'Shoe bomb' diplomat will be punished - minister

Qatari diplomat caught smoking in plane toilet will face 'necessary and fair measures'.
'Shoe bomb' diplomat will be punished - minister
SECURITY SCARE: Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the United Airlines carrier.
By Andrew White
Thu 15 Apr 2010 09:44 AM

Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has said that a diplomat who sparked a security scare after he was caught smoking in the toilet of a plane and made a bomb ‘joke’, will be disciplined.

HE Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud told a local Arabic daily that the diplomat would face “necessary and fair measures”, and that the ministry “will not be lenient with anyone at fault, or cover up for any careless people”.

The incident occurred last week on a United Airlines flight from Washington to Denver. The official, Mohammed Al Modadi, was wrestled to the ground by air marshals and two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the carrier.

Modadi, the third secretary and vice consul of Qatar’s Washington embassy, was released without charge after the incident last week, and is expected to return to Qatar shortly.

According to the paper, the 27-year-old had raised suspicion during the flight after smoking a cigarette in an airplane bathroom and then joking that he was trying to ignite his shoe.

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