HEBRON, Ky. – A woman was taken off a Paris-to-Cincinnati flight just before it left France on Tuesday because of suspicious wires poking out of her leather jacket. Security officials later determined she was not a threat.
It turned out that the motorcycle jacket was designed to heat up like an electric blanket to keep the wearer warm, officials said.
However, as a precaution, Delta Flight 43 was kept a half-mile from the terminal at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (search) after it landed. U.S. officials then re-screened all passengers and baggage.
Hafiz Aboulhosn, 53, said he was one of several people questioned in Paris and among about 10 Middle Eastern men questioned at the Cincinnati airport.
"I wasn't upset about it," said Aboulhosn, an engineer for General Electric Co.'s jet engine division in suburban Cincinnati. "I'm glad they're doing it. I would suspect everybody from the Middle East because of what is going on."
The nation is under orange alert (search), the second-highest of five color-coded terrorism threat levels. The government has started photographing and fingerprinting foreigners arriving at U.S. airports, and some international flights have been canceled or delayed because of terrorism fears.
The plane landed at a cargo area where Air Force One (search) lands when President Bush visits. Police cars and Delta passenger buses were gathered at the site, which is surrounded by a 10-foot chain-link fence with barbed wire.
A Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the passenger was taken off the plane before it left France because of concerns about the wires. Police bomb disposal experts were called in to check the woman's jacket, said French police officials speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
The Boeing 767-300 is a regularly scheduled flight from Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris. The security concerns delayed the plane's takeoff about an hour, authorities said.
Meanwhile, British Airways Flight 223 from London to Washington's Dulles International Airport was almost two hours late for the fourth straight day because of additional screening requested by U.S. law enforcement authorities, according to airline spokesman John Lampl.
The flight has been delayed or canceled every day for the past week. On Monday, British Airways Flight 216, Dulles to London's Heathrow, left about four hours late because of additional screening.