Two Britons under arrest for false bomb claim on Manchester to Tenerife flight

Update 15 May: The pair have been released on bail with their passports confiscated. They must stay in Tenerife pending their trial, or an extradition request from the UK.

Update 13 May: The pair will be tried in Spain thanks to an international treaty, specifically article 5.1.c of the Montreal Convention – Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concerned with crimes against civil aviation security.

The Spanish press is saying they have been “saved” by the treaty because the maximum possible penalties for their crime are shorter in Spain than in the UK. Many may think, however, that Spain will be a far less favourable option for the two, as opposed to what is often seen as light justice in the UK.

The two men were transferred from the TFS cells yesterday and are now in Granadilla Police custody. They are expected to appear in Court tomorrow.

Update 12 May:  The pair has been identified as Airam Paul Jerus and Nathan Levi Trippier, 20 and 21 years old respectively. The argument they were involved in with flight crew was based on demands for more alcohol when they had already been amply served. At one point the pilot was considering landing in Morocco, the country over which they were flying when the incident occurred, but radioed ahead to TFS to advise of the emergency nature of the approaching flight.

The punishment in the end will depend on where they are tried. In Spain, they would face between six months and a year in prison and a fine under the terms of 2003’s Ley de Seguridad Aérea. In the UK, though, under the 1982 Aviation Security Act, they would face anything from a minimum of five years imprisonment to a maximum of a life sentence. It is not impossible that they will be tried in Spain, but more likely that they will be returned to the UK for trial because the plane itself is “British territory”. As of last night, the pair were still in the police cells in TFS, not having set foot in Tenerife proper.

Original post 11 May:  Two 20-year-old Britons were arrested around lunchtime today at TFS Reina Sofía after getting into an argument with the flight crew of a plane from Manchester to Tenerife and claiming they had carried a bomb on board. The crew alerted the Guardia Civil who then met the plane having activated the emergency protocol involving their own Grupo Rural de Seguridad número 8 and the Unidad Orgánica de la Policía Judicial e Información, as well as civilian security patrols. The threat was not clearly genuine, and the two men were arrested for false alarm, though the plane was thoroughly searched as a matter of routine procedure in such cases.


  1. Hi Janet

    I hope these two young men are not allowed to travel on any flights again not just european flights but ALL flights, what nutcases.


  2. they should stop serving alcohol altogether at airports and most definatley on board!

  3. Author

    I agree, Angela. I suppose it’s too profitable for them, though, but to me, alcohol and flying are a more lethal mix than smoking and flying.

  4. A similar incident happen to myself and Harold Reilly and we are innocent victims. On 24th July 2011 Harold Reilly and myself were wrongfully arrested by Turkish Security and accused of being Al Qaida Terrorists. I am a Green Party and artist, and definitely NOT a terrorist. Wrong information was passed to the Turkish Officials by Thomas Cook Travel UK. Since two separate bookings were made to the same location in Turkey for the same period, this is classed as a terrorist offence. We had new British Passports. This info was passed to the Turkish Office by Thomas Cook Travel.
    For three days we were denied food, water and human rights. Mobile phones were blocked and internet access denied. Our health suffered and I was rushed to Izmir Hospital by Ambulance. Harold and I seriously thought we were going to die in Turkey. We were threaten to be shot and jailed. The British Consulate and Thomas Cook refused to help us. We have discovered serious cover ups.

    Yousef Demir of the Turkish Security later admitted they picked up the wrong men, we are innocent and apologised. Thomas Cook insist we are still terrorists and refuse to talk with us. We had to find our own back to N Ireland at our own expense.

    We demand an apology, justice, compensation and return of our luggage from Thomas Cook, We wish our names to be removed from all terror databases. Can the British Government confirm we are not Al Qaida Terrorists and contact Thomas Cook for answers. Several MP’s are supporting us. We want this incident to be addressed in the House of Commons and European Courts of Justice.

    I enclose a list of our 12 points and demands to be addressed by Thomas Cook and the British Government. Harold and myself are doing ‘Peaceful Demonstrations’ outside Thomas Cook Shops. We will campaign outside 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. Click on link HERE.

    Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris challenge Thomas Cook Travel with the following 12 points and demands.

    They are willing to take Polygram tests with Thomas Cook Officials.

    Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris (wrongly accused as Al Qaeda terrorists and released by Turkish Authorities with an apology) challenge Thomas Cook to provide legalised documented evidence on the following :-

    1) That Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris booked Thomas Cook Pub Crawls in Turkey July 2011. (They don’t drink and never have been on a bar crawl in their lives – They are Marathon Charity runners having run over 500 marathons and raising over £500k for charity)

    2) That Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris spoke with two Thomas Cook reps on these Thomas Cook Pub Crawls about Al Qaeda terrorist activities such as blowing up Thomas Cook buses, Thomas Cook planes, taking part in the 9/11 atrocities and blowing up Turkish mosques.

    3) That Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris incited terrorism and said terrorist comments on the Thomas Cook pub crawl transfer bus and Thomas Cook airport transfer bus. If there is a shred of evidence both men SHOULD be in jail NOW.

    4) That Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris phoned Thomas Cook at 04:00 on 24th July 2011 in Turkey to state they had cancelled their flight. Thomas Cook stated they phoned both men which they did not. All recordings must be handed over. Subject access and recordings will reveal the truth. (Peter Ferris had checked in for his flight at 03:55 and Harold Reilly at 04:10)

    5) Five recordings from bus passengers and a Thomas Cook recording were handed to the Turks by Thomas Cook officials. These recordings allegedly state Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris were discussing Al Qaeda terrorist activities such as blowing up Thomas Cook buses, Thomas Cook planes and taking part in the 9/11 atrocities etc. These recordings with passenger names must be handed over. (Thomas Cook Voice Recording did not match voice analysis of Harold and Peter confirmed by the Turks.)

    6) Thomas Cook state on 24th July 2011 at Izmir Airport, they offered Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris support which they did NOT. All recordings must be handed over. A Scottish Thomas Cook rep at Izmir Airport stated several times both men should be shot and jailed for 20 years. The Scottish Thomas Cook rep stated she was not going to help or offer support to both men.

    7) Information that Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris ‘fell out’ or had arguments on 24th July 2011 and during their Turkish holiday.

    8) That Peter Ferris was drunk at the boarding gate on 24th July 2011 and was shouting to passengers about Al Qaeda terrorist activities such as blowing up Thomas Cook buses and planes. (Both men where sitting quietly beside a couple from Derry / Londonderry. This couple were on the 56 seater airport transfer bus. Turks spoke with this couple.)

    9) WHY Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris were denied boarding to the Belfast bound plane on 24th July 2011 even before the transfer airport bus picked both men up??

    10) Thomas Cook claim a 34 seater bus picked Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris up from Hotel Ozka, Kusadassi, Turkey on 24th July 2011 and drove them to Izmir Airport where alleged incidents took place. Passenger list and flight manifesto info must be revealed. (A ‘bugged’ 9 seater Merc picked Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris up and drove them to the Sealight Hotel where they were then picked up by a 56 seater bus. Peter and Harold spoke with a couple from Co Armagh at this hotel who also boarded the same 56 seater bus. Can this Co Armagh be contacted).

    11) That Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris converted to Muslim during their Turkish holiday. (This is branding the Islam faith as terrorists)

    12) That Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris are drunkard terrorists. (They don’t drink and have clean characters all their lives. Information has been handed to other Thomas Cook employees.

    These Thomas Cook employees are inciting religious, sectarian and racial remarks against Harold and Peter on social networking sites.)

    Main Demands:- Full compensation, justice, apology and return of Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris luggage. Also return Harold Reilly’s passport. Removal of Harold Reilly and Peter Ferris names from all world terror data bases.

    Other demands:- Why the British Consulate and Thomas Cook refused to help them in Turkey. Why they received abuse from Thomas Cook staff in Turkey. Why there are so many cover ups and smears to tarnish their clean characters. Why Thomas Cook contacted the Turks when they booked their holiday. Why their phones, PC accounts were hacked and stopped working, even ATM’s were blocked during and after their Turkish holiday. Why they were followed at all times during and after their holiday. (British Consulate informed Peter after he escaped from Izmir State Hospital, Turkey that Harold could not take money from hospital ATM. British Consulate also informed Peter, they took taxi back to Izmir Airport from hospital).

    They also demand release of Freedom of Information from Thomas Cook prior to events of 24th July 2011 including holiday bookings. Both men are receiving counselling and have been in bad health since their Turkey ordeal. Anytime the press / media contact Thomas Cook remain tight lipped and issue a one liner, ‘We operate a NO ZERO tolerance policy’.

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