A series of anonymous phone threats against at least 6 commercial airliners in New York, New Jersey, and Boston on Monday forced authorities to conduct searches.
Two fighter jets escorted Air France Flight 22, an Airbus A-330 out of Charles De Gaulle Airport, to John F. Kennedy Airport, after anonymous threats were made against the flight.
Someone who did not identify himself called the Maryland State Police Fusion Center around 6:45 a.m. Monday morning using from an untraceable number and spoke of a “chemical weapons threat” aboard the flight, ABC 7 reports. The caller said four flights had devices onboard but specified only the Air France flight.
The flight was searched after it landed, and in a statement, the FBI said no weapons were found and the Air France plane has since been checked and cleared with “no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew.”
According to The Guardian, another plane, owned by Saudi Arabian Airlines, was also taken to a remote area at JKF and searched after a similar threat was made against that flight. It was cleared and passengers were brought back to the terminal.
A third threat had been made against an American Airlines flight flying from Birmingham, England while it was still in the air. The pilot was initially instructed to taxi to a remote area, but the threat was determined not credible and the plane was cleared to go to the terminal. No search was conducted of the flight.
The fourth and fifth threat were directed at two flights to Newark, New Jersey — a Delta Airlines flight from London and a United Airlines flight from Madrid. Passengers were removed from a United Airlines flight after it arrived in New Jersey from Madrid, and the plane was being inspected on Monday afternoon at a spot away from the terminal.
A sixth threat also turned up negative for a Delta flight from Paris to Logan Airport in Boston, authorities said.
The FBI believes the same caller was behind all six threats.