Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breaking: Shoe Bomber Caught on DC to Denver Flight (Update: No Explosives Found, and More)

You can be "lighting your shoes on fire" on board a DC to Denver flight. You can be holding a diplomatic passport from Qatar. Your name can be Mohammed al Modadi. Air marshals can tackle you to the floor. Two jet fighters from Buckley Air Force Base can be scrambled to accompany the flight you are on after you are caught "lighting your shoes on fire."

All that is possible.

What is not possible is that you are a "militant Islamic extremist."

Ask the president. He knows.

Update: The FBI says no explosives were found in the diplomat’s shoes after he “allegedly" told air marshals, "I’m lighting my shoes on fire.” U.S. security officials say the statement may have been “sarcastic.”

Or maybe it was just a trial run.

No doubt there is diplomatic immunity for "sarcastic."

Cross-posted at Potluck.

Update 4/8/10: Founding Bloggers smells something more offensive than smoke from the "alleged" cigarette that Mohammed al Modadi "allegedly" was smoking in the restroom of that DC to Denver flight.

CBS reported that Qatar's U.S. ambassador, Ali Bin Fahad Al-Hajri, cautioned against a rush to judgment.  (H/t Jihad Watch)

If you're a Qatari ambassador, all you have to do is ask. In the Obama administration's non-rush to judgment, this "diplomat," who violated U.S. federal law at minimum and caused an airliner filled with more than 160 passengers and crew to be placed in the sights of the weapons of two jet fighters (with attendant expense), has been rushed back to his "embassy" in Washington. His name now is being reported as Mohammed al Madadi, not Modadi, as first reported. Here's his mug.

Update: From Jihad Watch:
Just a coincidence. Just a coincidence. Just a coincidence. Just a joke. Just a joke. Just a joke. "Qatar diplomat was to meet jailed terrorist," by Matthew Lee and P. Solomon Banda for The Associated Press, April 8 (thanks to all who sent this in):
WASHINGTON -- A Qatari diplomat was on his way to an official visit with an imprisoned al-Qaida sleeper agent when he touched off a bomb scare by slipping into an airline bathroom for a smoke, officials said Thursday as the diplomat prepared to leave the U.S. The diplomat, Mohammed Al-Madadi was going to meet Ali Al-Marri in prison, according to a State Department official and another person close to the matter. Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar, is serving eight years in prison after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to support terrorism.
Al-Marri was arrested after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, accused of being a sleeper agent researching poisonous gasses and plotting a cyberattack.
Some air travelers at Denver International Airport Thursday were amazed that Al-Madadi would not be charged with anything. 
But even without charges being pressed against him and without such a waiver, the U.S. could have moved to declare Al-Madadi "persona non grata" and expel him from the country. However, officials said they would not pursue this, given the close nature of U.S.-Qatari ties and the importance the country plays in the Middle East....


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