Passenger forced off Detroit-bound plane after shouting 'I want to kill all the Jews'
By Wil Longbottom
Last updated at 9:50 AM on 08th January 2010
Abusive: Mansor Mohammad Asad is alleged to have shouted 'I want to kill all the Jews' on board a flight at Miami airport before he was arrested
An airline passenger has been forced off a Detroit-bound plane and arrested after shouting 'I want to kill all the Jews'.
Miami police said in a statement today that 43-year-old Mansor Mohammad Asad, of Toledo, Ohio, faces several charges including disorderly conduct.
Police say the Northwest Airlines flight was taxiing at Miami International Airport yesterday, but was turned around after Asad became abusive.
Witnesses told authorities he was loud, disruptive and claimed to be Palestinian. They believed he was sometimes speaking Arabic.
The Transportation Security Administration said three of his companions were also taken off the plane and questioned.
The flight later took off after it was searched.
It comes as EU nations remained sharply divided over the need to install full-body scanners at European airports, with some countries playing down the need for increased security measures.
Italy today joined Britain, the U.S. and the Netherlands in announcing plans to install the scanners following the alleged attempt on Christmas Day to blow up an airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Washington is seeking enhanced security measures on all transatlantic flights heading to the U.S.
European airports see thousands of passengers on more than 800 flights a day making the trip across the lucrative North Atlantic route.
But Belgium's secretary of state for transport, Etienne Schouppe, described the measures as 'excessive' and said security requirements at European airports were already 'strict enough'.
Spain has also expressed scepticism about the need for body scanners, and the German and French governments remain uncomitted.
Until now, the EU has allowed members states to decide on whether to use body scanners at airport checkpoints.
Divided: EU nations remain undecided on whether it is necessary to install full body scanners at European airports
'Excessive': Some European countries say tight airport security is already strict enough and there are concerns over privacy with full body scanners
In 2008, the EU suspended work regulating the use of body scanners after the European Parliament demanded a more in-depth study of their impact on health and privacy.
Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, where Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded a Detroit-bound plane allegedly carrying explosives sewn into his underwear, has 15 of the scanners and the Dutch have vowed to buy 60 more.
They are also retrofitting the scanners with software that projects a stylised human figure on to the computer rather than the actual body image to address privacy concerns.
Charges: Umar Abdulmutallab, 23, is alleged to have tried to detonate explosives in his underwear on board a Christmas Day flight to Detroit
Gordon Brown is pressing for Britain to add more scanners than the few they have been testing at London's Heathrow Airport, Europe's busiest terminal, Manchester and other sites.
In Italy, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said today that full body scanners will be installed at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport, Milan's Malpensa airport and possibly in Venice within the next three months.
'The right not to be blown up on an airplane is a more important right than privacy,' Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which uses 40 scanners throughout the United States, has announced plans to order dozens more.
A report into intelligence failings that led to the failed attack is due to be made public today by the White House. President Barack Obama will also reveal new steps intended to strengthen security.
Since the attempted attack on Christmas Day, the EU has been reevaluating its security regulations. Aviation experts now must assess whether body scanners can fit into EU legislation, officials said.
'We have to reach agreement together with the (European) parliament and member states,' Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice President, said today.
'It's best to have a European solution than having individual member states deciding on their own.'
Any significant action on the issue would have to be taken by the European Commission, and approved by the EU parliament - a process that could take several months even if all member states agreed on the need.
Mr Schouppe said: 'We must have a common position for all European Union members states so that there is a real transparency between measures taken on the European side and the U.S. side.
'I have the feeling that (the Americans) are exaggerating. I don't know what kinds of controls they were using previously, but here, in Belgium and in the large majority of European airports, security controls were strict enough.'
Abdulmutallab was indicted yesterday on charges including attempted murder and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction to kill nearly 300 people.
The 23-year-old Nigerian was on a database of people with links to terrorists and his father had warned U.S. officials that he may have been radicalised, but that threat was never fully identified by U.S. intelligence officials.