April 8, 2010 | 0243 GMT
Applying STRATFOR analysis to breaking news
A suspected attack on a U.S. airliner appears to be a false alarm. A diplomat in the Qatar embassy in Washington, Mohammed al Modadi, was caught “trying to light his shoes on fire” on board a commercial flight from Washington Reagan International Airport to Denver International Airport the evening of April 7. A STRATFOR source who is close friends with al Modadi claims the suspect was trying to light up a type of tobacco from Persian Gulf region that caught on fire. It appears that the incident occurred in the final leg of the flight, as scrambled jet fighters were only able to escort the Boeing 757 the final 40 miles into Denver International where the aircraft made a safe landing. At this point, details are sketchy, al Modadi has been detained and his behavior is being regarded as suspicious. STRATFOR will continue to monitor the situation.
UPDATE: Video update available here: