A United Airlines flight carrying 33 passengers was forced to return back to Washington shortly after take-off when a man allegedly shouted "jihad" and had to be restrained by others on board.
Flight 1074 was flying to Denver on Tuesday afternoon but flew back to the Washington Dulles International Airport when the unidentified passenger allegedly ran towards the cockpit, CNN reports.
"He ran forward towards the cockpit, and he is being restrained by passengers," one of the pilots said according to a transcript of communication between pilots and air traffic control. "Cockpit is secure, and we would like to return to the airport and have the authorities meet him."
Video footage showed at least two people restraining the distressed passenger on the floor as a man was repeatedly heard saying: “Don’t move buddy, we are going to get you of this plane. We are going to get you off.” The restrained man continued to cry and shout, “I’m sorry!” repeatedly.
When police arrived to remove the passenger from the aircraft he became even more upset and began screaming “No! Please no!”
Passenger Donna Tellam claimed the man shouted "jihad" and said there were “jihadists in the cargo hold”.
"One 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," she told 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."
A spokesman for United Airlines told The Independent Flight 1074 returned after “a passenger failed to comply with crew instructions”.
"Local law enforcement officials met the aircraft at the gate and detained the passenger. We are accommodating the remaining customers to Denver this morning.”
He would not comment on claims the passenger had shouted "jihad".
Airport spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs said the passenger was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.Reuse content