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Three held after airliner reported concerns


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Three men were detained Thursday at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a report of suspicious behavior aboard a flight from Detroit, Michigan, a federal official said.

The men were "acting suspiciously ... moving about the airplane ... speaking to each other in a foreign language," according to the FBI, and crew members were concerned enough to notify authorities.

A check of the aircraft did not turn up any weapons, instruments or materials that would constitute any credible threat, the FBI said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled a pair of F-16 jets just before 8 a.m. EST from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to monitor the plane's progress.

"They went up and conducted a precautionary combat air patrol between the aircraft and the Washington, D.C., area and visually monitored it to its landing," said Air Force Maj. Ed Thomas, a NORAD spokesman.

Flight attendants reported the behavior aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 1134 about 30 minutes after takeoff, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Heather Rosenker.

Authorities were interviewing the men and flight crew, Rosenker said.

Federal authorities met the plane when it landed about 8:20 a.m. at the Baltimore-Washington airport.

Northwest spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert said the "remaining passengers deplaned and claimed their luggage. The incident remains under investigation."

The plane, which left Detroit at 6:48 a.m., carried 48 passengers and five crew members.


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