A woman claiming to be a terrorist sparked panic on board a flight from Istanbul yesterday after angrily waving a Koran in the cabin and threatening to blow up the plane.

Wearing dark glasses and a blue headscarf, the woman claimed she belonged to FETO, a group which Turkey blames for a 2016 coup attempt.

After her menacing speech she was restrained by passengers and escorted off the plane, according to Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak.

A security team then searched the Cyprus-bound plane and found nothing suspicious on board.

According to the Cyprus Mail, the woman was heard shouting: ‘I am a FETO member, and I will blow up the aircraft.’

Footage taken in the cabin showed the women being surrounded and restrained by other passengers after menacingly waving her Koran.

The woman claimed to have as many as five bombs, according to Turkish media reports.

She also appeared to be holding up a picture of Fethullah Gulen, the Islamic cleric behind the controversial movement.

There were contradictory reports over whether the plane had taken off late or whether the flight was cancelled altogether.

Some passengers appeared to return to the tarmac after the panic on Wednesday morning.

The flight was due to take off from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, destined for Ercan International Airport in Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus.

FETO, which stands for the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, is a name used by the Turkish government to describe Gulen’s movement.

Gulen denies the claim, insisting he runs a peaceful Islamic movement known as Hizmet.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames the movement for the failed attempt to oust him in the summer of 2016.

Ankara has chased Gulen members inside and outside the country since the failed putsch, in which more than 250 people were killed.

More than 130,000 civil servants were fired through emergency decrees and 77,000 people were arrested for alleged links to Gulen.

The purge even extended to referees in the Turkish Football Federation, several of whom were fired in the aftermath of the coup.

Earlier this year, 128 people accused of being among the ringleaders of the coup were sentenced to life in prison.

Turkey is also chasing the extradition of Gulen himself, who is currently based in the United States.

 

 

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