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FBI says detained United passenger posed no 'identifiable threat'

The FBI has determined that a passenger removed from the United Airlines flight this morning posed no “identifiable threat” to the plane or its passengers and officials do not expect to file criminal charges.

The passenger got up from his seat about 8:30 a.m. to use the restroom and would not comply with the flight crew's instructions to return to his seat, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. The captain of the plane decided to return to the gate so that the incident could be investigated, she said.

“The passenger is being interviewed in connection with the incident and is cooperative,” she said. “Out of an abundance of caution, the passengers and their carry-on luggage were re-screened and the LAPD bomb unit conducted a precautionary search of the aircraft.

"No criminal charges are anticipated, and the passengers will proceed to their destination later today.”

Initially, the LAPD said two men were taken into custody in the incident.

-- Richard Winton

Comments () | Archives (8)

so i did a google search, it seems that going to the bathroom is quite an occurrence, here is an extreme example:

So does a persons race and going to the bathroom really qualify for the crazy anti-terrorism exhibit by FBI and LAPD?

The author needs to learn about the difference between plural and singular. There are multiple references to "passengers" being detained, but also references to a singular "passenger." So, was it 1 or more than 1? The last sentence does nothing to clear this up.

Wow, I hope having IBS, Crohn's disease or bladder control problems doesn't get you arrested for terrorism these days.

I've heard way too many versions of this story to believe any of it has any real significance, other than to continue scaring the crap out of the public. Must. Keep. Us. All. Scared. Of. Terarhustss.


This country has gone insane. I had a friend who was traveling from Chicago to SF. They wanted to put her hand luggage with the regular luggage. She had hair spray. In the old days, you couldn't do that because it wasn't pressurized and the can would explode. So she asked if it was pressurized so that her hair spray can wouldn't explode. They called the Air Cops, took her into custody, searched her carryon luggage and questioned her. It took five minutes to realize what it was about. The head cop took her back to the airline and told them to put her on the next airplane, it was all a misunderstanding. They refused! So he ordered her to get my friend on another airline's plane and stood there while she did. They Black Listed her from the airline. But my friend knew the CEO's wife from school.

You know, there are lots of physiological conditions that make urination seem extremely urgent. We don't know anything about why this man was so anxious to go to the toilet, but I suspect it seemed like his best choice at the time. Had they found a bomb under his seat I'm sure they would feel justified, but it seems unlikely that he would go to the bathroom and detonate a bomb while the plane is taxiing. In fact if he had a bomb calling attention to himself would be the last thing he would do. I suspect Alaska Airline's lawyers are in the mix somewhere, and as soon as the pilot turned the plane back to the terminal the FBI get's involved. We live in a government and media induced state of paranoia in this country, and until that changes we are going to have to put up with things like this.

Maybe the airlines could provide "urination tubes" at each seat? Plug in your headphones and your P-line and you're set to go.

Since when is "pre- cautionary" considered crazy?

Listen people, airlines have rules that will be enforced. Whether we like them or not, there are FAA rules that are put into place for the safety of all passengers & crew on the plane. Do not gripe, do not cause the plane to be delayed. Just cooperate. This guy could have & should have gone to the bathroom before getting on the plane, or even before the plane was moving. It's not impossible to take care of that situation in a responsible way. So shut up and follow the rules, or else everyone will be affected by your delay. You will not win, you will be arrested.


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