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Pilots lock down cockpit over praying passengers

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011

LOS ANGELES — Pilots on an Alaska Airlines flight locked down the cockpit and alerted authorities after three passengers conducted an elaborate orthodox Jewish prayer ritual during their Los Angeles-bound flight.

Airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says the crew of Flight 241 from Mexico City became alarmed Sunday after the men began the ritual, which involves tying leather straps and small wooden boxes to the body.

FBI and customs agents, along with police and fire crews, met the plane at the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport police say two or three men were escorted off the plane, questioned by the FBI, and released. No arrests were made.



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