Flight Diverted After Passenger Said He Would ‘Kill Everyone On Board’ In Handwritten Bomb Threat, Feds Allege

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Flight Diverted After Passenger Said He Would ‘Kill Everyone On Board’ In Handwritten Bomb Threat, Feds Allege
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An Alaska Airlines passenger threatened to kill “every soul” on board a Seattle-bound flight Wednesday if it did not divert from its destination, the Department of Justice alleged Thursday, charging the man with conveying false or misleading information.

Key Facts

The man, identified as Brandon L. Scott, 38, allegedly passed a flight attendant a note written on the back of a receipt—which stated he would detonate explosives on the plane if it was not rerouted from its destination in Seattle, according to a filing.

The note allegedly read that if Scott’s demands were not met, he would “kill everyone on board,” adding that he had “nothing left to lose,” the DOJ said.

Scott was arrested after the Wednesday flight—which took off from Atlanta—was diverted to Spokane International Airport, where local law enforcement inspected the plane and did not find explosives.

Scott was charged with conveying false or misleading information and will make an appearance at federal court in Spokane on Thursday—where he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Scott allegedly told police he was being targeted by the Sinaloa cartel, who were allegedly waiting for him to land in Seattle so they could torture and kill him, according to the filing.

Crucial Quote

“Scott stated he did not think of a more reasonable approach such as contacting law enforcement personnel at the airport to ask for help or assistance,” the filing said, adding that Scott disclosed he considered other plans to get the flight diverted—such as assaulting a flight attendant or opening a cabin door while in flight.

Big Number

177. That’s how many passengers were aboard the plane, alongside six crew members.


Two days before the diverted Seattle flight, a separate flight bound for Miami was redirected to Oakland International Airport after passengers received an image suggesting a bomb was aboard the plane. Passengers were deplaned and no explosives were found. However, no arrests have been made following the incident, which is being investigated by the local sheriff’s office and the FBI, according to The Seattle Times. Nationally, reports of unruly airline passengers soared in 2021 to record levels, driven partly by passengers refusing to cooperate with Covid-era mask rules, but the surge has mostly subsided since.

Key Background

The diverted flight to Seattle was first reported on Wednesday by multiple outlets, which said Spokane International Airport was closed after the plane conducted an emergency landing. All passengers were successfully deplaned as local and federal law enforcement arrived immediately after the plane landed.

Further Reading

Seattle-Bound Flight Thrown Into Chaos by Chilling Handwritten Note (Daily Beast)

Threat diverts Seattle-bound flight; Spokane airport temporarily closes (The Seattle Times)

Alaska Airlines flight diverted after passenger makes ‘direct threat’ to plane’s safety, officials say (NBC)

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