A passenger was alarmed by the phylacteries, religious items which observant
Jews strap around their arms and heads as part of morning prayers, on the
flight from New York's La Guardia airport heading to Louisville.
"Someone on the plane construed it as some kind of device," said officer
Christine O'Brien, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia police department.
No one was arrested or charged, O'Brien said.
The plane landed without incident and the passengers and crew were taken off
the plane, a spokesman for US Airways said.
Phylacteries, called tefillin in Hebrew, are two small black boxes with
black straps attached to them. Observant Jewish men are required to place
one box on their head and tie the other one on their arm each weekday
Thursday's incident was the latest of several false alarms on U.S. flights
since the Dec. 25 incident in which a Nigerian man attempted to detonate a
bomb in his underpants from materials he smuggled onto the plane just as his
flight was about to land in Detroit, authorities said.
The device did not explode and only burned the man, who was pounced on by
Since then several flights have been diverted by security scares that have
turned out to be harmless. (Reporting by Jon Hurdle in Philadelphia, Kyle
Peterson in Chicago and Daniel Trotta in New York; Writing by Daniel Trotta;
Editing by Philip Barbara)