MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Air France flight 673, from Minneapolis to Paris, was already over the Atlantic, when the call came into the emergency center around 8 p.m. on the evening of July, 7th.
According to reports obtained by Fox 9, it was a computer voice, indicating a bomb would go off in 50 minutes. The pilot was notified, and made the decision to continue on to Paris. The audio was similar to four separate and simultaneous incidents at other airports.
In fact, during a one month period this summer, there were 31 similar "telephonic bomb threat incidents" affecting 13 airlines, 34 airports, and flights to 9 different counties. All the cases were initially described as non-credible.
Another case was Delta flight 806 from San Francisco to Minneapolis. According to the call, it was one of 16 flights across the U.S. that was targeted, but this one offered some specifics. The bombs, 200 grams of hmx explosives, were sewn into random seats on the planes. Flight 806 was search by K-9 and by hand, but nothing was found.
Aviation experts tell Fox 9 despite the unusual frequency, such threats are not uncommon.
Security experts say it's difficult to know whether these threats are a kind of dress rehearsal or a way to desensitize emergency responders so they let their guard down. There is a belief out there that anyone who actually intends to bomb a plane would never give advance notice.