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Intelsat Shuts Down Transponder Hijacked By Terrorists

By JJ McCoy | April 26, 2007

      Intelsat Ltd. has shut down a satellite transponder that was being used by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers rebel group to make unauthorized TV and radio broadcasts in Europe and Asia, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense announced.

      Phillip Spector, Intelsat’s executive vice president and general counsel, reported April 24 that the transponder used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had been turned off over the previous weekend.
      The Tamil Tigers, labeled by the U.S. government as a terrorist group, had been broadcasting through the satellite for more than a year before Intelsat acquired the spacecraft in its July 2006 acquisition of PanAmSat, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington said.

      Intelsat this month described the Tamil Tigers’ use of its satellite as "unauthorized," adding the company "does not tolerate terrorists or others operating illegally on its satellites."