An anticommunist Serbian nationalist who hijacked a New York-Chicago flight with 127 passengers aboard surrendered to the Irish police yesterday after switching to a larger jet in New York and flying across the Atlantic with his lawyer.
The passengers already had been freed in Chicago, after the first leg of the hijacker's 22-hour journey.
Authorities said it began when Nikola Kavaja, carrying what he said was dynamite, commandeered an American Airlines Boeing 727 en route to Chicago in an abortive bid to free a jailed compatriot, the Rev. Stojilko Kajevic, a Serbian Orthodox priest.
The two men, with four other Serbs, were arrested last November in connection with alleged bombing and assissination plots.
The Irish police said that an "explosive device" was removed from the plane that flew to Ireland after Kavaja surrendered peacefully. They did not elaborate.
Kavaja, 45, had been free on bond and was on his way to Chicago to be sentenced for his part in the 1975 bombing of the Yugoslav consulate in Chicago when he hijacked the 727, the FBI said.
It was not immediately clear whether Kavaja would face charges in the Irish Republic or be escorted back to New York to face charges that were the basis of a federal arrest warrant issued in Brooklyn, N.Y.