Britain-bound flight diverted after ‘terrorist content’ talk

EasyJet planes taxi at Berlin-Schoenefeld Airport near Berlin. A plane flying from Slovenia to Stansted, in Britain, made an unplanned landing after the pilot was alerted to "terrorist content" discussion. File photo by Hannibal Hanschke/EPA

June 11 (UPI) — An EasyJet flight from Slovenia to Britain made an emergency landing in Germany after three men allegedly had a “terror content” discussion, police said.

The British citizens — 31, 38 and 48 — were arrested in Cologne, city police said. The Airbus 319 was travelling from Ljubljana and was supposed to land in Stansted, 40 miles from London, when it was diverted at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The men are being investigated for alleged “crime against the state,” police and prosecutors said in a joint statement Sunday. The Independent reported the three men were released without being charged.

Police said passengers alerted the flight crew because the men were “talking about terrorism-related content,” Cologne police said.

All 151 passengers exited the plane through emergency slides, and nine people received medical attention, authorities said. All passengers were given an overnight hotel stay and refreshments, and resumed the flight on the plane Sunday.

Passenger Daniel Noonan told the BBC that armed police escorted two men off the plane and the third was led away on the tarmac.

At the police station, the men, cabin crew and 17 passengers, who were witnesses, were questioned.

“The captain took the decision as a precaution to enable the aircraft to go through additional security checks in Cologne where the aircraft was met by the police,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement.

One suspect’s backpack was examined by a bomb squad and destroyed in a controlled explosion, police said. No explosives were found on the plane.

EasyJet, a British airline established in 1995, offers low-cost flights throughout Europe, according to Airline Portal.


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