Baltimore (AP): Four passengers were removed from a Chicago-bound flight at Baltimore’s international airport last week after a fellow passenger said she saw one of them receive a text with the word “dynamite” and the code for an airport in India, according to a police report.
No such message was found by officers on the passenger’s phone, First Sgt. Jonathan Green, spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, said today.
The incident report, obtained by AP through a Maryland Public Information Act request, details the events of November 17, when Spirit Airlines Flight 969 to Chicago was taxiing to the runway at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
A female passenger said she became alarmed when a male passenger made several phone calls in a language other than English and when she saw him receive a text message that read “BLR Dynamite,” according to the report. BLR is the airport code for Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore, India.
The female passenger notified the crew. She said the passenger on the phone was traveling with two other passengers, and talking with a fourth, according to the report.
The flight crew decided to return to the gate. All passengers were ordered off the plane, and the four passengers the woman pointed out, three men and a woman, were detained for investigation, the report said.
The report noted that the flight to Chicago was the lastleg of the trip for the four detained passengers, but did not say where their trip began. They were interviewed by Transportation Authority Police officers, an air marshal with the Transportation Security Administration and an agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Green says the passenger who had been talking on the phone allowed officers to check the device, and no text message with the word “dynamite” was found.
The four passengers were released without charges.