Thursday, February 23, 2012

Continental Airlines passengers held down Middle Eastern man shouting 'God is great' as he tried to light electronic cigarette on plane

An unruly Saudi teen was held down and detained by fellow passengers aboard a Continental Airlines flight after he began shouting 'Allah is great' and making references to Osama bin Laden as he swung his fists at a flight attendant who told him he couldn't smoke an electronic cigarette aboard the plane Tuesday.

The flight had only just taken off from Portland, Oregon, bound for Houston, Texas, when Yazeed Mohammed Abunayyan ignored the 'No Smoking' sign and began to cause a ruckus. After the incident, the pilot turned the plane around and landed it back at Portland International Airport about 20 minutes after it lifted off.

When he boarded the plane in Portland, Abunayyan was free on $65,000 bail after being arrested Sunday night in a town 285 miles to the south following a 'Grand Theft Auto'-style police chase, during which he allegedly rammed two squad cars and tried to run down a pedestrian -- all while grinning wildly.

On Tuesday, when a flight stewardess asked Abunayyan to turn off his cigarette, passengers say he started screaming, punching at the woman and singing or muttering about dead Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Read More