tv Your Money CNN December 27, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
and so now we understand that white house was briefed quite immediately. five hours difference from east coast time. 9:00 a.m. was notified of the incident and we'll be having yet another interagency or teleconference briefing as soon as possible on this. so, again, what you're looking at right now live images there at the detroit airport. this aircraft northwest flight 253 from amsterdam to detroit in an isolated location of the airport and emergency vehicles around it because the crew alerted the right authorities that there was a problem. a verbally abusive or disruptive passenger onboard and to be at the ready upon landing. emergency crews were on the ground right away and buses were brought, as well. all the passengers and crew members were deplaned and
presumably jeanne meserve homeland security correspondent and presumably, jeanne, what would take place after those passengers and crews are deplaned, they will all be questioned. they're looking for consistencies and inconsistencies in the story telling of what exactly what was win witnessed. we heard from martin savidge on christmas day when this same flight, flight 253 made its landing from holland, people were questioned for five or six hours. that the typical amount of time when an incident is to occur that everyone is thoroughly examined like this? >> i think it depends somewhat on what their early conclusions are about the incident and some incidents come to conclusion pretty quickly that this wasn't a security threat. given recent history i suspect they're very careful with this one and it will not take hours. they will not only want to talk to all those passengers but get
onboard that aircraft and go over it with dogs to see if they get any explosive hits. they may want to look at all of the carry-on luggage and perhaps want to look at what was in the hold of the aircraft. this could be a very, very expensive process because if this was, indeed, a security threat, they're doing forensic work here. they have to find the materials, if there are any. you'll remember that in the affidavit that was filed on the case christmas day, they talked about how they found the syringe on the floor near his seat. so, this will be an extensive process, given the date, given the recent history and give on the flight. >> all right, thanks so much, jeanne. hold on right there, white house correspondent ed henry is traveling with the president and he's in honolulu and the president vacationing in hawaii. we just read this statement, ed, saying that the president was notified quite immediately about this unruly passenger and that another teleconference will be
taking place soon. what more will be revealed from the white house right now? >> well, so far, fred, that is all that we're getting right now from bill burton, who is the deputy white house press secretary who is traveling with the president. the aide who informed the president of this, dennis mcdonna a chief of staff at the national security and a lot of the white house staff were expecting it would not be quite as urgent a situation as we've seen unfold over the last couple of days. so far we've seen the president stay mostly behind closed doors. he's had some outings. this morning he had another workout at the local marine base here and played basketball with some white house staff and some friend that were visiting from chicago and else where with him. the president, himself, have not been out there publicly himself on this. he has been allowing aides to put out this statement. that's by design. this white house is a much different style than the bush
administration. they do not believe the president should go out every time there is an attempted terror attack. i am referring to the first incident a couple days ago because we don't know if the second one was an attempted terror attack. this case so far being as an unruly passenger. the white house very clearly said the episode a few days ago was an attempted terror attack, but so far they have been keeping the president sort of at arm's length as far as reaching out to the public on it. but behind the scenes the president has been very much in the loop on all this information that is coming into his staff, traveling with him. he's also getting very frequent updates from the white house situation room which has been operating basically 24/7 and does that whether the president is on vacation or not, fred. >> ed henry in honolulu, thanks so much. we'll check back with you momentarily. just to recap for any of you who are now joining.
you are looking at images out of detroit airport and northwest flight 253 making its way from detroit to amsterdam and now you're seeing all the luggage on the tarmac, as well, as they try to sanitize this airplane, try to get to the bottom of anything that might help them in their questioning of a passenger who has been considered to be unruly. and one that was verbally abusive. you're not looking at images we're replaying from christmas day, two days ago, when this same flight plan made its way from amsterdam to detroit. onboard was a passenger who is now been charged, as of yesterday, with trying to blow up an aircraft. now, two days later, very similar flight plan but now the difference here is the crew notified authorities and said we want emergency crews in place when we land because we have a disruptive passenger, one that was verbally abusive is the
language that delta airlines is using. delta and northwest merging and now you're seeing, after all the passengers and crews have been deplaned from the aircraft which is now in a remote location there at the detroit airport. all the luggage has been put on the tarmac there and they will pain stakingly go through all this luggage and looking for anything that raises suspicion. i'm joined now by sandra endo who is an expert on airport security. i think you're out of washington, is that right? >> that's right. i was at reagan international airport all morning long and i can talk to you about heightened security efforts under way at area airports across the country in light of the detroit incident that happened on ochristmas day. security is certainly beefed up at security airports here in washington, d.c., especially i saw first hand bomb sniffing dogs and policeman patrolling the area, of course, even more. but certainly the tsa, the transportation security administration also released new guidelines for passengers.
they're not laying out specifically all the new rules. they want to remain unpredictable, but we do know that passengers on international flights will now have to stay in their seats an hour before landing. they will not be allowed to have personal belongings on their laps or blankets on their laps, as well. also, passengers will have to undergo extra security measure screenings at gates and pat downs, perhaps. now, we don't know the timeline in terms of the action of this particular passenger on the incident today, but we do know that there are new implemented guidelines for passengers on international flights heading into the united states. so, clearly, that's going to be something that tsa is going to be looking into when they investigate this case, as well as the overall security at all airports as we go forward. >> thanks so much. i want to bring jeanne meserve back into the picture here. as we look at now, jeanne, you gave us a prelude. they examine this aircraft and
now all the passengers and crew deplaned and presumably now undergoing questioning and while they try to figure out how serious a case this is, they got all the luggage and all the luggage that was on that plane whether it be in the cargo or in the overhead bins, now it is all stretched out on the tarmac. explain to us what will be taking place. >> it looks like they're getting it ready for the dogs and be taking some canine explosive detection teams up and down that line to see what those animals can pick up. as you know, they're pretty darn good. i'm sure they have them deployed at detroit as they do at many other airports across the country. i believe that is what they're going to do. if they have any hits, they'll take precautionary measures. i guess, isolate the bag, take it away and perhaps do some, i don't know whether they do a detonation or whether they try and do other forensic work on it before that. but, yeah, i think that's what you're seeing there on the tarmac now, as the questioning of the passengers and of this
particular individual proceeds. >> all this taking place, oh, now, we can see. you can see on the left side, it's out of frame now, you can see the dog there along with his handler there examining every piece of luggage looking for anything that is suspicious. we still don't know much about the behavior of this passenger. we understand it, jeanne, still to be one passenger that is in custody that was described as being verbally abusive and we don't know what other kind of behavior was associated with that. one government source did tell cnn, however, jeanne, that this passenger or person was in the lavatory for about an hour and that raised suspicion and that particularly on the heels of the suspect of chrisplace day, witnesses say he was in the bathroom for 20 minutes before he came out and returned to his seat and ignited this incendiary
device. >> passengers spend a lot of time in a lavatory. many years ago i went and flew with a federal air marshal as he did his job and as we sat in that aircraft, there was a passenger who went to the rest room and he stayed there for longer than five minutes and that air marshal got up and knocked on the door to determine what was going on and kept a very careful eye on that particular passenger. it's something they're aware of. they don't know. perhaps they're mixing something in the bathroom. perhaps they have hidden something in the bathroom and perhaps they're moving something around their body and perhaps they're praying in a bathroom. it could be totally innocent and it could be someone who is not feeling well. that could happen on an international flight, in particular. at this point it is something that would raise a lot of red flags and a lot of concern and everybody, let me add, is on a
hair trigger here, given the events of christmas day. every pilot, every security screener, every passenger is going to be extraordinarily sensitive to any sort of behavior that is out of the ordinary. >> particularly the same airline, the same flight and the same airport, all of them on heightened sense of sensitivity, as you've put it. now with this taking place just two days after that christmas day incident, everyone here was at the ready at detroit airport and was able to respond immediately after the crew said they wanted some sort of backup or they wanted emergency, an emergency plan in place immediately. >> that's absolutely right. as you know, everything is staffed up and would have been staffed up for the holidays in any event. but i'm sure briefings of varusious security personnel. i know there have been directives that have gone out to airlines. so, yeah, people anticipating
possible problems in part because, as we know, in the past, al qaeda, when it has tried to do things in the air had tried to do things with multiple aircrafts and although investigators in the christmas day events have not yet said whether there's an al qaeda connection, we did hear the secretary of homeland security say this morning that she thought this was not part of a broader attack, but, you know, you don't know what you don't know. and it's a reason why this would be particularly worrisome. >> and cnn is learning from one law enforcement official saying no device was found with or on the passenger. yet, jeanne, you still will see them go through every step to double check all of the articles left on the plane, whether they be pieces of luggage or personal items, correct? >> that's absolutely correct.
now, they might not do it to the nth degree as they would have if they had found a device on this passenger. i think they will still run the traps here out of an abundance of caution. >> white house correspondent ed henry still with us in honolulu where the president is keeping close tabs on this situation and even released a statement. his staff did about how he's being kept abreast. ed? >> that's right. just a short time ago, bill burton, the deputy white house spokesperson put out a statement saying the president was notified just about 9:00 local time here. just a short while ago, we're five hours back of the east coast and the united states. about this incident from dennis mcdonough, chief of staff on the security council back in washington but dennis is traveling here in hawaii with the president. in fact, played basketball with him this morning when the president had a workout at a local marine base. obviously, they're in contact here and they're planning to have a vacation, but it keeps getting interrupted, obviously.
on that call with dennis in which the president was informed about this latest incident we're told by bill burton that the president immediately instructed that there be a secure conference call set up just as there was one just a few days ago with dennis mcdonough, john brannen and the homeland security adviser and others to get on top of this situation. they're clearly trying to keep not only the president abreast of the itch isuation, but when they do these secure conference calls they reach out to the tsa and other agencies to make sure that everyone is coordinating the information. something that did not happen right around 9/11, of course. they are trying to make sure these systems that have been put in place post-9/11 are working and it's also important to stress that bill burton in his statement saying the president was notified about this passenger disruption, not classifying it as an attempted terror attack. since we have no evidence that it was. as you just reported, our producer getting information from a law enforcement source
suggesting that this person on the plane who was disruptive in some manner did not have a device on him. at least that's the initial word. again, very early in this investigation. as we know from just a few days ago, the first incident we're still picking up information on it. the fbi dedigging hard on all of that. the second one just playing out as we speak. the white house is desperately trying to get all the information it can before it starts classifying it in any direction. get as much information as possible and get to the president, fred? >> when this incident happened on christmas day and it did result in a suspect who has been charged with attempting to blow up a u.s. airliner homeland security said we're not necessarily going to adjust the threat lervuvl, color cold. we wonder if today's incident, depending on, of course, the outcome of this investigation would in any way encourage the
white house to respond one more time on the threat level or homeland security about this color code system. >> they could take another look, as you say, at the color code system but that, obviously, as you noted, is dependent upon what plays out in this situation whether it's a sick passenger or unruly passenger, it could happen on any flight whether it's coming in from europe or domestically within the u.s. and may have absalutely nothing to do with terrorism. if that's the case, then it seems highly unlikely this administration would change the color coded threat level. they kept it at orange and did not raise it to red on chris ps day, even though we're learning more information today that the secretary of ohomeland security janet napolitano was on cnn saying that on christmas day they looked at that very closely. they didn't raise it even though that was, they believe, an attempted terror attack on christmas day. so, if this does not turn out to be an attempted terror attack, it seems highly unlikely they'll
raise the threat level. make sure they classify this appropriately and put it in the proper perspective. >> ed henry, thanks so much, traveling with the president there in honolulu. okay, detroit is where you're looking right now. that tarmac, as they continue with their sniffing dogs to examine the baggage and all the items that were left on this aircraft northwest flight 253, which made a landing after the crew i was frisked by not
one, but two police officers and my shoes and my coat were both checked for chemicals. so, here the security has gone up. people are concerned and they're standing around now waiting to see what's going on. >> the vantage point of most visitors to the airport can they see where that aircraft is? i described it as being in a more remote location of the airport. is it an area where they can
actually see the emergency crews examining or parked near that aircraft? >> fredricka, i don't know for sure. i was called to come here. the part of the airport i was in, i could not see the plane. >> all right, all right. thanks so much, cheryl jackson. homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve is with us again. are you learning anything knew about what is taking place at detroit airport in. >> i wish i could tell you i was. at the moment i'm on the phone with you. i'm reading my blackberry, but, no, i haven't seen any new information coming in. >> okay, no device on this unruly passenger or even if they're able to see onboard that flight as of yet. but it looks as though they've gone through with the dog sniffers through a lot of the luggage there that's placed on the tarmac. we haven't seen any unusual or
particular activity surrounding any one particular piece of luggage. do you have any idea, jeanne, how long it will be before they remove the aircraft from this location or they'll give an all clear? all right, doesn't look like homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve is with us still. what you're looking at images out of detroit airport. this aircraft, northwest airlines flight 253 made its way from amsterdam to detroit when the crew onboard this flight phoned in and said we have a verbally abusive or/unruly passenger onboard please have emergency crews at the ready as we make our landing in detroit. emergency crews were there at the ready. there at detroit airport. all the passengers and crew members were deplaned and they were boarded on to these buses. we understand the buses have been taken to an undisclosed location there at the airport. each of the passengers and crew members are being questioned.
the passenger who's considered unruly, we're told from sources, is in custody and being questioned. you saw in an earlier shot all the luggage being removed from the aircraft and placed on the tarmac. they had dogs that went through each of the pieces of luggage trying to look for any kind of suspicious activity. we understand from one law enforcement source that no device was found with or on that passenger. however, out of an abundance of caution here, they're going through the drill. examining everything and talking to all the people possible. can i hear my producer one more time? okay. sand sandra is back with us out of washington. your focus has been airport security and you have been at reagan airport over is the past couple days to see security has stepped up considerably as a result of the christmas day incident. now, we're talking one day after the nigerian was charged with
trying to blow up an aircraft. we're seeing another emergency unfolding there at detroit airport and over the past couple days everyone who has been traveling in and out of any one of the many airports throughout the country has been indured a stepped up level of security. >> that's right, fred. because certainly there are some eerie similarities between what happened here today and what happened on christmas in detroit. but, of course, there are different incidents and different outcomes. overall when you talk about air safety and air travel now. travelers can expect beefed up security everywhere they go. the tsa transportation security administration has implemented new guidelines for passengers. they haven't revealed all the new rules because they want to remain unpredictable and make sure people are on their toes and they don't know exactly where the security is going to be and when they will be tested. however, we do know that passengers traveling internationally to the united
states will have to remain in their seats an hour before landing. they will not be allowed to have any personal belongings on their laps and personal belongings covering them and passengers will be screened more heavily. we're talking about being patted down and more scrutinized in terms of their personal belongings and carry-ons they'll take on to the planes. we also know airlines will be more sensitive in terms of behavior. certainly going to tell their flight attendants and crews to be sure to monitor people's behaviors on planes and it's an example of what happened here in this incident that landed in detroit. of course, the crew members sprung into action and made sure that the necessary precautions were made available to make sure this incident remains safe and was taken care of. but, certainly, for passengers traveling, air travelers, they will experience heightened security, especially in light of the christmas incident.
fred? >> sandra, thanks so much. homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve back with us now. what are you learning? >> we do have a little bit of new information. a law enforcement source says this does appear to be a nonserious incident. this source says that this person, this individual does not appear to be a threat. this reinforces what we've heard from other sources along the line here as this individual did not have a device. we're still waiting to get more detail. i'm sure it will take a bit to get it. >> that they're saying that this person appears to be or the incident seems to be nonserious. will they still continue to go through the drill or complete trying to sanitize that aircraft? we see the luggage from this live picture still on the tarmac displayed out where they had a dog go through that luggage. how much longer before they would actually say this is an all clear? are there other layers to go through? >> it varies from case to case and i am reluctant to try to
predict the time frame here. i'll tell you, they're still processing this individual. i'm sure there is an extennive interview process that is going on. i'm sure they're looking very carefully at his documents and his travel history and they're querying all those databases that we heard so much about just to make triple sure that they haven't got a security situation on their hands here. so, that individual still, as i understand it, being questioned. i believe the interviews with the passengers probably will continue as they continue just, just out of an abundance of caution make sure they really actually know what they're dealing with here. >> jeanne meserve, thanks so much. martin savidge is there at detroit airport. we have you back with us now. martin, what are you learning from your vantage point? >> hello, fredricka. despite all the activity and drama you can see by looking at the shots there from an isolated part of the runway at detroit metro airport. people coming and going has not
been interrupted at all. i would dare say that most of the people here unaware of any situation that might have occurred here or whether it was serious or not. in fact, a couple people have heard maybe something was going on and they had come up and asked where is the airplane and i had to point it out to them. but otherwise, no, no disruption of service. activity continues to go on, busy day, of course. people heading back to where they may have to be. but it does appear that this has had a major impact on operation in the detroit area and most people seem unaware. what we're waiting to see is when we might be able to have acstees the passengers of flight 253 to get their input as to what happened and what took place and how serious was this altercation and then, again, the original reason we wanted to get in touch with them was how security merasures onboard the aircraft has had changed. a great irony to all of this as
the very plane we were waiting for is the very plane involved in today's incident. >> and, again, martin, according to one law enforcement source, jeanne meserve is reporting that this does not right now appear to be a serious incident. the person that as we understand is still in custody and being questioned is not a threat, however, they have not given us an all clear. we still see the emergency vehicles parked outside that aircraft that just landed after noontime eastern time. and that crew onboard that flight called in saying this was an unruly passenger. we understand from one source that this passenger was in the bathroom for one hour. we don't know what other activity was taking place. that was so suspicious to raise the concern of the crew members. have you learned anything more on that? >> well, as i pointed out earlier, what is just striking
is the difference in perhaps the attitude of the focus of the person that was involved. in other words, when you remember what happened on christmas day with umar farouk abdulmutallab. he was silent the entire time. he never indicated there was going to be a problem when, in fact, there was, when he detonated the device. today a totally different sort of scenario that portrayed. similar in the sense that you have suspicious activity, but this time you have a person who appears to be drawing attention to themselves. verbally and in the way they speak and apparently confrontational in their attitude with flight personnel onboard the aircraft. there is a sloilight difference there. that doesn't necessarily mean that these are totally different scenarios or maybe they are. all of that is being worked on. but it clearly by the posture that we're starting to see as this unfolds here in detroit, it does not have the dire sense of
urgency. you don't get that sense of an extreme problem, say, that was being felt here on christmas day. as time has progressed as there has been a greater control of more emergency and law enforcement brought to the scene, it's a clear indication here that they got it under control and this is not as serious and that's what we've learned. >> the more than 200 passengers and crew that deplaned from that aircraft and had been taken to some undisclosed location for questioning is it your view that they would be questioned right there on the property of the airport before being brought back to be released? >> if they are going it be questioned, yeah, that would most likely be the place. they had the facilities and they had the room. you want to keep all these people together and try to talk to them as close to the event as possible. if, in fact, that is the plan. it could be that if this situation is not so serious they don't need to interview the passengers and they were brought in and go through regular deplaning and you would have to
do from coming from a flight overseas. make sure the documents check and then reunited with their loved ones and then eventually, although judging by the images we can see from the runway, a while before they're reunite would their luggage. >> martin savidge there in detroit. tom fuentes is joining us from san francisco. tom, i'm wondering in situations like this where now we have various bits of information coming from various sources, one in particular who says this appears to be a nonserious, not a serious situation. would they continue to question passengers and crew members before releasing that kind of information about this parnlsh not seemingly to be very much of a threat? >> hi, fredricka. i think what happened on christmas day they will probably be much more extensive in terms of interviewing the passengers to make sure this is absolutely, you know, an isolated incident.
i would add that if must have been very clear to the cockpit crew and to the captain of that flight that there was no imminent danger and there was no threat of an explosive device from that subject or when that plane landed if they thought there was still an undetonated device on that plane you would have seen the passengers using the emergency chutes and being taken away from that aircraft as quickly as they could run from the aircraft. so, the fact that they took the normal walkways down, the fact that the baggages strewn out on the tarmac for examination would indicate that they did not believe they had an explosive threat at the time but they're going to be extra cautious and check all that extra baggage. it will end up in the main terminal, so they want to be extra cautious with it. the authorities will be questioning the subject. he could have been physically ill, he could be mentally ill and he could, he could, you know, possibly, as remote as it
sounds been unaware of what happened on christmas day but give on the increased security in the airport, he could be a copy cat jerk and just want to draw attention to himself and want to raise an issue knowing that the flight crew and the passengers are going to be very, very upset and very scared that a repeat incident is occurring. >> could you also see it potentially as people becoming so hypersensitive as a result of what happened on christmas day that perhaps the slightest of things become, i guess, reason for unusual behavior of someone being in a bathroom too long and that that seems unusual and maybe that person must be up to no good. >> well, we can understand if passengers are hypersensitive, as you say. but these flight crews are very well trained. they're very professional to remain calm under fire and they're used to dealing with unruly, intoxicated, mentally disturbed, physically disturbed passengers. so, they're not going to be
unprofessional in how they go about this or how they report the incident. so, i wouldn't expect that. >> okay, martin savidge is still with us, tom, there at detroit airport. martin, what more are you learning? >> well, i think what we're learning is that, you know, this is not the same circumstance that we dealt with on christmas day. however, here in detroit they are not taking anything by chance. the fact that they have now realized that there is no explosive device on or in the company of the person that has been apparently taken into custody doesn't mean, perhaps, that there couldn't be a device somewhere on the aircraft. maybe this passenger was meant to be a distraction. that could be a very strange scenario, but in this town, as a result of what happened on christmas day, as is the case probably in any airport now across the nation, they are not going to let an incident like this pass and simply say take that unruly passenger off and let's get back to normal.
every bag's going to be checked. every possibility and every lead and everything that looks out of the ordinary will be checked and double checked before they let anyone go on their way. there are historic reasonings for this and that is, of course, that those who conduct acts of terror tend to be repetitive and especially if they do not succeed the first time, they tend to go back and attempt to try it again. i think that historic precedence shows that you have to remain alert especially after the initial incident. maybe this is no where as serious but you can never say you didn't try because as security officials will always maintain, the terrorist only has to get it right once. security people have to be right every single time and that includes today. >> back with us from san francisco we're talking about this incident and taking place about three hours ago and the activity is still such that security is taking this very
seriously and still on the tarmac in a remote location of the airport property and they're still looking through this luggage because it's still laid out on the tarmac and looking at emergency vehicles in place and emergency vehicles leaving this scene ask still no idea about the passengers and this person who was in question in custody when any of them are going to be released. is this unusual or normal in your view, tom? >> no, just, i'm sorry, just the sheer number of people it will take time if they are interviewing the passengers and make sure there wasn't another passenger that may have been traveling with this individual even if not seated directly with him. the examination of the baggage, as i mentioned, they will want to be certain before they take that into the main terminal where it is around dozens or hundreds of people. as far as the questioning of the subject the fbi would be questioning him and trying to
make a determination as i mentioned earlier what was the motivation for the disruptive behavior. now, this type of behavior except for what happened on christmas day, but this type of behavior is common. it happens all the time and it is a federal violation to create a disturbance or be disorderly on an aircraft while those doors are shut. so, as the airplane is preparing to fly in flight or landing, it is a federal, it's in federal authority. so, the fbi and the u.s. attorney's office in detroit, you know, would be investigating as a federal offense. the u.s. attorney's offense could say we don't think this incident will rise to the level of a federal prosecution and give the local police the case and the local police can determine whether to bring state of michigan charges against the individual. that's all going to be determined during the questioning process based on subject himself. what were the motivations? why did he act the way he acted
and, as i said, he can even be a mental patient and we don't know that. >> yeah, we don't know anything about this person as of yet. tom fuentes, thanks so much. if you're just now joining us you're looking at the tarmac at detroit airport. northwest floilight 253 made it way from amsterdam to detroit. this is not from christmas day, this is taped from today because a very similar flight plan got in trouble on christmas day and that resulted in the charging of a nigerian man who attempted to blow up an airliner on christmas day and now today two days after that incident, similar problems taking place with this same flight plan. but this time we're understanding, according to delta airlines, which has merged with northwest airlines, that there was an unruly passenger onboard. the crew onboard then called the tsa and said have emergency crews out at the ready there in detroit area when we arrived and
that they did. you're still seeing the scene there of emergency crews there in place. buses were there for the passengers and crew when they deplaned. we understand now three hours after the landing of this aircraft people are still being questioned, but one government source is telling cnn that it appears that this unruly passenger is not determined to be a threat as yet. we have not gotten an all clear there at detroit airport. many folks who are flying in and out of detroit we understand from our correspondents on the ground had no idea that there was even this emergency taking place because planes are landing and taking off as scheduled anyway. we're going to have much more on this incident, this new emergency taking place or emergency response taking place there out of detroit airport straight ahead. (announcer) we call it the american renewal.
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welcome back you're looking at live pictures right now of detroit metro airport. emergency crews are in place because a northwest airlines flight 253 from amsterdam to detroit the crew called the tsa saying we have an unruly passenger onboard and we want support when we land. the plane landed safely and once on the ground was taken to a remote location of the detroit airport there where emergency crews were in place. all the passengers and crew were
put on buses and that was three hours ago. crew and passengers are still being questioned, but one source is telling cnn that it appears that that unruly passenger, the person who delta airlines described as being verbally abusive that apparently they are not considered to be a threat of yet. we have not gotten any official confirmation of that, that coming from one source and we have seen police vehicles and other police vehicles leave this scene, but you still see right now some of the lights still under way and airports still in place. luggage was removed from that aircraft spread out on the tarmac. we saw a dog being led with a handler around that luggage. we don't know what kind of discovers were made, but we did hear from our jeanne meserve. one of her sources saying that there were no suspicious devices that were located from the person considered unruly nor on the aircraft. we have with us martin savidge
who is in detroit at the airport and we also have tom fuentes who is with the fbi and, tom, let me go with you joining us from san francisco to give us an idea of the routine that ordinarily takes place. now, this is taking place two days after the christmas day incident when a nigerian has been imposed with charms of trying to blow up an aircraft and that comes just one day after he was levied those charges. give me an idea of the process here that has been taking place. tom, can you hear me? >> yes, i'm sorry, fredricka. could you ask the question one more time. i had something come up in my ear. >> how unusual is this process or is it heightened because of what took place two days ago? >> i think certainly there is a heightened security expectation. as i mentioned, unruly passengers occur all the time on flights all over. for a variety of reasons. so, flight crews are used to and
trained heavily to deal with that kind of a situation, to try to make a determination whether the individual poses a threat to the aircraft and they need to make an emergency landing and use the chutes to get everybody off as quickly as possible or whether the passenger and the situation can be neutralized on the flight and at least the passengers can be taken off in a safe, orderly manner and taken into custody for further questioning and determination. now, the reporting that he's considered or not considered to be a threat any more that's one thing, but the other thing is the disruption on an aircraft or disorderly conduct is a federal offense. so, that's a determination being made now is that given the behavior that occurred on that aircraft as it rised to a federal prosecution a local prosecution or no prosecution and that's the type of questioning that will be going on with the subject and with all the passengers and flight crew. >> when you mention disorderly
conduct, the discretion of the crew what they determine to be unusual, out of the ordinary kind of behavior or does it need to fit a certain definition? >> certainly, it's the discretion of the crew but they're used to dealing with this and not used to having their flight crew members have to testify in courts all over the world all the time. so, they are very patient and i observed this myself and been summoned on many flights in the past where they say we have somebody who is borderline and they may ask you for help and try to disfuse it to the extent and have it not rise up or elevate the situation. they try to neutralize it safely. >> tom fuentes, thanks so much. formally of the fbi thanks for helping us get some help. you're looking at images at detroit airport after the crew onboard this amstardom to detroit northwest flight 253 said they needed support on the ground because a passenger was unruly. three hours ago, that plane
safely landed and everyone onboard was deplaned and now you still see the images of the luggage on the tarmac, but we understand from at least one government source, they did not find any unusual or dangerous devices on the person in question who remains in custody who they continue to question, nor have we learned anything more about whether this is, indeed, a threat. one source is telling us that this does not appear to be a threat, however, the scene is still active. we'll have much more on this incident out of detroit right incident out of detroit right after this.
all right, welcome back. you're looking at pictures right now in detroit. the metropolitan airport there and that's a northwest airlines flight 253, which made a landing, a safe landing there in detroit after taking off from amsterdam, but what was unusual here is that the crew onboard this flight called the tsa and said we've got an unruly passenger. delta airlines describes the person as a verbally abusive passenger. emergency crews were at the ready when this aircraft landed safely it was taken to a safe location at the detroit metropolitan airport. passengers, crew were put on buses and that was over three hours ago where we understand
many of them are still being questioned, but we also see there that many emergency vehicles have left the scene, still luggage is spread out on the tarmac even after the dogs have gone through the source wa correspondents and our -- our staff here that it does not appear to be a serious threat. they did not locate any alarming items on this person who remains in custody. our homeland security correspondent, jean ne meserve, continuing her research. martin savage is at the detroit airport. martin, let me begin with you. what are you learning about the activity, where this plane remains parked? >> reporter: it is located on a very isolated part of the detroit metro airport, a mile, mile and a half from the main terminal or main area of the
detroit airport. as is custom airy in a case like this, when you have an aircraft that has a problem and any security concern you keep it afrom the terminal and put it in an area you can control. it was surrounded by the emergency vehicles and had have been there the entire time. and then there were buses, shuttle buses, brought in to remove the passengers and bring them to the terminal eventually. you can imagine for authorities here in detroit and, of course, washington, the moment that call came in and it is the same flight, 253, the same airline, and it is coming from amsterdam and coming into detroit, when they received that notification today, how hearts must have skipped a beat. now it appear this is not a serious situation. the local fbi has notified us and said they have given the all-clear but in typical cautionary style they say the all-clear for now. it shows you how much on edge authorities and the officials here in the detroit area and
airports across the country remain on edge as a result of the christmas day incident. but it appears that we are in the final stages of at least ending today's drama and appears it is nowhere near serious and no one has been injured and no damage to aircraft and the best scenario you can have. >> it is understandable that the heightened sensitivity this comes one day after umar farouk adulmutallab was formally charged with trying to blow up a u.s. airliner on christmas day. and as you mentioned, the same flight plan. northwest airlines, flight 253, amsterdam to detroit. but it is our understanding that those passengers and crew that deplaned from this aircraft still have not been released. they are not able to go on about their way and what about the person who was considered to be disruptive? that person still in custody? >> reporter: that we hear. we also heard unconfirmed that he's asking now for medical
attention. exactly why that is, how serious the medical attention, we don't know. we have not had access, of course. authorities kept him constrained and the same for the passengers. now, any time you come off an international flight, on this delay as much as this one has, there are procedures that have to be followed. as we pointed out, it may be the case the passengers are being sequestered and there will be an accounting as to every one of them as to what they say, what they know, what took place on that aircraft, standard operating procedure, any investigation. that could be delaying them. there are a lot of people who are anxiously waiting to have a word with them, including members of the media, to find out what happened. >> right. we are seeing movement of that aircraft. perhaps that is, indeed, an indication that they are at the final stages of this investigation. it is being towed there, as you see. we can also see the snow flurries and it is -- weather there is getting to be rather nasty. we also understand that there are many flights in the air
trying to make their approach to detroit airport. not sure if the weather is a factor or if it was this end of the investigation that is a factor. when we come right back, we are going to talk about how other flights have been impacted by this emergency at detroit metropolitan airport today. n highway fuel economy? or a 2009 consumer guide best buy? how about all of the above? the eight passenger buick enclave. may the best car win. i like having fun -- but i always use one. we used one just last night. it was awesome. knowing you're safe makes it even more pleasurable. hey, the guys on my team, we'll share the same one... for like a month at a time. if you care about me, you're gonna use one. wanna go home with me tonight? i'm the designated driver! thank you designated drivers. - thank you! - thank you! - thank you! ♪
welcome back. you are watching live pictures now of northwest airlines flight 253. that's detroit metropolitan airport. the plane is now moving after being static for over three hours after the safe landing in detroit. what was concerning was that the crew onboard called the tsa and said we have an unruly passenger
onboard and we are going to need emergency support when we land. emergency support was on the ground when that flight landed safely. ch was deplaned. all the passengers and crew put on buses. they were taken to an undisclosed location and presumably questioned. that passenger considered unr y unruly, that person was also taken into custody, and was also being questioned. we are getting information from various sources saying that this does not appear to be a serious incident as -- anymore. and that perhaps there may be an all-clear soon to be coming from this incident. a good sign is you are see thing aircraft now moving after being in a static location for three hours. all the luggage was taken off as well. we were able to see live pictures of that luggage on the tarmac. and as the dogs went through it and sniffing. we also understand from one other source that there were no suspicious items found on that quote, unquote unruly passenger or -- in the possible interest of that passenger.
however, we still don't know where the passengers or crew, whether they have yet to be released so they can go on about their way. all of this taking place just one day after nigerian was formally charged with trying to blow up the northwest airlines flight 253. same flight two days ago on christmas day. bonnie schneider is in our weather center and keeping a close watch on the flight plan surrounding involving other aircraft, surrounding the detroit airport. and were other landings and takeoffs disrupted by this investigation? >> well, so far it looks like right now that all the planes that were still en route too detroit are still scheduled to land. this is a look at google earth. this is flight ek morer. what i have done here, there's actually about 6200 planes in the air across the u.s. normally with we show this, we show all the activity. what you are seeing now are all