At John F. Kennedy International Airport, three airplanes were stopped and taken to a different part of the airport for 90 minutes while they were checked because of a hijacking hoax - an anonymous call to the airport that said that there were terrorists hiding in the wheel well of the airplanes.
Port Authority Police said that the hoax was a coordinated effort at several airports across the country. The caller said that a Muslim terrorist organization had given them the information.
One flight was an American Airlines plane, and the pilot apparently had no idea what was going on. His conversation to the control tower included this exchange, even though the pilot seemed calm to other passengers. "We're surrounded by emergency vehicles. There is a reason for this. Somebody has got to give us the reason or we're going to evacuate the aircraft. You got 60 seconds."
The FBI joined air marshals on the plane and the flights were searched. The planes were allowed to leave the area just before 5:00PM and went on their way, the victim of a hoax in very poor taste. Who could possibly think that a joke or hijacking hoax about terrorists would be funny? Presumably, the massive resources of the government are already tracking the hoax phone call.
Photo by saaby on Flickr.com
Gabriel Legend covers a wide range of breaking news for Gather. He writes fiction as well, with his first novel coming out in 2013. You can follow on Twitter at @GabrielLegend1 or contact him directly here.