UK & World News
Jets Scrambled After Implant Bomb Threat
Fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a passenger plane after a French woman claimed to have a surgically implanted bomb in her body.
US Airways flight 787 was carrying 188 passengers and crew from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina, in the US.
But two F-15 fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane as it approached the US coast after the woman passed a note to a flight attendant saying she had a device sewn into her body.
The crew reported that the cockpit was secure before landing in Bangor, Maine, and taxiing to an isolated area away from the airport terminal, according to a recording of air traffic control communication with the plane.
The female passenger, described as a French citizen born in Cameroon, was removed from the aircraft and questioned by Customs and Border Protection before being taken into custody by the FBI.
The device was not identified but two doctors on the flight reportedly examined the woman and did not find any sign of recent scars.
Officials said there are no indications that the incident was connected to terrorism.The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a statement the plane was diverted out of "an abundance of caution" where it was met by law enforcement.
Passengers also were interviewed and authorities believe they were never in any danger, an FBI official in Boston said.
The flight resumed to Charlotte later in the afternoon without further incident, the airline said.
It comes after the recent disclosure of a foiled plot by al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate to bomb a US-bound plane, and apparent US security directives about continued extremist interest in targeting aviation and the ways in which they are trying to circumvent airport security with imaginative weapons.
"We have seen intelligence identifying surgically implanted bombs as a threat to air travel," said US Senator Susan Collins, the senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.
The woman was apparently travelling alone without any checked baggage and was due to visit America for 10 days.