Last week, the US experienced what is now widely reported to be the worst terrorism-driven mass killing in the US since 9/11; yesterday terrorism allegedly spread to London which had so far been insulated from any Islamic State-related events; just one thing was missing to push the global panic envelope to the "September 11 flashback" redzone in a month that started with the mass murder of dozens of people in Paris and has gotten progressively worse since: airplane terrorism.
Moments ago we may have gotten just that after a report that a Lufthansa crew and passengers overpowered a Jordanian man with a US passport, who tried to open the cabin door on a Frankfurt-Belgrade flight on Sunday, while screaming that he wished to join Allah along with all the passengers, according to Serbian TV RTS.
However, as AFP adds, the man was promptly overpowered by crew and passengers with the German carrier insisting the safety of the plane had not been threatened. The airplane proceeded to land safely at 12:45pm local time.
"A passenger got up and tried to do something at the door, but was stopped by crew members and other passengers," said airline spokesman Andreas Bartels.
"The passenger was then restrained for the remainder of the flight in his seat and handed over to the authorities in Belgrade," he said.
"It was a normal door, which of course cannot be opened in-flight... it was not the cockpit door," he said. "The safety of the flight was not jeopardised and the flight landed safely in Belgrade".
Bartels declined to provide information on the identity of the passenger or his nationality, or what he said during the incident.
Serbian state-run television provided more details on the passenger, reporting that police had arrested a Jordanian man after he tried to forced his way into the cockpit of the Lufthansa flight. The Serb press said the Jordanian was called Laken and had a US passport. He had cried out that he wished to join Allah along with all the passengers, RTS said.
The man had suddenly got up during the flight, banged on the cockpit door and demanded to be allowed to enter, threatening to open one of the plane's doors while it was flying over Austria, Serbia's RTS television reported.
He was overpowered by flight crew and members of a Serb handball team who subdued him until the flight landed in Belgrade where he was arrested, the report said.
RTS adds that the coach of the Vojvodina handball team, Nikola Markovic said that during the incident on the plane there was no panic. Google translated:
"We are all from the back of the plane saw that something was happening, but we thought that because of the extraordinary situation in each plane has someone from the security services. Nothing spectacular happened everything was all right. Most of us did not have information about what was happening, "Markovic said.
According to him, the flight attendant accompanied by two players took the man who caused an accident in business class, and there they sat down with him, without any difficult situation.
"After 15 minutes I called one of my players and he told me what happened. Most of the passengers did not even know what happened on the plane, until they found out later what had happened. The flight was calm, do not panic, all are well "Markovic said.
The plane landed safely when the other passengers learned about the incident after they were announced to the police.
Luckily, this time there were no consequences, however expect in light of this event, airline security checks to return to post-September 11 levels, especially if as we expect, tonight's 8pm impromptu Obama statement seeking to "reassure the nervous nation", achieves precisely the opposite.