Authorities Search Two Planes in NYC After Receiving “Bomb Threat”

Air France plane

A series of anonymous phone threats against commercial airliners on Monday forced authorities to conduct searches of two flights at New York’s Kennedy Airport and briefly delayed a third flight, authorities said.

U.S. military jets escorted an Air France airliner to JFK after a threat was made against the flight, authorities said.

The FBI, which believes the threats may have been made by the same caller, says the jets scrambled Monday morning after an anonymous caller claimed there was a weapon aboard the aircraft. The agency says it also received similar threats against another airliner operated by Saudi Arabia Airlines.

A New York-bound American Airlines flight from Birmingham, England was briefly held on the tarmac after a threat against it, said American Airlines spokesman Kent Powell said.

Authorities initially told the pilot to land and taxi to a remote area away from the terminal but later radioed that the threat was not credible and cleared the plane to go to the terminal minutes after it landed. Powell said no search was conducted of the flight.

The Air France and Saudi Arabia Airlines flights were searched, turning up no weapons.

The Maryland State Police said it received an anonymous call at about 6:30 a.m. of a “bomb threat” aboard the Air France flight. Officials at the FBI and the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, the state’s fusion center, were immediately notified about the call, the state police said in a statement. The threat was more specifically a “chemical weapons” threat, ABC News reported.

U.S. officials tried to reach Air France representatives after learning of the threat, but were unsuccessful because it is a state holiday in France.

We confirm flight landed safely at JFK where passengers disembarked normally. Aircraft inspection ongoing.
10:59 AM – 25 May 2015

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