Apparently, ABC News never considered that the Pakistani MUSLIM acting suspiciously on board Delta Flight 126 from JFK to Madrid, was carrying out a dry run, testing the security on the plane to see how much he could get away with and report back to his bosses. Did any of you hear from the media that, once again, it was a MUSLIM behaving strangely on a plane? I didn’t, and I live in NYC.
ABC NEWS Thursday night’s terror scare on a Delta Airlines flight from New York to Madrid began when an air marshal became suspicious of a passenger of Pakistani MUSLIM descent who had just left a lavatory, and ended with a heavily armed SWAT team storming the plane, only to find no terrorist and no bomb.
It was another false alarm in the air that had some in law enforcement questioning the judgment of federal air marshals. (Questioning the judgement? They were doing their jobs. DUH) And over the new two weeks, prior to and during the London Olympics, there will be teams of marshals on virtually every U.S. carrier flight into or out of the major cities of Europe and the Middle East.
“I think reasonableness did not prevail on this flight,” said ABC News consultant Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent, “and crying wolf too many times will then not help you when you have a real crisis.” (That’s right, Brad, only take action after the bomb has gone off in the lavatory)
Delta Flight 126, which left JFK airport at 8 p.m., was about 45 minutes into its trip when a federal air marshal saw a Pakistani MUSLIM man exit a lavatory. Inside the lavatory, the air marshal found two short pieces of wire with their ends tripped off, covered by a piece of dark straw. The marshal concluded, wrongly, that that they could be components for a bomb.
At the same time, a female passenger from Argentina began to have breathing difficulties, and other air marshals thought, again wrongly, that she could be a decoy, meant to distract the crew while someone else assembled a bomb
The plane turned back toward JFK, first telling passengers there were mechanical difficulties but then admitting there was a “security” issue. After an emergency landing, the Delta jet was directed toward an isolated area. Passengers looked out their windows and saw firetrucks, security trucks and personnel in HAZMAT suits.
The pilot told air traffic control, “There may be actually a real team on board and we’d like to get security on the airplane as soon as we can.” He also explained how the Argentine woman could be a member of the “terror team.” “She’s the one that is supposed to be the decoy that keeps looking at the gentleman that was playing the possible explosive device in the lavatory.”
The SWAT team stormed the plane, finding nothing. The 277 passengers who had been evacuated from the aircraft were finally allowed to proceed to Madrid just before 4 a.m., nearly 8 hours behind schedule.
Though in the end there was no real threat, federal air marshals are trained to react precisely as they did Thursday night. They are trained to look for teams of terrorists and decoys, and told that terrorists may sneak bomb component parts on board to be assembled in washrooms. They are also trained to shoot to kill, in the head, to prevent someone from detonating a bomb.(And for doing their jobs properly, ABC demeans their efforts)