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NYTimes: In Iraq's Murky Battle, Snipers Offer U.S. a Precision Weapon British Airways cancels flight from London to D.C.

U.S. steps up international flight security

LONDON, England (CNN)—A day after fighter jets escorted a British Airways flight from London into the Dulles International Airport at Washington D.C., the same flight on Thursday was canceled at the request of the British government, the airline said.

U.S. authorities had no immediate comment.

Authorities have said they believe al Qaeda may try to use planes on international flights in possible attacks on the United States, similar to the attacks of September 11, 2001, when four hijacked planes were used as missiles.

A British Airways spokesman would only say that Flight 223—scheduled to take off at 6:20 p.m. (1:20 p.m. EST) was canceled for security reasons "on advice from the U.K. government."

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What joy those passengers must have experienced as they waited for several hours on the tarmac in what a British Airways spokesman described as a "routine" detention.