Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Two arrested on suspicion of terrorism after RAF jets intercept Ryanair flight

Two men have been arrested at Stansted Airport on suspicion of terrorism after RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept a Ryanair flight.

A man, 34, from Kuwait, and a 48-year-old man from Italy, who were flying into London from Vienna, were detained by counter-terrorism officers at the airport on Sunday evening.

One passenger said armed police surrounded the plane as they landed shortly after 7pm at the London airport, claiming that ‘suspicious objects’ were found in the toilets.

Ryanair, which owns the Lauda jet, said its crew were alerted to a ‘potential security threat’ during the flight and that everyone disembarked safely.

A spokesman said: ‘The crew of a Ryanair flight from Vienna to London Stansted this evening were alerted of a potential security threat on board. 

‘In line with procedures, the captain informed UK authorities and continued to London Stansted, where the aircraft landed normally and taxied to a remote stand where passengers disembarked safely.

‘Passengers in London Stansted waiting to depart to Vienna were transferred to a spare aircraft to minimise the delay to their flight.

‘This is now a matter for the local police.’

The typhoon jets, which were launched from RAF Coningsby, circled over the airport several times until the plane landed safely.

Passenger Joanna Czechowska wrote on Twitter that officers boarded the Ryanair flight and took two men away, after the plane pulled into a ‘remote area’ of the airport.

She wrote: ‘They found suspicious objects in the toilets and called the police. All seems ok now. That was scary!’

An RAF spokesperson said: ‘Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were launched this evening to intercept a civilian aircraft. The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted.’ 

Police enquiries are continuing.

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