updated 1/8/2010 7:58:44 PM ET 2010-01-09T00:58:44

British police arrested three people aboard an Emirates passenger jet at London's Heathrow Airport Friday. Witnesses said police were called after the three suspects made verbal threats as the plane was taxiing.

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A police spokesman said the three — all believed to be male — were removed from the jet, which was preparing to fly to Dubai.

The spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with policy, said officers were searching the plane but had found no hazardous material.

"Nothing has been found," he said.

Witnesses told television channel Sky News he saw several armed police officers boarding the plane bound and arresting one of the men.

"Basically the police just swarmed the guy and rushed him out," passenger Cameron Mclean told Sky News by phone. "We've been told not to stand up. ... We're going to be moved to a safe place."

He said the man was taken out in handcuffs, then sniffer dogs were brought on board.

The police spokesman said the three suspects were now held in police custody.

A Heathrow spokesman said no passenger was harmed and that the airport — Europe's busiest — remained open. He declined to provide further details.

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