Terror tefillin brings down a jet

January 21, 2010

A passenger plane from New York to Louisville was forced to make an emergency landing today after a Jewish teenager's tefillin were thought to be terrorist devices.

A 17-year-old, travelling with his 16-year-old sister, decided to lay tefillin and strapped the two leather boxes to his head and arm before praying. But alarmed passengers, who did not know what the tefillin were, alerted the crew and the plane was diverted to Philadelphia International Airport, where it was met by emergency security personnel.

Reports say that the teenager, who was co-operative throughout, was removed from the plane for questioning, while main roads around the airport were closed as a precaution. Once officials were satisfied, however, the plane was released and allowed to continue its journey.

Last updated: 3:04pm, November 2 2010