273 passengers from a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were evacuated by Swedish police on Saturday after the jest was diverted to Stockholm due to a bomb alert. A passenger was detained on suspicion of preparing aircraft sabotage, officials said.
After no explosives were found on the man, he was released. The police questioned the passenger form the Boeing 777. All of the passengers, except the suspect, were allowed back on the plane after nine hours.
The plane had taken off from Manchester, England, and was flying to Karachi, Pakistan, Jan Lindqvist, a spokesman for airport operator Swedavia said. The flight was travelling from Toronto to Karachi. But the pilot was asked to land by Canadian authorities, who claimed to have received a tip that a passenger was carrying explosives.
It is still being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whether the incident was a “terrorism hoax.”
After the flight had landed, a SWAT team detained the suspect as he was evacuated from the aircraft along with the other passengers. The police described the suspect as a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin, aged about 30. His identity was still not confirmed.
According to a spokesman for the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines, the suspect was a 25-year-old Canadian national.
Police operation leader Stefan Radman said the tip was “called in by a woman in Canada.” He added that Swedish police took the threat seriously.
The Swedish police said the man was not on any international no-fly lists, he had cleared a security check in Canada, and he did not resist when the SWAT team took him into custody.
A spokesman for state-run PIA in Pakistan confirmed the incident involved Flight PK782 to Karachi.
PIA said there were 255 passengers and 18 crew members on the plane, in which 102 were Canadian nationals, 139 Pakistanis, eight U.S. citizens, three Indians and one each from Japan, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
Burbank, California – Bob Hope International airport was one of the first recipients of the newly enhanced full body scanner from the Transportation Security Administration.
This, after the Obama administration heightens its security efforts against terrorism following the spoiled bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight where the suspect was able to hide the explosives inside his underpants.
Three more machines will be added at Logan International Airport in Boston. Other units will still be followed at Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Jose, California; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego; Charlotte, North Carolina. According to TSA representative Lee Kair, more machines will be added to several states.
Experts are optimistic about it, explaining that the polls conducted by a USA TODAY group showed that the public supported the idea. According to the poll released last January 78 of the respondents approved the use of body scanners and 67 percent said they feel comfortable being checked. The experts also insisted that it would be unlikely to have a strong public resistance compared to what happened in Europe.
Some analysts, however, disagreed. Aside from the high price of the body scanners, they pointed out that additional expenses are also needed for it to be operated, calibrated, and maintained.
The American Civil Liberties Union also denounced the idea, adding that the cost should not be measured by dollars alone, but by the time delay it cost the passengers during their flights. The group also tagged the machine as a “virtual strip search” depriving anyone of his or her rights.
The TSA, in defense, reasoned out that passengers will still be given options whether they would like to undergo body scanning or not. Full body scanning will only take less that 25 seconds, and those who do not wish to have it may still pass through a metal detector and must submit to a pat down.
The scanners will allow TSA representatives to see beneath a passenger’s clothing, enabling them to search for explosives and contrabands. To maintain privacy, the images are only seen by a security officer in a remote station. The passenger’s face is blurred and that images will not be stored or saved.