Qatari Diplomat In Custody After Attempting to 'Light Up' His Shoes

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by ajtr, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Air Marshals Stop Alleged 'Shoe Bomb' Attempt On United Jet to Denver

    Qatari Diplomat In Custody After Attempting to 'Light Up' His Shoes

    Federal air marshals subdued a man who authorities say attempted to "light his shoes on fire" on a United flight from Washington Reagan to Denver Wednesday night, federal law enforcement officials told ABC News.

    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. The FBI said the man had full diplomat immunity as the 3rd secretary and vice-consul. Authorities said two jet fighters were scrambled from Buckley Air Force Base to accompany United flight 663, a Boeing 757, as it flew the final 40 miles to Denver where it landed safely. Authorities said the man, identified as from Qatar, was restrained by the air marshals who were on the flight.

    The United jet was reportedly being directed to a remote location at the Denver airport.

    A spokesman for the FBI in Denver declined to comment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2010
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Qatari diplomat accused of 'shoe bomb' attempt on US flight may have been being sarcastic

    A QATARI diplomat has caused a mid-air panic after reportedly putting a cigarette out on his sandals on a US flight.

    Initial reports suggested Mohammed al Modadi, a diplomat from the Qatar embassy in Washington, had attempted to light a "shoe bomb" on a flight to Denver.

    However, a US official told Fox News he was possibly smoking in a toilet and no explosives have been found on board the aircraft, which landed safely.

    The unnamed official said the incident on Flight 663 was "not likely a serious security threat".

    Mr al Modadi was taken into custody after the plane landed at Denver.

    Sources have revealed to Fox News that it did not appear he was trying to light an explosive substance or explosive device.

    Authorities have not made final conclusions about the incident and continue to investigate, the source said.
    Mr al Modadi allegedly told air marshals, "I'm lighting my shoes on fire", ABC News reported.

    ABC reports that the diplomat was wrestled to the ground and two F-16 fighter jets were dispatched to accompany the 757 on the final 40 minutes of its flight to Denver. Flight 663 originated from Washington Reagan airport.

    A US security official said, "it may have been a massive misunderstanding" and the diplomat's statement may have been a "sarcastic" comment when he was confronted by two air marshals who had been told by flight attendants that smoke was coming from the lavatory.

    ABC, NBC, CNN and MSNBC reported there were no explosives on the plane.

    Air marshalls said the passenger had been in the bathroom for a very long time, and when the door was opened there was a smell of smoke.

    It is believed he was smoking a cigarette.

    Sources now believe he may have tried to light his shoes or something else in an attempt to cover up another smell.

    Two jet fighters from Buckley Air Force Base were sent to accompany the Boeing 747, flight 663, during the last 40 miles to Denver where it landed safely and was directed to a remote location at the airport.

    The man is believed to have had full diplomat immunity as the third secretary and vice-consul, the FBI said.

    Transportation Security Administration spokesman Greg Soule said they were monitoring the incident.

    "All steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the traveling public," he said.
     

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