Paper: How Imams purportedly 'terrorized' an airliner
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Published: Tuesday November 28, 2006
According to a report in a newspaper known for its right-leaning editorials, the six Imams removed from a flight last week for "loudly praying" were purportedly "terrorizing" the airliner.
"Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials," Audrey Hudson reports for The Washington Times, a paper founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church.
"Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin," the article continues.
"That would alarm me," a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous told the paper. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."
On Monday, a group comprising imams, ministers and a rabbi held a "pray-in" demonstration at Reagan Washington National Airport, seeking an apology from US Airways.
"We're sorry the imams had a difficult time, but we do think the crews have to make these calls and we think they made the right one," a US Airways spokesman said, the Associated Press reported.
Excerpts from Times article:
According to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials, the imams displayed other suspicious behavior.
Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized. One flight attendant told police she "found this unsettling, as crew knew about the six [passengers] on board and where they were sitting." Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said.
FULL WASHINGTON TIMES ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK