U.S. military jets escorted an Air France flight Monday after the aircraft had received a threat. According to the FBI, an anonymous caller said that there was a chemical weapon on the airliner.
The jets escorted Air France Flight 22 safely to New York's Kennedy Airport. Thereafter, a thorough search was performed on the flight but no chemical weapon was found.
Reuters reported that this was not the first time U.S. military jets escorted a commercial aircraft. On Feb. 13, two F-15s were summoned after a general aviation aircraft had lost contact while moving in a restricted zone near San Francisco.
Air France Flight 22 was traveling from Charles de Gaulle Airport. The anonymous threat was made through a telephone call to Maryland State Police.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed that the jets had escorted the French flight. "Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F. Kennedy airport by U.S. Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat," CBS News quoted the FBI statement. "There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew.”
Navy Lieutenant Commander Richlyn Ivey said that the fighter jets had been launched as a precautionary measure. The spokesperson for U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command said that no additional threat related to commercial flights had been reported to the command.
Fox News reported that a couple of other flights had similar concerns. One was an American Airlines flight, while the other was a Saudi Airlines flight. FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald said that no crew or passenger had reported any hazardous incident on the Air France flight.
There were around 10 threats against various airlines Monday. It's believed that all were made by one person.