30 August 2002

Man tries to take gun on London flight

By Julian Isherwood, Scandinavia Correspondent

A man boarding a flight to London to attend an Islamic conference was arrested in Sweden last night after trying to carry a pistol on to a Ryanair plane carrying 189 passengers.

The 29-year-old Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin was detained after the weapon was found in a wash bag following a security scan of his hand luggage at Vasteras airport, Stockholm.

"A hijack is a scenario that could be envisaged," said Ulf Palm, a police spokesman.

The suspect, who lives in Stockholm, is known to Swedish police and has a criminal record for theft and physical abuse. He was in a group of 20 due to attend the conference in Birmingham.

Last night, a Ryanair spokesman said the aircraft was searched before flight FR685 - which was due to take off at 3.55pm - left for Stansted.