Australia’s most senior Islamic State fighter has reportedly forced three major airlines to ground planes in the Middle East after tweeting a bomb hoax.
Etihad, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines turned back or diverted flights from Turkey and Egypt on Sunday after former Melbourne man Neil Prakash posted the threats, The Australian newspaper reported on Thursday.
More than 450 passengers were on the flights, with many more likely to have been affected by consequent delays.
Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi and believed to be fighting in Syria, claimed bombs had been placed on two planes, Etihad’s EY650 from Cairo to Abu Dhabi and on flight IST 1305 from Istanbul.
Both Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines had flights numbered 1305, and both were turned back shortly after departure.