As per AP news
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The latest developments on an Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris that was diverted to Kenya after a suspected bomb was found on it.
Updated 15:10 12/20
A fake explosive rigged with cardboard, sheets of paper and a household timer forced an Air France flight into an emergency landing in Kenya on Sunday, sending hundreds of passengers down emergency slides in what the airline’s CEO said was the fourth bomb hoax against the airline in recent weeks.
The homemade apparatus was discovered around midnight hidden in a lavatory cabinet behind a mirror where it was apparently placed during the approximately 11-hour flight to Paris from the island of Mauritius, said the airline’s CEO, Frederic Gagey. He said the airline has had heightened security checks around the world since the Nov. 13 attacks that left 130 people dead in Paris.
“It was an ensemble of cardboard, papers and something that resembled a kitchen timer. Nothing that presented a danger to the plane, to the passengers or to the crew,” a visibly irritated Gagey told a news conference in Paris. He said it contained no explosives.
With France in a state of emergency since the Paris attacks and the United States on high alert since the attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead, hoaxes present a particular conundrum for security officials, who must choose between feeding mass fear and keeping the public in potential danger. On Tuesday, the two biggest school systems in the U.S. – New York City and Los Angeles – received threats of a large-scale jihadi attack. LA reacted by shutting down the entire district, while New York dismissed the warning as an amateurish hoax and held classes.
The Kenya Airports Authority says what is “believed to be an explosive device has successfully been retrieved” from an Air France flight.
Police say Air France Flight 463 was heading to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris from Mauritius when the pilots requested an emergency landing at the Moi International Airport in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa at 12:37 a.m. Sunday.
Police spokesman Charles Owino says the device was discovered in a lavatory of the Boeing 777. He says all of the plane’s 459 passengers and 14 crew were safely evacuated and bomb experts are studying the device.
The Airports Authority, in a Twitter post, says normal flight operations have resumed at Mombasa.