FOXNEWS.COM HOME Friday, September 14, 2001 At least one man claiming to be a pilot has been arrested and up to nine others detained in at least two of New York's three area airports, as officials probed the possibility some of those held were carrying knives, tickets booked for flights Tuesday morning and might be hijackers.
The arrest and detainments caused the immediate closure of all three of the city's airports, which had opened just hours earlier. Peter Yerkes, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which runs the airports, said planes in the air were being allowed to land, but no planes were allowed to take off. The hold went into effect shortly before 5 p.m.
A source knowledgeable of the workings of the airline industry said the man arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport checked in sometime between noon and 4 p.m. The man was trying to board American Airlines flight 299 bound for San Jose.
The man had been scheduled for an earlier flight on Tuesday bound for Los Angeles, but that flight was canceled after the terrorist attack began on the World Trade Center, the source said. A subsequent strip search found the man had a pilot's certificate from a Florida school, the source said.
The FBI was already investigating whether an altercation at Kennedy Airport on Tuesday was linked to the World Trade Center explosion, a law enforcement source told The Associated Press on Thursday.