Security concerns ground six Saturday flights
 
Security concerns ground six Saturday flights

Online Exclusive, Feb 2 2004

Six U.S.-bound flights from England, Scotland and France were canceled Saturday because of security concerns. The U.S. government said it had indications of al-Qaida's continued interest in targeting commercial planes flying to the U.S.
British Airways grounded the same flight scheduled Sunday and Monday from London's Heathrow Airport to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, as well as the return flights. Also canceled was a flight from London to Miami on Sunday. In addition, Continental Airlines said it canceled a Sunday flight from Glasgow, Scotland, to Los Angeles with an intermediate stop in Newark, N.J.
Air France scrubbed the same flight set for Sunday and Monday from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Dulles. "We continue to receive threat reporting that indicates al Qaida's desire to target international aviation," Brian Roehrkasse, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department told The Associated Press.
The decision to cancel the flights was made jointly by the U.S., British and French governments, according to a senior U.S. law enforcement official. The threat information picked up by intelligence agencies specifically mentioned several of the cancelled flights.
Continental spokesman David Messing said his company canceled the Glasgow-Los Angeles flight "because we were unable to obtain the necessary security clearance from the Department of Homeland Security and its international counterpart."

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