Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.
A passenger departing Juneau International Airport (JNU) brought home an unusual memento of a family trip to Alaska. The flyer told local media outlets that he collected moose droppings to offer as not-so-nice gifts for local political leaders. Surprisingly, it turns out the TSA had no problem with the large amount of feces in his carry-on bag.
“Yes, you can bring moose poop to a checkpoint!” a TSA spokesperson wrote in a social media statement about the unusual checkpoint find. “And someone did last week at Juneau Int’l Airport. @TSA has no policy preventing people from traveling with animal poop, but check with your airline on its policies because having to leave souvenir poop behind would be crappy.”
According to the TSA, screeners had to open and inspect the large quantity of organic material, but once it was determined the substance was indeed animal scat, the air traveler was allowed to collect his belongings and board his flight. As an added bonus, the incident may help to solve once and for all the mystery of why the overhead bin smells like moose poop.
Tight security at U.S. airports can be a bit of a hassle and sometimes it makes the world of air travel seem a little bit like a dystopian police state (but with Cinnabons). It’s easy to forget that the measures are in place to keep us safe from dangerous actors who might otherwise violently disrupt our travels, but police at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) may have just given us another reason to be glad of the outsized law enforcement presence at the terminal.
Alleged child pornography distributor, Minghong Xia had managed to stay a step ahead of the authorities for a time. Despite serving search warrants, investigators came up empty-handed when looking for incriminating evidence, but then the accused creep took a business trip that required taking a flight out of town.
Police used this golden opportunity to help build their case.
“When he landed at SFO, officers detained him and examined his laptop, which was found to have hundreds of images of child pornography, including ones of children under 10 years old,” prosecutors told reporters. “Xia is a Chinese national in the U.S. on a work permit that is set to expire in the near future. He pleaded not guilty Thursday to child pornography possession charges and remains in custody on $100,000 bail, with his potential release on the condition that he not try to obtain a replacement passport or leave California without a judge’s permission.”
A U.S. citizen, originally from Pakistan, was arrested at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) by the FBI on charges that he lied to federal officials about his links to known terror organizations. After having originally denied any interactions at all with specific jihadist groups, Waqar Ul-Hassan later admitted that he, in fact, had extensive connections with the organizations.
“I met with Mujahiden in 2014, while in Pakistan,” the 35-year-old said in subsequent statements to investigators which were released as part of the charging documents. “I traveled to the border and stayed with them two or three days. I also spent half a day at their Mosque in Deska. I went there because I was curious about jihad. I wanted to find out how they do jihad. I talked to a representative of the Mujahiden about jihad several times. I gave between $400 and $500 for the Mujahiden medrasa. This Mujahiden is known as Jaish.”
Waqar Ul-Hassan is accused of lying to agents in two separate interviews about his alleged connections with terror groups in Pakistan. He said he had a good reason for lying about his involvement with terror groups.
“I lied because I was scared of getting in trouble,” Waqar Ul-Hassan told federal officials, “Because I participated in collecting money, food and passing out the newspaper for Jaish Mujahadin which is a terrorist group but they also help the poor in Pakistan.”
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