I can't wait 'til they release the motive of the hoaxer responsible for grounding a US Airways flight in Philadelphia today so I can decide if that person is either cruel, really crazy, or a just a total idiot who obviously can't read calendars. Five days before 9/11 and this guy (why do I automatically think it must be a man?) calls airport security to report one of the passengers on Flight 1267 is carrying a "dangerous substance."
No time is a wise time to utter those words to police, but especially as the terrorist meter routinely inches into the darker red tones less than a week before the anniversary of one of the most tragic events in American history. That is certifiably nuts.
As of right now, reports aren't saying anything about anything because the FBI is probably still getting to the bottom of things, since the call only came in at 7:30 this morning. They've already interviewed the passenger reportedly carrying a "dangerous substance" (i.e. liquid explosives) and found her (why do I automatically think it must be a woman?) to be completely innocent and the victim of a "pretty nasty trick."
I'll say. What this hoaxer was hoping to accomplish by faking a terrorist attack, I have no idea, but it was stupid beyond stupid, thinking he wasn't going to get caught eventually. Helloooo ... Osama bin Laden? Don't people know we take these things pretty seriously round these parts and will stop at nothing to track you down, even if it means years and millions of dollars?
Doesn't matter that this turned out to be a false alarm and nothing to do with terrorists. The legal penalty needs to be way more than a simple slap on the wrist and a fine. This is not something to joke about, ever, and certainly not in this way. It's serious and the timing couldn't be more awful or insensitive -- for the "suspect" who was hauled off the jet by heavily armored cops, for all the other freaked out passengers who must have been like WTF is going on? and whose travel plans got ruined, and for everyone else's fragile heart this difficult time of year.
As for this ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend/competitive co-worker/mean boss/annoying telemarketer "person" who got "played" in this trick? Well, I think we know how that turned out. Cue that famous saying about "the joke being on ..."
What criminal charges would you like to see this "person" get?
Image via Josh Beasley/Flickr