SEATTLE — The FBI said that the man who had been named as a possible hijacker on a Hawaii-to-Seattle flight Thursday night was “baffled” when detectives questioned him, The Seattle Times reported Friday.
Two fighter jets from Oregon were scrambled to escort the flight into Sea-Tac after the FBI office in Honolulu received an anonymous call naming the man on the flight as having threatened to hijack the aircraft. When the plane landed in Seattle, the FBI detained the man and questioned him for hours.
“He ended up having a very bad day,” FBI agent Tom Simon told the Seattle Times. “He was extremely cooperative and extremely respectful. It was a very non-adversarial interview.”
The man was cleared of being a threat. The FBI in Hawaii is now trying to pinpoint the caller, which could lead to charges against whoever made the bogus call.
Alaska Airlines Flight 819, en route from Kona, Hawaii, to Sea-Ta,c landed at 7:05 P.M. Thursday without incident, and FBI agents boarded the plane and took off a passenger, who, the airline said, had slept through most of the flight and had shown no unusual behavior. The FBI questioned the man Thursday night, but said at 10 p.m. they had not found him to be a threat.
After the flight left Hawaii, a caller told the FBI’s Honolulu office that there was a passenger on Flight 819 who might hijack the Boeing 737, the FBI said.
Two F-15 fighter jets belonging to the Oregon Air National Guard were scrambled off the coast of Oregon to escort the plane into Sea-Tac, where FBI agents were waiting to board the plane and detain the man for questioning. K-9 units were used to check the plane for explosives.