UAE rejects US claims on Flight 201
Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:11AM
The United Arab Emirates' Civil Aviation Authority has rejected claims that a US-bound Emirates' flight from Dubai contained "suspicious" parcels from Yemen.
Fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to accompany an Emirates plane into New York's JFK airport after a security alert, US media reported.
Emirati authorities, however, said flight 201 carried no 'suspicious' cargo from Yemen as claimed by US-Canadian military agency NORAD.
UAE officials rejected the claim and said the plane was not a source of threat.
"The Emirates plane that arrived today in the United States from Dubai did not contain any packages from Yemen," the official Emirati WAM news agency quoted an unnamed source with the country's civil aviation body as saying.
North American military agency caused a media hype after it reported the suspicious flight.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the North American Aerospace Defense Command diverted two Canadian CF-18s to track a civilian aircraft that was determined to be an aircraft of interest as it flew into and over Canadian airspace," AFP quoted a NORAD statement as saying on Friday.
"The civilian aircraft was passed to two US F-15s as it transited into US airspace and its ultimate destination at JFK airport," the statement added.
According to a White House statement late Friday, Saudi Arabia had tipped it off before "packages from Yemen containing explosive materials" were found on US-bound planes.
US President Barack Obama was informed later on Thursday about a "potential terrorist threat" from suspicious packages from Yemen on two cargo planes, one in Britain and the other in Dubai, the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Meanwhile, the US president hinted at boosting the US military role in Yemen following reports about the "suspicious packages."
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