Skip to main content

Teenager arrested in suicide hijacking plot

  • Story Highlights
  • Teen's target was Friday Hannah Montana concert, unnamed sources tell affiliates
  • 16-year-old was arrested without incident Tuesday after L.A.-to-Nashville flight
  • Teen "contemplated overpowering the flight crew," FBI spokesman says
  • Next Article in U.S. »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Authorities have charged a teenage boy who said he planned to hijack a commercial jetliner in an attempt to commit suicide, an FBI spokesman told CNN late Thursday.

The 16-year-old was taken into custody by airport police without incident on Tuesday evening after flying from Los Angeles, California, to Nashville, Tennessee, on Southwest Airlines Flight 284.

"His stated intent was to hijack the airplane and commit suicide," said George Bolds, an FBI spokesman in Memphis, Tennessee. "He did indicate he intended to die in Louisiana. It appears he had a ticket to Louisiana."

Bolds said the boy indicated he had lived in Louisiana.

The teen wanted to crash the plane into a Hannah Montana concert in Lafayette, Louisiana, two CNN television affiliates in Nashville, WSMV and WTVF, reported, citing unnamed sources. The concert is scheduled for Friday night at the Lafayette Cajundome.

Bolds said he had no information on whether the concert may have been targeted as part of the plot.

In the teen's possession were handcuffs, duct tape and a type of rope or yarn, according to the FBI. Authorities noted that those are not prohibited items. "His plan contemplated overpowering the flight crew," Bolds said.

The teen is being held on unspecified state charges and could face federal charges as well, Bolds said. CNN affiliate WTVF reported the teen has been charged with felony terrorism and is being held at the Davidson County juvenile detention center.

"It is my understanding that at no point in time during the course of the flight there was ever any safety concern," Southwest Airlines spokesman Chris Mainz said. Bolds also said nothing threatening occurred on the flight from California to Nashville.

It was not immediately clear how police became aware of the teen's presence on the flight or his alleged suicide plans.

"Hannah Montana" is a hit Disney Channel show -- which stars 15-year-old Miley Cyrus and her country singer dad, Billy Ray Cyrus -- about a teenage girl who is a typical high-schooler by day but has a secret pop-star alter ego by night. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Hannah MontanaSuicideAir Travel

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print