by Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) Military jets escorted a jet to LaGuardia International
after a passenger became alarmed by a group of people passing
About 15 minutes before American Trans Air Flight 204 was due to
from Chicago on Tuesday, a passenger told a flight attendant
others were engaged in ''suspicious activity,'' passing
notes and changing
seats, Port Authority spokesman Alan Hicks said.
The seven passengers, who are from India, were released early
Port Authority officials said. They belonged to an Indian
and may have been rehearsing or discussing a
performance when they attracted
suspicion, their New York host, Chiru
Vijanam, told WNBC-TV.
The flight attendant notified the pilot, who alerted federal aviation
Two F-16 fighter jets escorted the plane a Boeing 757
with 98 passengers
plus a crew to the ground, said Maj. Barry
Venable, a spokesman for the
North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The plane landed five minutes late, and no one was hurt.
Since Sept. 11, NORAD has scrambled fighters or diverted them from
missions more than 400 times to assist civilian aviation