Man tries to open door during flight on Continental Airlines flight 1576

Submitted by admin on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 21:41
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Note: The media says that he may not have actual ties with an Islamic terror organization, in this article I will call him a terrorist simply for his murderous plans to crash a plane with 133 passengers.
 
Continental Airlines flight 1576 was headed from San Jose to Houston Thursday December 9th 2010. During the flight a passenger seated in the exist on the Boeing 737 got up to go to the restroom. While he was up another man got into his seat and attempted to open the emergency door. Passengers quickly piled on top of the terrorist. One passenger had him in a severe choke hold. Flight attendents and fellow passengers used "straps" to tie the terrorist up and moved him to the rear of the plane. The pilot continued on its flight to Houston when once again the attendents started screaming for help, telling passengers to run to their aid. The terrorist was kicking at the windows and managed to cave in the interior pane of glass, comprimising its seal. It was at this point that the pilot decided to divert the flight to Albuqurque. Passenger's stayed seated while security "carried" the man off of the plane.
 
Someone I have worked with for 5 years was on the exist row where all of this took place. So I am telling you the story as he told it to us. His story is supported by news stories and Twitter posts from HipHop singer Slim Thug. My friend also said that while he was going through TSA security at the San Jose airport an alarm went off and everyone was instructed to stay exactly where they were. He said that the TSA agents said someone had sneaked past them through one of the empty lanes. He also told me that he never heard the man say anything about suicide and that the flight attendents mentioned that the man had also attempted to take a seat in the first class cabin.
 
I am very happy my friend made it home safe but I see some issues here...

  1. Just another OBVIOUS security threat that the TSA body scanners and pat downs can't prevent. Only honest fellow travelers stopped this mad man. While the TSA is micro focused on threats of the past (printer cartridges, pocket knives and shampoo bottles) we remain vulnerable to even unarmed mad men.
  2. The terrorist paid CASH for a ONE WAY ticket (Albuquerque's News 13). This is a common trend used my people with evil intentions and yet the TSA didn't stop him for questions. But the TSA's list of who has tickets is about 24 hours old so last minute tickets paid in CASH won't alert the TSA. This is the SAME process used by the Underwear & the Shoe bomber and allowed the NYC Times Square bomber to actually board a plane even though he was on a No Fly List (Wiki on No Fly failures)
  3. Seriously, just anyone sitting in an exist row can open the door... while in flight? I get it that the door swings open and the inside pressure of the plane is so much greater then the outside pressure at high altitude that it would take Superman to open it, but really? Shouldn't there be a warning message or something?
  4. Why doesn't the flight crew have prisoner restraints? Instead of spare "straps" they should have cuffs or at least zip ties.

 
Additional news stories:
ABC Channel 7 (Albuquerque's KOAT)
San Francisco Chronicle
Albuquerque Channel 13 video
 

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