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No charges against woman over plane scare

Matthew Warren · 24 May 2012, 09:15

Published: 24 May 2012 09:15 GMT+02:00

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A Frenchwoman who caused a security scare on a US-bound flight after she claimed to have been fitted with some kind of device will be sent home without charge, US officials said Wednesday.

After investigations, no criminal complaint will be filed against Lucie Zeeko Marigot, a French citizen and a native of Cameroon, who caused her flight from Paris to North Carolina to be diverted to Maine, the Department of Justice said.

Marigot, 41, had given the flight attendant a note in French saying she was "a victim of a group of doctors" and that she had "an object in her body that is out of my control," the justice department said in a statement.

"When the flight attendant asked whether the object could hurt her or others, she replied that she did not know," it added.

"An examination by two doctors on board determined that she had no visible scars indicating any kind of implant."

Marigot had also given the attendant a book about her personal story, which was also in French.

The US Airways plane, flight 787, flying from Paris, was diverted to Maine, where the woman was taken into custody by the FBI before the Boeing 767 continued its journey to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The plane and luggage was searched on arrival in Bangor but no explosives or dangerous items were found, the statement said.

Following the investigations, Marigot was to be taken into custody by US border officials and sent back to France, the justice department added.

Coming on the heels of a thwarted airline bomb plot by Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch, the incident has laid bare US worry over shifting tactics of militants as they seek new ways -- and new technologies, including non-metallic bombs - to penetrate ever-tighter US security.

US Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty said it had been the right decision to divert the plane, given the circumstances at the time.

Last year, US officials warned airlines that militant groups were studying how to surgically hide bombs inside humans to evade airport checks.

But the head of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter King, said there should have been red flags when the woman boarded with no luggage.

"She was flying for 10 days. I think if that had been in the US, she would have been taken aside for secondary screening," he said on CNN.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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