(BOSTON) — A United flight bound for Geneva from Newark, N.J. was diverted to Boston when a flight attendant reportedly discovered a camera in a seat back pocket and could not locate the camera’s owner, law enforcement officials and an airline spokesperson said.
Upon the camera’s discovery, United flight 956 was escorted into Logan Airport Tuesday night by fighter planes, multiple sources said. The aircraft, carrying 157 passengers and 11 crew members, was taken after landing to a remote location where it was met by FBI agents and the Massachusetts State Police for re-screening.
“Everyone is appropriately spring loaded to be suspicious and the question is if somebody finds a camera they call back into the company,” ABC News aviation consultant John Nance said, adding that the decision to err on the side of caution — though very costly — is made by the company in most cases.
“That’s gonna cost a huge amount of money a diversion like that, easily in excess $100,000 by the time everything’s done and paid for,” he said.
It should be noted that in one of the post-9/11 airline terror plots, terrorists explored using camera bodies either as devices or as part of the mechanism for triggering a bomb. More recently, ABC News has reported, al Qaeda bombmaker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is believed to be behind both underwear bomb plots, was working on new explosives that they hoped would pass an airport security screening. One of those designed reportedly utilized a camera.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio