In what can only be described as a MASSIVE FAIL in protocol by the Transportation Security Administration, some terrorist smuggled a five ounce bottle of shampoo past screeners and onto a flight at Newark Liberty International Airport this morning, AND he managed to wash three heads of passenger hair before finally being shot and detained by a sky marshal mid-flight.
Excuse me, but wasn’t the TSA set up to prevent tragic attacks like this?
According to the agency, Nidal Arif Alfoud, 24, was shot in the lower leg and taken into custody by a federal air marshal at approximately 10:45 a.m. (EST) after the marshal caught Alfoud blow-drying the hair of a horrified passenger in the aircraft’s aft lavatory, just one hour after flight 2142 had left Newark for Atlanta.
Born Neil Todd Offutt, authorities are describing Alfoud as a U.S.-born citizen who recently converted to Islam and turned lone-wolf ISIS sympathizer after being radicalized by jihadist propaganda online and earning his cosmetology license from the state of New York.
Each of the traumatized victims described getting up from their seats to use the facilities, only to find Alfoud lying in wait in the aft lavatory with his shampoo, blow dryer and other sundry items.
“I think I’m still in shock because it all happened so fast,” said one of Alfoud’s devastated victims, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
“I just remember opening the bathroom door, and there’s this guy that’s already in there who smiles and says, ‘Hi, I’m Nidal,’” the victim recounted. “Next thing I know, he’s pulling me in, locking the door, and gesturing my head under the sink while screaming ‘Allahu Akbar!’… I pretty much blacked out after that.”
In light of this most recent—and most heinous—terrorist attack, we’re left only with questions like these:
1. How was Alfoud able to sneak FIVE OUNCES of contraband shampoo (which is a full 1.6 ounces beyond the TSA’s 3.4 ounce limit) onto the flight?
2. How was Alfoud able to wash not one, not two, but THREE terrified heads of passenger hair before the as-yet-unnamed sky marshal finally got a clue as to the tragedy that was unfolding?
3. And, perhaps most alarmingly, what about the rumors that Alfoud may have handed out DOZENS of his business cards (in which he offered a 15 percent discount on perms, manicures and European facials) to an undisclosed number of unsuspecting passengers/future victims, prior to being shot and detained?
At the end of the day, it falls upon the TSA to decide whether they are willing to address these crucial questions and take action—so as to prevent horrible tragedies like this one from happening—or whether they’ll just be lazy and continue to let such awful incidents occur, letting the human toll circle the drain like so much shampoo and conditioner-laced water in an airplane bathroom’s sink.