APPARENTLY OUR FRIEND OF “PAKISTANI ORIGIN” (MUSLIM) HAS BEEN RELEASED AFTER FINDING NO EXPLOSIVES ON HIM…GEE WHIZ, I WONDER IF ANYONE HAS BOTHERED TO CHECK THE AIRPORT HE ORIGINATED FROM? PERHAPS A BAG GOT HANDED OFF BEFORE BOARDING? BUT WE’LL PROBABLY NEVER KNOW, AFTER ALL WE WOULDN’T WANT MUSLIMS TO THINK THEY ARE BEING ‘PROFILED’…..
Canadian suspect in Pakistan Airlines bomb scare released
By Colin Freeze and The Associated Press
Toronto and Stockholm—
Published Saturday, Sep. 25, 2010 8:02AM EDT
Last updated Saturday, Sep. 25, 2010 12:24PM EDT
The Mounties say they are considering charging an anonymous tipster with perpetrating a hoax, following an international bomb scare that caused a flight from Toronto to be grounded and evacuated before it completed its journey to Pakistan.
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A Canadian man in his mid-20s was arrested by a SWAT team Saturday after the flight was rerouted to Sweden, but he was released without charge hours later after no explosives were found on him.
Swedish authorities are now helping the man arrange travel to Pakistan.
These events took place after an anonymous caller tipped Toronto Police to an alleged bomb conspiracy just as a Pakistan International Airlines flight was about to leave Toronto Friday for Karachi. The Toronto Police called the Mounties, who relayed the information to PIA — but by that time the flight had already left.
The airline decided to land the plane in Sweden, to evacuate the 273 passengers — including more than 100 Canadian citizens — and search the plane.
“If it does turn out to be a hoax we will identify the caller and the caller will be charged,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said Saturday morning. He said police had no choice but to relay the information and that a “public mischief” charge may result, pending investigation.
Police described the suspect as a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin, aged about 30, but said they had not confirmed his identity.
A spokesman for the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines said the suspect was a 25-year-old Canadian national.
The tip was given by an anonymous woman who made two calls to Toronto police. The first tip was general, and the second — placed just as the flight was to leave — identified a passenger as a man who was carrying explosives.
In Pakistan, a spokesman for state-run PIA confirmed the incident involved flight PK782 to Karachi. “The plane has landed at the Stockholm airport due to security reasons,” airline spokesman Sultan Hasan said.
The passengers were waiting at the “international holding area” at the airport as they and their luggage were scanned and searched. All passengers — except the suspect — were allowed back on the plane nine hours later. It took off for Manchester, England, from where the passengers would continue their journey to Karachi, said Jan Lindqvist, a spokesman for airport operator Swedavia.
PIA said there were 255 passengers and 18 crew members on the plane. Of the passengers, 102 were Canadian nationals, 139 Pakistanis, eight U.S. citizens, three Indians and one each from Japan, Malaysia and Bangladesh.