltd, based in Miami. Lowa is one of several companies suspected of being CIA's captive transport companies.

On September 18, 2004, the old Boeing 707 aircraft started the engines at Miami International Airport. The plane headed for Dulles Airport near Washington, where it stayed overnight.

The CIA often uses the airport in Dulles as a starting point for its operations, in the United States and internationally. On September 19, it flew to Guantanamo Bay. After a short stay, the trip continued to Gander Airport in Newfoundland, Canada, before heading to Bagram Airport in Afghanistan.

On September 20, the aircraft resumes heading to the United States. The stopover at Vanda airport outside the Finnish capital Helsinki on September 20. Here the crew and passengers get a few hours rest before the plane leaves from Vanda with a course towards Dulles, USA.

Before the flight crosses the Atlantic, it passes through Norwegian airspace shortly after 06.00am on the morning of September 21st. It lands in Dulles and from there goes the trip home to Miami.

The flight's route can be followed at According to newspapers like the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, the CIA regularly conducts such trips either with prisoners on board or with agents on assignment. Such trips often start and end at Dulles Airport.

Ny Tid has not succeeded in linking the flight in question through Norway's airspace directly to an action. "N88ZL" has previously landed at a number of airports linked to staging points for CIA operations. Among these we find Shannon in Ireland, Gander in Canada, Dubai, Berlin, Brussels and Dresden.

Only aircraft licensed by the US military are allowed to land on the Guantanamo Bay airstrip. The treatment of the prisoners at the Guantanmo Bay base in Cuba has previously led to strong reactions both in Norway and abroad.

  • Ny Tid wrote on 14 October 2005 that several CIA aircraft had used Norwegian airspace without permission.
  • A number of European countries have pointed out that such is a violation of international conventions.

Carried Pearl Jam

[on tour] The characteristic of the CIA aircraft is that they also take on very ordinary private flights. In December 88, "N2005ZL" was hired to fly American rock band Pearl Jam in connection with their tour of South America, according to

The aircraft passed through at least two occasions in 2005 through Norwegian airspace, once en route from Miami to Moscow, and once en route from Skavsta Airport at Stockholm to Rea Point in Canadian Nunavut. The last aircraft observed was Saturday last week, when it failed to stop in time while landing at Hamilton Airport in Canada. The aircraft stopped off the runway without major damage.

- Do not pass by in silence

[parliament] SV's defense policy spokesman, Bjørn Jacobsen, demands a proper debate in Norway about the CIA's possible secret activity in Europe. Jacobsen attended the meeting of the Council of Europe this week, where a report on the CIA's secret air transport was presented. The report concludes that the US has kidnapped people in Europe who were later tortured in US custody.

- This case must not be ignored in silence. At home in Norway, we must take the debate seriously and get all the information in this case, says Bjørn Jacobsen to Ny Tid on mobile from the Strasbourg meeting.

- The clear message all parliamentarians bring home from this meeting is that we must go home and clean up. The debate must come to light, says Jacobsen.

Anne Lene Dale Sandsten, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Ny Tid on Tuesday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not received new information that gives reason to doubt the Americans when they claim that civilian CIA planes or state American planes have not violated Norwegian law. On the same day, the Council of Europe's Dick Marty presented a report on the CIA's activities in Europe.

- The Council of Europe's report has the consequence that Norway must again contact the American authorities, to make a separate statement on the matter, says Petter Eide in Amnesty Norway. The deadline for this is 21 February.

  • The Council of Europe report mentions that the Norwegian government has inquired with the US embassy about a plane that landed at Gardermoen on July 20, 2005.
  • New Time has linked this plane to the CIA and revealed that it has been at least seven times at Guantanamo Bay. This indicates that the aircraft may have been used by US authorities to carry terror prisoners suspected of terrorism.

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