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United Kingdom

Boy, 11, without papers flies alone to Rome

LONDON — The 11-year-old boy didn’t have a passport, didn’t have a ticket, didn’t have a boarding pass, and somehow managed to get all the way from England to Italy.

Officials at Manchester airport and at the airline said Wednesday they were investigating how the boy got aboard the flight to Rome and wasn’t detected until the cabin crew identified him during the flight.

The unusual incident took place Tuesday amid heightened security concerns during the run-up to the Olympics.

The Manchester Evening News quoted Sarah Swayne, a passenger on the return flight, as saying the boy didn’t seem to be fazed by the fuss he had caused.

“He just sat there chatting away about how he’d been trying to run away from home,” she was quoted as saying.

An undisclosed number of security staff and airline employees have been suspended following the incident.

“It’s not technically a breach of security,” airport spokesman Russell Craig told the BBC. “The boy posed no threat to the aircraft. He went through a security process.”


Al Qaeda suspects face terrorism trial

DUESSELDORF — Four men accused of plotting a major attack in Germany on the orders of al Qaeda militants went on trial Wednesday facing charges of belonging to a foreign terrorist organization.

Authorities say the so-called Duesseldorf cell, named for the western German city where some of the accused lived, aimed to plant a homemade bomb against a target they had not yet determined.

“They planned to carry out a spectacular and startling attack,” federal prosecutor Michael Bruns told the higher regional court. “The defendants wanted to spread fear and horror.”

They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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