After much searching, I found the name of the "drunk and unruly" passenger aboard AirTran Flight 39 - which had 55 high school students aboard from South Carolina. Muhammad Abu Tahir is the passenger who caused the flight to be diverted, threw shoes at a flight attendant, grabbed the flight attendant, locked himself in the toilet and caused F-16s to scramble and escort the airliner to the ground in Colorado Springs, CO. 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.
Thanks to 9NEWS.com, we have the following information:
The FBI says Tahir wasn't following directions and grabbed a flight attendant on either the hand or the arm and then took off his socks and shoes and threw them. The flight attendant was not seriously hurt.After the emergency landing, the plane was removed to a remote area (no mention that it probably had to searched...all passengers taken off...all luggage rescreened). The landing was about 11:30 a.m. The departure sans Tahir occurred about 4 p.m. - a 4-1/2 hour delay!
"I mean the guy was pretty big and he was kind of threatening and he was aggressive and we're in a little tube," Sam Miorelli, a passenger on the plane, said. "I saw him several times come to the front of the plane and get more bottles of wine from the flight attendant, and towards the end, he was basically stumbing."
"It was the fastest from where you're flying along to where you're landed that I've ever experienced in my life of flying," Miorelli said. "I mean you could feel your ears popping definitely more quickly than you usually do as you're descending. It was pretty obvious this was not your every day landing."
Charges are expected on Monday.
If convicted of interference with a flight crew, Tahir could get up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.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?
AirTran has had their share of similar unfortunate events. Take a look at these recent stories:
AirTran Flight 175 Muslim Family Removed - lawsuit alert
AirTran Flight 297 - Muslim Men Disrupt AirTran Flight
And original background on the above article
AirTran Flight 39 Landing with F-16 escorts