He was stopped before he got to the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 31 from
But that was then and this is now, as a man tentatively identified as Anil Uskanli, 25, from
But he underestimated how better prepared this country is now. All systems were in place to foil any amateurish attempt to enter a plane's cabin like his, but more significantly, so were the people -- lay and professional.
If personnel is policy, these folks were the personification of national security.
And the result was a happy ending as the poor sap was quickly subdued on board before being hustled off to custody, where a courtroom awaits.
Or maybe some time in detox.
There were 181 passengers reported aboard plus a crew of six -- and they spotted the not very talented Mr. Uskanli even before take-off.
But when a scruffy type emerged, and
After checking his boarding pass, one of the flight attendants told the dazed and confused subject he'd have to go back to Row 35 at the back of the plane. He did, but only for a while.
Then, halfway through the scheduled six-hour flight, here he came again, once more holding his laptop but this time with some sort of towel or blanket over his head. Much like the elephant in the room trying to be inconspicuous. Can't be done.
"He was very quiet, moving very sluggish," noted another passenger,
And he didn't.
For by that time several passengers, including an off-duty police officer, held him back. A resourceful bunch, they soon came up with the all-purpose remedy, duct tape. Along with pillows and blankets, the better to tie him to a seat.
Inside and alongside the aircraft all was soon under control. For two Raptor F-22 fighter jets had scrambled to escort the civilian airliner to a safe landing and happy ending in
Call it your federal, state and local tax money at work -- and nobody can say every dollar and cent wasn't well spent. Welcome home, passengers, and thank you each and every one for demonstrating that the all-American spirit is still very much alive and well. For united we still stand.