Thursday, April 8, 2010

Up In Smoke

A passenger on a United flight got the attention of the air marshals.

Federal officials were investigating an incident aboard a Washington-to-Denver flight on Wednesday involving a passenger who caused a disturbance.

ABC News reported that the passenger had been identified by the authorities as a diplomat in the Qatar Embassy in Washington.

A federal official said that the man went to the bathroom to smoke a cigarette, and was confronted by air marshals on board the plane. The passenger understood he had diplomatic immunity, and made sarcastic comments that the marshals took as a threat, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The situation here is not like the shoe bomber,” the official said, alluding to the December 2001 incident in which Richard C. Reid, a self-admitted member of Al Qaeda, had attempted to detonate explosives hidden in his shoes on a trans-Atlantic flight.

The man has been identified as Mohammed al Modadi, a diplomat from the Qatar embassy in Washington.

I have a couple of suggestions for Mr. al Modadi: first, it’s not a good idea to get sarcastic with air marshals; they’re not there to be straight men, and they carry guns. Second, now might be a good time to talk to your doctor and see if Nicoderm is right for you.