back to article 'Suspicious looking' man hauled off translatlantic flight

An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to London this morning made an unscheduled stop at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport after a member of the flight crew "alerted security on the ground that there may be a suspicious person on board, and the decision was made to divert the flight", Flight International …

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JP

The problem of LAX security...

Is anyone can get through...

COAT PLEASE! TAXI!

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Dan

If you go around

Raising people's eyebrows, well you're asking for it, aren't you?

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Homeland Security

Which goes to show that all the aggro that we hear Americans are subjected to before being allowed to board can easily be bypassed.

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Hmmm

Be interesting to know if the crew would have reacted in the same way has the gent in question been caucasian.

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At least they diverted the flight...

From the headline, sounded like he was removed from the plane during the trans-Atlantic portion of the flight. That would suck.

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Well that's OK then.

So some person who happens to have been born brown is hauled off the flight because a) he's brown & b) being brown means he is therefore lying about the fact that he is an employee.

I am rather glad that I am caucasian because I work in IT so if I was brown I would be a terror hacker, I drive a car and if I was brown I would be a car bomber and I quite often tell the truth but nobody would believe me if I was brown.

This is the worst form of racism in the name of security and the people who did this should be prosecuted as a clear message that judging someone purely on the colour of their skin is totally retarded in a multicultural and multiracial society (even one run by a white ruling class - and I mean the US rather than the UK in this case).

The only way the US will stop terror is to stop behaving like dicks. Have a look at the ideology behind these atrocities and you will find that the western world could have averted things like 11/9 and 7/7 (and all the other terror threats both real and imagined) by not being such a bunch of tossers. America is the bully of the world and they are going to face the repercussions until they start acting less like the bent cop of the world and start respecting everyone elses rights to choose not to be an american style democracy, to choose not to be a christian fundamentalist society, to choose not to be bullied on trade issues by the americans, to choose not to accept a MacDonalds and $* on every street corner and to choose not to have to stifle their own economy in favour of the US economy.

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Two things

Firstly, in america brown skin == terrorist, that is nothing but fascism.

Secondly...

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little

Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

A founding father said that, and yet these people believe that they are assured safety by allowing their freedoms to be encroached and to encroach on the freedoms of others.

American hypocrisy at its best.

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Unlikely they'd have questioned him if he was caucasian

but then again, there haven't been that many caucasian suicide bombers either...

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Anonymous Coward

@Lloyd

Yeah he probably would, but pulling out people who look "middle eastern" is fair enough in my book considering the facts when you look at how many recent terrorist attacks have been carried out by "middle eastern" looking individuals.

Don't try playing the racial stereotyping card when the facts are plain!

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Alert crew???

If we take this story at face value.... the passenger who "raised some eyebrows" by being seen to avoid airport security and then fail to give an appropriate account of himself, managed to travel 3000 miles from LA to New York before being booted off!

Who got fired?

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Diverted the flight

Ya, they diverted the flight. But to where? Some litte podunk airport where if the plane exploded it would do no damage? Or to JFK where if it went up massive loss of life and property damage would happen. What are these people thinking?

And for those of you who are listening ... how many elderly, white grannys are involved in terrorism? How many of the terrorists have been "brown"? It wasn't the fact that this guy was just "brown" but ALSO was doing other things that seemed strange. Pull your heads out of the sand.

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Anonymous Coward

@Lee

Exactly, if brown people stop blowing themselves up on airplanes / buses / whatever, then other brown people won't have to suffer the resulting behaviour of a fearful world.

Same thing happened in the UK in the height of the Northern Ireland troubles, if you heard an Irish accent you'd look twice.

Simple really. Now get down of your "ooh it's so racist" soapboxes and get your head out of your backsides.

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Anonymous Coward

Hazardous Situations in the US...

Working while being Mexican...

Driving while being Black...

Flying while being Arab...

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RE: Unlikely they'd have questioned him if he was caucasian

"there haven't been that many caucasian suicide bombers either..."

That is a retarded statement, not many suicide bombers, but I seem to remember a rabble of irish gents who were into the old bang bang.

There was a time when you walked the streets as an irishman in england and they thought you were a terrorist, remember the guilford 4? Remember how the government suppressed the witness statements that were corroborated and proved they weren't in the vicinity of the blast, hadn't been in the vicinity of the blast, not to mention the character references that described them as peace loving hippies, erm, I mean pacifists.

The thing that is happening here isn't the obvious racism, its actually fascism, there's a slight difference, but basically it goes like this, to avoid any accusations of prejudice fascists generally pick on one sub section of society as the root of all evil, then ostracise and oppress those that disagree. That way nobody calls them prejudice against say Jews or Blacks or well whoever they chose to oppress and blame.

#define AMERICA 1

int location;

if (Dissent == Terrorism) {

location = AMERICA;

}

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Anonymous Coward

Beard?

"So some person who happens to have been born brown is hauled off the flight because a) he's brown & b) being brown means he is therefore lying about the fact that he is an employee."

I bet he had a beard too!

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I.D.

Can't see any mention of company I.D. being present. In such a large company with so many risks, if this person is willing to take the employee route on to a plane and cannot present I.D. on request then I don't blame them for getting him off the plane.

I work for a very large company and if I was found on alternative company location without I.D. then I too would be shown the door!

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America, fuck yeah !

"I think the good news here, of course, is an alert crew sees something that's anomalous or seems questionable and they take action."

And the questionable anomaly in this case was what ? That someone with a swarthy complexion was a fellow employee ?

And because of this they divert a flight and disrupt the plans of hundreds of passengers ?

All for nothing ?

Sorry, but whats so fucking good about that ?

Oh yeah, and now you've alienated another few hundred people who, feeling that this is the last straw, will be off to sign themselves up to be bomb fodder.

Wankers.

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Re: Unlikely they'd have questioned him if he was caucasian

Lee Turner spoke: Then again, there haven't been that many caucasian suicide bombers either....

Really, are you trying to tell me that the Russian flights blown out of the sky by Black Widows in 2004 were figments of everybody's imagination? For the reference an average Chechen has white skin, blue eyes and black hair. As Caucasian as you can get. After all they are from Caucasus.

And I am not going to even mention Beslan, the Moskow Theatre and so on.

Granted, that is happening mostly in Russia so far, but it is only a matter of time until it happens elsewhere.

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Get that man a drink

Unlikely they'd have questioned him if he was caucasian

By Lee Turner

Posted Thursday 12th July 2007 15:35 GMT

but then again, there haven't been that many caucasian suicide bombers either....

May i just say, that's the best response i've seen all day.

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priorities

Perhaps if we all shout 'racism' loud enough it will drown out the sound of the bombs going off, and we can pretend it isn't happening?

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing to do with being brown...

If Germans were committing terrorist acts against America, we would pull Germans off the plain too.

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Anonymous Coward

Fearful world

"Exactly, if brown people stop blowing themselves up on airplanes / buses / whatever, then other brown people won't have to suffer the resulting behaviour of a fearful world."

The last part of that is the key. Fearful world.

When did the world, and the US in particular, become so cowardly?

Every night now, you have a new item on the news. "Terrorists may be here! Terrorists on the way! Fear! Fear!"

Would the World War II generation have ducked their heads and begged for liberties to be removed because someone *might* be coming? Or did they fight to preserve those liberties, for everyone?

Indeed, the terrorists have already won. Everyone is looking at everyone else as a potential bomber. Everyone is glued to the latest from the DHS. Liberties from the foundations of various countries are being scaled back, and it only took 6 years to undo it all.

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@ Karl

Your Benjamin Franklin quote reminded me of another:

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence."

- Charles Austin Beard, historian

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Silver badge

No causian suicide bombers?

I'd suggest the less clued-up posters that think that only brown people are capable of one-way bombing missions take a look at RAF Bomber Command casualties during WWII. 55% died. If that ain't suicide then I don't know what is. Tilt. Insert another coin and try again.

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A misunderstanding....

"...incident may have been a "misunderstanding", adding"...

....more like over-hyped, over-caffeined racism if you want my opinion.

The US needs to get away from this "if it moves...shoot it" mindset.

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Title

there haven't been that many suicide bombers of any race in the states....

I have no idea of the statistics, but from the top of my head I can't remember any any incidents being reported of non-caucasians walking into a school and just opening fire to see how many people they can kill. Individually motivated shooting yes but not indiscriminate mass slaughter. And yet I somehow doubt the colour of my skin would cause me to be treated with more suspicion upon entering an educational establishment....

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Anonymous Coward

re: Well that's OK then.

It's 9/11, not 11/9, McDonalds, not MacDonalds, and *$, not $*. At least get your crappy examples right.

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Dan

Don't blame the airlines blame al qaida

"but then again, there haven't been that many caucasian suicide bombers either"

and the PC brigade have indulged themselves with some righteous indignation because there is a hint of non-whites being portrayed in a negative light, despite the fact that the statement is true. What they fail to see is that Bin Laden et al obviously don't operate an equal-ops policy when recruiting and are clearly not targeting young white kids to offer them training and support not to mention their bias against christians, Jews and atheists. Those impotent, pointless self gratifying protests really should be aimed at the Jihadi's, not the Americans who are happy to recruit people of any race or religion to do their murdering and torturing.

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Historian

Historian = academic. Not a doer. When did Beard put everything on the line?

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A glass of 40% proof Reality?

The problem we us (US Citizens) is that we measure reality as only what happens in the US. Not many white car bombers? Check out Spain or Ireland, they've had (or may continue to have) their problems with crazy . I know there have to be a lot of white members of humanity stupid and crazy enough to blow themselves up for their religion/country/online-game/beer-flavor. Fanatism in any form is bad, even fanatism with fear. We have reached the stage that to be safe we have to leash out. Hatred and violence only creates more hatred and violence. Sheesh, i mean, this is the age of the internet, read people, educate yourselves! There is a big world out there that does not conform to our universe view.

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Bob

Re: Fearful world

>Would the World War II generation have ducked their heads and begged for >liberties to be removed because someone *might* be coming? Or did they ?>fight to preserve those liberties, for everyone?

What Liberties are you referring to ?

WWII was fought against Nazi Germany. Whom are we fighting now?

Can we start killing people on the streets of America if we think that they are terrorists? NO, there are laws against that. That was not the case during WWII.

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Racism/fascism/anti-Americanism

Interesting to note - here and on other boards - the auto-reaction to any brown-skinned man being detained, questioned, placed under suspicion, etc. - even though his brown skin is usually not the sole reason why he was detained, etc.

There's a constituency to whom such actions are automatically racist (or, occasionally, fascist) - even though western societies currently believe they have more reason to be suspicious of brown-skinned men than any other demographic.

What's also interesting is, "racist cryer" or not, the number of posters (on this and other boards) who are so quick to jump on the "it's America so they must be wrong/suck/have their heads up their........". thereby insulting several tens of millions of United States' citizens by stereotyping.

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Nev
Bronze badge

The guy was obviously going to get into trouble...

... what does he expect he was Flying Whilst Middle-Eastern.

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Shoot self in foot

Of course, this sort of panic overreaction (as it almost certainly was), provides a great way for the bad guys to cause further disruption and cost. All they have to do is make people slightly suspicious, and we'll mess up our own lives.

The real problem is this - the cost of a panic is widely distributed across many people, but it is isn't accounted for. At a guess, perhaps $100,000 (across multiple people and organisations) was essentially wasted by the false positive. Now, translate this into lives that could be saved if the same money were put into healthcare.

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Anonymous Coward

while not exactly suicide bombers

Anyone remember Timothy McVeigh? How about the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski?

How quickly America forgets.

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While I'm sure brown played a part.........

"I have no idea of the statistics, but from the top of my head I can't remember any any incidents being reported of non-caucasians walking into a school and just opening fire to see how many people they can kill. "

I believe the Virginia Tech slayings were perpetrated by a person of South Korean decent. ;)

I have two problems with this story. One, that people assume that if he was an airline employee that abused his authority and happened to be any other race, this wouldn't be an issue. When I first heard this story there was no mention of the man's race, just that he was an employee who was on a personal trip and had skipped a security check. They say he was acting suspicious, and wouldn't you be acting suspicious if you abused your authority as an employee and were being questioned about it and could possibly get arrested and or fired? My f'ed up government will use any excuse they can get at this point to divert a plane and you need not be brown for them to use it. Several planes have been diverted by "loud" passengers, etc. The political shockwave caused by a missed terrorist attack would put the nails in the coffin for the Republican party. Social climate in the US is that of chickens running around without heads. In your major metropolitan areas, the majority just ignore the hype and go about their business, but don't believe that a large portion of the population is not scared shitless of terrorism and flying for no f'n reason.

Secondly, why the fuck can airline employees pass through security unchecked/checked to a lesser extent to begin with? Hey terrorists! This is your terrorist service announcement! Please take the appropriate interviews to become a baggage handler, flight attendant, pilot, airline mechanic, fuel truck operator (hell then you don't even need a bomb) because if you're an employee, NO or MINIMAL SECURITY CHECKS!

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Anonymous Coward

We will finish the job ourselves

If the terrorists were smart, they could just continue the threats of attack and not bother attacking anymore. We willl just destroy our society by ourselves. Under the guise of freedom and security, we are accepting more oppression. Does anyone remember the Soviet Union?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re: Well that's OK then.

"It's 9/11, not 11/9, McDonalds, not MacDonalds, and *$, not $*. At least get your crappy examples right."

Well to be fair, the last time I checked, September 11th as written in the UK would have been 11/9/[year]. Just because the day of the attacks is referred to in the Americanised form, doesn't make the British written version wrong.

The other two points stand though.

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Re: re: Well that's OK then.

Actually over here it's 11/9. Screw you, America.

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Arab/mid-east race?

In the US, at least on census forms, Arab and middle eastern folks are Caucasians--for all the good it does them.

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Anonymous Coward

re: 11/9 or 9/11

"Actually over here it's 11/9. "

Actually it's 11/9 in just about every country in the world except America. Any computer programmer can tell you what a pain in the arse the US format is, especially when sorting data, etc. and I speak from experience. It's completely illogical.

Still, if Americans living in America want to call it the Great Gorgonzola Festival, let alone 9/11, that's up to them.

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'Racist Cryers' my ass

"What's also interesting is, "racist cryer" or not, the number of posters (on this and other boards) who are so quick to jump on the "it's America so they must be wrong/suck/have their heads up their........". thereby insulting several tens of millions of United States' citizens by stereotyping."

1) If those several tens of millions of Americans would do something that suggested that they weren't all "wrong/suck/have their heads up their......", then perhaps that wouldn't be such an issue.

2) Sadly, it's not just you dumb yanks, simmilar things have happened on UK run airlines and many of us Brits are sorely ashamed of it, but don't think for a minute that should stop us from ripping the piss out of the USA when it does something stupid. Widespread outrage was expressed at the incidents here as well. This is all as it should be. I think you guys call it 'freedom of speech' or something.

And try not to forget, being American doesn't automatically mean you *don't* suck, or indeed, have your head up your ass. I mean, come on, half of you voted for Bush.

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Can America be assigned to an int variable?

QUOTE

#define AMERICA 1

int location;

if (Dissent == Terrorism) {

location = AMERICA;

}

UNQUOTE

having recently graduated with a Computer Science degree I can say with absolute certainty that in most compilers you couldnt assign AMERICA to the variable location as im pretty sure "AMERICA" does not classify as an integer. ok im done.

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I used to ride the crew bus...

I've been working at various major/minor airlines over the past 15 years. Until 2001 I was always invited to ride the employee bus over to the terminal to catch a flight. Mind you, these buses do NOT bypass security; rather, they stop at the Departures door of the terminal, just like parking shuttles do. Everyone needs to go through security, just like the pax do.

Post 2001, all my airline customers have revoked the convenience of using the company shuttle to get to the airport if you are not a DIRECT employee. And, in some cases, if you are not an ON-DUTY CREW employee. As required by the TSA.

On the other hand, post-911 I've been shuttled out to flight stopped on the taxi way via an air-stair truck, completely bypassing TSA security, exiting the terminal onto the tarmack and then being driven hell-bent around Dulles to get on a flight. I will not mention the airline - they did me a BIG favor to get me on board - but it demonstrates that all the security in the world can't stop these events from happening.

(BTW, the pax on the flight I "slipped" onto thought I was a rock star...no one showed the slightest suspicion of me getting on the plane in the middle of the runway. Or maybe this happens in Washington DC so often no one cares...)

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Democracy and freedom are no longer synonymous

Sounds to me like we're (the US) one step away from Kristallnacht. I am no longer proud to call myself an American.

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re: Can America be assigned to an int variable?

It's in C/C++. The #define tells the compiler to do a text substitution in the preprocessing stage. Don't they teach you kids anything these days?

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WWII liberties

>Would the World War II generation have ducked their heads and begged for liberties to be removed because someone *might* be coming? Or did they fight to preserve those liberties, for everyone?

Actually we (Americans & Canadians) rounded up all our Japanese and shipped them off to camps and confiscated all they owned. After he governemnt security investigations reported that they were loyal citizens and not sympathetic to imperial Japan.

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LAX security - yeah, right

Security at LAX is a complete joke. It mainly consists of the security guards shouting at people for no apparent reason. When checking in my luggage, I was told that the bags had to be scanned first, and was shown to the scanner, which was about 10 feet away from the check-in desk. I walked straight over there, and was met by a scowling guard who demanded that I walk 20 yards down to the end of a divider rope, and 20 yards back up the other side, despite the fact that I was the only person in the whole check-in office. How in God's name does that improve security? The X-ray scanners were worse. Several guards just shouting at people - not actually explaining what you need to do, just telling you off for not doing whatever it was they wanted you to do. The whole thing was ripe for a bit of social engineering - just generate a bit more chaos, and you'd be able to slip something nasty past the scanners. And no, that doesn't make me a terrorist just for pointing out how incredibly crap LAX is at security.

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You have more chance

of being struck by lightning than being the victim of a terrorist attack, yet I don't hear people screaming blue murder to eliminate lightning. The difference is greater by many orders of magnitude if you compare the chance of being killed by a car with falling victim to a terrorist attack. Stroke, alcohol, tobacco, heart disease, cancer, diabetes. These will kill you. Terrorism doesn't even make a blip on the chart.

I'm personally more frightened of crossing the u.s. border than I am of some suicide bomber or WMD,s from some 3rd world country.

When you hear your politicians warning you of dire threats to your health and well being take a good look.l I swear you can see their lips moving.

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Wankers

Wankers , who cry wolf how sad, but as this is the same airline that has trouble with Swedish citizens of note and high public profile visibility with non generic foreign names , such atrocities inflicted upon passengers will continue unabated !

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