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HYSTERIA REIGNS ABROAD LA FLIGHT

by AP story lifted from the Guardian Saturday, Sep. 29, 2001 at 1:47 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1202484,00.html

Airliner Returns To Los Angeles Amidst Fear Of Terrorism

Friday September 28, 2001 3:00 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A passenger allegedly uttered an

anti-American threat during a confrontation with flight attendants

Thursday, prompting an airliner to return to Los Angeles under

escort by Air Force jet fighters.

The FBI identified the passenger as Javid Naghani, an Iranian

citizen in the United States legally. He was in custody Thursday

evening being questioned by investigators, said FBI

spokeswoman Laura Bosley.

Authorities would not describe the threat.

``Shortly after departure a male passenger was apprehended

smoking in the lavatory,'' said Nicole Couture-Simard,

spokeswoman for Air Canada in Montreal. ``The passenger

became verbally abusive and uttered an anti-American threat.''

The confrontation aboard Air Canada Flight 792 to Toronto was

resolved without further incident, and the plane landed safely

less than an hour after takeoff, authorities said.

Naghani was traveling on the Boeing 767 with a woman. She

was also being questioned but was not under arrest, Bosley

said.

A third man was being questioned as a material witness, said

Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman.

Couture-Simard said it was not necessary to restrain the

passenger.

``The pilot elected to return to Los Angeles as a precautionary

measure only,'' she said.

There were 145 people on the plane, including a crew of seven,

said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman. The jet returned

to the airport around 1:15 p.m. and passengers were booked on

the next flight.

Two F-16s escorted the Air Canada flight into the airport,

authorities said. Castles said the jets were likely responding to

a Federal Aviation Administration request after the pilot of the

767 described the situation to the FAA.

The incident occurred as Gov. Gray Davis was traveling to an

airport press conference on a shuttle bus.

``We were about five minutes out of Lot C when those two jets

buzzed the airport, so we knew something was up,'' said Davis,

who announced a call-up of National Guard troops to bolster

security, then took a flight to San Francisco to demonstrate

confidence in air travel.

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Warm secure feeling ! Saturday, Sep. 29, 2001 at 3:49 AM
Where the economy is headed the real US government Saturday, Sep. 29, 2001 at 5:45 AM
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