Jan 27 2015
F-16 Fighter Jets scrambled and flights diverted after several weekend TWITTER threats to U.S. airlines by alleged supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS)
Five planes throughout the United States were diverted or immediately grounded due to various security threats over the weekend.
Washington Post Two flights bound for Atlanta were escorted by the fighter jets to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday because of the Twitter threats, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) confirmed to The Washington Post.
Twitter messages to Southwest Airlines said:
“A bomb was placed on SWA2492. It will be detonated at a random time of my choosing,” it read, adding: “If anything happens to me I’ll make sure that more flights are targeted. I strongly suggest you don’t try anything stupid.”
That account has since been suspended, and it is unclear whether these messages prompted the NORAD response.
More security concerns caused authorities to evacuate two flights — a JetBlue flight from Long Beach, Calif., and a regional SkyWest plane traveling from Phoenix — upon their arrival at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Passengers were removed from the planes and bused to their gates from the airport’s third runway, according to the Associated Press.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said social media threats were responsible for the extra precautions on those flights, according to the AP.
Delta Flight 1156 from Portland, Ore., and Southwest Flight 2492 from Milwaukee landed safely, according to NORAD’s Preston Schlachter.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Twitter user directed several messages at the Delta account, claiming to have put a bomb on one of its planes.
“@FOXNEWS WE HAVE PLANTED EXPLOSIVES ON DELTA FLIGHT #1061 FROM LA TO ORLANDO, WE ARE ISIS, WE ARE HERE, YOU WONT BE,” the tweet said, according to the station.
About 4 p.m. Saturday, another Delta flight, 1061 from Los Angeles to Orlando, was diverted to Dallas because of “security” concerns, the airline said.