Qatar unrepentant about diplomat who tried to light up cig on US flight, then made crack about his shoe

Wash Post:

In a statement posted on the Embassy of Qatar’s Web site, Ambassador Ali bin Fahad al-Hajri defended Madadi and said the incident resulted from a misunderstanding.

“This diplomat was traveling to Denver on official embassy business on my instructions, and he was certainly not engaged in any threatening activity,” the statement said. “The facts will reveal that this was a mistake, and we urge all concerned parties to avoid reckless judgments or speculation.”

The incident came three months after a Nigerian man trained by al-Qaeda attempted to blow up a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day using explosives hidden in his underwear. U.S. authorities have since ratcheted up security measures, including beefing up the air marshal ranks.

Reckless judgments? The ass tried to light up a cigarette on an airplane. Something that has been illegal since the early 90s, going on twenty years. Has he been living under a rock? And he lit it up in an aircraft bathroom, which is a fire hazard – airplane bathrooms are full of paper in a confined area.

What’s reckless is for Qatar to be taking a holier than thou added about a government official who clearly screwed up on multiple levels. Regardless of what he said about his shoe – and it’s still unclear what he did say about it – what the hell was this idiot doing smoking in an airplane bathroom? This is a diplomat? This is the best of the best of Qatar?

Considering the fact that the government of Qatar, rather than apologizing, is now defending this moron, perhaps he really is the best that country has to offer.

Here’s what the Qatar ambassador to the US posted on his country’s Web site – in all caps too, perhaps they really are stuck in the middle ages:

FROM THE AMBASSADOR OF THE STATE OF QATAR TO THE UNITED STATES, H.E. ALI BIN FAHAD AL-HAJRI

PRESS REPORTS TODAY REGARDING AN INCIDENT ABOARD A COMMERCIAL FLIGHT FROM WASHINGTON, DC TO DENVER, CO INDICATE THAT A QATARI DIPLOMAT WAS DETAINED FOR SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR. WE RESPECT THE NECESSITY OF SPECIAL SECURITY PRECAUTIONS INVOLVING AIR TRAVEL, BUT THIS DIPLOMAT WAS TRAVELING TO DENVER ON OFFICIAL EMBASSY BUSINESS ON MY INSTRUCTIONS, AND HE WAS CERTAINLY NOT ENGAGED IN ANY THREATENING ACTIVITY. THE FACTS WILL REVEAL THAT THIS WAS A MISTAKE, AND WE URGE ALL CONCERNED PARTIES TO AVOID RECKLESS JUDGMENTS OR SPECULATION.

No threatening activity? An Arab lighting a fire on an airplane. I’m not saying it SHOULD mater that he’s Arab, I’m saying it DOES matter in terms of only making things worse. Absolutely tone deaf.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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