January 21, 2010 by USA Post
Phylacteries:A US Airways plane has been diverted to Philadelphia after a prayer device worn by a Jewish teenager onboard a flight was mistaken as a bomb.
The man had strapped the Phylacteries – two small black boxes with black straps – around his arms and head after take-off – causing alarm to other passengers who reported him to the crew.
The plane, which was heading for Louisville, Kentucky, from New York’s La Guardia airport, landed at around 2pm (GMT) today.
At least 12 emergency vehicles, including the Philadelphia bomb squad, rushed to the airport and the man was taken for questioning.
No arrests have been made, according to officers.
Passengers onboard the 50-seater regional jet – USAir Flight 3079 run by Chautequa Air – were led to safety.
Phylacteries, called tefillin in Hebrew, are used by observant Jewish men – they are required to place one box on their head and tie the other one on their arm each weekday morning.
‘Someone on the plane construed it as some kind of device,’ Christine O’Brien, a spokesman for Philadelphia police, said.
U.S. airports are on high alert after a Nigerian man was held over an alleged bomb plot on a plane on Christmas Day last year.
His device allegedly malfunctioned and he was quickly overpowered by passengers and crew on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit
Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, is awaiting trial after denying trying to blow up the transatlantic jet.
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