While crossing a huge expanse of water and still an hour away from San Juan, a Muslim passenger tried to hijack the plane. Future terrorists are taking notes because strangling a flight attendant with his own tie turned out to be an effective way to gain access to the cockpit. The JetBlue passengers on Flight 261 from Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico will not be giving 5 star reviews of the experience.
Muslim storms the cockpit
The FBI announced that a Muslim passenger screaming a garbled mix of Spanish and Arabic “tried to storm the cockpit” of a JetBlue flight down the eastern seaboard from Boston to the usually sunny but financially bankrupt island territory of Puerto Rico.
It happened on Wednesday, September 22, according to the affidavit.
It seems that Khalil El Dahr was a problem for flight attendants from the moment he entered the plane. The Muslim was “assigned seat 6A, but was permitted to sit in 6C for more space.” Everything was fine until he tried to make a phone call and it didn’t go through. He “became angry about the call’s un-success.” That was only the beginning.
About 45 minutes before the plane was due to land, he “pulled himself out of his seat and rushed toward the flight deck yelling to be shot in the Spanish language.”
JetBlue’s quick thinking Flight Attendant was able to “physically redirect” El Dahr to “the area in front of the front row before the galley. Then, practically on cue, the cockpit door opened.
“As the JetBlue FA had El Dahr corralled in the area before the galley on the right side of the plane, a flight crew officer opened the cockpit door.” That was the moment the Muslim had been waiting for.
Leverage to kick
El Dahr “observed the door open and then grabbed the JetBlue FA by their collar and tie with one hand while using his other hand to grab the overhead compartment to gain leverage to kick.”
That’s not a real spontaneous sounding move, making everyone wonder which training camp the Muslim picked it up in. “As the JetBlue FA was kicked in the chest, El Dahr yelled for the flight crew officer to shoot him.”
The Flight Attendant let go of El Dahr as he almost blacked out, which caused the Muslim to let go of his tie at the same time. The FA then was able to gasp enough air to continue the scuffle.
The feisty attendant was able to “prevent him from successfully breaching the galley area and gaining access to the flight deck.
According to the FBI, the struggle went on until six or seven crew members were able to get the Muslim restrained. El Dahr managed to break loose from at least one set of plastic zip ties before they had him fully subdued.
In the end, more zip ties and some seatbelt extenders had him strapped in a seat with the flight attendant’s tie around his ankles for good measure.