Australian man removed from commercial jet 'after fellow passenger thought his doodles were a terrorist threat'

"Terrorismadeup" was among the scrawls on the man's notepad

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 23 September 2014 05:44
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A Tiger Airways flight similar to the aircraft from which an Australian man was removed
A Tiger Airways flight similar to the aircraft from which an Australian man was removed

Police removed an Australian man from a commercial jet on Saturday after a fellow passenger feared the apparently “ironic” doodles in his notepad were a terrorist threat.

Tiger Airways staff members alerted the Australian Federal Police who escorted Oliver Buckworth, a 28-year-old interior designer, from a flight headed for the Gold Coast after a passenger reported the scribbles, Fairfax Media reported.

A page from the notepad reads: "In a land of melting ice-creams, sandy feet and fluffy bears, how could anyone be fearful of terrorism."

He also drew a chandelier, and the word: "Terrorismadeup," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In a cartoon of a child clutching his head, Mr Buckworth wrote in a thought bubble: “Tyrannosaurus Rex. Terodactyl. Tarantula. Terrorist.”

“The irony is I was writing a sentence about the absurdity of the fear-mongering when we live in such a happy country of ice-cream and beaches and fluffy things,” Mr Buckworth told the newspaper.

During the incident, a neighbouring passenger told a flight attendant: “Look what he's writing.”

Mr Buckworth then told the attendant: "'Yes, look what I'm writing. Read the whole sentence. I'm just writing some notes.'"

A spokeswoman for Tigerair said: “Tigerair has a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate and antisocial behaviour. Safety and security of staff and passengers underpins the operation at all times and is never compromised.”

But Mr Buckworth has branded Tiger's conduct ”ridiculous,” and has since been “blacklisted” by the airline for an indeterminate time.

“My concern is what it looked like to the rest of the people on the plane. I did tell them as I was leaving, 'I'm not a criminal. This man simply took something out of context that I was writing in my book. Just so you know and this whole fear thing isn't instilled even further.' ”

Australian Federal Police confirmed they had “responded to a request for assistance” from Tiger Airways.

The airline declined to comment on whether Mr Buckworth had been expelled from the flight for the contents of his notebook.

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