Saturday, January 9, 2010

AirTran Flight 175 Muslim Family Removed: Muslim Family Seeking Safe Seats

A Muslim family was removed from AirTran Flight 175 from D.C. bound for Orlando, after strolling down the aisle discussing where the safest seats on the plane might be (or maybe they were seated - it is unclear). After being cleared by the FBI, none of the family was allowed back on the flight, and in fact, were told they could not fly any AirTran flight that day or the next few days, but were not prohibited from using the airline in the future. See a video below. Another thought is former CIA, Michael Schueur's warning that an event, just like this one, may be used to "clog" the intelligence pipeline. See links to that discussion below.

The glaring problem here is AirTran assigns seats before boarding. The time to worry about safe seats is at ticketing. In the video below you will hear one of the men say there was no discussion of seat safety in the pre-boarding area. Federal Marshalls were already aboard the January 1st flight and they summoned law-enforcement.

Atif Irfan said federal authorities removed eight members of his extended family and a friend after passengers heard them discussing the safest place to sit and misconstrued the nature of the conversation....
"The conversation, as we were walking through the plane trying to find our seats, was just about where the safest place in an airplane is," Sahin said. "We were (discussing whether it was safest to sit near) the wing, or the engine or the back or the front, but that's it. We didn't say anything else that would raise any suspicion."

The conversation did not contain the words "bomb," "explosion," "terror" or other words that might have aroused suspicion, Irfan said.

"When we were talking, when we turned around, I noticed a couple of girls kind of snapped their heads," said Sobia Ijaz, Irfan's wife. "I kind of thought to myself, 'Oh, you know, maybe they're going to say something.' It didn't occur to me that they were going to make it such a big issue."
If the "heads" of these "girls" snapped, it's likely they were not looking to cause trouble, but were themselves troubled at what they heard.

Atif Irfan is a tax attorney and his brother Kashif Irfan, an anesthesiologist, were removed from the flight along with a family friend, Abdul Aziz. Aziz is an attorney for The Library of Congress.
Aziz said there is a "very strong possibility" he will pursue a civil rights lawsuit.
These good American families have already contacted, who?...say it all together now: CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations). Less than a day, a complaint was filed with the Department of Transportation, on behalf of the family.

The FBI cleared all involved and tried to intervene with AirTran to put them back on the flight, to continue to a religious conference in Orland. By this time, 95 other passengers had been pulled off the flight for rescreening, along with baggage.

As American's, the Muslim family said they felt "disrespected" and did not deserve to be removed from the aircraft. As Americans they felt they should not have to go through something like this. The other passengers on the plane probably felt they should not have to deal with it either. Later in the day, "six of the nine detained" passengers tried to rebook to Orlando. The flight desk had not been notified that they had been cleared:
One passenger in the party became irate and made inappropriate comments. The local law enforcement officials came over and escorted the passengers away from the gate podium.
Honestly, we have some very educated people here. Surely they could had resisted the urge to talk about "safe seats" in the hearing of other passengers.

AirTran apologized to the family the next day. In the video, the family said they were on their way to vacation - which turns out to be religious conference. Note the

Muslim Family talks about AirTran Flight 175 (video)

 Clogging the Intelligence Pipeline

Is this what America is facing? Will there be lawsuits filed against numerous airlines for taking disruptive Muslims off of flights? As Larwyn (with some of my thoughts woven in) says: "Pregnant/and/or/Pious Females in Burkas...Religious Conferences couched as vacations, transgendered Arabs looking for a way to 72 virgins through their underpants...is this the new normal?

 See related AirTran incidents with Muslim passengers:
 AirTran Flight 297 - Muslim Men Disrupt AirTran Flight

Muhammad Abu Tahir is AirTran Flight 39 Passenger Threw Shoes 

AirTran Flight 297 - Muslim Men Disrupt - Disturbing Ride for Passengers lawsuit alert

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