Muslim Man Vows Mid-Air 'Takeover', Ex-Cop Puts Hard Stop To His Plans

Some counter-terrorism specialists and geopolitical analysts believe that the threat of terrorism is higher now than it has ever been before. Since the infamous 9/11 plane attacks, airport and plane security have been massively increased. On February 21, 2017, a 55-year-old former police officer named Chris Phillips found himself leaping into action to stop what he thought was an impending terrorist attack. During a flight from Bahrain to Heathrow Airport on a Gulf Air plane, Mr. Phillips noticed an Arabian male passenger, seated near the plane’s door, arguing with the air stewards. Mr. Phillips described the scene, saying ‘A man from Saudi Arabia lost the plot, we think he was shouting racial slurs but I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying’. When the man started getting physical with the male air stewards restraining him, Mr. Phillips decided to intervene because ‘at 35,000 ft in the air, you don’t want people fighting each other.

The former police officer swiftly restrained the disruptive passenger using a wrist lock. For the remaining six hours of the flight, Mr. Phillips sat beside the man who he found was just inebriated and wanting more food. While in this case, Mr. Phillips’s suspicions that the man was a terrorist were unfounded and incorrect, he was right to be cautious. Certain areas of the Middle East have become far more dangerous as a result of social dislocation, the rising influence of extremist terrorism groups and large-scale national and tribal warfare. Many terrorist groups like ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham) and AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) view violent, destructive acts of terror as weapons of propaganda, particularly if the act of terror is perpetrated against or within a Western country.

The inebriated 51-year-old Arabian passenger was arrested by 21 police and security officers when the plane landed at Heathrow airport. The unnamed man has been charged with actual bodily harm and inebriation while in an aircraft. Mr. Phillips has been praised for his quick-thinking actions and willingness to intervene.

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