• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Airplane Toilet Terrorist

airplane-toilet-signageTwo days after a Nigerian al Qaeda operative tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 as it landed in Detroit, we had an eerie repeat.  Another Nigerian on the exact same flight locked himself in the lavatory and refused to come out.  Thankfully, it was a case of the trots, not a terrorist plot.

The pilot alerted the authorities and the plane made an emergency landing and was met by police on its arrival in Detroit.

The man, who is in his 30s, reportedly locked himself in a toilet for more than an hour as the plane flew over the US.   Before locking himself in to the toilet the man had already been up and down to the same cubicle several times. Cabin crew became increasingly suspicious, broke the door down and dragged him out. He is then said to have become irate and verbally aggressive.

He was subdued and the pilot contacted the airport to say there was an emergency on board. Emergency vehicles gathered on the runway to meet the plane. The passengers and crew were evacuated from the plane and the man was formally arrested. Officials said no explosive device had been found on the suspect.  The man had boarded the flight with no luggage.

President Barack Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii, was informed immediately. White House officials said Mr Obama was to have further talks with his aides over airline security.

However a senior US official told Fox News that the man arrested on Sunday was simply a “sick passenger”.

It’s tempting to poke fun at the overreaction of the flight crew and a set of procedures that has the President of the United States alerted because a man had diarrhea on an airplane.  But, given the timing, suspicion was certainly warranted.  And, ultimately, little harm was done.

That passenger was released from the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was allowed to make a planned connection to an unspecified destination, a spokesman for the Detroit Wayne County Airport Authority said. The passenger’s name was not released.

But the fact of the matter is that Montezuma’s revenge is a far more likely occurrence than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed II.  The new TSA regulations are therefore much more likely to force a sick person to either flout security procedures and be reported to the president or stay in his seat and let nature take its course.

The terrorists have won.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Thankfully, it was a case of the trots, not a terrorist plot.

    LOL. Sometimes potty jokes are still funny, even at my age.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Wayne says:

    “The terrorists have won”

    What a lame B.S. statement. Just because we change some behaviors doesn’t mean “they won”. WWII changed some of our behaviors with some lasting even today. Did the Japanese win? Of course not. The swine flu change some people’s behavior. Did it win? No.

    Granted some of the reactions just like some in WWII are over reactions but that is human nature. Terrorist goals are more than just to terrorize or to change our airport security procedures. They have not achieved their major goals so to say “they won” is asinine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. anjin-san says:

    Just because we change some behaviors

    Bush’s rejection of the rule of law after 9.11 was not a “behavior change”. It was the sound of victory bells for Bin Laden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Have a nice G.A. says:

    LOL. Sometimes potty jokes are still funny, even at my age.

    The new rules of engagement won’t allow me to make any, orders from enlightenment.

    We do have a special place for the lol though.

    If they have won anything, it’s sympathy form the left, and also from the left a great apparatus for propaganda, because these gain votes.

    Simple logic,the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Drew says:

    They at least gave the dude some Immodium, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. DC Loser says:

    @G.A.????? Huh?? What are you smoking?

    If anything, it’s the right that is using this for propaganda to gain votes. Have you not been reading what Hoekstra, King, McConnell and company have been saying? There are plenty of common sense moderates and conservatives who are not exactly thrilled at the direction our anti-terrorism programs have been doing at the expense of personal freedoms. Why don’t we just get it over with and start flying butt naked or put into suspended animation for the duration of the flight?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Herb says:

    “They have not achieved their major goals so to say “they won” is asinine.”

    Nah, it’s not asinine. It’s hyperbolic. It’s also the case many liberals have been making for years viz-a-viz Gitmo, the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, etc.

    The only interesting thing about it is that the thing that pushes James over the edge is yet more ridiculous TSA flight restrictions. If the terrorists have won, they won a long time ago…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Franklin says:

    Terrorist goals are more than just to terrorize or to change our airport security procedures. They have not achieved their major goals so to say “they won” is asinine.

    It’s true that they haven’t completely won, *yet*. They have cost us many trillions of dollars at this point, which is a pretty good start to bankrupting a superpower. You might note that the USSR no longer exists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Why don’t we just get it over with and start flying butt naked or put into suspended animation for the duration of the flight?

    Why don’t we just profile terrorists, and stop searching people like me, Albert Gore, and old crippled folks in wheelchairs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Franklin says:

    The new rules of engagement won’t allow me to make any, orders from enlightenment.

    I applaud your self-control here.

    And once in a while, we should have a healthy debate about whether we should profile terrorists, just to get everybody up to speed on the arguments involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Nah, it’s not asinine. It’s hyperbolic. It’s also the case many liberals have been making for years viz-a-viz Gitmo, the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, etc.

    It had nothing to do with undermining the “war on terror” for political gain? Right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Herb says:

    Grrrr, GA, I read your comment and some choice words came to mind. I will refrain from typing them, but be assured you are barking up the wrong tree with this nonsense:


    “If they have won anything, it’s sympathy form the left.”

    First of all, you can repeat that “enemy of my enemy is my friend” crap all you want, but it’s a saying; not an eternal truth. Things are often more complicated than that.

    “The Left,” as you call them, has no sympathy for terrorists or Islamic jihadists. Their ideas (religious extremism, suppression of women, hatred of the west) as well as their methods (terrorism, oppression of their own people) are contrary to our ideas and our methods.

    The ONLY reason you would say something abjectly retarded like that is because you’re taking the “enemy of my enemy thing” to extremes. Guess what, homes?

    By the same logic, isn’t the Right, who have spent the last year vehemently opposing any and all things President Obama, also in bed with the terrorists?

    Of course not. Because that is just dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Have a nice G.A. says:

    And once in a while, we should have a healthy debate about whether we should profile terrorists, just to get everybody up to speed on the arguments involved.

    I agree fully, and if you don’t say Bush, I won’t say Obama, I Will say that makes sense, or I don’t understand what you mean or why.

    It’s not easy, I have to warn you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Have a nice G.A. says:

    “The Left,” as you call them, has no sympathy for terrorists or Islamic jihadists. Their ideas (religious extremism, suppression of women, hatred of the west) as well as their methods (terrorism, oppression of their own people) are contrary to our ideas and our methods

    Herb, I have been watching and it’s what I have seen. Should I specify left leadership and media.

    First of all, you can repeat that “enemy of my enemy is my friend” crap all you want, but it’s a saying; not an eternal truth. Things are often more complicated than that.

    I said simple logic. The fact that some one does realize what they are doing is not my problem, it’s the way they operate and is their problem.

    If you want to point out were my side is making traitorous statements on the floor while attacking the honor of our men in combat or trying to deny funding for them to rally their base or exposing top secret information to our enemies feel free.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Herb says:

    “It had nothing to do with undermining the “war on terror” for political gain? Right.”

    What would the Left have to gain from undermining the “War on Terror?” Oh, that’s right…NOTHING.

    I think you’ve internalized this “the left is my enemy” stuff too much that you have no coherent understanding of what the left even is, much less what they want.

    What was it that Barney Frank said about arguments with dining room tables?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Wayne says:

    “By the same logic, isn’t the Right, who have spent the last year vehemently opposing any and all things President Obama, also in bed with the terrorists?”

    What anti-terrorist policy of B.O. did the right opposed? Unless you think things like healthcare or bailout has anything to do with eliminating terrorism? Not that there can’t be disputes over anti-terrorism policies. There sure was with Bush.

    Anjin
    Are those the same policies that Obama has kept in place like the Patriot Act?

    Franklin
    You have a point about that we have spent a good deal of money, much of it for feel good measures. The feel good spending even applies to some of the military expenses.

    That said, Bin Laden goals of forcing the U.S. out of the M.E., killing all non Muslim, or killing U.S. personnel with relatively impunity hasn’t happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Have a nice G.A. says:

    What would the Left have to gain from undermining the “War on Terror?” Oh, that’s right…NOTHING.

    Socalism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. […] James Joyner’s round-up and several follow-up posts here, here, here, here, here and here are probably the best coverage in the blogosphere of the […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. UlyssesUnbound says:

    If you want to point out were my side is making traitorous statements on the floor while attacking the honor of our men in combat or trying to deny funding for them to rally their base or exposing top secret information to our enemies feel free.


    Attacking the honor of our men in combat

    Exposing top secret information

    Denying funding to rally their base

    Don’t you hate it when reality doesn’t cooperate?

    Of course most rational people from the left and right realize that each side has a few bad apples, but that most of us just want what’s best for the country. Of course G.A. isn’t most people, nor rational.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Herb says:

    “If you want to point out were my side is making traitorous statements on the floor while attacking the honor of our men in combat or trying to deny funding for them to rally their base or exposing top secret information to our enemies feel free.”

    No, you made the charge. The burden of proof is on you. And please do follow up. I’m genuinely curious to see if you can build a case for your statement.

    (Just for the record: I don’t think you can.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Herb says:

    Socalism? Is that when you surf all day and say “dude” a lot.

    Oh, you meant socialism! My bad…

    [Yawn] Most of the people who cry socialism don’t even know what it is. Best to stick to so-Calism, dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. sam says:

    @GA

    Why don’t we just profile terrorists, and stop searching people like me

    Because you write like a terrorist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Have a nice G.A. says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCVZlLBchVE

    When you change your position to undermine the war effort for political gain your should be considered?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Have a nice G.A. says:

    [Yawn] Most of the people who cry socialism don’t even know what it is. Best to stick to so-Calism, dude.

    The spell checker failed me, no it was my fault, I am no liberal blamer.

    Most of the people who attack when they have no hope of winning an argument don’t even know what it feels like.

    I can see it now, you momma telling you “it’s OK little Herby, It doesn’t matter if your not smart like the other kids, all that matters is that you fell good about yourself”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Because you write like a terrorist.

    Hey look it’s one of the grammar trolls, whats up pookie, my apologizes, but seriously don’t you have anything better to do then try to gang up on me with these other liberals, it has not helped you best me yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Sam I misspelled feel too, hurry before someone beets you to it, I wouldn’t what you to miss out on a rational liberal argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. UlyssesUnbound says:

    When you change your position to undermine the war effort for political gain your should be considered?

    So where is the evidence they changed their position to undermine the war effort? That video is plenty evidence that they did, in fact, change their position, but where is your proof of motivation. A much simpler explanation: False evidence of WMD’s before the Iraq invasion spurred one vote, revelations of the falsity of that information spurred the change. Occam’s razor.
    ————
    Rumsfeld at the time of the invasion: We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

    And then look what happened after the invasion.

    But I suppose in your world withdrawing support for a war based on false pretenses is in fact ‘undermining…for political gain.’

    All this aside, you still haven’t proven your original claims, as asked for by Herb. All you have done is shown that democrats once voted for the war, and then withdrew support. Something that’s never been a secret.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Herb says:

    GA, the So-Calism joke was just that: a joke.

    To the larger point you make about socialism, that’s a joke too. “Socialism” is a word that has been overused so much that it’s almost meaningless.

    Let me ask you this:

    Hollywood liberals. Socialist crusaders? Or cutthroat capitalists? (And yes, it’s a trick question.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Have a nice G.A. says:

    All you have done is shown that democrats once voted for the war, and then withdrew support. Something that’s never been a secret.

    Thats not what they did, you can’t tell difference or you don’t want to, you defend them, because your OK with what they did or you just don’t care.

    Please stop putting up the same propaganda over and over I’m tired of seeing it, People who hate the Bush administration, and the lies they sold you are worthless to me.

    Hollywood liberals. Socialist crusaders? Or cutthroat capitalists? (And yes, it’s a trick question.)

    All of the above, and I think these might be the people who don’t understand what socialism means, Plus when I say socialism I’m being nice I think you know how I really feel.

    It’s like word Nazi, some say the fist one to use it loses, I say the one who conducts themselves in their manner and outlook, is one.

    But if you want to play games I could easily take each and everyone of these individuals and tell you exactly what they are, have said, believe, and do, but I prefer to profile under the overt lattice of their similarities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Herb says:

    Ha! Sorry, no more playing, G.A. Dining room table and all that…

    All of the above??? The socialist who is also a capitalist! Heel-larious!

    Epic fail, bud. Epic fail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Epic fail, bud. Epic fail

    I guess you don’t understand communist millionaire, Hey, but those are your limitations.So if you make billions of dollars that you don’t share with the populace pushing your anti capitalist, anti American, anti Christian, anti free market, films, Hmmmm, what does that make you?

    As you so frequently point out for all the wrong reasons, things are much more complicated then that.

    So If I use it, it’s the wrong definition, but if you use it, it is the definition, Hmmm.

    But you are right, I would probably gain more by explaining what you will never understand to my table.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Dantheman says:

    G.A.,

    This may require some deep thinking for you, but exactly why do you think the terrorists are socialist? Can you name any policy they are hoping to accomplish which will lead to government takeover of business? Or is it because you know that they support Islamofascism, and Jonah Goldberg has proven that socialism is fascist?

    One can make a much stronger argument that terrorists and religious conservatives share many of the same goals — they just differ on the name of the god they want everyone to be compelled to worship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    Look guys. G.A. & Wayne are on to us. We are Obamunnists. We can’t hide it any more, the game is up.

    (Please let it be noted that I coined the phrase “Obamunnists”, and that is designed to ridicule right wing peanut heads :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. UlyssesUnbound says:

    Dammit Anjin-San! I think if we tried a little harder we could have hoodwinked them. Ah well, the jig is up. I’ll see you at the next Obamunnist meeting. Don’t forget you signed up to bring cookies and coffee this time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    G.A.

    I have something here that I think you may have forgotten about:

    Matthew 7.1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    You really need to take some time to contemplate this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin-san says:

    Cookies and coffee for the next Obammunard meeting! Will bring some Flying Goat coffee from Healdsburg. It is a favorite of the wine country anti-capatilistias.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

    That is exactly what we told ourselves when we supported Bin Laden against the Soviets. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Did not work out so well in the long run…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Have a nice G.A. says:

    We are Obamunnists.

    I would say, It’s not religious enough.

    Matthew 7.1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    What’s the point,if I had never judged you, you would have still judged me. Tolerance, man tolerance.
    stick with your laws, And leave mine alone.

    Oh and by the way it’s out of context and does not say not to judge.

    One can make a much stronger argument that terrorists and religious conservatives share many of the same goals — they just differ on the name of the god they want everyone to be compelled to worship.

    Your paranoid and wrong as usual.

    It’s like how Christian/conservative is like the Nazi even that the Nazi was evolutionist/socialist.

    But hey don’t let me pointing out the truth stop you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. anjin-san says:

    What’s the point,if I had never judged you

    Ah, so. You follow the teachings of Jesus when you feel like it. ‘Nuff said. You really are a conservative. Talk about God, Jesus, and your superiority via your religious beliefs constantly, but under no circumstances actually follow the teachings of Jesus, which are actually kind of hard to live up to. And yes, it does say not to judge.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A1-5&version=NKJV

    1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0