U.S. Military jets escorted an Air France airliner to New York City’s Kennedy Airport after a threat was made against the flight.
The FBI states that they scrambled jets, Monday morning after an anonymous caller claimed there was a chemical weapon aboard the aircraft.
Authorities state the airliner landed without incident and a thorough search turned up nothing out of the ordinary in terms of a chemical weapon.
Sources in law enforcement told Fox 5 that they were concerned about a plot to disrupt and delay air travel in the New York area, on the last day of the Memorial Day weekend.
Two other incoming Kennedy flights reported the same concerns, one a Saudi Airlines and the other an American Airlines flight. Two incoming flights into Newark Liberty Airport will be subjected to special screening and weapons detection. One of those flights called in a possible bomb threat, and the other a similar “chemical weapons” threat.
The “anonymous” threat was made via a phone call to a Maryland State Police barracks on Monday morning, according to a Reuters report.
“The caller made a bomb threat involving commercial aviation,” the Maryland State Police said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the FBI’s New York field office said the plane was escorted to JFK by U.S. Air Force fighter jets, “out of an abundance of caution” following a phoned in threat.
The plane landed, it was de-boarded and was immediately cleared with no threats detected, Peter Donald FBI spokesperson reported to Fox 5. Air France has not yet responded with a comment.
According to a U. S. Military spokesperson, there were no additional threats reported against commercial airliners.
Monday’s incident was the first time a U.S. fighter jet have had to escort a private or commercial aircraft since Feb. 13th, when two F-15s followed a general aircraft that was out of communication while flying in a restricted airspace near San Francisco.