Air France Flight Escorted After Threat: FBI - NBC New York

Air France Flight Escorted After Threat: FBI

The threat was among several directed at airplanes on Memorial Day, sources say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Caller Phones in 10 Phony Airline Threats

    The threatened flights included two planes that arrived at JFK and two others that landed safely in Newark. Marc Santia reports. (Published Monday, May 25, 2015)

    An Air France flight was screened at JFK airport Monday because of reports of a chemical threat on board, the FBI said. 

    "I was scared," Kelsey Straight, who was on board the Air France flight, said. "Could be a bomb on board, that's the first thing going through my mind."

    The threat was one of 10 directed at airplanes Monday; all were deemed not credible. The FBI believes a single person made all the threats, claiming chemical weapons were on board. 

    "Thank God it's over and we're safe," Etty Meledt, of Brooklyn, said.

    Two military jets escorted Air France Flight 22 as a precaution at 10,000 feet, but didn't land at JFK. Port Authority Police swept the plane out of an abundance of caution. Every piece of luggage was searched and every passenger was screened.

    "EMTs, fire, police, FBI, you name it they were all there," Air France passenger Bob Shurak, of Westchester, said.

    Authorities said the threats didn't appear to be credible and the searches were done as a precaution.

    "There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared," FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald said in a statement. 

    Two other threatened planes landed at JFK and another two landed at Newark.

    At JFK, a threat against American Airlines flight 131 arriving from England was deemed not credible and the flight was cleared by authorities, an airline spokesman said. Authorities say a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight also cleared. 

    The two planes threatened at Newark airport were cleared, said Celeste Danzi, spokeswoman for the FBI in Newark.

    -- NBC News Reporter Jay Blackman contributed to this report

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