According to the State Department's latest country report on terrorism, which covers 2009, "President [Hugo] Chavez continued to strengthen Venezuela's relationship with state sponsor of terrorism Iran. Iran and Venezuela continued weekly Iran Airlines flights connecting Tehran and Damascus with Caracas."
A 2007 report went further, raising concerns about the travelers from Syria and Iran who might be onboard. It said in part, "Passengers on these flights were not subject to immigration and customs controls at Simon Bolivar International Airport" in Caracas.
It also noted that one passenger who bought a ticket on the route that year was Abdul Kadir, who was convicted this month of plotting a 2007 attack on fuel pipelines for New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was arrested on a plane bound for Caracas and never made his connection for the flight to Iran.
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