Britain Terrorist Threat: Fighter Jets Scrambled After Suspicious Incident on Plane From Pakistan
Two men were arrested after a civilian flight carrying 297 passengers from Pakistan to England was diverted on Friday after an incident on the plane according to the Associated Press.
British fighter jets were scrambled to accompany the diverted flight from its original destination of Manchester to an isolated runway at Stansted Airport, northeast of London.
Essex County Police issued a statement saying, "Essex Police have boarded a passenger plane diverted to Stansted Airport and two men have been arrested on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft. They have been removed from the plane."
The AP reports that Britain usually launches the military planes like Typhoon to "intercept unidentified aircraft when they cannot be identified by other means, for example when the aircraft is not talking to air traffic controllers." This could represent a technical malfunction or something more sinister.
A spokesman for the Stansted Airport confirmed to the AP that the plane was being held in an isolated area, but the rest of the airport was "operating as normal." Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, which serves the Stansted Airport, also confirmed that 10 fire engines had been sent to the airport.
The British Ministry of Defense declined to give any information about the incident except that the Typhoon fighter jet was launched to investigate the incident. England is on high alert after the machete attacks against a soldier earlier this week.
The plane is a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 according to www.flightradar.com.
This story is still developing.