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SIA bomb threat: fighter jets scrambled, man arrested

A Singapore Airlines Airbus 350 plane (left) and an RSAF F16 fighter jet. (PHOTOS: Getty Images/MINDEF)
A Singapore Airlines Airbus 350 plane (left) and an RSAF F16 fighter jet. (PHOTOS: Getty Images/MINDEF)

SINGAPORE — A 37-year old man was arrested on Wednesday morning (28 September) after making a bomb threat on board a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight from San Francisco.

The passenger had claimed that there was a bomb in a hand-carry bag on the SQ33 flight, and had assaulted the crew, said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a Facebook post.

The police were reportedly alerted to the threat at about 2.40am, as the crew had restrained the man on the Airbus A350-900 plane.

As a result of the threat, two Republic of Singapore Air Force F16C/D fighter jets were scrambled to escort the SIA flight until it had landed at Changi Airport at around 5.50am.

The Singapore Army's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and Airport Police Division subsequently verified the threat to be false and the suspect was arrested, said MINDEF.

Police investigations are ongoing.

In its Facebook post, MINDEF said it works closely around the round the clock with the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure the safety of the country and people and will treat every threat seriously.

Under Regulation 8(1) of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations, it is an offence for a person to make false claims of a terrorist act.

Culprits face a fine of up to $500,000 and/or up to 10 years' jail.

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