As expected, another false alarm. With a twist:
“I thought that the men were celebrating a stag party,” Simon Balakrishwan, a 43-year-old passenger from India, told the NRC Handelsblad daily.
“After the plane took off a mobile phone rang and the men started cheering,” he said. “They kept exchanging plastic bags and looking in them and laughing. Irritating passengers.”
Indian junior foreign minister Anand Sharma told reporters all 12 were born in Mumbai.
An Indian Foreign Ministry official said all were of Indian origin, although some apparently held other passports. Dutch authorities granted consular access to the Indian nationals.
Does “stag party” have a different meaning in Indian culture? What the hell would plastic bags and cell phones have to do with it? Were they calling a sex line and hyperventilating?
Mary K was all over it. She’s doing a little hyperventilating herself over Survivor’s attempt to decide who the master race is, which, while abhorrent as national policy, should make for some seriously awesome TV.
First person to leave a comment about MK and hyperventilation is banned on grounds of obviousness.
Update: Theodore Dalrymple on the Manchester incident:
Astonishingly, the passengers got their way: the two men had to get off the flight. Presumably, they flew on the next flight, but one can easily imagine their feelings. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the experience would make them less rather than more receptive to the siren song of extremism. They are not likely to use their experience to reflect deeply upon surveys such as the one that found that 30 percent of British Muslims believe British Jews “legitimate targets,” or another that found that 7 percent of British Muslims (100,000 people, if the results were representative) believe that suicide bombing in Britain is justifiable. More likely, the young men will use the experience to stoke the fires of resentment, the embers of which rarely if ever fully are extinguished in any man’s breast, even in the best of circumstances.
After all, no one so lacks compassion that he fails to pity himself, and the two young men removed from the flight have some reason for self-pity. Far lesser things have maddened men. Ill-treated, they will blame the passengers for it, not the men who created the atmosphere that prompts such ill-treatment.