Passengers on the plane said air marshals intervened after the men began fidgeting with mobile phones and plastic bags.
Two Dutch F-16 jets accompanied the 273-seat DC10-30 plane which had reached German airspace before it turned back.
But don’t panic…
Dutch authorities said on Thursday there was no threat of terrorism when a U.S. airliner bound for India was forced to turn back to Amsterdam over security concerns.
"It does not appear to be terror related," Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner told journalists in The Hague.
There have been several scares since the British plot was uncovered, including at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, West Virginia; on a Pacific Blue flight from Fiji to Sydney and on a British plane from London to Egypt diverted to Italy.
What I’m wondering is how long airlines and private airport corps are going to put up with the enormous cost and disruption of these political stunts. Governments can’t even get their stories and responses to gel:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says his top priority, following the uncovering of an airplane terror plot in Britain, is to learn if the plotters have any links to people in the United States.
The US admin must be really pissed off over being sidelined on this one, but their planes will keep diverting to keep them in the game. I guess most of the US airlines are in hock and just tow the line.
The Dutch are far more concerned about not disrupting commerce, and I can see their point. Airports depend on tight scheduling to ensure profitability. Disrupting those schedules, particularly in Europe with numerous international entry/exit points is not good competitive practice.
British airlines are already threatening to sue their government over disruptions. Hell, business is business, and the airline business is fragile, without the loyalties of old.
While US airlines might be willing to play the admin’s game other carriers won’t be so easy to suck in. Just the enormous cost of diverting a flight, in terms of money and passenger’s confidence is enough to ensure that terror focused governments won’t get an easy ride.