Three held over alleged bomb threat at London's Heathrow

9th January 2010, Comments 0 comments

Three men were on Saturday in police custody after being arrested by armed police at London's Heathrow airport on suspicion of making a bomb threat.

London - Three men were on Saturday in police custody after being arrested by armed police at London's Heathrow airport on suspicion of making a bomb threat.

Officers boarded the Emirates flight, bound for Dubai, after a "verbal threat was made to staff" as the plane was taxiing shortly before take-off late Friday, London's Metropolitan Police said.

Three men aged 58, 48 and 36 were held but a search of the plane, which was carrying 331 passengers, uncovered nothing suspicious. The airliner has now been handed back to Emirates.

"They have been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb threat," police added.

Sky News television reported that the men arrested were English and appeared to be drunk. The airport -- the world's busiest international air hubs -- remained open during the incident.

The aborted flight was expected to leave at 1500 GMT Saturday. Emirates said in a statement: "The safety and security of all our passengers is paramount. We apologise for the inconvenience."

The security scare came after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, allegedly tried to detonate a device stitched into his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam as it landed in Detroit in the United States on December 25.

In court on Friday, he pleaded not guilty to six charges related to the incident, which has led to security being stepped at airports worldwide.

Extra security checks have been brought in following the alleged plot and full-body scanners are to be introduced at Britain's airports.

Heathrow will be the first to receive the devices before the end of the month, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said.

AFP/Expatica

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