NYC-Bound Flight Grounded After ‘Non-Credible’ Threat

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Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

An American Airlines flight bound for New York from San Francisco was grounded for five hours after a phoned-in hijacking threat, which has since been deemed “non credible” by the San Francisco police and other law-enforcement authorities. After the call, the plane was taken to a remote location where passengers were interviewed and re-screened while the airplane was searched. An original report said two people were taken off the plane in handcuffs in conjunction with the threat, but the AP is reporting that the removed couple told authorities they were “picked at random for questioning.” A Yale sophomore on the flight posited their appearance may have led to their selection: "It definitely seems like it was racial profiling, based on what they look like physically and the fact they are Pakistani …. It seems like this was a false accusation," he told the AP. (Other passengers refuted this claim, explaining the twosome “looked like typical Californians.”) The FBI confirmed two passengers were taken off the plane “separately,” but refused to “discuss the specifics why.”

Jetliner grounded in San Francisco after threat [AP via MSNBC]
Hijack threat grounds New York-bound flight in San Francisco [NYP]