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TERRORISM

US fighter jets escort Air France flight after threat

US warplanes were scrambled to escort an Air France passenger jet flying from Paris to New York on Monday, following one of several threats against commercial aircraft that proved to be unfounded.

US fighter jets escort Air France flight after threat
An Air France flight from Paris to New York had to be escorted by US fighter jets after a bogus terrorist threat. Photo: Lcarus/flickr

Flight AF022 landed at JFK airport without incident after being escorted to land by two F-15 fighter jets ordered to accompany the aircraft as a precaution by NORAD, the joint US-Canadian monitoring force.

The FBI said the plane was searched upon landing and the threat had turned out to be false.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F. Kennedy airport by US Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat,” FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald said in a statement.

“The plane has landed and has deboarded. There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared,” he added.

A person familiar with the incident said the fighter jets had been scrambled because of an inability to make immediate contact with the crew of the aircraft after the threat was first received.

The same source said the threat was one of as many as 10 made against US-bound flights on Monday.

All of the threats were believed to have been made by the same individual, the source told AFP.

A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight was also checked at JFK following a threat that turned out to be unfounded.

ABC News reported on its website that two flights headed to Newark, NewJersey — a Delta Airlines flight from London and a United Airlines flight from Madrid — were also targeted.

An American Airlines flight from Birmingham, England, heading to JFK was also affected. The threat against the plane was swiftly deemed to not credible and the plane landed as scheduled.

Authorities at Boston's Logan International Airport said a flight from Paris was also subjected to a threat that was in fact a “hoax,” the Boston Herald newspaper reported, citing an airport spokesman.

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CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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