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Sat 9 Jan 2010 09:03 AM

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Three arrested in UK amid Emirates bomb threat drama

Police alerted and armed officers board plane to arrest passengers on airliner.

British police arrested three passengers aboard a Dubai-bound Emirates airliner at London's Heathrow airport on Friday on suspicion of making a bomb threat, police said.

Sky News television quoted police sources as saying initial searches had found no actual threat to the flight, indicating that the incident may have been an ill-judged prank.

The men, aged 58, 48 and 36, were taken into custody for making verbal threats against the crew before take off, the police said in a statement. "They have been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb threat," they added.

An airport spokesman said other flights at Britain's biggest airport were unaffected. Witnesses told Sky that armed police with sniffer dogs boarded flight EK004, which had been due to take off at 2000 GMT, and swiftly arrested the men.

"A verbal threat was made to staff. Police were alerted and armed officers boarded the plane," the police statement said. "Police are searching the aircraft and all passengers have been removed from the plane."

Airports around the world have been on high alert since a failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound plane last month. Britain announced tighter security measures this week, with plans to use full body scanners at Heathrow within three weeks.

"There was no shouting or screaming ... They took them away quickly and brought on some dogs to have a sniff around," Cameron McLean, a passenger on the grounded Boeing 777, told Sky. (Reuters)

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Rouzbeh 10 years ago

what were the nationality of these men, I sincerely believe that no one would advertise there intent to blow up a plain. they should have slapped a fine on them rather then arresting them

Mounir 10 years ago

does it make a difference of what they were? they were british citizens, by the way.

Red Devil 10 years ago

Rouzbeh, sorry, but us Brits take any threat to commit mass murder very seriously. You obviously just don't get it. And as Mounir says, why is there nationality of any relevance whatsoever?

Saif Bin Ahmed 10 years ago

Before the authorities decide how best to punish them, they obviously need to arrest them first. Do you propose they fine them on the spot; a bit like issuing a parking ticket and let that be the end of the whole affair? It was bomb threat, fake or not, it was threat to kill.

Rich 10 years ago

These 3 should be fined the cost of the whole exercise. from police to plane to hotel, then sued by the remainig passengers for every conceivalbe cost going, they may learn then to keep their mouths shut and behave like normal, sober, regular fare paying passengers. Oh and as a bonus banned from Emirates and put on a the Interpol most wanted list, just for good measure.

Amir 10 years ago

It is very depressing to see how our world has changed for worse just in one decade. What is happening to us ? Only 10 years ago, despite all shortcomings and mishaps, world was very different, people were different and we all lived in a much more civilized and gentle environment. Look at now. Profiling is a way of life. Why does it so much matter what is the nationality of these three guys ? Everyone is paranoid and jumpy. Nowadays passengers think twice about going to plane's toilets! And if they brave enough to go they would need to have a stop-watch so their stay doesn't exceed the paranoia level and get arrested after coming out of the loo !

Joe Bloggs 10 years ago

How much damage was actually done? None. Get real people.

rich 10 years ago

So its ok to get on a plane, drunk, and start to behave like a complete idiot, inconvenience over 300 people, cause untold loss to an airline, involve police who are out for real threats. Do you have any idea just how much it costs to operate these $200m + aircraft let alone the rest of the time spent interviewing, transporting passengers and hotel costs, or do we have to get PC just because they are Brits on tour ??? This is a sophysticated means of transport, not a working mens coach trip to Bognor Regis Its this minority that give the majority a bad name or is this silly too...???