A small, private aircraft broker based in Huntington Village said in a Newsday interview Thursday that he arranged for jet flights that, he later learned, shuttled terrorism suspects to Guantanamo Bay and to Europe for CIA interrogation in the U.S. government's extraordinary rendition program.
The private Gulfstream IV jet shuttles were undertaken after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the Huntington broker, Donald Moss, of Sportsflight Air.
Moss spoke after documents in a civil court case, heard in upstate Columbia County were made public this week.
Moss said the CIA did not approach him directly, but instead gave a contract to DynCorp International, of Falls Church, Va., which hired him.
Sportsflight's role was to find private jets for shuttle flights between Guantanamo, Cuba, and Washington, D.C., Moss said.
"It wasn't until later that it came out in court . . . it was the CIA," Moss said. He said he later learned that the jets were used not only for flights to Cuba, but also to Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Romania and other European countries.
The first approach, from DynCorp, was a general request. "In the industry we get referrals, and after 9/11 we heard that DynCorp might be interested in contracting for private aircraft for charters," Moss said. "It was set up as flights back and forth from Washington to Guantanamo."
The Gulfstream IV jets, which had 10 seats, did not file manifests listing the names of passengers, Moss said.
In the Columbia County lawsuit, Sportsflight was sued by an upstate New York firm, Richmor Aviation Inc., which complained that it had not been fully compensated for its services. The case was decided in Richmor's favor.
Documents filed with the New York secretary of state's office show Sportsflight Air Inc. was incorporated on April 25, 1997, with its principal executive office at 460 New York Ave., Huntington. Its principal executive was listed as Donald Moss, of the same address.
Sportsflight is now listed as inactive, with a dissolution date of July 9, 2010.
Sportsflight Air's attorneys of record, Sommer & Heller Llp, of Commack, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday on the Columbia County suit.