United Flight 663: Mohammed al Modadi, Possible Shoe Bomb?
United Flight 663 Flying From Washington to Denver Suffers Emergency on Board
A man now identified as Mohammed al Modadi (Mohammed al-Madadi) repeatedly tried to light his shoes on fire in what authorities first thought was a shoe bomb, aboard a United Airlines Flight 663 flying from Washington to Denver. The 757 jet had to make a quick landing in Denver at 7:21pm local time.
It is now thought he may have just been smoking in the bathroom according to NBC News.
According to ABC News, no explosives were found on board the plane. Mohammed al Modadi (Mohammed al-Madadi) was approached by two Marshalls who blamed him for smoke that was coming from the lavatory. A security official said that the whole incident may have been a misunderstanding as the diplomat gave a sarcastic reply to the accusation that he had smoked in the bathroom.
The men were then involved in a physical confrontation.
Two fighter jets accompanied the United flight as it made its landing and Mohammed al Modadi (Mohammed al-Madadi) is now in custody.
"The flight landed safely at Denver International Airport, said said Greg Soule, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration. "Law enforcement and TSA have responded to the scene and the passenger is currently in custody. All steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the traveling public."
Who is Mohammed al Modadi?
The 27-year-old man has been identified by the FBI as a diplomat from the Qatar embassy in Washington. He is the 3rd secretary and vice-consul and has full diplomatic immunity.
The United flight is now in a remote part of Denver airport and an explosives team is on the scene.