It was approximately 7:30 a.m. Thursday when a call was received at Philadelphia police airport headquarters from a person stating that a specific individual would attempt to get past TSA and board a flight to somewhere in Texas with a dangerous and hazardous substance.
Police say that information was immediately given to the FBI and TSA. It was then confirmed that the individual implicated on the tip call was on US Airways flight 1267 that had already departed at 7:39 a.m. to Dallas.
The decision was made jointly by police, FBI and US Airways to order the Airbus A-319 to return to the airport.
The flight arrived back in Philadelphia where officials boarded the plane and secured the man in question.
Philadelphia Police Inspector Joe Sullivan explained at a press briefing Thursday morning that, "At that time we checked him and his carry-on luggage, and determined that he was not in possession of anything dangerous, hazardous or illegal."
The male was then transferred into FBI custody and removed from the scene for further questioning. Several passengers sitting near the man in question were briefly re-interviewed at the scene. All, including the man in question, have been released.
Bomb technicians and bomb sniffing dogs conducted a very thorough search of the plane and around 9:30 a.m. the all clear was given. By that time, however, some of the flight's 69 passengers chose to book other flights.
"There was no emergency. There was a threat, but that threat was unfounded," said Inspector Sullivan. "That flight was never in any danger. And I just want to stress right now that the male that was briefly taken in for investigation has committed no crime. He would appear at this time, this is an ongoing investigation, but at this time all indications are that this was a hoax."
Authorities would not comment on who they think may have been behind the threat. They would only say that the investigation in ongoing.