Bomb threat on Twitter diverts flight to Phoenix

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American Airlines Flight 362 made an emergency landing at Sky Harbor Airport. (Source: CBS 5 News) American Airlines Flight 362 made an emergency landing at Sky Harbor Airport. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Tweet reporting 'explosives on-board' (Twitter) Tweet reporting 'explosives on-board' (Twitter)

An American Airlines flight made an unscheduled landing in Phoenix late Sunday morning after someone reported a bomb threat on Twitter.

Flight 362 from Dallas to San Diego was forced to land at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport just before noon, according to FBI Special Agent Perryn Collier.

American Airlines spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said the aircraft landed due to a security incident.

A self-proclaimed "hacker group" tweeted American Airlines while the plane was in mid-flight, claiming there were explosives on board.

The tweet reads: ".@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this."

The Twitter handle, j_smedley belongs to Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

Passengers said that Smedley was the target of the threat. They said he was on the plane after hackers claimed to have taken down some of Sony's servers Sunday morning.

Flight 362 passenger Alex Collins said he and other passengers were frustrated trolls grounded his flight for nearly four hours.

"I think everyone's just annoyed at this point kind of finding out what had caused the issue in the first place," Collins said.

Passengers were asked to wait while federal investigators searched the aircraft for any evidence of explosives. 

After several hours, the aircraft was cleared, and the flight continued to its San Diego destination.

The FBI is investigating, and if those behind the threat are caught, they could face federal charges.

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