NORAD scrambles F-16 Fighter jets to escort two Airline flights On Sept 11, 2011.
One was to New York City and the other to Detroit.
Passengers use of the bathrooms aroused suspicions Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
On a Los Angeles-to-New York American Airlines flight 34, 3 passengers made multiple trips to the lav. The 3 were cleared after the plane landed safely at New York’s Kennedy Airport.
Earlier in the day on a Denver-to-Detroit Frontier Airlines flight 623, the flight crew reported that 2 people were spending “an extraordinarily long time” in the lavatory.
Police detained 3 passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after the plane landed and they were released after questioning.
The FBI said the jets followed the planes “out of an abundance of caution.”
American Airlines plane’s captain never declared a security threat and never asked for law enforcement help. A security concern was brought to the airline’s attention and the crew used normal procedures to assess the circumstances and the plane landed.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) scrambled two F-16 jets to shadow American Airlines Flight 34 until it landed safely.
On that flight 3 passengers made repeated trips to the latrine and thought they were using hand signals to communicate. 2 of the men were Israeli and one was Russian, the official said, adding that they were cleared and sent on their way.
The FBI said that the jets were sent to escort the flight “out of an abundance of caution.” The FBI interviewed passengers and found no nexus to terrorism.
The same scenario played out on Frontier Flight 623. NORAD sent two Air Force F-16 fighter jets to follow the aircraft until it landed safely. The aircraft had 116 passengers on board and landed without incident.
The Airbus 318 landed and taxied away from the terminal. The 3 were escorted off the plane in handcuffs included 2 men and 1 woman.
Flight 623 originated in San Diego before stopping at Denver International Airport on its way to Detroit.
In Denver the FBI said NORAD scrambled F-16 fighter jets to follow the airliner “out of an abundance of caution.” The plane was searched and nothing was found. Everyone sat quietly as air marshals got on board and headed for the back of the plane.