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Plane grounded after failed hijacking attempt

Plane grounded after failed hijacking attempt

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A passenger on a plane headed for Istanbul tried to have the flight diverted to Sochi, Russia after claiming there was a bomb on board. After the bomb threat, the flight's crew reportedly sent out a hijacking alert and made an emergency landing, according to NBC News' Richard Engel. At least one F-16 fighter jet reportedly escorted the plane safely to the ground.

Citing local Turkish media, The Associated Press reports that the Pegasus Airlines flight in question, which was coming from Kharkov, Ukraine, is being held in a safe zone at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Authorities have successfully apprehended the suspect who attempted to steer his flight to the site of the Winter Olympics. The hijacker may have been drunk, according to Reuters.

Terrorism has been a major concern leading into these Sochi games. In response, Russia has launched a massive surveillance effort to lock down Olympic venues, hotels, and other potential terrorist targets. An estimated 100,000 police, army troops, and other security personnel have convened in Sochi ahead of the Winter Olympics. Protests have grown particularly violent in Ukraine, where several demonstrators have been killed in clashes leading up to Sochi. In the United States, the TSA has issued a temporary ban on carry-on liquids on flights traveling between the US and Russia to lessen the threat of explosives making it onto crowded planes.