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Airplanes cleared after hijack threats

4:06 PM, Sep 17, 2012   |    comments
The planes, which had arrived from San Francisco and Helsinki, were moved to an isolated area of the airport to be searched, sources said. (WNBC)
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NEW YORK -- Two airplanes at John F. Kennedy Airport have been cleared after a caller warned that hijackers were targeting them.

The planes had already landed when the call came in, law enforcement sources said. The planes were searched in an isolated area as a precaution, and the level of concern was low.

The affected planes were an American Airlines flight from San Francisco, and a Finnair flight from Helsinki, sources said.

The Finnair flight was cleared around 4:30 p.m., a federal official said, and an all-clear on the American Airlines flight followed shortly afterward.

The Port Authority Police received a phoned threat that hijackers wearing gas masks were hiding in the wheel wells of a plane that left from Chicago, but the information was vague, sources said. The American Airlines plane was carrying four federal air marshals, sources said.

All wheel wells of both planes have been checked and police found nothing, sources said.

Neither pilot indicated an emergency, sources said.

Police and FBI are continuing to interview passengers and crew on both planes as part of the investigation.

(WNBC New York)

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