Tweet Causes Sony Exec John Smedley's Flight to Be Diverted

Fighter jets scrambled to escort a flight carrying the Sony executive.

ByABC News
August 25, 2014, 12:12 PM

— -- An American Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency stop in the shadow of fighter jets after a social media threat from a purported hacker group appeared to be threatening a passenger on board.

That passenger was identified as John Smedley, online entertainment president for Sony, and the tweet came from an individual or group called Lizard Squad.

Smedley’s plane, flight 362, was en route from Dallas to San Diego Sunday when it was diverted to Phoenix after authorities became aware of the tweet.

“They took us off the plane, searched all of our luggage with dogs and put our on-board luggage back, and sent us to the terminal, and we waited,” passenger Ashley Cain told ABC News.

Smedley declined to comment to ABC News but addressed the in-flight scare in a tweet Sunday.

Lizard Squad was also claiming responsibility for the disruption of service in the Sony PlayStation network over the weekend.

Smedley tweeted about a disruption in service Sunday prior to his flight.

Sony released a statement saying the service disruption was caused by the network being, “overwhelmed with artificially high traffic.”