Well, it’s a good thing Obama removed “Islamic extremism” from national security documents. From Ace of Spades:
This is breaking right now. A man on a flight from DC to Denver was tackled by air marshals as he attempted to light his shoes on fire.
More info to come…
More (9:42): I’m told the plane has just landed. All passengers are uninjured and the man is in custody.
Later (9:47): I’m a bit ahead of the news. Trying to get more info from DIA.
Another attempted shoebomber from within the United States raises questions about the usefulness of the TSA’s “take those shoes off” policy.
Later (9:56) Talked to media contact at DIA. They’re calling it a “security disturbance”. The plane was from Reagan to DIA. It was met upon arrival by the TSA, FBI, and airport PD. It will have no impact on airport operations. There are no flight holds at present.
Later (9:50) He’s got a diplomatic passport and is claiming diplomatic immunity.
The passport is from Qatar.
Pretending terrorism doesn’t exist doesn’t seem to be working to combat it.
Authorities say an explosive team is on the way to the airport, and that while the presence of explosives has not yet been confirmed, they believe it was an attempted “shoe bomb.”
The suspect was identified by authorities as a diplomat in the Qatar embassy in Washington, Mohammed al Modadi.
*UPDATE #2: From Fox:
The 27-year-old Qatari diplomat who caused a full-blown, midair security scare when he tried to sneak a cigarette and then joked about it should be recalled or expelled for doing just about “everything wrong” on board the United Airlines flight to Denver, some officials said Thursday.
Mohammed Al-Madadi flew back to Washington, D.C., Thursday after being released from custody. But some said he should face punitive action after he not only tried to light a cigarette on board a passenger jet Wednesday night, but joked that he was trying to light his shoes on fire.
Isn’t that preshus. A non-citizen who happens to share traits in common with every single person who’s ever tried to terrorize aircraft tries to sneak a cigarette on a plane and when confronted about his illegal action he smarts off to the authorities about lighting his shoes on fire.
Robert MacLean, a former federal Air Marshal, said expulsion is probably under consideration.
“I’m not a State Department guy, but he did everything wrong as far as what a federal Air Marshal expects from passengers on a plane,” he told Fox News. “He was very arrogant and thought he could get away with this, probably with his diplomatic status.”
Because his has diplomatic immunity from Qatar he will be placed above the law and above American citizens who would be tarred and feathered if they’d pulled such a stunt:
Foreign diplomats have broad immunity, and if the United States wanted to charge the suspect they’d have to ask Qatar to waive his diplomatic immunity.
Hoekstra said Qatar surely would not grant that. But smoking on U.S. flights is forbidden, as is making threats — and people like Hoekstra say there should be consequences, diplomatic immunity or not.
You can break the law and make threatening remarks on an aircraft only if you’re a diplomat from a country whose backside we’re currently kissing so as to make us more popular with everyone but our own citizens.