Anonymous threats against airliners prompt plane searches in New York

NEW YORK — Anonymous telephone threats against commercial airliners on Monday, possibly from the same source, caused a scare involving at least five international flights at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Authorities said the threats did not appear to be credible. They described searches done on the jets as a precaution.

In one instance Monday morning, U.S. military jets escorted an Air France flight into New York City after someone claimed a chemical weapon was aboard the aircraft, the FBI said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F. Kennedy airport by U.S. Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat,” the FBI said in a statement. “There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared.”

A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight arriving at Kennedy also was being checked out because of another threat, authorities said.

A third threat was made against an American Airlines jet flying from Birmingham, England, to Kennedy while it was still in the air, airline spokesman Kent Powell said. Authorities initially told the pilot to land and taxi to a remote area away from the terminal but later radioed that the threat was not credible and cleared the plane to go to the terminal, Powell said.

At Newark Liberty International Airport, passengers were removed from a United Airlines flight after it arrived from Madrid, United spokeswoman Mary Clark said. The plane was inspected Monday afternoon at a spot away from the terminal.

A threat also was made against a Paris-to-Boston airliner but was deemed not credible, Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Matthew Brelis said. He didn’t know the circumstances of the threat or if the plane was searched.

Maryland State Police said they received an anonymous call at the McHenry barracks in the western part of the state threatening commercial aviation about 6:30 a.m. Monday and referred it to the FBI. They declined to comment further.

More in Local News

School closures and late starts for Friday

Check back for updates, or with your school for the latest information.

Washington Supreme Court OKs lesser version of carbon cap

The Clean Air Rule had been struck down by a lower court after it was challenged by business groups.

Coming Sunday: Unauthorized marinas on the Snohomish River

This week on “Herald Headlines,” reporter Joey Thompson previews a story about boats parked illegally.

Dog found dead after mini storage fire in Snohomish

Snohomish County Fire District 4 said firefighters didn’t find anyone in three damaged units.

Nurses at Swedish say they’ll deliver 10-day strike notice

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW announced Thursday members will file a strike notice at each hospital campus.

Whidbey port working on overnight ferry parking in Mukilteo

A parking garage has been discussed for more than a decade. Now it finally might happen.

Front Porch

EVENTS Hitchcock film fest The Whidbey Island Film Festival’s “The Master of… Continue reading

A nuclear research facility is about to open in Everett

TerraPower, an energy firm founded by Bill Gates, will open a 65,000-square-foot lab near Paine Field.

Body of Snohomish elementary teacher found near Mill Creek

Kathleen Jenks’ death from hypothermia was determined to be an accident. She’d been missing two days.

Most Read