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Two men detained over Ryanair terror alert released without charge

A suspicious object left in the toilet was found to be a mobile phone.

RAF Typhoon aircraft escorted the plane
RAF Typhoon aircraft escorted the plane
Image: Ministry of Defence/PA Images

Updated Aug 31st 2020, 2:40 PM

TWO MEN DETAINED after a Ryanair flight to the UK was intercepted by RAF fighter jets have been released without charge after a suspicious object left in the toilet was found to be a mobile phone.

A 34-year-old Kuwaiti national and a 48-year-old Italian were held by officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) after their flight landed at Stansted shortly after 7pm yesterday.

The RAF confirmed that Typhoon fighters from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire had been scrambled to intercept the aircraft and escort it into the airport in Essex.

The two men had arrived on a flight from Vienna and were detained under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act, police said.

ERSOU said today that an object thought to be suspicious found in the plane’s bathroom had been examined and “found not to be of concern”.

The force said the two men had been spoken with and neither were considered to have committed any offence.

An ERSOU spokesman said the object was a mobile phone.

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Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, head of ERSOU’s Counter Terrorism Policing unit, said: “We understandably take any reports of suspicious objects or behaviour on flights very seriously and thankfully on this occasion there was no cause for concern.

“I’d like to thank those on the flight for their cooperation and understanding while officers conducted their inquiries.”

Ryanair said yesterday evening that all passengers on board had disembarked safely, while those waiting to depart to Vienna had been transferred to a spare aircraft to avoid delays.

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