In the same way it’s a really bad prank to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater, it’s a super bad prank to yell “Allahu Akbar” when getting onto an airplane.
Saturday morning nine men were removed from a Ryanair flight at the Zaventem Airport in Brussels after they reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and claimed to be carrying bombs.
The men later said it was a joke, but airport officials did not treat it as a joke, instead removing the men, then evacuating and searching the entire plane, causing a two-hour delay on the flight that was headed for Madrid, Spain, RT reported.
The bomb squad, along with sniffer dogs, searched the plane and all luggage was taken off. No bombs were found, and the plane finally departed at 9:25 a.m.
The same airport was also the scene of a terror attack, when suicide bombers attacked on March 22, 2016, killing 32 people and injuring 300 others.
One man was arrested in Saturday’s incident. Peter De Waele, a spokesperson for the Belgian federal police, stated, “The flight commander refused to take these nine people (a group of friends) after the incident. One of them was a foolish joker and called ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’).”
Another official said perhaps the passenger was just under the influence of alcohol and “wanted to make a funny joke.”
A Ryanair spokesperson said the flight crew called the police to come after the group became “disruptive prior to departure,” and stated, “Police removed and detained the individuals before the aircraft departed to Madrid. We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.”
The nine men were all of Belgian nationality, and were boarding the plane when one of them was overheard shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and indicated there was a bomb on board.
De Waele said the flight commander then refused to take the nine men on the flight. The matter was being investigated further, and at least one of the men will face charges for causing a bomb scare.
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