Dana Ghazi Mustafa, 27, was arrested for threatening to stab all her co-passengers while flying from Frankfurt, Germany, to Washington D.C, USA. The North Carolinian woman of Palestinian origin (as she claims) is now being tried in a US court.
Mustafa boarded the United Airlines flight 933 on February 22. Things were going normal till her dubious behavior caught the attention of flight attendants. She went inside the lavatory and tried to light a cigarette. It is concerning how she could even board the flight carrying a lighter despite stringent security checks.
As soon as the smoke detector in the lavatory went off, flight attendants rushed to the lavatory and cautioned Mustafa that smoking was not permissible on the aircraft. They also insisted that the 27-year-old return to her seat.
According to court documents, Mustafa, who was reeking of alcohol, then took to crying and was visibly upset. She informed the attendants that she was returning home to see her family and shared that her family members had died in an accident caused by a drunk driver. The crew tried to pacify her by moving her to a more comfortable seat, but even at her new seat she exhibited violence by punching the television monitor on the back of the seat, and then throwing a coin.
A little later, a federal flight marshal observed her getting up and heading for the lavatory again. She was headed for the rear of the plane while striking the flint of her lighter. At this, a flight attendant tried to stop her from entering the lavatory again, but Mustafa pushed him back necessitating the intervention of two Federal Air marshals.
As per court papers, she refused to cooperate with the attendants, was combative and resisted being handcuffed. She kicked the officials and screamed,
“I’m going to stab everyone on this plane. Then kill myself. I’m Palestinian! That’s how we get down.”
When the flight finally landed at Dulles Airport, Mustafa was interrogated by an FBI agent. In the face of strict grilling, she admitted that the story about her family being killed in a car accident was a lie. The criminal complaint against her states that she tried to smoke thrice while on the plane. Federal agents also found a half-empty bottle of vodka.
Mustafa has been charged for assaulting a federal officer and faces a jail-time that may go up to 8 years if convicted.
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