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9/11 anniversary: A day of uneasy travel

September 11, 2011 |  6:53 pm


The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks made for a jittery day of travel on Sunday, but none of the reports of suspicious activity at airports or aboard aircraft amounted to any real threats.

Two commercial flights, one headed to New York City and another to Detroit, were intercepted and shadowed by fighter jets after reports of suspicious activity.

A disturbance aboard an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York prompted authorities to send two F-16 military jets to intercept the aircraft and escort it until it landed safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said

The fighter jets began following the airliner about 100 miles west of New York and continued until it landed, said John Cornelio, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, in an interview with The Times.

Though details of the disturbance were not clear, a passenger on the plane became suspicious of others on board and alerted the staff, who then determined that there was no actual threat, said Tim Smith, an American Airlines spokesman.

The airline did not request an escort or the law enforcement that met the aircraft on its arrival at JFK, he said.

Elsewhere, a Frontier flight traveling from Denver to Detroit was intercepted and escorted by fighter jets from NORAD after reports of suspicious behavior, said Dave Joly, an FBI spokesman in Denver.

A search for explosives on the plane came up negative, Joly said. Three passengers were detained by the FBI for questioning, the Associated Press reported.

In Kansas City, a man was detained at the airport after refusing to a search by Transportation Security Administration officials after they detected suspicious items in his bag.

The suspicious items tested negative for explosive materials, the TSA said in a statement.


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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: Los Angeles World Airports police officers carrying automatic weapons walk alongside an American Airlines employee as travelers prepare to board flights at the American terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.  Sept. 11, 2011. Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon