Police: Man Who Threatened Jews Taken Off Flight
An airline passenger who yelled "I want to kill all the Jews" on a Detroit-bound plane was arrested on disorderly conduct and other charges, but authorities said Thursday the incident didn't appear terrorism-related.
Mansor Mohammad Asad, 43, of Toledo, Ohio, was arrested Wednesday night after a taxiing Northwest Airlines flight returned to a gate at Miami International Airport, Miami-Dade police said. After a confrontation with officers, Asad was charged with threats against a public servant, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence.
FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said there were no indications the incident was connected to terrorism. The bureau was initially brought in to look into the disturbance but is no longer involved in the investigation and is treating the case as a local matter.
The disturbance came the same day as military jets escorted a commercial jetliner bound for Hawaii back to the Portland, Ore., airport because of a disruptive passenger. The FBI said there was no known terrorism link in that case. The passenger, identified only as a 56-year-old man from Salem, Ore., was released.
Asad's son, 27-year-old Mickey Asad, told The Associated Press that his father suffered from bipolar disorder and was in and out of mental institutions when he was younger.
"He's far from a terrorist," said the younger Asad. "He just lost his temper. There's no excuse, but someone had to have pushed his button"
Mansor Asad, who owns an appliance store in Toledo, was returning home from a vacation in Miami with his sister and his 14-year-old daughter.
His son said his father has a short temper and extensive criminal record. He also said his father had been doing better in recent years. "This is such a strange turn," he said.
Asad was being held pending a Friday bond hearing, with his arraignment date scheduled for Jan. 27. Court officials said Asad asked a judge for 24 hours to hire an attorney.
Witnesses told investigators who boarded the plane that Asad was loud, disruptive and claimed to be Palestinian. His son said he was an American citizen of Palestinian descent.
Officers didn't find any weapons or explosives on Asad, who police said was agitated and aggressive at times, according to an arrest affidavit. Authorities used a stun gun to subdue Asad on the jet bridge after he charged at an officer with fists clenched. He also chanted in a foreign language and threatened officers during a search.
"I'm not afraid of you cops, I've gotten in fights with cops in Ohio and broke their arms in three places," he said, according to the affidavit. "I've broken skulls too!"
The affidavit noted that alcohol didn't appear to be a factor during the incident.
The Transportation Security Administration said three of Asad's companions were also taken off the plane and questioned. The plane later departed without incident after a search using police dogs.
Delta Air Lines owns Northwest.