Shoe Bomber II

It looks like there’s been an attempted reprise of what Richard Reid did back in 2001: a man on a flight from D.C. to Denver allegedly tried to ignite his shoes.

You’re probably asking the same question I did: How the heck did this fellow get his shoeload through pre-flight screening? I’ve experienced the security at Dulles numerous times, and no one gets through the line without taking off his shoes.

But this guy is an actual diplomat, so maybe the rules are different for him. The article doesn’t mention his ethnicity or his religious beliefs, but his name — are you listening, Mark Steyn? — is Mohammed, and he is from Qatar.

Stories are now circulating that no bomb was involved, that the fellow was innocently trying to light up a special type of tobacco. Yes. Lighting up tobacco on a plane. And he caught his shoes on fire.

Makes complete sense to me.

Anyway, here’s what The Los Angeles Times says:

Air marshal subdues man on DC-Denver flight

The FBI is probing whether a man tried to ignite his shoes on a DC to Denver flight Wednesday, according to law enforcement officials, who say the man is a Qatari diplomat.

An official said an air marshal on the flight apparently restrained them.

“Them”? Who are “them”? Irate passengers who tried to beat the would-be bomber to death with tiny wine bottles?

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation.

The officials said fighter jets were scrambled but proved unnecessary, as the plane landed safely in Denver with no injuries to passengers.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Kristin Lee said the man is being interviewed by law enforcement officials in Denver.

Two officials say the man is a Qatari diplomat who has been in the United States for years.

– – – – – – – –

Unlike the Christmas Day bomb attempt on an Detroit-bound airliner, officials say it is not immediately clear what the man was trying to do — something harmful like start a fire or explosion, or something as innocent as smoke a cigarette.

Officials insisted Wednesday night it was still too early to tell whether the incident was an attempted act of terrorism or a giant misunderstanding.

A media hot line at Denver International Airport says the United Flight 663 from Washington to Denver was met by FBI and TSA officials around 7 p.m. MDT. Airport officials didn’t immediately return phone calls to The Associated Press.

Watch for the imminent disclaimer mandated by the DHS manual: “There is no connection with terrorism.”

Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.

16 thoughts on “Shoe Bomber II

  1. AP is reporting that the guy was just kidding, after trying to sneak a smoke in the can:

    “Two law enforcement officials said investigators were told the man was asked about the smell of smoke in the bathroom and he made a joke that he had been trying to light his shoes — an apparent reference to the 2001 so-called ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid.”

    Haw! What a card!

    Or possibly a dry run.

  2. Appositely, Drudge affixed the following title to Obama news today:
    “White House to remove ‘Islamic radicalism’ from terror terms…”

  3. If this keeps up, at some point everybody will have to shed all their clothes and shoes and change into garments provided by the airline before boarding a plane. There goes all our freedoms.

    Instead of focusing on trying to disarm all passengers including the loyal and law-abiding, we would be better off focusing on the terrorists themselves, and making sure that nobody with a terrorist bent gets on a plane.

    Let me dust off the US Constitution…which everybody is tired of hearing about, but which I still respect. If law-abiding American citizens had their Second Amendment rights to carry loaded weapons on a plane, then the evildoers would recalculate their risk/reward ratios, realize their wrongdoing would be thwarted, and would never bother getting on the plane in the first place.

  4. 1389,

    You can’t fire a gun on a plane. Probably the main reason terrorists target flights in the first place is because an aeroplane – with all the built-up pressure – is already rigged like a bomb waiting to go off. The terrorists only need to cause a sufficient explosion to puncture the pressure and trigger the larger bomb – the plane itself.

  5. Well that didn’t take long.
    No Charges for Qatar Diplomat, Mohammed al Modadi After Mid-Air Bomb Scare

    NO CHARGES! Not even for smoking. Any other passenger would serve time and pay a hefty fine. Yet this “diplomat”, likely a brat from one of the Qatari tribal families conveniently relocated with a gifted title of ‘diplomat’ to avoid local humiliation acted out in a most un diplomatic fashion on this American flight. Passenger, Mohammed al Modadi’s humour is lost on all the law abiding taxpayers who will now absorb the expense of our air marshall’s time and military fighter aircraft escorts due to this ‘diplomatic’ clown’s behavior .

    Expel him. Send the bill to Qatar with a demand for payment in full within 30 days with the understanding that all future Qatari flights to the US will be suspended until payment in full is received and this clown is stripped of his diplomatic immunity.

  6. Sean, if that’s the case, then why do air marshals carry guns? The tiny hole created by a handgun bullet would n’t be enough to depressurize the plane. The plane would have plenty of time to get to a lower altitude and land after it happened.

  7. Sean, if that’s the case, then why do air marshals carry guns? The tiny hole created by a handgun bullet would n’t be enough to depressurize the plane. The plane would have plenty of time to get to a lower altitude and land after it happened.

  8. If the bullet goes through a window it could. If everyone on board is armed and the plane turns into the O.K. Corral I don’t think it’s likely to stay in the air very long.

  9. Hi.
    I remember a story from 2009 “Obama issued a memorandum ordering a review of the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Qatari citizen and the only “enemy combatant” held on US soil at a Navy prison in South Carolina.”
    It seems almost as he has a personal intrest in them?
    It seems everything turns around Obama and the non excisting Islamic Jihad.

  10. Sean, the plane blowing up due to a bullet hole is a Hollywood myth, it doesn’t happen in reality. They did this on Myth Busters and they shot quite extensively at that plane, including through the window. If a window breaks, the passengers will have to put their masks on and the plane will be able to land safely. The reason why you can’t carry a gun on the plane is to not hijack it.

    And I don’t see why everybody should be screened. They should put only the Muslims and Arabs through these screening procedures. I’m a 19 years old white girl, I hardly fit the terrorist profile. I can also produce a lot of evidence that I’m not Muslim – like I can light a Qu’ran on fire or do whatever they want me to do with it.

  11. The Mythbusters experiment was done on a plane that was grounded and artificially pressurised. When they repeat their experiment on a aircraft travelling at 800km/h then they can confirm whether or not the pressure difference and travelling speed lead to a different result, e.g. death for everyone on board.

  12. RV, everyone must be screened, not only muslims. The problem today is that you can’t tell if a westerner is a muslim or not. They have recruited convers for this very reason becuasethey can fly under the radar so to speak. Therefore everybody must be screened.

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