Canadian police consider hoax in plane bomb threat

Canadian police said Saturday they were looking into whether a bomb alert they received that forced the emergency landing of a Pakistan-bound airliner in Stockholm was a hoax.

Under Canadian law, a “terrorist hoax” is a crime punishable with prison time, a spokesman with the Royal Mounted Police (RCMP) in Toronto, Marc Laporte, told AFP.

Swedish police on Saturday arrested a male passenger on suspicion of planning to blow up a Boeing 777 bound for Karachi from Toronto, after a bomb threat forced the flight to make an emergency landing in Stockholm.

The plane landed at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport shortly after 0730 GMT after Canadian police received information from a female caller that the passenger was carrying explosives, and transmitted that information to the airplane.

Swedish authorities released the man, a Canadian citizen, without charge, Swedish prosecutors said Saturday.

Laporte did not release the name of the man, or of the woman who phoned in the bomb alert.

A Pakistan International Airlines spokesman, citing the police, said the suspect passenger was “of Pakistani origin.”

Police in Sweden said no explosives had been found in the search so far, and interviews with passengers and the suspect were ongoing.