Flights from France cancelled due to "mistaken identity" by US security agencies using PNR

French officials say that Air France six flights to Los Angeles in the USA were cancelled before Xmas because the FBI made mistakes over identifying "suspicious" names on passenger lists - media coverage suggested that the flights were banned because of a "terrorist" threat.

A report in the Wall Street Journal said that one of the "suspects" turned out to be a five-year-old child because the name was similar to that of a wanted Tunisian., another a Welsh insurance sales person, another was an elderly Chinese woman, and another a prominent Egyptian scientist.

"A check was carried out in each case and in each case it turned out to be negative," a spokesman for the French Interior Minister told AFP, "the FBI worked with family names and some family names sound alike."

1. See BBC online coverage: BBC whose headline concerns fighter escorts
2. See Statewatch background: EU agrees on handing over passenger data to USA: Report and documents

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