Washington, Apr 8 (DPA): A man believed to have been trying to illicitly smoke during a US flight was subdued by an air marshal on initial suspicion of possible terrorist intent, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The Wednesday evening flight from Reagan National Airport just outside Washington to Denver, Colorado, was not interrupted, and the plane landed without incident.
ABC News, citing federal law enforcement sources, identified the suspect as Qatari diplomat Mohammed al-Modadi.
When confronted about smoking in the plane's toilet, he "made a joke about it" that further alarmed people on board, the Post reported, citing a law enforcement official speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Initial suspicions of the man trying to light his shoe on fire - possibly the result of his comments and reminiscent of an attempted terrorist act on a December 2001 flight from Britain to the US- proved unfounded. No explosives or suspicious substances were found in al-Modadi's possession, and authorities believe he did not intend any harm, the Post reported.