INDIANAPOLIS – Federal authorities are probing the actions of a Saudi Arabian man who tried to get into the cockpit of an American Airlines flight to here.
Indianapolis Airport police said Abdulaziz Mubarak Alshammari, 20, was pulled away from the cabin door by another passenger a half hour before Flight 1936 from New York to Indianapolis International Airport landed at about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Alshammari, who said he is a student at the University of Indianapolis, appeared confused when flight attendants and police questioned him, according to a police report. Investigators photocopied a note Alshammari wrote in Arabic while on the plane.
What did the note say?
Scott Hall, a spokesman for the University of Indianapolis, said the school has no record of Alshammari being a student there.
Passengers said Alshammari walked to the front of the plane, then to the rear, before strolling again to the front. When he got there, he appeared to be looking for a door and started tugging on the locked cabin door.
Capt. James K. Kolostyak heard someone trying to open the cabin door and saw the interior door light come on, according to the report. He called a flight attendant on the plane’s phone system to ask what was happening.
The attendant was at the back of the plane serving passengers at the time. A passenger in seat 4B, Rodney Bailey approached Alshammari, grabbed his arm and led him back to his seat, 13B.
Bailey asked Alshammari if he were looking for the bathroom and Alshammari shook his head.
Airport police officer Jonathan Brown talked to Alshammari after the plane landed and said Alshammarri, who spoke little English, didn’t quite understand what he had done.
Alshammari said he flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Doha, Qatar, to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York before heading to Indianapolis.
Police contacted The Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center and the FBI Terrorist Screening Center to run checks on the passenger. Records indicated Alshammari was not on a terrorist watch list nor wanted on criminal warrants.
No charges were filed.
No charges. Can anyone just try and enter the cockpit at any time? Can any foreigner just test security with no repercussion?
The Saudi also said he was a student yet the school said they had no record of him – wouldn’t that warrant a little research from those who are paid to protect us? Did he have a student visa? Anyone looking into it?
Nice work by citizen Rodney Bailey – thank you sir.
More via the Daily Mail:
Passenger Rodney Bailey was quick to step in when he noticed Alshammari’s erratic behavior.
‘He tried [to open the door] twice,’ Mr Bailey told WISH TV. ‘I just threw down my stuff and jumped out of my seat and ran to the door. I pulled him by the arm and tried to get him behind me.
‘I’ve flown more than two million miles with American Airlines; I’ve never seen anything like this. I felt like my life flashed before my eyes.’
Mr Bailey said that he had travelled all over the world, and did not want to die over a corn field in Indiana.
Mr Bailey then asked Alshammari if he was looking for the bathroom and Alshammari shook his head.
The police report stated: ‘T.S.A. would not respond to the scene.’
TSA, like DHS needs to go.
Jim Fotenos, a TSA Spokesperson told WISH TV: ‘TSA was notified of the incident onboard American Eagle flight 4305 from John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Indianapolis International Airport.
‘The flight landed safely and local law enforcement responded. TSA monitored the situation and was satisfied with the actions taken by local and federal law enforcement.’
‘It was concerning rather than threatening,’ Dr Harry Greenspan told WISh TV. ‘Once the guy got in his seat none of us were going to let him out, but we weren’t going to overreact and tackle him to the ground.’
If only more Americans in their every day lives were as alert and would take the same precautions.