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US fighter jets shadow commercial planes after Twitter bomb threats

The planes landed safely and law enforcement officials found no bombs aboard after they arrived safely at Atlanta's main airport.

By: Associated Press | Atlanta |
January 25, 2015 11:34:08 am
Law enforcement officials stand beneath a Southwest Airlines airplane on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. Police were searching two planes at Atlanta's main airport after authorities received what they described as "credible" bomb threats. (AP Photo) Law enforcement officials stand beneath a Southwest Airlines airplane on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. (AP Photo)

US officials scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to shadow a pair of commercial airliners after bomb threats were made against the flights on the social network Twitter.

The planes landed safely and law enforcement officials found no bombs aboard after they arrived safely at Atlanta’s main airport, said airport spokesman Reese McCranie.

The threats targeted Southwest Airlines Flight 2492, which arrived from Milwaukee, and Delta Air Lines Flight 1156, from Portland, Oregon on Friday.

The passengers were taken off the aircraft, and police bomb and dog teams examined both planes, authorities said.

The threats were posted on the social media network Twitter, said Preston Schlachter, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. After being alerted, military officials sent two F-16 fighter jets from a base in South Carolina to escort the commercial aircraft to Atlanta.

Upon landing, the Southwest Airlines flight taxied to a remote area where the passengers and the aircraft were rescreened, company officials said in a statement.

“Our top priority is the safety of our customers and employees,” Southwest officials said. “We cannot comment on the nature of the security situation.”

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