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US Terror Paranoia Taking Comic Proportions

zaman.com | August 27 2006

The rise in terrorism paranoia that reignited following the “second 9/11 plan” claimed to have been targeted against Britain has reached comic proportions.

Pronunciation of the word “bomb” in American airports can lead to arrest and flight delays. Different versions of this paranoia have created a “comedy-like terror panic,” which delayed seven U.S.-bound flights in just one day.

Another plane was forced to land after it was discovered that the mirror in one of the lavatories was not properly secured, and in another event, passengers were made to wait in an airport for hours because of the panic caused by a screaming child that refused to get on a plane.

A false bomb threat forced another plane to land urgently and the discovery of an unclaimed knife in an empty seat caused “terror paranoia” on another flight.

Another example of this “Dark comedy” occurred on a Continental Airlines flight from Argentina to the United States. A 21-year-old university student was arrested when sniffer dogs discovered dynamite in the student’s baggage.

It was later revealed that the student had taken the dynamite as a souvenir from a Bolivian mine.

It was reported that the American student may be charged with carrying explosives.

In another incident, a passenger argued with the staff on a U.S. Airways plane bound for the American city of Charlotte from Phoenix. The plane was forced to land in Oklahoma City and the passenger in question was removed from the plane and taken into custody.

An American Airlines flight from Britain to Chicago was also rerouted and forced to land in Bangor due to an undisclosed security concern.

One of the most bizarre events in the U.S. occurred on a Continental Airlines flight from Corpus Christi, Texas to Bakersfield, California.

When staff discovered that the lavatory mirror had been removed, the plane rerouted and landed in El Paso, where passengers were questioned. The questioning yielded no results.

A knife accidentally left on a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia to Bradley caused major panic, although nobody was arrested in this incident.

FBI agents, considering the knife evidence, questioned passengers and assessed in a statement released after conducting their investigation that there was no danger.

Following a bomb threat on a flight from New York to Dublin, the flight was forced to land to another airport in western Ireland; however, no explosive device was found on the plane that had been immediately evacuated.

In yet another incident, a child refusing to board a United Airlines flight to Chicago caused a scene delaying the flight for hours, unnerving the other passengers.

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