Qatari diplomat in air scare recalled home: web channel

18:37, April 09, 2010      

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A Qatari envoy who caused a bomb scare aboard a United Airlines flight from Washington D.C. to Denver was recalled Thursday by his government, a Southern Colorado web TV channel reported.

Mohammad al Madadi, vice consul and third secretary at the Qatari embassy in Washington, was traveling on an official visit to an al-Qaida operative in a prison in Florence, Colorado.

He was scheduled to meet Ali Al-Marri, a Qatari al-Qaida operative serving time following his arrest after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City. This was confimed by embassy sources, KKTV reported.

United Flight 663, a Boeing 757 with 157 passengers and six crew members aboard, was diverted to a far corner of the Denver International Airport after Mohammed al Modadi was subdued by an air marshal who smelled smoke and confronted him emerging from a bathroom Wednesday night half an hour before the flight was due to land.

The diplomat reportedly told the marshall he was trying to set his shoes on fire. No one aboard was hurt during the incident, officials said.

The FBI questioned al Madadi as well as passengers and crew members. The 27-year-old envoy has been posted in Washington for several years.

Officials do not believe the Qatari was trying to cause any harm. No explosives were found on him or aboard the jetliner. He was not charged and has been released from custody.

Source: Xinhua


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