Two Air France jets were diverted Tuesday after receiving bomb threats forcing them to land in Salt Lake City and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The incidents come amid heightened fears of terrorism after the deadly attacks in Paris on Friday, which killed 129 people. Passengers were exiting the plane as the FBI and airport police began investigating, according to KSL. The investigation was expected to last a few hours, the news organization reported.
Air France Flight 55 from Washington Dulles had 234 people aboard, and Flight 65 from Los Angeles had 473 aboard; Flight 55 was a Boeing 777 and Flight 65 was an Airbus 380. The FBI in Salt Lake City said it was one of several law enforcement agencies responding. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it was using police dogs trained to detect explosives to sweep the plane that landed at Halifax at around 10:15 p.m. Passengers got off both planes safely and were taken to terminals. Authorities in both the U.S. and Canada were preparing to search the planes with dogs, officials said. The FBI was taking over the investigation of the plane in Salt Lake City, which was diverted because of a threat received by phone after takeoff, Salt Lake airport spokeswoman Bianca Shreeve said.
Earlier Tuesday, there was a security scare aboard a London-to-Boston British Airways flight after a woman allegedly tried to open the plane’s emergency exit door mid-flight, officials said. Local police said the passenger was intoxicated and was not linked to terrorism. NORAD spokesman said that no military aircraft were scrambled in response to the Air France incidents. The FBI released a statement acknowledging the bomb threats.
As you may have heard an aircraft was diverted and safely landed at the Salt Lake International Airport this evening. The FBI and it’s law enforcement partners take all threats very seriously and respond accordingly. Several law enforcement agencies are working in concert, following established protocol, to determine the nature of the threats which caused the aircraft to divert. At this time we have no further information, we will update, to the extent possible, as information is gathered.”
Russian officials confirmed Tuesday that a passenger jet that crashed in Egypt Oct. 31 was brought down by a bomb. The terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for that crash, which killed all 224 people on board. In Europe, a dragnet widened Tuesday to include a second fugitive suspected of having taken part in the Paris terrorist attacks, as officials tried to make sense of a torrent of emerging intelligence about the planning and execution of the attacks. The police in France and Belgium continued their pursuit of one fugitive, Salah Abdeslam, 26, a Frenchman who is believed to have escaped to Brussels, while two French officials — who were briefed on the investigation but not authorized to discuss operational details — said Tuesday evening that the authorities were looking for an accomplice who was directly involved in the attacks..