Two military jets escorted an Alaska AirlinesÂ flight into Seattle last night after a caller told the FBI that a possibleÂ hijacker was aboard the flight from Hawaii, officials said.
After the jet landed safely, authoritiesÂ took the male passenger off the plane and questioned him for about twoÂ hours.
FBI Seattle spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich saidÂ late Thursday night that the agency was ‘not anticipating an arrest.’ The manÂ was not identified.
Law enforcement officers had beenÂ waitingÂ for theÂ passenger after Oregon Air National Guard F-15 jetsÂ escorted theÂ aircraft, which landed about 7pm PST, airline spokesmanÂ Paul McElroyÂ said.
An unidentified caller told the Honolulu FBIÂ office on Thursday afternoon that a man aboard Alaska Flight 819 from Kona toÂ Seattle was a possible hijacker, said FBI spokesman Tom Simon inÂ Honolulu.
Officers boarded the jet through rear stairsÂ in Seattle and removed the man from the plane, McElroy said.
The passenger had been seated at the back ofÂ the aircraft and ‘slept most of the flight,’ he added.
Seattle FBI spokeswoman Ayn DietrichÂ described the man as cooperative and said agents were interviewing him ThursdayÂ night.
She said there didn’t appear to be anyÂ imminent public safety threat.
‘We’reÂ talking with the individual,’ she said. ‘We continue to gather observations andÂ physical evidence.’
‘I can tell you any threats or tips weÂ receive we take seriously in case they’re a credible threat,’ she said. ‘WeÂ certainly get a number of calls that turn out to be not credible.’
The flight crew was aware of the threat butÂ reported no unusual behavior, McElroy said, adding law enforcement made theÂ decision to scramble the military jets.
Passengers deplaned normally after the manÂ was removed.
Seattle-Tacoma International AirportÂ spokesman Perry Cooper said airport K-9 dogs then checked the plane but foundÂ nothing amiss.
Simon declined to provide any detailsÂ aboutÂ the caller who alerted the FBI. He noted that making a falseÂ statement to theÂ FBI is a crime.