While Jews in the Diaspora were in synagogues celebrating the second day of the Shavuot holiday (known in English as the “Festival of Weeks”) others who were heading for Boston, New York and Newark, New Jersey found they were facing more excitement than they might have bargained for.
A rash of bomb threats tailed at least six passenger planes into northeastern U.S. airports over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Three of the threats targeted planes heading for JFK Airport in New York City, including Air France Flight 22 from Paris, escorted by two Air Force jets scrambled “just to make sure.”
The FBI, called to the scene, later said “no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew,” ABC News reported.
The decision to send an Air Force escort followed an anonymous call received by Maryland State Police McHenry Barrack in Garret County, warning of a “chemical weapons threat” aboard the aircraft.
A Saudi Airlines flight from Saudi Arabia was also escorted and later cleared.
The third threat, to an American Airlines flight from Birmingham, England, was quickly determined to be not credible and the aircraft cleared to go straight to the terminal.
Two of the threatened planes were heading for Newark Airport in New Jersey. The two flights involved a Delta Airlines flight from London and a United Airlines flight from Madrid. Neither required an escort and both threats proved not credible.
Likewise, a third threat proved not credible for a Delta flight heading from Paris to Logan Airport in Boston, officials told reporters.
Hana Levi Julian