Here We Go Again

“Second Man Detained on Jet in Detroit”, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Two days after a Nigerian man tried to light an explosive onboard an Northwest Airlines flight as it was landing in Detroit, another Nigerian was subdued by flight crew on the same flight after he began “acting belligerently,” according to U.S. officials.

One U.S. official briefed on the incident said there was no immediate indication that the two incidents were linked or that the man on the Sunday flight was attempting to harm the aircraft as part of a terror attack. “As of now, there is no indication of terrorism,” the official said.

In a statement, the Transportation Security Administration said the plane was met by law enforcement officials upon landing and the passenger, who was not immediately identified, was put in custody. The TSA said the move was taken “out of an abundance of caution.”

Bill Burton, the White House spokesman, said President Barack Obama was notified of the incident shortly after 9 a.m. in Hawaii, where he is vacationing, by members of his national security team.

“The president stressed the importance of maintaining heightened security measures for all air travel and gave instructions to set up another secure teleconference briefing as soon as possible,” Mr. Burton said.


AP adds:

A passenger onboard the same Northwest Airlines flight that was attacked on Christmas Day was taken into custody in Detroit on Sunday after becoming verbally disruptive upon landing, officials said.

A law enforcement official said the man was Nigerian and had locked himself in the airliner’s bathroom.

Could be just an average, everyday musician — they like to do that on flights for some reason. Nothing more to see here, move along. But for the completists, here’s the rest of the AP piece:

Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Susan Elliott said crew members requested that security remove the man from Flight 253 after he became disruptive. The remaining 255 passengers got off safely, she said.

Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said it was the same flight on which a man tried to set off an explosive on Christmas Day.

“The pilot requested emergency assistance upon arrival,” he said.

Security and airline personnel are on edge since the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day, and the law enforcement official said that lesser incidents had been reported on other flights arriving in Detroit, but the incident with the Nigerian man had sparked the most concern.

As Kathy Shaidle wrote on Friday, “I wonder how popular a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit is — and why… Acutally, I don’t.”


Update: Ed Morrissey adds:

Given the attempt to blow yesterday’s flight out of the air, no one can blame the Northwest crew from using all available caution in dealing with this situation.  As it turned out, the passenger turned out to be a “legitimate businessman,” ABC News reports, who was legitimately ill:

Post-flight interviews by investigators determined the passenger was a legitimate businessman who posed no security threat to the plane, the two law enforcement officials said. …

No devices have been found on the plane and investigators say no apparent threats were made, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.

The boss wonders when we can expect a lawsuit from CAIR, but I suspect that even CAIR isn’t foolish enough to insert themselves into this situation — at least, not yet.

“Legitimate businessman?” Now that’s a terrorist threat worthy of the Obama administration’s attention!


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