Patterico's Pontifications

4/7/2010

Possible Shoe-Bomber on DC-Denver Flight

Filed under: Air Security,Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Ace’s Gabriel Malor, Malkin and the Daily Beast:

“Federal air marshals restrained a man who attempted to light his shoes on fire aboard a United Airlines plane headed from Washington, D.C., to Denver Wednesday night. An explosives team headed to the airport to examine the scene, and though they’re unsure whether the man actually had any explosives, they believe the incident was an attempt at a “shoe bomb.” Authorities said the suspect was Mohammed al Modadi, a diplomat at the Qatar embassy in Washington. The FBI told ABC News that al Modadi had diplomatic immunity as the third secretary and vice-consul. Two fighter jets were scrambled from Buckley Air Force Base to accompany United Flight 663, a Boeing 757, as it flew the last 40 miles of its flight to Denver. (It landed safely and was directed to a remote location at the airport.)”

This ABC News report quotes federal sources that say the suspect attempted to “light his shoes on fire”.

H/T S.

— DRJ

36 Responses to “Possible Shoe-Bomber on DC-Denver Flight”

  1. The system worked?

    Alan (07ccb5)

  2. 7 DOJ attorneys just applied for a leave of absence…

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  3. On the same day that…..
    “WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama’s advisers plan to remove terms such as “Islamic radicalism” from a document outlining national security strategy and will use the new version to emphasize that the U.S. does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terrorism, counterterrorism officials say.”

    How could they?

    Steve (6bd10f)

  4. No worries. I’m sure that there will just be some kind of “beer summit.”

    With BLTs.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  5. Guess he is some kind of “diplomat radical” instead.

    beer 'n pretzels (3d1d61)

  6. A simple misunderstanding. He lit a cigarette, the flight attendant told him “no smoking, put your cigarette out” and he tried to extinguish it with his shoe.

    GeneralMalaise (139767)

  7. “I did a stinky. so I decided to light my shoe on fire with the matches I am not supposed to have”

    And/or I was just smoking and made a flippant remark about setting my shoes on fire when caught

    Oh. Of course.

    That criminal defense attorney from Texas on the other thread has to love this guy

    Clearly yet another Qataari victim of American hate

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  8. Fox News is reporting that Qatar Embassy spokesman Ahsheed Mahdroors has indicated that it’s all a “misunderstanding” that is understandably due to cultural differences.

    GeneralMalaise (139767)

  9. There are strict laws on Qatar Airways against smoking – as well as long prison sentences – using an excuse that he was unaware of the consequences is going to be alot of bull

    Qatar US relations have taken a steep nose dive in the last 30 days – the Emir gave a very anti west speech in Libya

    However found this to be hilarious

    http://business.maktoob.com/20090000452402/Kadhafi_suggests_Qatar_emir_is_overweight/Article.htm

    EricPWJohnson (61a975)

  10. It will be interesting to hear the Administration’s take on this, if there is one. I’m thinking they will send him back to Qatar with a fruit basket and say, pretty please don’t come back.

    PatAZ (0a77dd)

  11. http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=1093317353

    The Arab world is trying to talk up their courage to take on Israel – good luck with that!

    EricPWJohnson (61a975)

  12. Paraphrasing Tom Maguire, good thing our war against radical Islam is over.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  13. Alan:

    The system worked?

    Not if he managed to get on the airplane with some kind of explosive. I wonder if he used diplomatic immunity to avoid an inspection?

    DRJ (daa62a)

  14. There will be an investigation but if there is a basis to file charges, I’m not aware of an exception that would prevent the suspect from asserting diplomatic immunity to avoid criminal prosecution.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  15. Diplomats who are terrorists get immunity???

    If so, I have an idea for a new law . . .

    Patterico (c218bd)

  16. Send him to Guam, then tip it over, after evacuating everybody else of course.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  17. I found several papers on the subject (such as this one). It sounds like the general rule is still that diplomatic immunity protects a diplomat from being prosecuted for a crime unless the diplomat’s home country waives immunity and allows the prosecution. Alternatively, the home country could elect to prosecute the diplomat itself.

    The article I linked also argues that terrorism is outside the scope of diplomacy and thus shouldn’t be protected by immunity, but I think that would be true of virtually all crimes.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  18. The system worked as designed, again. You Islamaphobes need to find a new hobby.

    JD (5a42d0)

  19. I would think an act of “terrorism” by a deputized official of another country could be seen as an act of war unless the country disowned the person and allowed prosecution.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  20. Another man/mullah caused disaster averted?

    JD (5a42d0)

  21. New update from Malkin: He was smoking in the lavatory (contrary to rules, as we all know) and when he exited the lavatory after a long stay with the smell of smoke lingering behind him, he “joked” that he had been trying to alight his foot.

    JVW (08e86a)

  22. DRJ

    Its interesting that AlJAzeera – whichis owned by Qatar is reporting that the incident was “not” a misunderstanding but an overt act of defiance by the diplomat.

    They just said on the radio that Air Marshalls confronted the Diplomat who said “what o you think I was doing – lgihting my shoes?” Upon which there was an altercation comencing with a good beat down.

    Given my years here in Qatar – this is typical behavior of Some Qataris – many are not this way but a good deal are – there are factions and right now – this could be an interal problem to embarass the Emir

    EricPWJohnson (61a975)

  23. So the diplomatic immunity will probably prevent him from being prosecuted for “tampering with or disabling smoke detection devices” as well as smoking on the plane. I hope one of two things happens:

    1. Qatar waives his immunity, he is prosecuted, given a suspended sentence, and sent home for good, or

    2. Qatar does not waive his diplomatic immunity, so United and every other domestic carrier bans him permanently from all their flights.

    JVW (08e86a)

  24. EricPWJohnson, weren’t you last seen making an ass of yourself about O’Keefe?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. JVW,

    So maybe this guy was just being a smart aleck after smoking on board? If so, it’s like diplomats who flaunt their immunity by violating American parking laws, except this guy took it to a whole new transportation venue.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  26. It was just really strong global warming.

    IMHO it was mau-mauing the flak catchers.

    Somebody on Ace’s page found a photo of him and he looks like a rich, spoiled angry young man.

    Patricia (fa8e06)

  27. SPQR

    Yep!

    EricPWJohnson (61a975)

  28. I agree, DRJ. But even if Qatar insists on extending diplomatic immunity to this guy, I don’t see how that precludes us from putting him on our no-fly lists. Let him take Greyhound from Washington to Denver next time.

    JVW (08e86a)

  29. Denver is an interesting choice of destination. It’s where the New York terror suspect Najibullah Zazi was living.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  30. Maybe this was a probe on the best way to light a shoe bomb on board a plane.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  31. Maybe it was a magic trick gone horribly awry, DRJ.

    lodge (9d1bb3)

  32. Heh. Based on the latest reports, maybe it was a Stupid Human Trick.

    DRJ (daa62a)

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