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AIRLINE

Bomb scare forces Air France plane to land

An Air France flight to Israel was re-routed to Basel-Mulhouse airport on the Swiss border after fears that a bomb could be on the plane, the airline said Thursday.

The captain of the Airbus 320 which left Paris Charles de Gaulle airport Wednesday at 7:13 pm (1813 GMT) for Tel Aviv with 123 passengers on board was re-routed “on suspicion that an explosive device could be on board”, said Air France.

The change was a precautionary measure, it added in a written statement.

The Airbus landed at Basel-Mulhouse “safely” at 8:24 pm.

“Authorities fully searched the plane but nothing abnormal was discovered,” said Air France.

Passengers were accommodated in hotels and left Mulhouse on Thursday in the early afternoon. They arrived in Tel Aviv at 5:35 pm (1535 GMT).

Basel-Mulhouse airport was closed for an hour and a plane from Berlin was re-routed during the search, a spokeswoman for the airport said.

Press reports said that a mobile phone which had not been switched off may have caused the incident.

BREAKING

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”. 

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