Letter to U Airways from Pauline
November 21, 2006
US Airways Airline
To all news stations concerned:
In reference to the removal of the six Muslim gentlemen from flight 300 at the Minneapolis –St. Paul airport last light, prior to the planes departure.
I was a passenger on that flight, sitting in seat 5-E originally and later temporarily sitting in the front row of first class, while waiting for everyone to disembark the plane for a safety check. Having been on the plane, witnessed what transpired first hand and talked at great length with the first class steward regarding other facts, I am “ENRAGED” at the national AND local news reports I have seen this morning.
The facts reported are incomplete and inaccurate. This event was immediately jumped on by their attorney, who told the American people on CNBC they need to get over 911, stop being paranoid about Musliums and he even threatened a huge law suit against US Airways for the discriminating and humiliating treatment of his clients. I am convinced this entire thing may have been done to intimidate not only US Airways, but all airlines and airports in order to get them to back off on their security efforts. This is only part of the real story.
In defense of US Airways: They did a splendid job of handling the situation. No panic was created we felt protected at all times. They did not make a knee jerk reaction as a result of one passenger passing them as note as reported by the media.
Most importantly, the public needs to be told that there was a series of” many suspicious events”, which were observed by the crew and several passengers. The captain made his decision based on all of these events and not just one note. . Their attorney is trying to turn this into a “right to pray in a public place issue” and it is not that at all. He is claiming they were removed from the plane for praying in public. And inferring it is wrong to discriminate against them for this. Claiming that we Americans don’t understand their religion and their need to pray everyday at specific times, he stated that WE need to be more tolerant of their religious beliefs. He made a statement trying to draw an analogy of the right to carry a bible or a rosary on a plane. This is nothing more than a smoke screen to make this a human rights issue and intimidate the airline industry. They were already claiming discrimination to Fox TV news when I got home from the airport. Something does not smell right here.
This has all of the earmarks of a preplanned “set up” with their attorney all ready to go. I am sure their attorney has made a point of contacting all of you immediately, even last night, in order to get their slanted side of the story out first. Do not be fooled by this propaganda. You in the media have a moral responsibility to investigate all of the facts, not just statements you are fed by them. I would encourage you to interview the planes’ captain, the first class steward and the gate ticket taker to confirm the following facts
These are the correct facts:
The airline employee taking tickets reported to the crew that she felt very uncomfortable with the men and so she engaged one of them in a conversation to feel him out. I assume he spoke English to her in their conversation. She stated she felt uncomfortable with them and she felt they were extreme fundamentalists. She needs to be interviewed by the news media for her side of the story.
Several passengers observed the men praying and chanting near the gate prior to boarding. They were sitting apart from everyone else, behind the wall which stands behind the ticket counter at the gate. I was eating dinner while they were praying and chanting and did not observe this part, but spoke with a passenger, after we disembarked who has observed this.
I seem to remember hearing something on the news after 911 about the terrorists praying at the airport prior to departing on 911. If this is true then there is a legitimate cause for concern and doing so created an inflammatory situation. If it is their custom to pray at a certain time each day at sunset, they know this in advance and easily could have taken the 7pm flight, two hours later, doing their prayers prior to arriving at the airport. One question is: were they intentionally trying to create fear in the passengers by praying loudly in public, hoping to get removed from the plane?
I took a seat next to the men about 20 minutes prior to boarding. (I had been having dinner earlier and did not observe their prayers.) They spoke no English while seated next to me only Arabic, or what ever language they speak. One of the gentlemen acted very intense and nervous. He was on one phone call the entire time talking very fast while he paced back and forth in front of me. I said nothing to anyone about this, but was later told by first class passengers that this same conversation continued for at least another hour from his front row seat in first class. A man in the third row of first class told me he had a very uncomfortable feeling about this man.
Their seating arrangement was very unusual and it raised a red flag to the crew. Only one of the 6 sat in first class, with the telephone, although they were all together. The rest sat in coach. The second one sat in the first row of coach in front of me; I think another mid way back in the plane and the rest in the very rear of the plane. They were there early enough to get seats together but chose to spread out.
Another strange thing the crew noticed was the way they boarded. When they made the call for first class passengers the other 5 boarded as well.
The one in first class, which had been on the telephone, did not stay seated in his first class seat, but walked back to the rear of the plane twice to talk to his friends, during the delay.
One of the passengers sitting close to them in the rear of the plane overheard their Conversatioin and became very nervous. I believe he may have been the one who sent the note up to the crew and captain. I was told later that there was mention of Ala and the word terrorists in their conversation.
A woman passenger, who understood their language, indicated they were making slanderous remarks about the American people, thinking no one would know what they were saying. This raised concern also.
The most suspicious thing, which has not yet been mentioned on the news, and needs to come out publicly, is the fact that the man in the first class front row asked for and was given a seat belt extender as did one of the men in the rear of the plane. This can be confirmed by the male steward serving first class on the flight. The strange and totally unexplainable thing about this request by them was the fact that neither of these men was fat enough to even need an extender strap for their seatbelt in the first place and the crew noticed that they not even put it on but placed them on the floor by their feet. Why ask for them and not use them, especially if you don’t even need one?
I was a witness to the seat belt extender on the floor in first class, as the steward asked me to hand him so he could show it to the FBI and the Police.
It was a totally detachable strap about 18 in length that could easily be used
as a noose around a flight attendant or passenger’s neck to create a hostage
situation on the plane. With one in the back of the plane and another in the
front and their people positioned in between they were perfectly positioned to
take control of the entire plane with out any weapons. The captain, crew,
police and FBI all obviously also felt this was a real possibility when
combined with the note passed to them by an obviously shaken man who had
heard some of their conversation. Put all of this together along with the fact
that the ticket agent at the gate was not comfortable and a couple of other
passenger observations it added up to a situation of possible danger.
Should the Airline, crew and captain be blamed for deciding to protect the
safely of several hundred passengers after their lengthy deliberation of the
No, it was not just a note from a paranoid passenger as reported on television,
but many things that just added up to a very uncomfortable feeling. The
airline, police and FBI acted responsibly, professionally and in the interest of
the majority of passengers. Any potential law suits from these people are
totally unfounded and ludicrous.
Doesn’t the fact that these men already had an attorney lined up to
immediately alert the media seem like a “pre-set up deal” to get the airlines
and security to back off and ease up on the high alert issue?
Did they even tell their own attorney about the seat belt extenders sitting on
the floor? Probably not.
With all of their accusations on CNBC’s morning news about passenger
paranoia put aside there is still no answer to a very simple question…. What
were they going to do with the seat belt extenders?
Why did they have one in the front and one in the back of the plane and why
were they sitting on the floor by their feet and not in use?
I can only determine two possible scenarios:
Either they were planning to use the seat belt extenders to subdue hostages
and take over the plane and were caught by their suspicious activities…
Or, it was done intentionally to induce suspicion and make a big public fuss to
intimidate security at the airports.
They claim we have discriminated against them and they were humiliated.
They fail to accept the fact that what happened to them on flight 300 was a
direct result of their own people’s hateful behavior on 911, while once more
trying to put the blame for everything on the Americans.
What about the human rights of the several hundred people sitting on flight 300? Most of the passengers were going home for the thanksgiving holiday. Don’t we have the right to get home safely for thanksgiving? Any psychologist will tell you they were simply trying to project the blame for this unfortunate event back at the airline in order to avoid any personal responsibility for their actions, or the actions of the 911 terrorists.
Upon watching the 5 o’clock news tonight I heard more about this incident. Now they are reporting the men to be clerics. Last night at 1 pm they were calling themselves scholars who were attending a conference. It would be interesting what kind of a conference they had been attending. I question, from my close personal observations of them prior to boarding that they are either. I would also like to see this investigated also. I believe there is a real story here that the American public deserves. US Airlines has been caught off guard by these accusations and is being painted as the bad guy, stating they will make their own internal investigation. Why, all of a sudden now, are they made to look guilty by the media? Only the media can clear the air on the truth here. They need your help and support in this matter.
Let’s not sweep this under the rug as yesterday’s news. I challenge the news media to investigate the real facts of these backgrounds, what had they been attending in Minneapolis as well as interview the crew and people involved bringing the real truth to the American public. They deserve the truth for the future of their own safely. Please do not just let this mater drop. Thank you!