Last updated: 17 June, 2013

Five Syrians from diverted jet seeking UK asylum

Five Syrians from a New York-bound EgyptAir flight escorted by fighter jets to a Scottish airport after the discovery of a suspicious note are seeking asylum in Britain, according to police and the airline.

Police Scotland confirmed that five passengers had not rejoined the flight as it continued its journey from Cairo and were being dealt with by the UK Border Agency, the BBC reported.

EgyptAir’s chief executive on Sunday said the asylum seekers were Syrian.

Police quizzed all 326 passengers and conducted an extensive search of the aircraft, but nothing suspicious was found and no arrests were made.

The alarm was raised when a passenger, BBC New York producer Nada Tawfik, said she told plane crew that she had found a note in the toilet sink that read “I’ll set this plane on fire.”

Tawfik told the broadcaster that the message was scrawled in pencil on a napkin and that it also pinpointed a seat number.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed that Typhoon aircraft had been scrambled to escort the plane into Prestwick airport, near Glasgow.