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US jet diverted in body-bomb scare

A jet on a flight from Paris to North Carolina has been diverted over security fears after a French passenger handed a note to a flight attendant saying she had a surgically-implanted device.

An examination by doctors aboard the US Airways plane found that the passenger, a French citizen born in Cameroon, had no scars, an official said.

The woman was travelling alone without any checked baggage and intended to stay in the US for 10 days.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department warned airlines last summer that terrorists were considering hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security.

Maine senator Susan Collins, the senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, said: "We have seen intelligence identifying surgically-implanted bombs as a threat to air travel."

Two F-15 fighters scrambled to escort Flight 787 with 179 passengers and nine crew members to Bangor International Airport, Maine, on Tuesday, where it landed safely.

The passenger was detained and the Boeing 767 was cleared several hours later to continue.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying it was aware of "a passenger who exhibited suspicious behaviour during the flight". "Out of an abundance of caution, the flight was diverted to (Bangor) where it was met by law enforcement. The passenger in question is being interviewed by US Customs and Border Protection officers," said a TSA spokesman.

Several passengers said they had noticed the arrested passenger because of her slight stature and big eyelashes. They said she attracted attention by walking up and down the aisle throughout the flight.

The passengers were kept in a secure area before being allowed back on to the jet, which departed three and a half hours later for Charlotte, North Carolina.

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