The diplomatic status of a 27-year-old Qatari Embassy worker was being reviewed Thursday after he triggered a bomb scare aboard a United Airlines flight en route to Denver on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the embassy in Washington said.http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-04-09-qatar-diplomat_N.htm
. . . They were probing an incident aboard United Flight 663 that originated in Washington and forced fighter jets to scramble. Federal air marshals confronted al-Madadi on Wednesday evening after he left the jet's lavatory, where airline officials say the diplomat was smoking, according to two federal law enforcement officials who were briefed on the matter. The law enforcement officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly, said al-Madadi then made references to lighting his shoes.
. . . Bradley said al-Madadi, a junior diplomat in Washington, was "engaged in official embassy business" while traveling to Colorado, where he was scheduled to meet with Qatari college students and visit convicted al-Qaeda operative Ali al-Marri, a Qatari national imprisoned at the U.S. penitentiary in Florence, Colo.
. . . Al-Marri was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison last October after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge. He acknowledged attending terrorist training camps from 1998 to 2001. Before his indictment, al-Marri had been held for nearly six years as an enemy combatant in a Navy brig in South Carolina.
The fellow our "ally" sends to see if a convicted terrorist needs any help in jail makes jokes about blowing up airplanes.
In response, the Obama administration will probably blame Israeli intransigence regarding settlements.