Two U.S. passenger jets, Delta flight 1156 and Southwest flight 2942, both bound for Atlanta, were escorted by F-16 fighter jets before landing following a bomb threat online.
A couple of tweets by a Twitter user @kingZortic sent unsettling messages to Delta and Southwest airlines suggesting that he had smuggled explosives on to the flights. @kingZortic also threatened to detonate the explosives on board.
The account was inactive until this afternoon, when it posted its first tweet to Delta’s support account.
According to Preston Schlachter from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, fighter jets were dispatched as a precautionary measure to monitor the two flights and ensure they landed safely. The jets have since returned to their base.
“The plane was less than half-full. There were tons of empty seats; a lot of people at the Atlanta airport were like there's no way I'm getting on this flight. A lot of people left,” Vanessa Roggia, spokesperson of Delta explained.
The FBI says both the Southwest plane and Delta aircraft have been cleared and did not have any explosives on board.
"Zortic" also dared the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency to find him, as other Twitter users roundly criticized the messages. An investigation into who sent the threatening tweets is currently underway.