NEW YORK A London-bound flight departed early Wednesday after four hours of delay resulting from a sweeping security check at Newark Airport in the neigbouring state of New Jersey, but without one prominent passenger former President Pervez Musharraf. According to Trentonian, a New Jersey newspaper, American officials advised Gen. Musharraf, who has been on an extended trip to the United States, not to take the Virgin Atlantic flight after it was discovered a passenger of Middle Eastern descent had bought a one-way ticket using cash. Gen. Musharraf was shifted to a hotel, and Nasim Ashraf, one of his close associates, said in an e-mail message that the former President would take another flight to London later Wednesday. Security agents inspected all luggage from the plane before the flight was given all clear signal. The Trentonian said that the flight was scheduled to depart at 9:10 p.m. (06:10 A.M. PST Wednesday) but that it ended up taking off at 01:14 (11:14 A.M. PST Wednesday) because of the delay. An airlines representative, Maria Lilley, wouldnt confirm or deny if the plane was delayed because of a possible terror plot. But she wouldnt talk about Gen. Musharraf, saying, We dont talk about passengers. A spokesman from the federal Transportation Security Administration, Jim Fotenos, released the following statement Wednesday: As part of our layered approach to security, Transportation Security Administration personnel conducted random aircraft screening prior to passenger boarding of Virgin Atlantic flight 2 from Newark Liberty International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. Security equipment alarmed on an item in the aircraft and per standard protocol, law enforcement personnel responded. The aircraft and baggage were rescreened with negative findings, and the flight departed at 1:14 a.m. EDT. But he declined to comment on the report about the passenger with one-way ticket.