A man reportedly from Turkey was removed from an American Airlines flight by federal agents after he allegedly tried to enter its cockpit with a laptop computer on Friday.
The flight departed from Los Angeles International Airport on 8:34 a.m. on May 19. Once the flight was in the air, the suspect, 25-year-old Anil Uskanil, reportedly was waiting to use the bathroom on the plane close to the cockpit when a flight attendant asked him to sit down, ABC news reported.
A source told the news outlet that the suspect was carrying a laptop with him as he tried to breach the cockpit door. He was subdued by the crew and an off-duty police officer on the plane, and the flight was escorted by two F-22 fighter jets until it landed safely at Honolulu International Airport.
Law enforcement officers from the F.B.I. and other agencies boarded the plane once it landed and put the man in handcuffs, walking him out of the plane for further questioning.
It’s currently unclear what the suspect’s motive is, or whether it’s terrorism-related.
Watch a video of the suspect being escorted by agents through Flight 31’s aisle as the plane sits on the tarmac below:
Crazy! Someone tried to break into the cockpit on my flight from LA to Honolulu. We were greeted by the FBI. They are now taking us off the plane a few rows at a time for dog sniffing and interviews. I've never seen anything like this. #cnn #fbi #usa #homelandsecurity #hawaii #news —– Any interested news outlets are welcome to use my footage, please credit BPLUS.noisefloor.dnb as the source.
“Crazy! Someone tried to break into the cockpit on my flight from LA to Honolulu,” the user wrote. “We were greeted by the FBI. They are now taking us off the plane a few rows at a time for dog sniffing and interviews.”
One of the passengers told Hawaii News Now that they found duct tape and secured him to a seat.
“It took seconds,” Lee Lorenzen from Orange County, California, told the news outlet. “He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him. They found some duct tape. There were pillows and blankets. And they taped him to his chair. It was all over very quickly. They really deserve a medal for what they did.”
Before boarding the flight, the suspect was arrested, cited and released at LAX for “trespassing” after appearing intoxicated reports say.
Despite the incident, he was allowed to board American Airlines Flight 31.
The same Instagram user posted a photo showing a large presence of law enforcement outside of the plane.
The suspect, reportedly a Turkish national in his 20s, was taken off of the tarmac in the back of a squad car.
The Department of Homeland security issued a statement after the plane landed that said it’s aware of the situation and will continue to “monitor all flights.”
Sources told ABC News that once the plane landed, additional law enforcement personnel responded to the cabin to investigate a “suspicious item” that was associated with the man.
The airline said that there were 181 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane, who all disembarked safely.