Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Tefillin Bomber (not)

"A Jewish prayer box worn by a teen passenger caused a Thursday morning furor on a flight from LaGuardia Airport, forcing an emergency landing in Philadelphia, authorities said.

The mix-up involved the 17-year-old boy's tefillin, a black box filled with Biblical verses and tied with leather straps to his head, said Philadelphia police Lt. Frank Vanore.

Fears of a potential terrorist attack led the Louisville, Ky.,-bound flight to instead land at Philadelphia International Airport just before 9 a.m., authorities said.

All 15 passengers and 3 crew members aboard U.S. Airways Express Flight 3709 were safely evacuated after the sudden landing, said airline spokesman Jim Olson.

Although the teen explained the significance of the tefillin to the crew, the pilot opted to land the plane in Philadelphia anyway, Vanore said.

The tefillin-wearing youth was traveling with his sister from New York to Louisville. The boxes - a second one is tied around the arm - are typically worn by men in certain Orthodox Jewish communities.

The flight was met by law enforcement personnel and officials from the Transportation Security Administration.

The teen was interviewed and the plane swept for explosive devices, with nothing found, the TSA said in a statement.

Vanore said the unidentified youth was cooperative with authorities after the plane landed. (NY Daily News)"

After all, its not like he was carrying a suspicious laptop...

hat-tip: one tiredema, YG, and many others!

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Sol said...

I am happy they pulled him off the plane if they were concerned. Enough of this PC crap where they are afraid to offend anyone on religious grounds.

I was once going through security and the buzzer went off. After going through a few more times and taking off my belt, emptying my pockets etc it kept buzzing. Finally I said to the guy that perhaps it was the clips in my kippah. He immediately said "I don't want to offend you" and let me through.

These morons have no idea what the difference is between being understanding of someone's religion versus being totally PC and stupid.

Lurker said...

Sol: I am happy they pulled him off the plane if they were concerned. Enough of this PC crap where they are afraid to offend anyone on religious grounds.

There's only one religion that one is supposed to be afraid of offending according to the tenets of PC.

Hint: It's not Judaism.

Renegade said...

You would think by now they would know what Tefillin are.

I remember the same thing happening shortly after 9/11 with two guys I know. Although in that case they probably looked like terrorists considering that both of them are of middle eastern descent and in all honestly could look kinda scary...

JoeSettler said...

That's it. It's only El Al for me.

Lurker said...

Why did they think there was a danger? The tefillin weren't even round.

Yori Yanover said...

You must see this interview with the official, just to hear how he describes and NAMES the religious device -- watch till the end, it gets smelly...

tefillin rabbi said...

Whether or not this was handled correctly is up for debate but no doubt the young man handled it wisely. Hopefully all the publicity will prevent future episodes.
For information and articles about tefillin check out

Kamagra said...

hello friend, i think that this is the most important problem that we have to fight, the bombers in the airport, this people, generally. from Israel or Irak only want to kill people around the world without any sense.

Search the Muqata


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