A Pennsylvanian teenager has been arrested after sending a bomb threat to fellow passengers via Apple Airdrop on an American Airlines flight.
The unidentified student was returning from a humanitarian school trip to the Texas border when he made the threat, which forced the A319 plane to return to the gate for authorities to search the aircraft.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the plane was taxiing in El Paso, Texas, when passengers received an Apple Airdrop message reading: “I have a bomb. Would like to share a photo.”
The FBI West Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force and bomb squad searched the aircraft, passengers and luggage until they assessed the threat as “non-credible”, reports Fox News.
Further investigation revealed the student to be the culprit, with authorities stating he confessed to sending the message, with supporting evidence found on his mobile phone, which was seized as evidence.
He is now being held by El Paso Juvenile Probation Department and faces one count of creating a false report or alarm, which is a felony offence in Texas.
Apple’s Airdrop technologies allowed iPhone users to wirelessly transfer images and files to other Mac users within 30 feet of each other.
It does not require an internet connection.
American Airlines flight 2051 finally arrived at its destination of Chicago O’Hare International Airport more than five hours later than scheduled.
The news follows an Indian man who was running late for a flight trying to delay his plane with a hoax bomb threat.
Army personnel Ajmeer Bhadraiah, 59, intended to catch an Indigo flight from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad to Chennai, but was denied boarding after arriving late.
After becoming embroiled in an altercation with aircraft staff, he then threatened to stop the flight before calling the police to inform them of a bomb on the aircraft and demanding it be grounded.
Following an investigation by the police and Bomb Threat Assessment Committee, Bhadraiah confessed to making the hoax call.
He has since been charged with intimidation and violation of the Aircraft Act.
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