As France deals with the devastating terrorist attacks on Paris this week, aftershocks continue to sweep the vulnerable nation. One such incident saw Air France flight AF1741 grounded in Amsterdam at the Schiphol Airport after receiving bomb threats via Twitter, linking the threats to the recent Paris attacks.
According to the Daily Mail, the Twitter account JihadiJohn8 posted the following messages, which have since been deleted, resulting in the flight being grounded.
“Forget #Russia? Wait for what will happen on flight AF1741 from #Amsterdam to #Paris.. #ParisAttacks.
“Yesterday Paris and now @BrusselsAirport and @Schiphol will be attacked very soon by our brothers. #ParisAttacks #isis.”
— Henk van Ess (@henkvaness) November 14, 2015
Certainly, whether these messages turn out to be a hoax, or a deadly, serious warning, they needed to be addressed in an appropriate manner. Air France responded in a quick bid to keep their passengers safe by ensuring the flight was grounded and evacuated. The flight was due to land at the Charles de Gaulle airport a little after 6:00 p.m., but remained grounded in Amsterdam pending inspection.
It is interesting to note that, although the French borders have been firmly closed, flights continue to arrive in the country. Perhaps this incident with Flight AF1741 will encourage a change in the wide open, normally functioning airports across France. Although the airports remain open, many airlines have suspended flights to France at this time.
#AirFranceFlight GROUNDED at Amsterdam airport after terror threats https://t.co/2srFHrPs5k pic.twitter.com/FbA7U630wn
— Karen Craft (@KarenCra77) November 15, 2015
The Sputnik News reports the flight landed at its scheduled stop in Amsterdam, where it was grounded. Passengers were then evacuated, and authorities went through the aircraft carefully with the aid of bomb sniffing dogs. There is reportedly no link between the grounded flight and the Paris attacks. A spokesperson from Air France confirmed the details.
“The flight is grounded. We received threats by Twitter this afternoon. All passenger were disembarked. We are making an inspection of the plane with dogs.”
The tweeted reference to #Russia refers to the flight of Russian Airbus A321, which crashed in late October. The flight disembarked from Sharm el-Sheikh, and was headed to St. Petersburg, Russia. Sadly, there were no survivors, all 224 passengers on the flight perished in the crash.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 13, 2015
ISIS, or the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for both the crashing of Russian Airbus A321 as well as the terrorist attacks on Paris. It remains to be seen if the Twitter threats that grounded Air France Flight AF1741 is truly from the Islamic State, or simply a hoax.
Either way, France has taken a strong, united stand against their enemy. President Francois Hollande has called the attacks on Paris an “act of war,” promising merciless retaliation for the devastation brought on the iconic city.
Buzzfeed published Hollande’s speech regarding the terrorist attacks, a portion of which can be read below.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area.
This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us.
We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.
In these difficult moments, we must — and I’m thinking of the many victims, their families, and the injured — show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.
Faced with terror, France must be strong, she must be great, and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.”
The fact that Air France grounded the flight that was on its way to Paris is proof that they are taking safety very seriously. Fortunately, everyone on the grounded flight made it off the plane in good health. That may not have been the case had they not decided to err on the side of caution, and ensure the grounded flight was clean before continuing on its journey.
[Image via Shutterstock]