FBI investigates anonymous threat calls against six US-bound international flights

25 May 2015 (Last Updated May 25th, 2015 18:30)

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation into a series of anonymous telephone threats that triggered security concerns at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation into a series of anonymous telephone threats that triggered security concerns at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

A threat call was received by the Maryland State Police about an Air France flight containing a chemical weapon, which prompted two US fighter jets to escort the plane as a precaution.

FBI said in a statement: "Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F Kennedy (JFK) airport by US Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat.

"There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew."

"There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared."

Similar calls were made about a Saudi Arabian Airlines plane flying to JFK from Jeddah, and a New York bound American Airlines flight from Birmingham, UK.

American Airlines spokesman Kent Powell said the pilot was initially instructed to land and taxi to a remote area at a distance from the airport but was later cleared to go to the terminal when the call was found to be a hoax, reported the Associated Press.

A Delta Airlines flight from London and a United Airlines flight from Madrid that were heading towards Newark, New Jersey were also targeted by the anonymous caller.

Another hoax threat was directed towards a flight from Paris flying to the Boston International airport.

The FBI, which screened each of the flights to find nothing, suspects that all the calls came from the same source.


Image: An Air France flight flying to the John F Kennedy airport was the first to receive the threat. Photo: courtesy of Air France.