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Suspicious activity on Alaska Airlines jet turns out to be prayers

March 13, 2011 |  1:06 pm

Police and FBI agents responded Sunday to reports of three men acting suspiciously on an Alaska Airlines flight inbound to Los Angeles but determined that the trio had been praying and posed no threat.

Several passengers reported their concerns to the flight crew after seeing what they thought were wires or other items being used by the men as the plane approached Los Angeles International Aiport at about 8:40 a.m., said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

The men, described as Mexican nationals, were taken off the plane and interviewed and the objects were determined to be leather artifacts used for an orthodox prayer ritual, Eimiller said.

“There were some individuals who didn’t understand the nature of the activities and reported their concerns,” Eimiller said. “The men were cooperative and were released a short time later and there were no charges.”

Alaska Airline flight 241 was inbound from Mexico City with a stop in Los Angeles before departing overseas, Eimiller said. Other passengers were not delayed, she said.

-- Carla Rivera