Anonymous Threats Prompt Four Plane Searches at NYC-Area Airports
An executive at music publishing, marketing and management firm Primary Wave was among those on board an Air France flight escorted to JFK airport by U.S. Air Force fighter jets.
Anonymous telephone threats against commercial airliners, possibly from the same source, caused a scare on Monday involving four international flights at airports in New York and New Jersey.
Authorities said the threats did not appear to be credible. They described searches done on three of the jets as a precaution.
In one instance Monday morning, U.S. military jets escorted an Air France flight into New York City after someone claimed a chemical weapon was aboard the aircraft, the FBI said.
"Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F. Kennedy airport by U.S. Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat," the FBI said in a statement. "There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared."
A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight arriving at Kennedy was also being checked out because of another threat, authorities said.
A third threat was made against an American Airlines jet flying from Birmingham, England, to Kennedy while it was still in the air, said airline spokesman Kent Powell. Authorities initially told the pilot to land and taxi to a remote area away from the terminal but later radioed that the threat was not credible and cleared the plane to go to the terminal, Powell said.
At Newark Liberty International Airport, passengers were removed from a United Airlines flight after it arrived from Madrid, said United spokeswoman Mary Clark. The plane was being inspected Monday afternoon at a spot away from the terminal.
Maryland State Police said they received an anonymous call at the McHenry barracks in the western part of the state threatening commercial aviation about 6:30 a.m. Monday and referred it to the FBI. They declined to comment further.
Seth Faber, vp artist development at music publishing, marketing and management firm Primary Wave, was on board the Air France flight. He told the New York Post that he and other passengers didn't know what was going on until they landed. "I saw about 40 SWAT cars and police cars along with FBI and about five fire trucks," he told The Post. "We landed and I jumped on Twitter and read about what was happening. First I figured the president was here or a dignitary.”
He also tweeted the below to the New York ABC affiliate, in response to one of their tweets about the situation.
@ABC7NY we are all calm on flight and just waiting around.— Seth Faber (@SLFaber) May 25, 2015
Faber, who also serves as an adjunct professor of music marketing at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, is the co-founder of Primary Wave's electronic dance-music division, co-managing artists like Audien and others. Prior to joining Primary Wave, Faber was manager of artist development at the Island Def Jam Music Group. Before that, he worked in A&R and marketing for the RCA Music Group. He was on Billboard's "30 Under 30" list of powerful industry figures in 2009.