July 12, 2007 / 10:54 AM / 10 years ago

AA flight diverted to NY in "misunderstanding"

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An American Airlines flight was diverted to New York early on Thursday after the crew reported a suspicious passenger in what the FBI said was a misunderstanding.

“TSA is looking into the incident, but at this time there is no nexus to terrorism,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement.

American Flight 136 from Los Angeles to London made an emergency landing “out of an abundance of caution” at JFK Airport at 2:30 a.m. after a flight attendant identified a suspicious passenger, TSA said. The flight was canceled and passengers were rebooked on other flights.

American Airlines said the passenger was handed over to the FBI.

An FBI spokesman said the matter was closed and was due a “misunderstanding between the crew and where this passenger came from or who he was.”

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told CNN he had received a report the man in question was an employee who was traveling in a private capacity.

“It may very well turn out that this is nothing more than a misunderstanding with an employee who used an employee bus to get on a plane for a private flight,” Chertoff said.

CNN said security agents boarded the plane and took a man off. The network said the pilot initially told passengers the plane did not have enough fuel.

The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 218 passengers and 14 crew members, the airline said.

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