Yesterday afternoon a Middle Eastern-looking fellow on Southwest Airlines Flight 3683 raised a ruckus high in the air over Amarillo, Texas. He yelled some stuff about God killing everyone, and said he wasn’t afraid to die. The plane then made an emergency landing at the Amarillo airport, and the man was taken into custody.
Oh, and I almost forgot: the agitated passenger shouted “Allahu akhbar!” as a part of his angry imprecations. But have no fear — according to the television news report below, “The FBI said the man had no terroristic intent.” That’s a relief!
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:
A more detailed account of the event appeared today in the Amarillo Globe-News:
“You’re all going to die,” a man dressed in black screamed at passengers Tuesday afternoon. “You’re all going to hell. Allahu Akbar,” translated as God is great in Arabic.
Federal authorities arrested Ali Reza Shahsavari, 29, of Indialantic, Fla., onboard the Boeing 737 after pilots made an emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport at 3:30 p.m. He is being held in the Randall County jail on a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.
Police said the incident began with Shahsavari arguing with another passenger. The flight crew separated the men, said Amarillo police Cpl. Jerry Neufeld.
Shahsavari went into a bathroom and yelled obscenities from the rear of the plane, said passenger Doug Oerding, of Sacramento, Calif. Attendants tried to calm Shahsavari before a female flight attendant finally succeeded in quieting him. Oerding said.
Amarillo Aviation Director Patrick Rhodes said an emergency call was placed about 3:30 p.m. to the control tower at Rick Husband. The caller initially reported a male passenger was attempting to break into the cockpit, Rhodes said. Amarillo police said the call came from the cockpit.
“He was being disruptive and unruly on the flight, but he was not specifically trying to break into the cockpit,” Rhodes said.
When the plane reached a gate at the airport, police boarded it and arrested Shahsavari without incident, Neufeld said.
FBI Special Agent Mark White, based in Dallas, said the event did not appear to be an act of terrorism. He described Shahsavari as a U.S. citizen who might have experienced an episode of mental illness.
“It sounded like he sort of lost control of himself,” White said.
OK, so he was a loony. Makes sense. No sane person would stand up on a plane and spout off like that, right?
Yes, crazy people sometimes act out on airplanes and have to be restrained. So do drunks. But the majority of incidents of alarming behavior on airliners seem to include “Allahu akhbar!” Funny about that.
So maybe this Islam thing is just an example of mass lunacy: 1.5 billion lunatics all over the world.
Whoops! Scratch that — According to the Justice Department, I’m not supposed to use the “I” word when talking about terrorist (or non-terrorist) incidents. Just by coincidence, today we learned that Attorney General Eric Holder wants to make sure that Muslims and Islam are never mentioned when describing acts that may or may not involve terrorism — I mean, “violent human-generated disturbances”:
DOJ Official: Holder ‘Firmly Committed’ To Eliminating Anti-Muslim Training
Attorney General Eric Holder is “firmly committed” to nixing anti-Muslim material from law enforcement training, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, Dwight C. Holton said Wednesday.
Holton, who was U.S. Attorney when the FBI arrested the so-called Christmas tree bomber, said that he spoke specifically with Holder about the “egregiously false” training that took place at the FBI’s training headquarters at Quantico and at a U.S. Attorney’s office in Pennsylvania, which was first reported on by Wired.
“I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for,” Holton said. “They will not be tolerated.”
The training materials, Holton said, “pose a significant threat to national security, because they play into the false narrative propagated by terrorists that the United States is at war with Islam.”
In other words: we shouldn’t talk about the fact that the overwhelming majority of attempted or successful terrorist acts are carried out by devout Muslims, because that might make Muslims angry and drive them to commit… terrorism.
Hmm. That’s some catch, that Catch-22.
It gets worse:
“Before this effort, a lot of us didn’t understand that when we make an arrest in a high-profile terrorism case that involves someone who claims they follow Islam, it creates a mini-backlash against people in communities,” Holton said.
So when we arrest an Islamic terrorist, the result is a backlash against a “community”? Where is the evidence of for this assertion? Over the past decade, on what occasion have Muslims not been coddled, cosseted, placated, and reassured after one of their fellow Muslims tried to blow up masses of people?
The DOJ is determined to avoid all such imaginary incidents of backlash by never, ever referring to Islam or Muslims, no matter what:
“In the 37-page complaint that laid out the allegations against Mohamed Mohamud, he is never once identified as a Muslim. We were very careful about that. It’s not relevant from our perspective, what’s relevant is the violence,” Holton said.
And then comes a nod to people like me:
He added that not referring to him as a Muslim made him the target of Islamophobic bloggers.
“Of all the hateful things that have been said about me as U.S. Attorney, it’s part of the job, right, having to deal with the bloggers comments — and believe me the medical marijuana crowd does not love me — but of all the hateful things that have been said about me was in response to me saying that,” Holton said. “There are people who don’t get it.”
Well, I’ve got some news for Eric Holder and Dwight C. Holton: despite your dedicated efforts, the American people get it. They now know what “Allahu akhbar” means, thanks to the hundreds of “mentally ill” people who have shouted it on airplanes and in public places during the past ten years.
You don’t have to tell them that Islam is involved; they already know that. They’re well aware of the fact, even if they are reluctant to talk about it except in whispers, for fear of a lawsuit or accusations of “hate speech”.
They can easily see that Mohamed Mohamud has a Mohammed Coefficient of 200%, and they understand its significance.
In fact, the ban on saying “Islam” or “Muslim” will almost certainly have unintended consequences: whenever someone goes nuts on a plane, people will think, “Aha! Islam again!” Because they know the rules: Islam makes its adherents try to blow up planes, but we can’t talk about it.
It’s hard to hush up the truth, but I don’t blame our government for trying. The Muslim Brotherhood expects nothing less.
Hat tips: Frontinus and Vlad Tepes.