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The plane's flight crew notified the captain and copilot of the disturbance, leading to the F fighter escort. The NORAD spokesman did not have details on the disturbance itself but said whatever it was met the criteria to launch the fighters, which monitored the plane until it landed in Tucson.
A source tells ABC News one passenger accused another passenger of having a firearm, but when the aircraft was swept and passengers re-screened, no weapon was found. According to another source with knowledge of the investigation, the passenger reported to have a firearm was detained, but authorities later discovered he did not have a weapon on him.
The man had a history of mental illness, the source said. The Tucson Airport Authority Police confirmed that one of its uniformed officers escorted and handcuffed the suspect along with an FBI agent, who took the individual into federal custody because of the "verbal disturbance," a spokesperson told ABC News. All passengers were taken off the plane and re-screened by TSA. The FBI's Phoenix office said it was investigating the incident, but said there was no threat to public safety.
They declined to tell ABC News if the suspect was in jail, a hospital, or has been released as of Thursday morning.
The FAA identified the aircraft as Compass flight ; it landed without incident at p. One the passengers on the plane, Ryan Healy, tweeted a series of photos, video and posts detailing how FBI agents entered the plane's cabin and removed the individual, and how the plane was escorted by fighter jets. Tucson Airport sent out a series of tweets, beginning at p. Aircraft deemed safe.