In dramatic scenes, two male passengers of a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore were on Friday arrested for endangering the safety of the aircraft after reportedly trying to enter the cockpit and making threats.
The plane, which was carrying nearly 300 passengers, was diverted to Stansted escorted by the Royal Air Force’s typhoon fighter jets, minutes before it was due to land in Manchester. Security men boarded the plane and arrested two men aged 30 and 41.
The exact nature of the incident was not clear. According to passengers, the men were involved in “heated arguments” with the crew and there was a lot of disturbance. “There was a conflict between two passengers after one of them got into a confrontation with the stewards,” said one passenger.
The second man behind Wednesday’s killing of a British soldier in London was on Friday identified as Michael Adebowale (22), a Muslim convert of African descent — like his accomplice Michael Adebolajo — while intelligence agencies warned of “copycat” attacks. Intelligence services faced criticism for allowing the two men to slip through the net after it emerged they had them on their radar but did not consider them a security threat.