British police charge 2 men of making bomb hoax, being drunk on plane bound for Dubai

Saturday, January 9, 2010

UK police charge 2 men after Heathrow bomb threat

LONDON — Two men have been charged with making a false bomb threat and being drunk aboard a passenger plane following a security scare at London’s Heathrow Airport, British police said Saturday.

Armed police officers pulled Robert George Fowles and Alexander Bain McGinn from an Emirates plane preparing for take-off to Dubai late Friday, after crew members reported that verbal threats were made to staff.

Police said Fowles, 58, will appear in custody at court on Monday. McGinn, 48, has been bailed and is due to appear at court on Jan.22.

A third man who was arrested along with the other two suspects was released, police said. He was not identified.

Police removed all passengers from the plane, but said a search found nothing suspicious aboard.

The arrests came amid heightened concern over airline security following an alleged Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines plane. In a separate incident Friday, fighter jets were launched to catch up with an AirTran Airways jet to San Francisco after a report that an intoxicated passenger had locked himself in a bathroom.

The Emirates flight, which had 331 passengers on board, was grounded in London overnight but had taken off Saturday afternoon.

will not be displayed