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Indian arrested with knife on Seattle-bound jet

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Indian arrested with knife on Seattle-bound jet

Old 13th Jun 2003, 14:05
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Indian arrested with knife on Seattle-bound jet

The daily security breach story...


From The Times of India:

Indian arrested with knife on Seattle-bound jet

AP [ FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2003 07:13:59 AM ]

SAN FRANCISCO: An Indian priest was arrested for carrying a four-inch knife onto a United Airlines flight bound for Seattle, authorities said.

A US marshal arrested Nityaprakash Das on Wednesday on board the aircraft after a flight attendant saw him pull out the knife to cut a piece of fruit, said Mike McCarron, spokesman for San Francisco International Airport.

The plane took off in Newark, New Jersey and it was unclear how Das passed through security there with the knife.

"He obviously had to go through the security checkpoint in Newark. Apparently, this item wasn't detected," said Nico Melendez, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration in Los Angeles. "Items like this can slip through and that's why we have layers of security."

Das was charged with possessing a concealed and dangerous weapon on an aircraft and was released on bond on Thursday, said Linda Woo, spokeswoman for the US Attorney's office in San Francisco.

His next court hearing is Aug 1.

Das was traveling from India with a group of priests to touring the United States, Woo said, adding she didn't know their religion.

A flight attendant asked Das to relinquish the knife. When he refused, the US marshal on board arrested him, Melendez said.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...how?msid=20533
Airbubba is online now  
Old 13th Jun 2003, 21:44
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Wonder if the priest is a Sikh? They carry a 4" knife as part of their religious belief.
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Old 13th Jun 2003, 22:22
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hmm... what will TSA do now - shock: a non-flight crew person actually a threat to the aircraft?
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Old 13th Jun 2003, 22:30
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I got stopped and searched at Dorval the other day because I had a pair of binoculars around my neck (my carry-on was getting heavy and this took some weight off my shoulder). Should have had a knife -- I wouldn't have been hassled and questioned about my suspicious behaviour.
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Old 13th Jun 2003, 22:50
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Here's an update from today's SFO paper:

Airplane passenger with knife arrested

Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer Friday, June 13, 2003

An Indian man was arrested on a San Francisco-bound airplane Wednesday and charged Thursday with carrying a concealable knife onto the aircraft, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco identified the man as Nityaprakash Das, although he was charged under the surname Sadhu, which appears on his passport. Sadhu is a Hindu title that translates roughly as "holy man."

According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court Thursday, Das, who prosecutors said was traveling with a group of Hindus to visit a Bay Area temple for the summer, was aboard United Airlines Flight 71 from Newark to San Francisco Wednesday afternoon when he caught a flight attendant's attention about 3 1/2 hours into the flight.

The flight attendant, Edwin Brown, noticed Das holding a knife as he sat in seat 34C, according to the affidavit. Investigators said he apparently was using the knife, described as a 3 1/2-inch blade similar to a paring knife, to cut fruit.

According to the affidavit, Brown told Das he could not have a knife aboard an airplane. Das at first refused to surrender the knife, according to the affidavit, but the flight attendant confiscated it, then passed a note describing the incident to Federal Air Marshal William Bish, who was aboard the aircraft.

Brown gave the knife to Bish, the affidavit states, who briefed a second air marshal, Samuel Robbins. Robbins took Das to the back of the airplane galley, took him into custody, handcuffed him and searched his orange robes.

The air marshals then took Das to a vacant first-class seat and accompanied him for the remainder of the flight.

Das spent the night in San Mateo County Jail and was charged in San Francisco Thursday morning with possession aboard an aircraft of a concealed dangerous weapon that was accessible during flight.

Prosecutors said he was released Thursday afternoon on an unsecured $20,000 bond, given his passport and ordered to return for a hearing Aug. 1.

Transportation Security Administration officials said the incident would probably prompt a review of security procedures in Newark, but insisted that Das's ability to get a knife aboard an aircraft did not suggest a systemic failure of the nation's airline security.

"The TSA has made aviation security safer than it ever was before," said TSA spokesman Brian Turmail. "What this incident underscores is the effectiveness of the multiple layers of security we have in place."

Turmail said those layers include screening, checkpoints, federal flight deck officers, air marshals, a strong police presence in airports and developing ideas such as arming flight crews with tasers.

Underlying those layers, Turmail said, is public education, including working with overseas media to ensure visitors from abroad understand what items are not allowed on American aircraft.

"The responsibility on this falls on the passenger, in the sense that it is a crime to take a sharp item on board an airplane," he said. "It can be either checked or shipped, but it should not be put in carry-on baggage."


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...3/BA196150.DTL
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Old 13th Jun 2003, 23:58
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charged in San Francisco Thursday morning with possession aboard an aircraft of a concealed dangerous weapon that was accessible during flight.
.........

"The responsibility on this falls on the passenger, in the sense that it is a crime to take a sharp item on board an airplane," he said. "It can be either checked or shipped, but it should not be put in carry-on baggage."
Concealed while calmly peeling fruit??

"sharp item" sounds very subjective to me. I regularly carry a set of small screwdrivers which might puncture my hand if I slip while driving a screw.

Then of course there are nail clippers.

I don't have a problem with TSA making judgements and confiscations accordingly, but this article doesn't clear up the legalities of the charge.
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Old 14th Jun 2003, 06:09
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stilljustanothernumber
 
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Is that all it takes to get an air marshall to blow his cover?
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Old 14th Jun 2003, 07:20
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Nail clippers? Forget it. They took nail clippers, the smallest size you can get, off my 10 yr old!
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Old 14th Jun 2003, 07:54
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niknak
 
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Did anyone think to check the fruit? After all he could have been carving it into a sharpened weapon, or even peeling the skin to reveal who knows what......

( To add to the debate, a 18 months ago or so, I had the pin from my remeberance day poppy removed at Glasow Airport security check point, I guess that at 10mm long it did represent a nojor threat to life and limb...... )
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Old 14th Jun 2003, 12:59
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"The TSA has made aviation security safer than it ever was before," said TSA spokesman Brian Turmail. "What this incident underscores is the effectiveness of the multiple layers of security we have in place."
I HATE when the media misquotes people!!!!!

It should read: "The TSA has made it appear to the ignorant public that aviation security is safer than it ever was before."

Geez........
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Old 15th Jun 2003, 00:36
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Gatvol
 
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Well, Well.........First the State of Florida denied the wannabe Muslim Woman from wearing a veil on her Drivers License and now the arrest of one who carries a knife, no doubt as part of his beliefs.......
Where will it end. I guess I can no longer carry my Colt SAA 45 in my Holster because I believe in the Lone Ranger.......
As One retired Air Force Pilot once told a group of Anti-Gunners. You wont allow me to own an "Assault Rifle", but it didnt bother you that for twenty or so years I flew over your houses with Nuclear Bombs.
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Old 15th Jun 2003, 01:42
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>The air marshals then took Das to a vacant first-class seat and
>accompanied him for the remainder of the flight.

These marshals will do anything for a free upgrade :-)
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