Reports say military F-15 fighter jets escorted a Alaska Airlines flight over a hijacking hoax. After someone reportedly told the FBI there was a hijacker on board an Alaska Airlines flight, two F-15 fighter jets were sent to escort it safely to its destination.
FBI spokesman Tom Simon told reporters that the supposed hijacker reported by the caller has been cleared and released after questioning.
According to Fox News, the hijacking threat was called into the FBI’s office in Honolulu, and the bureau subsequently informed local authorities in Seattle of the call. Simon says that the passenger on the flight in question did not show any erratic behavior.
Flight 819 arrived at Sea-Tac Airport without incident shortly after 7 pm. The FBI is reported to have detained and questioned a passenger who had apparently slept through the flight. The FBI’s interview between the suspected passenger and an FBI spokeswoman revealed that the agency was “not anticipating an arrest.”
Seattle FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said the agent’s interview with the unidentified man lasted nearly two hours, and the suspect was said to be cooperative according to Fox News:
“I can tell you any threats or tips we receive we take seriously in case they’re a credible threat. We certainly get a number of calls that turn out to be not credible.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, the focus of the investigation now turns to the caller, about whom Simon declined to provide any details:
“We reserve the right to investigate what appears to be a hoax phone call. We’ll let the world know if any charges are filed.”
Making a false statement to the FBI is a federal crime, and a phoned-in hijacking hoax takes personnel away from potentially real emergencies. Pulling two F-15 fighter jets to escort the Alaskan Airlines flight is enough to demand explanation and incur arrest over a serious offense.