Name Mixup Behind Air France Groundings

From: Joe Becker \(Unicode\) (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 13:08:41 EST

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    Name Mixup Behind Air France Groundings

    By ANGELA DOLAND, Associated Press Writer

    PARIS - Six cases of mistaken identity were behind the pre-Christmas grounding of six Air France flights between Paris and Los Angeles over terrorism fears, a police official said Friday.

    The names of six passengers were similar to those of terrorist suspects provided by the FBI, prompting the French government to halt the flights, the official said on condition of anonymity.

    Pierre Debue, director of the French border police, said one name on the list turned out to be that of a 5-year-old child. The Wall Street Journal on Friday said two other suspected terrorists turned out to be an elderly Chinese woman and a Welsh insurance agent.

    French police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said errors in spelling and transcription of Arabic names played a role in the mix-up.


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