Saturday 18 November 2017

Terror alert after man shouts 'Allahu Akbar' on Ryanair flight

Ryanair (Stock photo)
Ryanair (Stock photo)

Chris Baynes

A man sparked a terror alert on a Ryanair flight after shouting "Allahu Akbar" and warning there was a bomb on board the plane.

The 51-year-old Belgian was arrested and eight men friends travelling with him were thrown off the flight from to Madrid following the scare at Brussels Airport.

Passengers were evacuated from the plane, which was then searched by a bomb squad, after airline crew alerted police.

Nothing suspicious was found and the flight took off at 9.25am on Saturday, two hours after its scheduled departure time.

The nine men, all Belgian and thought to have been drunk, were questioned by police. The 51-year-old, from Wallonia, could face prosecution for threatening a terror attack.

"The flight commander refused to take the nine people," federal police spokesman Peter De Waele told Belgian broadcaster VTM. "One of them was a stupid joker and called 'Allahu Akbar'."

Police said the man was also "crying something about bombs", reported De Morgen.

All luggage was removed from the plane and examined by sniffer dogs before the plane was allowed to depart.

A Ryanair spokesman said: "The crew of this flight from Brussels to Madrid requested police assistance after a number of passengers became disruptive prior to departure. Police removed and detained the individuals before the aircraft departed to Madrid.

"We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.

"This is now a matter for local police."

In March last year, three Isis suicide bombers killed 32 people in co-ordinated explosions at Brussels Airport in Zavenem and the city's Maalbeek metro station.

Last month a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is greatest" - was shot dead by police after attacking soldiers with a knife in the centre of the Belgian capital.

Independent News Service

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