An Air France plane which arrived at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, Kenya Sunday Dec. 20, 2015 to pick passengers after a bomb scare on their earlier flight from Mauritius.
An Air France plane which arrived at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, Kenya Sunday Dec. 20, 2015 to pick passengers after a bomb scare on their earlier flight from Mauritius. AP Photo

Fake bomb prompts emergency landing of Air France flight

A FAKE explosive rigged with cardboard, sheets of paper and a household timer forced an Air France flight into an emergency landing in Kenya on Sunday, sending hundreds of passengers down emergency slides in what the airline's CEO said was the fourth bomb hoax against the airline in recent weeks.

The homemade apparatus was discovered around midnight hidden in a lavatory cabinet behind a mirror where it was apparently placed during the approximately 11-hour flight to Paris from the island of Mauritius, said the airline's CEO, Frederic Gagey. He said the airline has had heightened security checks around the world since the Nov. 13 attacks that left 130 people dead in Paris.

"It was an ensemble of cardboard, papers and something that resembled a kitchen timer. Nothing that presented a danger to the plane, to the passengers or to the crew," a visibly irritated Gagey told a news conference in Paris. He said it contained no explosives.

With France in a state of emergency since the Paris attacks and the United States on high alert since the attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead, hoaxes present a particular conundrum for security officials, who must choose between feeding mass fear and keeping the public in potential danger. On Tuesday, the two biggest school systems in the U.S.

" New York City and Los Angeles " received threats of a large-scale jihadi attack. LA reacted by shutting down the entire district, while New York dismissed the warning as an amateurish hoax and held classes.

Read more at the NZ Herald


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