Vancouver bomb threat: Al Qaeda terror link or pure hoax?
A Vancouver bomb threat on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong caused Canadian officials to send fighter jets to escort the plane to the airport Saturday.
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“We intercept about 200 times a year on average,” said [Lieutenant-Commander Gary Ross of NORAD]. “We are the last line of defense and often we are called as a precaution.” Ross said that NORAD jets are launched for various reasons including improper flight plans filed by pilots, passenger disturbances and planes unknowingly attempting to land in places that have been closed temporarily for special events.
In an effort to keep passengers calm, the airline kept them uninformed about the threat during the flight. Many people on the flight did not even notice their CF-18 fighter jet escort.
"I don't think the staff even realized. I was sitting opposite an airline stewardess when we were just about to land and she was talking to another passenger and passenger said, 'Did you notice there is a fighter jet outside' and (the stewardess) said 'Oh really? Oh that's really interesting. I've never seen one before' and everyone was quite surprised and taking pictures," said Jing Vance, a passenger who was on the flight with her two daughters, in an article in the Vancouver Sun.
It remains uncertain whether this most recent attack will affect global security measures at airports around the world.
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