Lufthansa: Man Subdued After Attempting To Open Cabin Door Inflight, Shouting ‘He Wished To Join Allah’


Crew and passengers overpowered a man on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Belgrade yesterday when he got up during the flight and attempted to tamper with the cabin door.

LH A380 copyHe was subsequently overpowered by the crew and another passenger while shouting ‘He wished to join Allah’.

Before that though he will join the reigns of prisoners in Belgrade where the plane landed as scheduled and the passenger was handed over to local police. Awaiting trial, the American citizen will be in detention for 48 hours.

AFP reported about the incident (Access here).

Lufthansa crew and passengers overpowered a man who interfered with a cabin door on a Frankfurt-Belgrade flight on Sunday, the German carrier said, insisting the safety of the plane had not been threatened.

“A passenger got up and tried to do something at the door, but was stopped by crew members and other passengers,” said airline spokesman Andreas Bartels.

“The passenger was then restrained for the remainder of the flight in his seat and handed over to the authorities in Belgrade,” he said. “It was a normal door, which of course cannot be opened in-flight… it was not the cockpit door,” Bartels said. “The safety of the flight was not jeopardised and the flight landed safely in Belgrade”.

The cabin door can obviously not be opening in cruising altitude. Whoever attempts this likely does this without preparation and as a ‘spur of the moment’ act since anyone who would research the matter finds that it’s not possible to open that door. It for sure creates a panic on board though.

Serbian state-run television reported that police had arrested a Jordanian man after he tried to forced his way into the cockpit of the Lufthansa flight.

The man had suddenly got up during the flight, banged on the cockpit door and demanded to be allowed to enter, threatening to open one of the plane’s doors while it was flying over Austria, Serbia’s RTS television reported.

The man, whom Serb press said was called Laken and had a US passport, had cried out that he wished to join Allah along with all the passengers, RTS said.

It’s unfortunate that once again the religious aspect has to be lined out in this story. Even though this American isn’t likely to be considered a terrorist, he is certainly doing Muslims no favor in spurring additional controversy with nonsense like this.


Thanks to the quick action of everyone involved nobody was injured or inconvenienced in a serious fashion. The justice system in Belgrade will take care of the gentleman who was arrested. He is probably lucky that he didn’t try this stunt in U.S. airspace or else it might have ended worse for him than his situation is already.


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