Local News

State Lawmakers Want SBI Probe of Flights From Johnston Airport

Posted January 18, 2007 8:39 p.m. EST
Updated January 19, 2007 8:28 p.m. EST

A group of state lawmakers wrote to Attorney General Roy Cooper on Thursday asking that he order the State Bureau of Investigation to probe reports of illegal activity at the Johnston County Airport.

It's a complicated case involving international terror suspects, allegations of kidnapping and torture and a suspected tie to Smithfield.

The letter from 22 legislators asks for the SBI to investigate Aero Contractors.

The CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" aired a story in 2005 about secret Central Intelligence Agency flights that were part of the abduction of terrorism suspects, a process known as rendition.

"60 Minutes" said the flights began in North Carolina.

WRAL has learned that a Swedish news crew traced the flights to Aero Contractors, a company based at the Johnston County Airport.

Aero denies any involvement in the flights.

The lawmakers told Cooper that the SBI already has turned down one request to investigate the claims, saying it was out of the agency’s jurisdiction. Their letter cites laws that they said show the state does have jurisdiction to investigate.

A Cooper spokesperson said his office has the letter and is reviewing it.