In a time when everyone’s on heightened alert against terrorist attacks, a woman in Chile called in a fake bomb threat to keep her boyfriend from flying off to a new job. MSNBC has reported that Grace Guajardo phoned in the threat to keep Rodrigo Gomez from departing on his Iberia flight bound for Madrid.
The couple, who’ve been in a relationship for over eight years and have three children together, were to be separated for several months while Gomez worked as a cruise ship waiter. Guajardo first tried to get authorities to tell Gomez his father was gravely ill. When that ploy failed, she did what any other reasonable and distraught girlfriend would do — she phoned in a bomb threat.
Ironically, Gomez stayed behind in Santiago, but Guajardo now faces up to 61 days in jail if convicted of making the false bomb threat. Had she pulled this stunt in the U.S., she’d likely be facing terrorism charges and they’d be separated for years — not a few months.
MSNBC currently has a poll going — love story or crazy girlfriend? An overwhelming majority have declared her “the crazy girlfriend”. What’s your vote — is this a story of true love or is she just plain crazy?
A terrorist who plotted to blow up fuel tanks at JFK airport has been given 15 years in prison, the BBC reports. Abdel Nur, a citizen from Guyana, tried to meet an Al-Qaeda explosives expert in order to blow up JFK airport’s fuel depot, and the fuel lines that run below an adjoining neighborhood. He hoped to kill thousands in the attack.
Russell Defreitas, Kareem Ibrahim , and Abdul Kadir were also arrested. Kadir is a former member of parliament from Guyana and is now serving a life sentence. Defreitas has been found guilty and will be sentenced in February. Ibrahim’s trial is scheduled for April.
The plot was foiled when Kadir and Defreitas discussed their plans in front of an unnamed informant. This informant recorded their conversation and alerted authorities. This last detail is interesting. These radical Muslims would hardly have discussed such a plan in front of a non-Muslim. It stands to reason, then, that the informant is a Muslim. What these two nutcases didn’t understand is that most Muslims aren’t terrorists. This fact will almost certainly be lost amid the news of another “Muslim terrorist plot”.
There are no hard figures for the number of Muslims in the United States since the U.S. Census doesn’t record religion. One study by Dr. Tom W. Smith of the University of Chicago estimates the Muslim population in the U.S. at around 1.9-2.8 million. If most Muslims were terrorists, as many people believe, the U.S. would be suffering attacks every day. Luckily this is not the case. Vigilance defeats terrorists, fear and stereotyping helps them win.
[Photo courtesy Doug Letterman]
A flight from Namibia to Germany was delayed earlier today after a suspected bomb was found in a suitcase. The package included a detonator, batteries, and a clock, the BBC reports. Details are unclear at this moment and it is not known if the device was an actual bomb or simply meant to intimidate.
The suspected bomb was found before it was loaded onto an Air Berlin flight from Windhoek to Munich. The flight was delayed for several hours as all passengers and luggage were checked. It has now safely completed its journey.
Germany has recently upped its security because of intelligence that an attack was imminent.
An interesting detail in this case was that the suitcase had no destination sticker, suggesting that it did not go through normal check-in procedures.
[Photo courtesy user Arcturus via Wikimedia Commons]
A disruptive passenger was arrested at Denver International Airport this past weekend when he said he had a bomb. The passenger was late for a flight to Salt Lake City, missed the connection and left his luggage on the plane. After being “disruptive in the gate area” and making inappropriate comments,” a United Airlines spokesman told CNN, the passenger claimed he had a bomb in his bag.
This was enough to get the plane back to the gate – not to mention the bag off the plane. This was followed by an hour-long delay while the incident was investigated by the authorities.
Now, the passenger is being charged with interfering with public transportation. A trip to the Denver jail is in his future, according to the report.
[photo by cliff1066 via Flickr]
In what is probably the world’s first Twitter airport bomb threat, a 26 year old man has been arrested when he joked about blowing his airport “sky high”.
Paul Chambers was stuck at Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport (yes seriously – that is its name) during the nasty snow storms that hit the UK last week.
When it became clear that the snow could delay his flight, he tweeted the following:
“‘Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high”
Police were alerted to the Tweets, and Mr. Chambers was arrested. He was held under UK anti-terror laws, and locked up for seven hours.
He was eventually released on bail, and will have to appear in court on February 11th. Worst of all (for him), he has been banned for life from Robin Hood airport and has been suspended from his job. All because of a harmless tweet.
According to police, it is all because of “the world we live in”. Apparently that new world is one where people making jokes on Twitter can be considered terrorists. So, next time your airline pisses you off, be careful what you say on Twitter!