November 21, 2006
US Airways Airline
To all news stations concerned:
In reference to the removal of the six Muslim gentlemen from flight 300 at
the Minneapolis –St. Paul airport last light, prior to the planes departure.
I was a passenger on that flight, sitting in seat #-# originally and later
temporarily sitting in the front row of first class, while waiting for
everyone to disembark the plane for a safety check. Having been on the
plane, witnessed what transpired first hand and talked at great length with
the first class steward regarding other facts, I am “ENRAGED” at the
national AND local news reports I have seen this morning.
The facts reported are incomplete and inaccurate. This event was immediately
jumped on by their attorney, who told the American people on CNBC they need
to get over 911, stop being paranoid about Muslims and he even threatened a
huge law suit against US Airways for the discriminating and humiliating
treatment of his clients. I am convinced this entire thing may have been
done to intimidate not only US Airways, but all airlines and airports in
order to get them to back off on their security efforts. This is only part
of the real story.
In defense of US Airways: They did a splendid job of handling the situation.
No panic was created we felt protected at all times. They did not make a
knee jerk reaction as a result of one passenger passing them as note as
reported by the media.
Most importantly, the public needs to be told that there was a series of”
many suspicious events”, which were observed by the crew and several
passengers. The captain made his decision based on all of these events and
not just one note.
Their attorney is trying to turn this into a “right to pray in a public
place issue” and it is not that at all. He is claiming they were removed
from the plane for praying in public. And inferring it is wrong to
discriminate against them for this. Claiming that we Americans don’t
understand their religion and their need to pray everyday at specific times,
he stated that WE need to be more tolerant of their religious beliefs. He
made a statement trying to draw an analogy of the right to carry a bible or
a rosary on a plane. This is nothing more than a smoke screen to make this a
human rights issue and intimidate the airline industry. They were already
claiming discrimination to Fox TV news when I got home from the airport.
Something does not smell right here.
This has all of the earmarks of a preplanned “set up” with their attorney
all ready to go. I am sure their attorney has made a point of contacting all
of you immediately, even last night, in order to get their slanted side of
the story out first. Do not be fooled by this propaganda. You in the media
have a moral responsibility to investigate all of the facts, not just
statements you are fed by them.
I would encourage you to interview the planes’ captain, the first class
steward and the gate ticket taker to confirm the following facts
These are the correct facts:
The airline employee taking tickets reported to the crew that she felt very
uncomfortable with the men and so she engaged one of them in a conversation
to feel him out. I assume he spoke English to her in their conversation. She
stated she felt uncomfortable with them and she felt they were extreme
fundamentalists. She needs to be interviewed by the news media for her side
of the story.
Several passengers observed the men praying and chanting near the gate prior
to boarding. They were sitting apart from everyone else, behind the wall
which stands behind the ticket counter at the gate. I was eating dinner
while they were praying and chanting and did not observe this part, but
spoke with a passenger, after we disembarked who has observed this.
I seem to remember hearing something on the news after 911 about the
terrorists praying at the airport prior to departing on 911. If this is true
then there is a legitimate cause for concern and doing so created an
inflammatory situation. If it is their custom to pray at a certain time each
day at sunset, they know this in advance and easily could have taken the 7pm
flight, two hours later, doing their prayers prior to arriving at the
airport. One question is: were they intentionally trying to create fear in
the passengers by praying loudly in public, hoping to get removed from the
I took a seat next to the men about 20 minutes prior to boarding. (I had
been having dinner earlier and did not observe their prayers.) They spoke no
English while seated next to me only Arabic, or what ever language they
speak. One of the gentlemen acted very intense and nervous. He was on one
phone call the entire time talking very fast while he passed back and forth
in front of me. I said nothing to anyone about this, but was later told by
first class passengers that this same conversation continued for at least
another hour from his front row seat in first class. A man in the third row
of first class told me he had a very uncomfortable feeling about this man.
Their seating arrangement was very unusual and it raised a red flag to the
crew. Only one of the 6 sat in first class, with the telephone, although
they were all together. The rest sat in coach. The second one sat in the
first row of coach in front of me; I think another mid way back in the plane
and the rest in the very rear of the plane. They were there early enough to
get seats together but chose to spread out.
Another strange thing the crew noticed was the way they boarded. When they
made the call for first class passengers the other 5 boarded as well.
The one in first class, which had been on the telephone, did not stay seated
in his first class seat, but walked back to the rear of the plane twice to
talk to his friends, during the delay.
One of the passengers sitting close to them in the rear of the plane
Conversation and became very nervous. I believe he may have been the one who
sent the note up to the crew and captain. I was told later that there was
mention of Ala and the word terrorists in their conversation.
A woman passenger, who understood their language, indicated they were making
slanderous remarks about the American people, thinking no one would know
what they were saying. This raised concern also.
The most suspicious thing, which has not yet been mentioned on the news, and
needs to come out publicly, is the fact that the man in the first class
front row asked for and was given a seat belt extender as did one of the men
in the rear of the plane. This can be confirmed by the male steward serving
first class on the flight. The strange and totally unexplainable thing about
this request by them was the fact that neither of these men was fat enough
to even need an extender strap for their seatbelt in the first place and the
crew noticed that they not even put it on but placed them on the floor by
their feet. Why ask for them and not use them, especially if you don’t even
I was a witness to the seat belt extender on the floor in first class, as
the steward asked me to hand him so he could show it to the FBI and the
Police. It was a totally detachable strap about 18 in length that could
easily be used as a noose around a flight attendant or passenger’s neck to
create a hostage situation on the plane. With one in the back of the plane
and another in the front and their people positioned in between they were
perfectly positioned to take control of the entire plane with out any
weapons. The captain, crew, police and FBI all obviously also felt this was
a real possibility when combined with the note passed to them by an
obviously shaken man who had heard some of their conversation. Put all of
this together along with the fact that the ticket agent at the gate was not
comfortable and a couple of other passenger observations it added up to a
situation of possible danger.
Should the Airline, crew and captain be blamed for deciding to protect the
safely of several hundred passengers after their lengthy deliberation of the
No, it was not just a note from a paranoid passenger as reported on
television, but many things that just added up to a very uncomfortable
feeling. The airline, police and FBI acted responsibly, professionally and
in the interest of the majority of passengers. Any potential law suits from
these people are totally unfounded and ludicrous.
Doesn’t the fact that these men already had an attorney lined up to
immediately alert the media seem like a “pre-set up deal” to get the
airlines and security to back off and ease up on the high alert issue?
Did they even tell their own attorney about the seat belt extenders sitting
on the floor? Probably not.
With all of their accusations on CNBC’s morning news about passenger
paranoia put aside there is still no answer to a very simple question…. What
were they going to do with the seat belt extenders?
Why did they have one in the front and one in the back of the plane and why
were they sitting on the floor by their feet and not in use?
I can only determine two possible scenarios:
Either they were planning to use the seat belt extenders to subdue hostages
and take over the plane and were caught by their suspicious activities…
Or, it was done intentionally to induce suspicion and make a big public fuss
to intimidate security at the airports.
They claim we have discriminated against them and they were humiliated They
fail to accept the fact that what happened to them on flight 300 was a
direct result of their own people’s hateful behavior on 911, while once more
trying to put the blame for everything on the Americans.
What about the human rights of the several hundred people sitting on flight
300? Most of the passengers were going home for the thanksgiving holiday.
Don’t we have the right to get home safely for thanksgiving? Any
psychologist will tell you they were simply trying to project the blame for
this unfortunate event back at the airline in order to avoid any personal
responsibility for their actions, or the actions of the 911 terrorists.
Upon watching the 5 o’clock news tonight I heard more about this incident.
Now they are reporting the men to be clerics. Last night at 1 pm they were
calling themselves scholars who were attending a conference. It would be
interesting what kind of a conference they had been attending. I question,
from my close personal observations of them prior to boarding that they are
either. I would also like to see this investigated also. I believe there is
a real story here that the American public deserves. US Airlines has been
caught off guard by these accusations and is being painted as the bad guy,
stating they will make their own internal investigation. Why, all of a
sudden now, are they made to look guilty by the media? Only the media can
clear the air on the truth here. They need your help and support in this
Let’s not sweep this under the rug as yesterday’s news. I challenge the news
media to investigate the real facts of these backgrounds, what had they been
attending in Minneapolis as well as interview the crew and people involved
bringing the real truth to the American public. They deserve the truth, for
the future of their own safely. Please do not just let this matter drop.