August 21, 2006, - 1:13 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Another strange security incident with Delta (we just reported on its new self-service security out of DC). And more proof that you can’t take the FBI’s dismissals that there is nothing to worry about with strange passengers, missing students, and TracFonistan participants.
The FBI says this passenger is “not suspicious“:
SAN ANTONIO (AP)–A passenger who was detained after flight attendants said he tampered with a bathroom smoke detector wasn’t arrested because he was determined through searches and interviews to be “not suspicious at all,” the FBI said Sunday.
The passenger, a San Antonio man whose identity wasn’t released, was questioned Saturday after flight attendant reports of suspicious activity. Explosive experts swept the Delta Air Lines plane after it arrived from Atlanta but found nothing.
“He was cooperative during the interview,” FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said Sunday. “He allowed a search of his house, a search of his person, a search of his belongings. Nothing of a suspicious nature was found.”
Flight attendants reported he had been “disruptive” in the bathroom and had spent an extended amount of time there, the Transportation Security Administration said Saturday. In addition to the smoke detector being tampered with, authorities said ceiling tiles were moved.
Vasys said it appeared someone tried to disconnect the detector, but it was still working and wasn’t damaged.
“It wound up being the flight attendant’s word against a passenger’s, and this guy turned out to be not suspicious at all,” he said.
And so, of course, the FBI took the word of the guy who was moving ceiling tiles in the plane bathroom and not that of the flight attendant.
Yup–Famous But Incompetent.
Of course nothing was found! Since when has anyone found anything in the residence of a dry run person? Doesn’t happen. That’s why the dry runs are so successful. They get to test the system. And clueless FBI Agents give them the full seal of approval that they’re “not suspicious.”
It’s not like FBI investigators are going to find a bomb factory in the guy’s basement. You’ve heard of the “CSI Effect“? Apparently, the FBI now suffers from the “24 Effect.”
Their suspects have to be dressed in a kaffiyeh mask and star in a Nick Berg video to get the least amount of attention from the Bureau.
It’s reminiscent of when the FBI pulled its planned aware to “former” Islamic terrorist Imad Hamad–as a result of a New York Post column I wrote about him. Privately, FBI sources told me there were more than a dozen open terrorism investigations revolving around him. But publicly, the four different press releases and conferences the FBI held–each with different and false versions of why they were revoking the award to Hamad–all said “it’s not related to terrorism.” (I detailed this in a follow-up New York Post column.)
Which means it certainly was related to terrorism. If the FBI says there’s “no imminent threat,” it’s safe to assume the exact opposite.
Tags: Atlanta, Debbie Schlussel Another, Delta Air Lines, Erik Vasys, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Imad Hamad, New York Post, San Antonio, spokesman, terrorist, Transportation Security Administration