…not because we’re getting nudie pictures taken of us by unionized government employees at the airport and certainly not because our intelligence agencies have penetrated all the terror networks.
No, a Sept. 11-style attack won’t happen because if a would-be Muslim terrorist tries to take over a plane with a box cutter he’s likely to get the absolute ever-lovin’ stew beaten out of him by the other passengers on the plane. It’s entirely possible we’ll get hit again, but it won’t look like 9/11 in its execution.
For example, there was this incident yesterday…
There’s no evidence that the Muslims in question came armed with anything that could be used to hijack a plane. An electronic cigarette isn’t much of a weapon even in comparison to a box cutter. What’s more useful to note here is that as soon as there was trouble and as soon as one of these clowns started in with the “Allahu Akbar” nonsense the rest of the plane immediately jumped into action to subdue them. From the TV report…
“He was screaming, ‘Allah is great, Allah is great,’” said Nancy Haywood, passenger. “And it kind of worries you when that happens, but believe me, there were enough men to hold him down.”
And they did. Men on the plane jumped up and ran to assist the flight attendant.
“Every guy that was in my area was ready to go,” said Mark Foster, passenger. “It was not even a thought. You can tell buckles were off and people were already leaning toward the aisles.”
The men subdued the unruly passenger while the flight attendant ran to the back and retrieved plastic handcuffs and ankle cuffs.
“It almost made me cry to see the way everybody responded because the gentlemen that could help got up and helped the stewardess; she was just a little bitty thing,” said Jeanna Wisher. “What happened should have happened, everybody got up and did a part that needed to do it.”
Pre-9/11, the conventional wisdom if you’re on a plane and somebody says they’re going to hijack it is that you sit quietly and don’t make trouble, because what they’re going to do is take the plane somewhere, make their political statement and then after a really lousy couple of days you can go on with your life. Most of the plane hijackings ended up that way.
And then on 9/11 we found out that when a Muslim says he’s going to hijack the plane he means to kill you and whoever else he can kill when he rams the plane into a sensitive target. Like the World Trade Center, or the Pentagon, or the White House, or Capitol Hill. And that means if you want to survive the hijacking you’d better get up out of your seat and make sure said Muslim doesn’t get into the cockpit.
Which is exactly what happened on that plane out of Portland. Whether these guys wanted to hijack that plane or they were just being obnoxious, uncooperative and disruptive, the passengers were having none of it. Some of them were probably pumped up at the chance to whip a would-be terrorist’s ass without any particular negative consequences, but that might be beside the point.
What’s not beside the point is that box cutters aren’t going to get it done. And woe betide the next jihadist who tries to disrupt a flight without managing to sneak some heavy artillery on board.
UPDATE: But you’ve just got to love the media’s coverage of this. The Portland Oregonian…
A flight returned to Portland International Airport this afternoon after a passenger pulled out an electronic cigarette and “was not cooperative” when asked to turn it off, authorities said.
The man, whose name was withheld, was detained and questioned by airport and federal authorities, said Steve Johnson, a spokesman for the Port of Portland.
Beth Anne Steele, an FBIspokeswoman in Portland, said he was held on a federal detainer pending formal charges, likely Wednesday morning.
The piece goes on to talk about e-cigarettes and how they’re powered by lithium batteries. Not a word about who the perp was.