Emirates Flight Stopped on Runway at JFK

Official says incident stemmed from case of mistaken identity of one passenger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    How close was supect to leaving the country? (Published Thursday, May 6, 2010)

    An Emirates Airline flight was called back to the gate at JFK airport because of a security concern that turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, senior government officials confirm.

    Sources told NBC that Emirates flight 204 was ready to take off for Dubai when it was told to return to the gate. Officials later said they stopped the flight over concerns a passenger on board may have been on the federal no-fly list, but an investigation revealed there was no match.

    Another official said the incident involved two people -- a man and a woman. One of those people appeared to be on a Customs and Border Protection List, not a Transportation Security Administration no-fly list.

    Customs officials contacted the radio tower and said to stop the plane because they wanted to speak with the two individuals. They did speak with the people, one official said, and authorities now appear ready to clear the flight.

    The incident comes just days after the primary suspect in a failed attempt to detonate a bomb in Times Square attempted to leave the country on an Emirates flight. Faisal Shahzad's name was also on the federal no-fly list, and the the plane was called back to the gate just moments before it took off for Dubai.

    Stay with NBCNewYork.com for more information as it becomes available.