Qatar diplomat arrested in US after trying to ignite shoe on United flight 663
Federal authorities say a disturbance aboard a United Airlines flight 663 from Washington, DC to Denver, Colorado, Wednesday night occurred when a passenger apparently tried to set a shoe on fire, CNN reports.
Law enforcement officials met the plane on the ground in Denver and there were no reports of injuries.
"The situation is under control. The flight is on the ground," a federal law enforcement official said.
Fox News' source said it did not appear to involve an explosive substance or device
Fox news reports that the passenger is a diplomat from Qatar. He was arrested Wednesday evening after reportedly trying to light his shoes on fire on United Flight 663 from Washington, D.C., to Denver, but details of the incident remain unclear. A source confirmed to Fox News that the suspect is Mohammed al Modadi, a diplomat in the Qatar embassy in Washington.
ABC News, which first reported the story, described the incident as an attempted "shoe bomb" attack, citing unnamed authorities, but Fox News' source said it did not appear to involve an explosive substance or device.
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The suspect may have tried to light his shoes or something else in an attempt to cover up another smell. However, authorities have come to no final conclusion yet and continue to investigate, the source told Fox News.
The Associated Press cited unnamed sources saying the FBI is investigating the incident. The Transportation Safety Administration confirmed it was "monitoring" the incident, saying initial reports described a passenger "possibly causing a disturbance."
"The flight landed safely at Denver International Airport. Law enforcement and TSA have responded to the scene and the passenger is currently in custody. All steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the traveling public," Transportation Security Administration spokesman Greg Soule said.
The military said two F-16 fighters were dispatched and escorted the flight to the Denver airport, where it landed just before 9 p.m. ET (or 7 p.m. local time).
The flight was a Boeing 757 (like one in the picture below), with 157 passengers and 6 crew members on board, United Airlines told Fox News.