Airline Threats: #NotFunny - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Marla Tellez

Airline Threats: #NotFunny

Posted: Updated:

The unfortunate theme of the week seems to be saying stupid things to airline officials.  But, why?! Here we are almost 13 years after 9-11, so don't we know any threat toward an airline or airport will be taken seriously?  The answer apparently is "no."

It all started with San Francisco 49er Aldon Smith at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday afternoon.  Officials say Smith got upset during the screening process and told a TSA agent he had a bomb.  It doesn't matter that Smith is a star player for the Niners nor does it matter that what he said wasn't true; Smith was arrested all the same and charged with a false bomb report, which is punishable by up to a year in jail.  As you'd expect, Smith posted $20,000 bail Sunday night. 

Less than a day later, and more than 5,000 miles away, across the Atlantic, a 14-year-old Dutch girl thought it would be funny to tweet: "@AmericanAir hello my name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye."  American Airlines tweeted back, notifying this otherwise innocent teen that her information was being forwarded to the FBI. Sure enough, the girl, who pleaded with authorities and explained she was only kidding, was arrested and charged with "posting a false or alarming announcement."  Suddenly, at 14, this girl has a criminal record. 

And, that's not all.  Just hours after this debacle, a copycat took to twitter and threatened Southwest, warning they are Iraqi and there will be an explosion soon.  Southwest has alerted authorities and so far, this copycat has yet to be arrested, but time will tell.

Look, making a joke about terrorism is not funny.  Whether it's in-person at the airport or behind the facade of twitter, your threat (even in the form of attempted humor) should and will be taken seriously.  And, as proven by Dutch authorities, it doesn't matter how young and innocent someone actually is.  Authorities will act. 

Remember the good ol' days, when a kid would get their kicks by making a silly prank call... a call that could even make the recipient chuckle? 

Yeah, I miss the good ol' days, too.

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