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Statement by Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Sara Kuban

Release Date: 
December 27, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

"A passenger on today's Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit spent an unusually long time in the aircraft lavatory. Due to this unusual behavior, the airline notified TSA and the agency directed the flight to taxi to a remote area upon landing to be met by law enforcement and DHS. The passenger in question, a Nigerian national, was removed from the flight and interviewed by the FBI; indications at this time are that the individual's behavior is due to legitimate illness, and no other suspicious behavior or materials have been found. Though this does not appear at this time to be a security incident, in an abundance of caution, the aircraft was fully screened, with negative results, and all baggage is being rescreened before the aircraft taxis to the gate."

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