FBI: Airlines ‘Taking Seriously’ Jihadi Bomb Threats on Twitter

AP Photo/David Goldman
AP Photo/David Goldman
Washington, D.C.

Countless bomb threats continue to be disseminated against airliners on social media. On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines reported two threats against a flight that was traveling from San Francisco to Atlanta. As the threats continue to roll in, civilian airliners have demonstrated a noticeable change in their responses to the criminal acts.

Responding to the initial cluster of threats, airliners grounded planes and isolated them upon arrival. Some even diverted flight paths.

Los Angeles FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told Breitbart News that the recent spate of social media threats against U.S. airliners were now being dealt with on a “case by case basis.”

The FBI spokeswoman explained that it is up to the airliners to decide whether to continue flights, rather than respond to every warning by grounding and isolating planes. “I should add that when decisions are made whether to divert or not, pilots consult with airlines security personnel (also known as ‘corporate security’), who are in contact with law enforcement,” said Eimiller.

She added, “I think everyone would agree that safety comes first and that each stated threat is dealt with on a case by case basis.”

In addition, the Los Angeles FBI released the following statement to Breitbart News:

The FBI is aware of recent online threatening statements and is assessing the matter with our law enforcement and airline partners as we do with all stated threats.  Currently, there is no known threat to any aircraft that departed from the Los Angeles area.  Threats of this nature can and do result in costly responses from a multitude of law enforcement and airport entities and greatly inconvenience travelers.  Individuals responsible can be prosecuted federally.  Anyone with information about the person or group responsible for making threats should contact the FBI immediately.

An Atlanta FBI spokesperson told Breitbart News that the Atlanta FBI branch had “no updates to provide at this time.” Threats made over the weekend against Atlanta-bound flights were grounded under escort by F-16 military jets. It remains unclear what prompted NORAD to decide to disperse the F-16s.