The drunk and unruly Muhammad Abu Tahir, aboard AirTran 39, opened the lavatory door after shutting himself inside and refusing to come out. Eventually he set his shoes and socks out side the door, closed the door again for a while...then opened the door to let others see him shaving...and wearing no shirt. Again, he refused to leave the bathroom. He yelled that he was "being disrespected." Keep in mind that 55 - that's 55 high school students from Spartanburg, SC aboard this flight. See update below.
This from WAPO:
Tahir is a Pakistani national who has been in the United States since at least 2002. His occupation and immigration status could not be learned yesterday. He was reportedly traveling alone. According to press accounts he refused to follow instructions by flight attendants and at one point locked himself in the airplane lavatory.Tahir resides in Richmond, Virginia. This from a Richmond television station:
The flight attendant notified the Captain and Senior Flight Attendant of Tahir's behavior. The Captain then asked the flight crew to find an able-bodied person to assist the flight attendants. One of the passengers was then asked to stand outside the lavatory door. Tahir continued to yell and refused to obey the flight crew. At one point, while attempting to calm Tahir down, he grabbed the arms and hands of the Senior Flight Attendant. Tahir released his grasp on her after one of the assisting passengers interceded.Two F-16s escorted the flight to ground in Colorado Springs. A passenger said the descent was steep and fast. Note that once, again, passengers had to step up and put their own safety on the line for yet another Muslim.
Tahir, who had his 47th birthday the day after his arrest (perhaps he was celebrating???), stayed in the lavatory - all the way to the ground, and was then arrested by the Colorado Springs Police Department and questioned by the FBI.
He was charged in a criminal complaint today, and will be in court tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10:30 a.m. to be advised of his charges. Tahir, 47, is a resident of Glen Allen, Virginia. AirTran 39 left Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, bound for San Francisco. Speculation are that the charges will be "interference with a flight crew," which is a felony, and should also extend to assaulting the flight attendant.
If convicted, Tahir faces not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine, or both, as well as restitution to the airlineLast week, there were reports that Tahir threw his shoes at socks. That report does not appear in today's charges.
Recently, the head of the CIA's former bin Laden unit warned that events, just like this would, may be used to "clog" 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 at Larwyn's Linx (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 links to other recent airline "events" below:
AirTran Flight 175 Muslim Family Removed - lawsuit alert
AirTran Flight 297 - Muslim Men Disrupt AirTran Flight
Mansor Mohammad Asad - Delta Disrupter wanted to kill Jews. Son Blames it on other passengers