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August 25, 2014 at 8:13 AM
Bomb Threat Tweets Divert American Airlines Flight
ABC News



 

(PHOENIX) -- An American Airlines flight on its way to San Diego was diverted to Phoenix on Sunday after tweets of a bomb onboard the plane.

Flight 362 departed from Dallas and landed in Phoenix just before noon due to "a security issue," according to an airline spokesperson. Fighter jets assisted and performed a "shadow" escort from behind the plane to not alarm passengers.

"American Airlines will work to accommodate all of the passengers once they have been cleared by authorities," the representative continued.

The 179 travelers were scheduled to be interviewed by the FBI.

Officials believe that hackers, who have an ongoing feud with Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley, targeted the flight on which the executive was a passenger.

The individuals, who have been trying to take down Sony's servers for "several days," may have gained access to Smedley's travel itinerary. The airline's computer system was not compromised, officials said.

Bomb threats are nothing new, but some experts say the use of Twitter in Sunday's incident is a sign of the times.

"Bomb threats have been around in our industry since aviation first started, since aviation terrorism really first started ramping up in the late 50s, early 60s," said Jeff Price, professor of aviation at Metropolitan Sate University of Denver. "So what's interesting is now the use of social media to transmit the bomb threat message."



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