Fighter jets scrambled after man tries to break into cockpit of American Airlines plane

FBi says Turkish national and named as Anil Uskanil will be charged with interference with a flight crew

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The Independent US

A pair of US Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to escort an American Airlines flight after a disturbance involving a passenger. 

The plane was flying from Los Angeles to Honolulu International Airport when a Turkish national and named as Anil Uskanil reportedly tried to force his way into the cockpit. 

The FBI did not disclose exact details of the incident but he was subdued by an off-duty law enforcement officer. No injuries were reported and the flight landed safely.

The incident prompted Pacific Command to dispatch a pair of F-22 fighter jets to intercept the passenger plane.

Command spokesman Dave Benham said they "escorted the airliner to the airport in accordance with homeland defence procedures. Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground," . 

Federal authorities are preparing a criminal complaint to charge Uskanil with interference with a flight crew, FBI special-agent-in charge Paul Delacourt said at a news conference.

He also added that it was "unclear what [Uskanil's] motivation was".

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) police said separately that Uskanil had been detained, questioned and released hours earlier after he was caught by security going through a terminal concourse door leading out to the airfield.

Los Angeles airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said Uskanil was a ticketed American Airlines passenger with a boarding pass who had cleared security screening but claimed that he lost his way because he was slightly drunk.

As he did not appear to meet the criteria for public drunkenness, police let him go with a citation for misdemeanour trespassing.

The incident at the airport took place nearly three hours before the first flights of the day and Mr Pedregon said it was not usual for passengers to mistakenly go through unauthorised doors. 

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