For the past several years, there have been multiple controversies and mysterious rumors surrounding the landing of British Airways flight number 149 in Kuwait in the year 1990 during an invasion by Iraqi forces. Most of the alleged claims regarding the BA flight 149 stated that the government of the United Kingdom had used it for a secret intelligence mission which concluded in intense abuse that was suffered by the crew and onboard passengers while they were kept in captivity for the time duration of five months.
BA flight 149 had departed from London airport in the evening on August 1, 1990, and was headed towards the city of Kuwait for a scheduled stop while on its way to another city in Asia, even as the invasion started on that night. The aircraft landed in the early hours of August 2, and was the only plane that was able to land on the airport at that time, while all other scheduled flights towards the city were diverted.
In the year 1988, Anthony Paice was posted for duty to Kuwait and had the responsibility for political intelligence, although Mr. Paice has been previously named to be one of the MI6 officers that were working undercover in Kuwait at the British Embassy.
He said that he had been unable to speak in defiance to the injustices and false accusations due to the Official Secrets Act, but have recently given a statement in which he clarified that he would like to speak out to the public in solidarity with those individuals who were on BA flight 149 and had to suffer without cause.
He added that he is entirely convinced that despite repeated denial from the officials, the military intelligence exploitation did take place on BA flight 149. It is believed by him that this attempt was hastily prepared to have some people belonging to the intelligence agency on the ground, which was run on the background by special forces along with the military, although he and the British ambassador at that time in Kuwait were completely kept in the dark without any prior information regarding the ongoing operation.
There have been a few accusations against Anthony Paice for his involvement in the conducted operation or had a hand in the misleading information given to the pilot of BA flight 149 to land in Kuwait. However, he had argued that he had no information and have denied all claims made against him.
According to Anthony Paice, he was able to speak with a representative from British Airways on the evening of August 1 regarding a possible crisis between Kuwait and Iraq that are brewing, although the invasion was yet to begin and the BA flight 149 had not yet landed.
He had recalled saying on the phone call to British Airways that if they have any incoming flight in the region at midnight on the same night, it could probably get through before anything happens.
But he also gave warning prior to any invasion, which could have come at the early hours of the morning, while the aircraft would not be able to land on the following day.
Mistreatment with hostages
The director of the British Airways cabin service of the BA flight 149, Clive Earthy, remembered that he had been greeted by an individual clad in a military uniform on the door of the aircraft on his arrival at Kuwait airport. The man told him that he had come to meet with ten individuals that are present on the flight and had boarded on the plane at Heathrow airport back in London. They were brought to the front of the plane and then disembarked, never to be seen again.
He also said that those people had been given priority to come to Kuwait, and the rest of the passengers on the plane, comprising of men, women, and small children, were given the second precedence on the BA flight 149.
He also added in his report that he holds the United Kingdom’s government as responsible for the events that followed as all the passengers on board, along with the crew members of BA flight 149, were taken as hostages by the Iraqi forces. Some of them had been released soon after, while the rest had to endure massive mistreatment, sexual harassment, and assault along with conditions of near starvation. Many of them were used as human shields by the Iraqi forces at some of the key facilities to try to top the bombings by Western forces.