An easyJet flight from Vienna to London was halted just before takeoff on Saturday because a passenger believed the man sitting next to her might be an Islamic extremist, authorities said.
“The woman believed that she saw messages related to IS (Islamic State) on the man’s mobile phone,” Austrian interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told AFP.
The woman alerted cabin crew, security staff were called, the takeoff was cancelled and all passengers and all their luggage were taken off the plane for checks.
“Nothing was found however, and the aircraft has since taken off, but without either the man or the woman. They are now being questioned,” Grundboeck said.
The man is an Iraqi citizen, he added. It was unclear what the woman’s nationality is. The incident comes amid heightened security in Europe following Tuesday’s bombings in Brussels, which were claimed by IS.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.