Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Another Shoe-Bomber on DC To Denver Flight? UPDATE 11:10 pm - No Explosives Found, Qatar Diplomat Smoking In the Airplane Lavatory?

Per Ace of Spades:

This is breaking right now. A man on a flight from DC to Denver was tackled by air marshals as he attempted to light his shoes on fire.

More info to come...

More (9:42): I'm told the plane has just landed. All passengers are uninjured and the man is in custody.

Later (9:47): I'm a bit ahead of the news. Trying to get more info from DIA.

Another attempted shoebomber from within the United States raises questions about the usefulness of the TSA's "take those shoes off" policy.
Thank God this scum was stopped. Will await more news.

Ten to one this isn't a Catholic or a Southern Baptist trying to blow up an airplane.

UPDATE: Ace writes at 9:56 and 9:58

Talked to media contact at DIA. They're calling it a "security disturbance". The plane was from Reagan to DIA. It was met upon arrival by the TSA, FBI, and airport PD. It will have no impact on airport operations. There are no flight holds at present.

...He's got a diplomatic passport and is claiming diplomatic immunity.

The passport is from Qatar.

Ace links to ABC News, who has picked up the story (all my web searches have turned up nothing).

Federal air marshals subdued a man who authorities say attempted to "light his shoes on fire" on a United flight from Washington Reagan to Denver Wednesday night, federal law enforcement officials told ABC News.

Authorities say an explosive team is on the way to the airport, and that while the presence of explosives has not yet been confirmed, they believe it was an attempted "shoe bomb."

The suspect was identified by authorities as a diplomat in the Qatar embassy in Washington, Mohammed al Modadi. The FBI said the man had full diplomat immunity as the 3rd secretary and vice-consul.

Channel 7 News in Denver says 157 passengers and six crew members on the flight, United Airlines 663 from DC Reagan to Denver.

Some MSNBC talking head claims this may have been a "misunderstanding." Apparently, the guy was in the restroom on the plane for 30 minutes and told the air marshall he was trying to light his shoes on fire. If he was trying to smoke in the lavatory, that is illegal on all domestic flights, so is joking about lighting your shoes on fire.

Ch 7 in Denver now says:

ABC News reports that no explosives have been found on the airplane.

TSA released this statement:

“TSA is monitoring an incident on board United Airlines flight 663 from DCA (Reagan) to DEN (DIA) after receiving initial reports that a Federal Air Marshal responded to a passenger possibly causing a disturbance on board this aircraft. The flight landed safely at Denver International Airport."

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