Looking out the window towards the end of a transatlantic flight and noticing an air force fighter jet cruising alongside as you approach New York can be a disconcerting experience.That was the sight which greeted passengers on an Air France flight from Paris as they headed toward New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport mid morning. It turned out the two US Air Force F-15 fighters had been scrambled to escort the plane after an anonymous threat was made against the flight.
Police said an anonymous threatening call was made to the Maryland State Police from a phone within the US. The caller had made a bomb threat involving commercial aviation.
US media, citing an inside source, said the mystery phone caller made a threat referring to chemical weapons in connection with the plane. Fighter jets had been scrambled as a precaution when the crew of the Air France flight couldn’t be contacted immediately.
Even more mysterious, the same inside source said about 10 similar threats were made against US-bound flights on Monday – all by the same person. Terrorist, maniac, deranged prankster or someone suffering a mental illness? That’s the question FBI investigators are striving to answer.
The plane was taken to a secure area of the airport and searched but nothing was found.
Written by Peter Needham