Alaska Airlines Terrorist Scare Apparently a Hoax
Fighter jets escorted a passenger jet on its way from Hawaii to Seattle after a phone call to the FBI
ANCHORAGE - What began as a response to a potential terrorist threat is now being called a hoax.
Two Oregon-based F-15 fighter jets escorted an Alaska Airlines plane from Kona, Hawaii to Seattle, Washington after federal authorities in Honolulu got an anonymous tip that one of the passengers on board was a potential hijacker.
An airline spokesperson said the flight’s crew members kept an eye on the person, who slept through most of the flight.
Once the plane landed FBI agents interviewed the man for about two hours and determined he was not a threat.
Fairbanks resident Chelsea Held was on the flight with her two kids and said she didn’t know about the potential threat she faced until she got home.
“It is scary. My husband was at home following the news, and he couldn't get ahold of us, so he was the one that went through all the emotions. He was really freaked out. Now I can look back on it and say it was scary, but it was a hoax,” said Held.
Honolulu’s FBI office said agents are now working to find the anonymous tipster and why he or she named that passenger in particular. Anyone caught lying to federal agents faces five to eight years behind bars.
As for the passenger the FBI says he was cooperative and completely baffled as to why anyone would consider him a potential hijacker or terrorist.