Friday, October 7, 2011

Apparently attempting to open the cockpit door on a commercial jetliner is not a crime!

From the what does it take to get arrested on suspicion of terrorism file!

Apparently more than what these facts describe about an attempt to open the cockpit door on an American Airlines flight from JFK to Indianapolis:
  1. Abdulaziz Al-Shammari, a Saudi Arabian citizen, was on a flight from New York's JFK Airport to Indianapolis. He had arrived in New York from Saudi Arabia by way of Qatar.
  2. Al-Shammari reportedly had paced up and down the aisle of the jet before finally approaching the cockpit door. According to witnesses in the cabin and the pilot behind the closed door he had then tried to open it.
  3. Another passenger approached, took Al-Shammari by the arm and took him back to his seat. When he asked Al-Shammari if he was looking for the bathroom, Al-Shammari shook his head.
  4. After landing police confiscated a note that Al-Shammari had written on the plane in Arabic (this is not a crime but the contents once translated may have indicated the intent to commit one).
  5. Questioned on the ground Al-Shammari was said to speak little English although he did speak enough to answer the other passengers question about the bathroom on the plane.
  6. During questioning Al-Shammari once again understood enough English to relay the fact that he was a student at the University of Indianapolis.
  7. A University of Indianapolis spokesman when asked said that they have no record of Al-Shammari being a student.
  8. Because Alshammari did not currently appear on any terrorist watch list he was released with no charges filed.
Summary: An attempt to open a cockpit door by a Saudi Arabian citizen who then lied about his background was not grounds for arrest simply because he did not currently appear on any terrorist watch list? Lovely!

Would the result have been different if an American citizen had made the same attempt while telling the same lie?

Story source

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