Two F-15s scrambled from Portland after hijacking scare
PORTLAND, Ore. - Two F-15s were scrambled from Portland to escort Alaska Airlines Flight 819 into Seattle from Kona in Hawaii on Thursday night, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
One person was taken into custody when the plane landed in Seattle and was questioned by the FBI, an FBI spokesperson said. The passenger cooperated with authorities and was later released.
According to the FBI, its field office in Hawaii received a tip that named a man on the flight and said the man was a hijacker. The FBI, however, is considering the possibility the "tip" is a hoax, and according to several law enforcement sources, the FBI believes it will likely turn out to be a hoax.
An airline spokesperson said the airline was notified that law enforcement was interested in the passenger.
The passenger exhibited no unusual behavior during the flight and was asleep for much of it, the airline spokesperson said.
According to the FBI, there was no indication there was a credible threat, and if it turns out it was a hoax, it will be thoroughly investigated.
Perry Cooper with Sea-Tac Airport said once the plane was on the ground, it was boarded from the rear by Port police who detained the passenger. All the other passengers deplaned without incident.
A police dog was used to search the airplane and found nothing.
The F-15s were scrambled at about 6:15 p.m. "out of an abundance of caution," according to NORAD.