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United Plane Makes U-Turn After Guy's 'Jihad' Freakout

Passengers restrained him on flight that returned to Dulles
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2015 10:40 AM CDT
United Plane Makes U-Turn After Guy's 'Jihad' Freakout
An unrelated United Airlines flight arrives at Dulles Airport in Chantilly, Va., in June 1995.   (AP PHOTO/J. Scott Applewhite, FILE)

(Newser) – Passengers on a United Airlines flight took matters into their own hands last night when a passenger started screaming "jihad" and running toward the cockpit. Air traffic control transmissions reveal one of the pilots telling controllers, "He ran forward towards the cockpit, and he is being restrained by passengers." Flight 1074 had taken off from Washington Dulles International Airport en route to Denver with 33 passengers and six crew members at 10:15pm; after the incident, the Boeing 737 "made a U-turn in the sky" and returned to Dulles by 10:40pm, CNN reports.

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"One [passenger] held his feet and the other one kind of laid on top of him and then the flight attendants went and got some plastic restraints for his arms," a fellow passenger tells ABC News. "At one point when his head was down he said there were jihadists in the cargo hold and he did say 'jihad' a couple times." But so far, no connection between the man and terrorists has been found, nor were any weapons found. Cellphone video of the incident shows the man being held down by his fellow passengers, at one point crying, "Please stop, please stop, they said call it off" and "I'm so sorry." A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says the man was taken off the plane and brought to a hospital for evaluation. (Read more Dulles stories.)

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