This morning a man named Adam Saleh was about to fly Delta but was kicked off the plane, allegedly because he spoke Arabic on the phone and also to a traveling companion. He filmed the incident, and it’s going viral (over 50,000 shares in the first 2 hours). He mentions on the video that he’s even a SkyMiles member.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
He reports that Delta claims he wasn’t dragged off because he was speaking Arabic but because he ‘spoke loud’ (though hadn’t been asked to lower his voice).
It appears from his reference to London police in one video, from a tweet about getting back to New York, the timing of his tweets and that the video appears to show 2-3-2 seating in economy I believe he was flying Delta flight 1 London Heathrow – New York JFK.
The flight is currently enroute to New York JFK… without him.
Saleh is a social media video star, and his twitter account has over a quarter million followers. He’s no threat.
He is, however, something of a provocateur — in the news recently for faking smuggling himself in a suitcase onboard a Tiger Air flight from Melbourne to Sydney. I’d normally take him with a grain of salt, but his live videos are compelling. (Tiger Air provided evidence his checked baggage prank was a hoax.)
Yet this self-described ‘professional idiot’ found himself in the midst of a serious situation.
This year we’ve seen an economist removed from an American Airlines flight for doing math (and math symbols look like Arabic to those who cannot do math, he might have been a member of the notorious al-Gebra movement and could have been carrying weapons of math instruction).
Of course the whole point of terrorism is to scare us into living in fear and being ruled by that fear. When we give into it, the terrorists really do win.