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Idiot Discovered on a Flight from D.C. to Denver

This story just hit the local news here in Denver. Details are very very sketchy at the moment but there was a disturbance on a United flight from D.C. to Denver. Information is still hard to come by at the moment but it would appear to be non-terrorist related.

The man at the center of the story is Mohammed al-Modadi who is the 3rd secretary and vice-counsul at the Qatar embassy in Washington. The best explanation of what happened that I've found is at Hot Air:

On MSNBC, Pete Williams says they haven't found any explosives in his shoes yet and thinks it might be a huge misunderstanding. Supposedly al-Modadi got up to use the bathroom around 30 minutes before the flight landed; he was in there for awhile and when he came out an air marshal smelled smoke. When the marshal asked him what he was doing in the bathroom, al-Modadi supposedly said, "I was trying to light my shoes on fire." In fact, he might have simply been having a cigarette and responding sarcastically, which I guess the marshal didn't pick up on. Again, this is all from Williams.
If this recounting of the story it true then al-Modadi is not a terrorist. He is however an idiot. Who would try to smoke on board an airplane and then when caught in the act make a joke about terrorism and shoe bombings?

More details, though they don't have much, at FoxNews and ABCNews.

Update: Mohammed Yacoub Y.M. Al Madadi is the one on the right in this picture, which matches the State Dept listing. Interestingly though he's listed as "Third Secretary," his Linked In profile lists him as a recent GWU graduate who is a database adminstrator for the consulate.


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Comments (18)

Who would do something like... (Below threshold)
Arizona CJ:

Who would do something like what's described? (Smoke on a plane and then joke about bombs)?

Easy: an asshole with diplomatic immunity. He would assume, perhaps correctly, they they wouldn't touch him.

"Idiot Discovered on flight... (Below threshold)
914:

"Idiot Discovered on flight out of D.C.??"


It ain't even November and there already cuttin and runnin..

Hold him at the airport, ha... (Below threshold)

Hold him at the airport, have his PNG letter delivered to him, place him on next flight home.

There are times and places ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

There are times and places where you can probably get by with flippant remarks and a shitty attitude. Aboard a plane in flight IS NOT one of them.

Heck, you couldn't get away... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Heck, you couldn't get away with making bomb jokes on planes or at airports even before 9/11.

My understanding is that the only action we could take beside PNG-ing his butt straight home (and put him on a no-entry list for the future), short of severing diplomatic relations or actions nearly that drastic, would be to adjust the staff allowance so he could not be replaced. That usually results in a reciprocal cut, so it doesn't mean much.

Qatar has been very helpful and cooperative with us, though, and it is probably just a young jerk's flip mouth. Arabs have no corner on smartasp idiots.

Holy somkes he's bats man.<... (Below threshold)
Ron:

Holy somkes he's bats man.

RADICAL ISLAM AT IT'S BEST.... (Below threshold)
poptoy:

RADICAL ISLAM AT IT'S BEST.

Should have had him step ou... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Should have had him step outside for his smoke right then and there.

"Idiot Discovered on a Flig... (Below threshold)
JPO:

"Idiot Discovered on a Flight from DC"

Thought this would be a story about Air Force One.

#9...best comment yet!... (Below threshold)
mag:

#9...best comment yet!

Personally, I don't trust any of them....and screw anyone who thinks I am a racist...

President Obama should apol... (Below threshold)
kos kid commenting on the wrong blog:

President Obama should apologize to the diplomat, apologize to the government of Qatar, make reparations to ... What? Qatar is a U.S. ally? Fuch 'em then.

AND DON'T CALL IT A REGIME!!!
(bursts into tears and runs away sobbing)

The air marshal saved his l... (Below threshold)
Roy:

The air marshal saved his life. Imagine if a regular American citizen had gotten ahold of the moron.

#9...best comme... (Below threshold)
#9...best comment yet!
Of course it is -- it's what I would've said if I hadn't read the thread first.

(plots elimination of rival)

"The air marshal saved h... (Below threshold)
914:

"The air marshal saved his life. Imagine if a regular American citizen had gotten ahold of the moron"


Good luck with that one! He has way too many secret service personnel for that!

Tiny Muslim with a Diplomat... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Tiny Muslim with a Diplomatic Passport = Narcissistic Big Pain in the Ass.

Kinda reminds me of Hussein Obama.

The reference to "recent GW... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The reference to "recent GWU graduate" tells you all you need to know.

"Released without charge."<... (Below threshold)
Marc:

"Released without charge."

Now THAT's bullshit! The nitwit's Diplo passport should have been pulled, promptly deported and banned from U.S. entry for 10, or more, years.

"I was trying to light m... (Below threshold)
wtfo:

"I was trying to light my shoes on fire." In fact, he might have simply been having a cigarette and responding sarcastically, which I guess the marshal didn't pick up on. Again, this is all from Williams."

I'm really getting tired of writers - even those I generally like - screwing this up. They're making the officer out to be some kind of idiot, here.

In security work, you have a concept known as "honoring the threat". If someone walks up and says something - no matter how idiotic it seems - that is, by the meaning of the actual words leaving their actual mouth, a threat or indication that they are doing, or may do something violent - then you have to take them at their (admittedly idiotic) word.

There is a reason for this, which I can explain easily, having worked these sort of jobs. I am responsible for a lot of "people getting not killed". Whenever some idiot civilian cracks a bomb joke, we have to take it seriously, even when it is OBVIOUSLY a joke. Why?

Because "people not getting killed" - and the related (and very important, to myself) task of "my ass not getting handed to me - as a result of failing the task of 'people not getting killed' " is more important than "not looking like an idiot", which invevitably results from having to be a dick to that idiot comedian.

Naturally this infuriates a lot of self-centered people who like to think that their rights are being trampled when they can't wear an "I'm a terrorist!" t-shirt into secure areas.

Guys like this officer have jobs. These jobs are serious. At the very least people could help by pulling their heads out of their asses, realizing the world does not revolve around them, and stop doing stupid shit that they've been warned not to do a thousand times before, and the media could help by understanding the problem in the first place.




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