‘Terrorist’ WiFi grounds LA flight
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‘Terrorist’ WiFi grounds LA flight

Airport holds London-bound plane for 16 hours after passenger discovers hotspot named for ‘Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork’

A screenshot of a cellphone in-range of the WiFi hotspot "Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork." (screen capture: ABC 7 Eyewitness News)
A screenshot of a cellphone in-range of the WiFi hotspot "Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork." (screen capture: ABC 7 Eyewitness News)

An international flight departing from Los Angeles was delayed after concerns over a WiFi hotspot name.

Passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 136 to London’s Heathrow Airport were returned to gate Sunday after a traveler notified a flight of the “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork” while searching for a WiFi connection, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News in Los Angeles.

A hotspot provides Internet access for wireless users. Many modern smartphones are equipped with this technology, often used to extend the range of wireless Internet routers.

The passengers spent a reported three hours aboard the flight after initially being notified that the aircraft was dealing with a “maintenance issue.”

The flight, which was due to take off at 9 p.m., was grounded until 1 p.m. Monday as authorities were alerted to the ostensibly troubling WiFi hotspot connection.

Only after 16 hours did airport officials permit the flight to take off.

“After further investigation, it was determined that no crime was committed and no further action will be taken,” the airport said in a statement on Monday to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

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