Muslim family making pilgrimage to Mecca was hauled off their flight by armed police after relative told airline they had swallowed explosives set to detonate in mid-air.
The TSA today is warning about terrorists using surgically implanted bombs to blow up planes. This story indicates that the TSA doesn’t necessarily have the most current information about Islamic terrorism in the air.
UK DAILY MAIL (H/T Lee S) -A Muslim family were pulled off a flight from Heathrow to Mecca by armed police after officers had been tipped off they were suicide bombers. They were on their way to make the traditional Hajj pilgrimage which all devout Muslims are required to do once in their lifetime.
Two 999 calls were made that day by a distant member of the same family who warned that the father, mother and son were from Afghanistan, very religious and had links to Al Qaeda, a jury was told. Furthermore, the caller Golan Azimi, 48, said the father and son had swallowed a liquid which would explode in mid-air.
Armed police then stopped the family in front of other passengers at the departure gate in November last year.But officers quickly realised the information was false and the family was able to board the flight they intended to take, with 40 other pilgrims, but were very humiliated.’
Police traced the caller, Azimi, who admitted making two calls to tip off police, but said he genuinely believed information he had been given was ‘100% true’. Azimi, who pleaded not guilty, told the jury the information had been given to him by a man who had pledged him to secrecy.
‘He said there were liquids that you can put in your body and they are timed to blow up. I asked if he was trying to be funny, but he was very serious. Anyone who heard him would have believed him. ‘For two nights after that I could not sleep. I thought if I did not report it and people died I would have it on my conscience for the rest of my life.
On Tuesday at Luton Crown Court a jury cleared Azimi, from Stratford, East London, of making a bomb hoax call. The jury of seven men and five women took less than an hour to return a unanimous not guilty verdict to the charge of communicating false information with intent.