Photo taken by passenger Andrew Wai
Look, up in the air: Classic symptoms of what Daniel Pipes calls “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”.
If you see something, say something — and do something. Fortunately, the crew and passengers of AA Flight 1561 did — tackling a nutball Yemeni Muslim shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he beat on the cockpit door of their plane.
Now, watch law enforcement authorities downplay the incident as nothing-burger:
The passengers sat stunned as they watched a man walk quickly toward the front of American Airlines Flight 1561 as it was descending toward San Francisco. He was screaming and then began pounding on the cockpit door.
“I kept saying to myself: ‘What’s he doing? Does he have a bomb? Is he armed?'” passenger Angelina Marty said.
Within moments Sunday, a flight attendant tackled Rageh Almurisi. Authorities do not yet have a motive.
While authorities said that Almurisi, 28, of Vallejo, Calif., has no clear or known ties to terrorism, the incident underscored fears that extremists may try to mount attacks to retaliate for the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last week.
Federal agents are investigating Almurisi’s background. He was carrying a Yemeni passport and a California identification card, authorities said.
…Marty, 35, recalled that she and other passengers on the plane were stunned when they saw Almurisi walking down the aisle. She said a woman in a row across from her who speaks Arabic translated that Almurisi said “God is Great!” in Arabic.
Andrew Wai, another passenger, told KGO-TV on Monday that the wife of one of the men who took Almurisi down later said Almurisi was yelling “Allahu Akbar.”
“There was no question in everybody’s mind that he was going to do something,” Marty said.
A male flight attendant tackled Almurisi, and other crew members and passengers, including a retired Secret Service agent and a retired San Mateo police officer, helped subdue him as he banged on the door, police said. The flight attendant put plastic handcuffs on him.
Funny how you can scream “Allahu Akbar” at the top of your lungs and still have authorities proclaim your motives unknown.
It’s not the first time.