Delta flight # 273 from Paris to Atlanta and carrying 235 passengers and 8 crew landed in Bangor, Maine after a passenger said his suitcase contained explosives, reports the AP and Huffington Post.
This flight was an Airbus A330. Federal air marshals on board the plane stepped in to quell the disturbance. NORAD did not have to send up fighter jets over this incident.
The passenger who made the threat, Derek Stansberry, is an American in his 20s. He was previously in the military. He was carrying an American passport, which authorities have said is real, though the passenger said the passport was a fake.
Was this incident an example of someone making threats to get attention or for some more ominous reason? Al Qaeda is still making threats against America. Thus any unusual incident needs a full investigation to ensure it does not involve terrorism.
No Dangerous Items Found
MSNBC reports that the passenger was interrogated by federal officials. Neither his shoes nor backpack had any explosives or other dangerous items.
Passengers are Safe
The plane has landed. All passengers of flight #273 are safe. The passenger Adithya Sastry told Huffington Post: “We were told there was some danger and some threats made, but beyond that we weren’t told anything else.”
Passengers were relocated from the back of the plane to isolate the young man who made the threats. Air marshals controlled him until the flight landed in Maine.
Is Terrorism on Flights to be Expected?
With President Obama trying to work out a peace treaty in the Middle East and with all the recent uproar over depictions of Mohammad on the TV show South Park, there has been an upswing on issues that inflame terrorists lately.
Time will tell if this was just a random act of some silly young man, or if it had deeper meaning and possibly was linked to terrorism.
It has been less than a year since the “undie bomber” tried to blow up a flight over Detroit. And since then the CIA has been more aggressive about announcing its intent to capture or kill Anwar al Awlaki, a rogue American Imam who is trying to recruit young Americans into al Qaeda. Anwar al Awlaki is a threat to America. He and Osama bin Laden have evil intent to our country.
As long as they are both free Americans on flights need to be very cautious and very aware of their surroundings. Traveling by air now requires people to be ever vigilant and watchful for suspicious behavior.