al-Madadi: Oh I was just pulling your infidel leg
There’s no excuse, as Robert mentions below, there were signs everywhere in the airport that joking about terrorism amounts to a crime, so be careful what you say. Oh.. not so for the uppity Qatari diplomat, he’s got carte blanche diplomatic immunity. KGS
Spencer correctly observes: “It was all just a joke, you see. Apparently Mohammed Al-Madadi missed all the signs at airport security checkpoints warning against joking, as it could be misunderstood.”
(al-CBS/ al-AP) An envoy from Qatar was released from custody Thursday, one day after authorities said he grabbed a surreptitious smoke in a jetliner’s bathroom, sparking a bomb scare and widespread alert that sent jet fighters scrambling to intercept the Denver-bound flight.No explosives were found and authorities speaking on condition of anonymity said they don’t think he was trying to hurt anyone during Wednesday’s scare and he will not be criminally charged.Qatar’s U.S. ambassador, Ali Bin Fahad Al-Hajri, cautioned against a rush to judgment.“This diplomat was traveling to Denver on official embassy business on my instructions, and he was certainly not engaged in any threatening activity,” he said in a statement on his Washington embassy’s Web site. “The facts will reveal that this was a mistake.”The ambassador did not mention the diplomat by name, but an Arab envoy briefed on the matter identified him as Mohammed Al-Madadi of Qatar, an oil-rich Middle East nation and close U.S. ally.[…]Two law enforcement officials said investigators were told the man was asked about the smell of smoke in the bathroom and he made a joke that he had been trying to light his shoes – an apparent reference to the 2001 so-called “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.The authorities asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.Officials said air marshals aboard the flight restrained the man and he was questioned. The plane landed safely as military jets were scrambled.The envoy was interviewed for several hours, but authorities declined to provide any details about him or his status.The latest edition of the registry of foreign diplomats working in the United States identifies a man named Mohammed Yaaqob Y.M. Al-Madadi as the third secretary for the Qatari Embassy in Washington. The position is a relatively low-ranking one at any diplomatic post and it was not immediately clear what his responsibilities would be.A senior State Department official said there would be “consequences, diplomatic and otherwise” if he had committed a crime.