New book exposes truth about Flight BA149 that delivered civilian hostages into the hands of Saddam Hussein


Operation Trojan Horse

The true story behind the most shocking government cover-up of the last thirty years
By Stephen Davis

Published by Bonnier Books, UK.
Distributed in Australia by Allen & Unwin
RRP AUD $32.99 in paperback | ISBN 9781789464610

Stephen Davis, who has been on the front lines of journalism for three decades, pursued the story of British Airways Flight 149 for 30 years. Finally, in this book, he reveals the true story behind the flight and the government cover-up that followed.

On 1 August 1990, British Airways Flight 149 departed from Heathrow airport, destined for Kuala Lumpur. It never made it there, and neither did its nearly 400 passengers. Instead, Flight 149 stopped to refuel in Kuwait, as Iraqi troops amassed on the border – delivering the passengers and crew into the hands of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi army, to be used as ‘human shields’ during their invasion.

According to Davis, British Airways have long maintained the position that they received advice it was safe to land in Kuwait. But recently, in conjunction with the launch of this book last year, then MI6 station chief Anthony Paice has disputed this version of events, saying that he advised it was not safe to land.

So why did BA flight 149 proceed with plans to refuel in Kuwait, even as all other flights were rerouted – and even though British and American governments had clear intelligence that Saddam was about to invade?

The answer lies in an exchange of favours at the highest echelons of government, and a secret, unaccountable organisation – authorised by Margaret Thatcher – carrying out a ‘deniable’ intelligence operation to land a group of intelligence offers in Kuwait aboard the flight. The plane was the ‘Trojan Horse’, and the plan – as well as the horrific, traumatic consequences for the civilian passengers – has been lied about, denied and covered up by successive British Governments ever since.

This book has been written with the cooperation of a number of survivors who became part of Saddam’s human shield, sent to around seventy locations such as nuclear installations and chemical installations and the like, places that the allied forces were likely to bomb. On their return home, survivors were threatened and intimidated into silence.

Above all, this book demonstrates the misuse of intelligence at the highest levels of UK and US governments and the unwillingness to later admit wrongdoing.


I have added some links below to some news stories from highly reputable media organisations and an ABC Radio interview with the author. These shed more light on the matter. 

BBC: BA flight 149: Was it on a secret ‘military intelligence mission’?
By Gordon CoreraSecurity correspondent

Interview ABC Radio: Sunday Extra 5 Sept 2021

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