Etihad Airways Jet Diverted for 'Security Reasons'
After threatening tweets by Islamic State supporters specifically named the flight, an Etihad Airways jet making a flight from Cairo to United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi was diverted to a Dubai military base Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
Etihad Flight 650 deviated from its normal route for “security reasons,” the airlines told AP. After landing at al-Minhad air base, the 128 passengers and seven crew, along with their luggage, were subjected to additional security screenings. The Airbus A321 was also searched. Nothing suspicious was found.
Etihad did not provide any details of the threat to the AP, but apparently recent tweets by Islamic State sympathizers were threatening to airplanes, and Flight 650 was mentioned specifically.
It was the second recent scare for a UAE carrier. Monday saw an Air Arabia jet flying from Kuwait to Sharjah, UAE diverted to al-Minhad after a passenger declared the plane would explode.
According to the AP, the UAE is an important ally to the West, and member of the U.S.-led coalition making airstrikes against the Islamic State group, which has taken over about a third of Iraq and Syria.
These threats hit the country right in one of its most important industries. The UAE is home to Emirates, the biggest airline in the Middle East, and Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest international airport.
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