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Thu, May 24, 2012

Trans-Atlantic Flight Diverted To Bangor For Security Issue

Passenger Said She Had A “Surgically Implanted Device”

A US Airways 767 flying from Paris to North Carolina was diverted to Bangor, Maine on Tuesday after a passenger handed a note to a flight attendant saying she had a surgically implanted device, thus raising concerns of a terror threat previously warned about by security officials. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said that an examination by two doctors aboard the plane found that the passenger, a French citizen born in Cameroon, had no scars or incisions. An FBI spokesman said there is no evidence the plane was ever in danger, and the aircraft with 179 passengers and 9 crew landed safely shortly after noon.

The Washington Post reports that the FBI and Homeland Security Dept. warned airlines last summer that terrorists are considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade detection by airport security. “We have seen intelligence identifying surgically implanted bombs as a threat to air travel,” said Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

After landing, Flight 787 taxied to a remote part of the airport where law enforcement officials removed the passenger. “We saw lots of police and federal customs people take a woman off the plane in handcuffs,” passenger Stuart Frankel said. “People were amazed at what was going on. We didn’t know what was happening until we landed.”

After the woman was removed from the flight, passengers were informed that they’d have to leave while the jet was checked for explosives. The passengers were kept in a secure area before being allowed back onto the jet, which departed 3 1/2 hours later for Charlotte, N.C.

FMI: www.tsa.gov, www.faa.gov

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