Wednesday, August 23, 2006

12 arrested after Northwest flight was diverted just after takeoff


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Dutch F-16s escorted a Northwest Airlines flight bound for India back to an airport here Wednesday after the pilot radioed for help, and police arrested 12 passengers who had aroused suspicions, authorities said.

[...] While Flight NO0042 was over German airspace shortly after takeoff, the pilot radioed for permission to return to Schiphol Airport and asked for an escort of jet fighters because some of the passengers were acting suspiciously, the Defense Ministry said.

"A number of them behaved, in the opinion of the crew, in a suspicious manner," said the ministry. "As a result, the captain asked to return to Schiphol."

A U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said crew members and air marshals observed the passengers trying to use cell phones and passing them among themselves while the airliner was taking off.

This is just the world we live in now...

Memo to all airline passengers: Don't do anything suspicious. Unless you want to get arrested...

UPDATED @ 3:53pm: CNN reports air marshals were on board and were instrumental in making the call to return to Amsterdam along with the pilot.