Korean Air Flight to Calif. Diverted; Passenger Thought Terrorist Suspect

A Korean Air flight to California was diverted to Japan after U.S. officials refused to let it enter American airspace because they suspected a passenger might be a terrorist.


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A Korean Air flight to California was diverted to Japan after U.S. officials refused to let it enter American airspace because they suspected a passenger might be a terrorist, airline officials said Tuesday.

The man, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, has the same name as that of a suspect on the U.S. government's no-fly list. He was allowed to reboard the flight with other passengers when it was determined he was not the suspect in question, and the flight continued to San Francisco.

The man and his family had boarded a connecting flight in Bangkok before arriving in South Korea for the flight to San Francisco.

The flight left South Korea's Incheon International Airport at 6:15 p.m. Sunday and had completed most of the journey to San Francisco when it was ordered back. It landed at Japan's Narita Airport early on Monday.

The no-fly list identifies individuals who have known or suspected links to terrorism or who have been otherwise identified as a threat to aviation.

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