US-bound flights subject of anonymous threats

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The Air France plane is being searched after landing safety in New YorkImage source, Twitter
Image caption,
The Air France plane was searched in a secure area of JFK airport after landing safety in New York

Two US fighter jets have escorted an Air France airliner bound for New York City, one of a number of US-bound flights that was the subject of anonymous threats.

US officials said they had received a call claiming that there was a "chemical weapons threat" aboard.

Air France Flight 22, from Paris, was searched after landing in a secure area of JFK Airport.

The FBI said later that no hazards had been found and the plane was cleared.

It was one of several threats, possibly from the same source, made against US-bound commercial airliners on Monday, authorities said.

"Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F Kennedy airport by US Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat," said FBI spokesman J Peter Donald.

"The plane has landed and has deboarded. There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared."

An anonymous call was made to a Maryland State Police barracks at 06:30 local time (10:30 GMT) on Monday and the FBI was immediately told.

Not credible

Although the threat was not considered credible, two F-15 planes were scrambled as a precautionary measure, joint US-Canadian monitoring force Norad said.

According to ABC News, the planes followed the Air France A-330 jet into US airspace but out of sight of passengers and crew.

A Saudi Airlines flight that had recently landed at JFK was also searched because of another threat, officials said.

Another threat was made against an American Airlines plane flying from Birmingham, England, to JFK, airline spokesman Kent Powell said.

The flight was initially told to land and taxi to a remote area, but officials later told the pilot that the threat was not credible and cleared the plane to go to the terminal, he added.