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Terrorism is no laughing matter

Published on 05/01/2004

5 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — A not so-funny joke resulted in the arrest of a KLM passenger in Rome on Sunday after he told an airline attendant that he was a terrorist and planned to hijack the plane.

The man was traveling from Amsterdam to Rome when he suggested that he had a gun in his trouser pocket. He was reportedly walking towards the cockpit when he made the claim, but shortly after admitted it was a joke.

But the female airline attendant did not laugh and alerted police. Italian anti-terror police arrested the man, reportedly an Egyptian, upon arrival in Rome. KLM has refused to confirm the man’s identity.

Two others who travelled with the “terrorist” were also detained and questioned. They identified themselves as staff of the Egyptian embassy in Tunisia and have since been released.

The “joker” — identified as a real estate agent — was deported from Italy and will be prosecuted for raising a false alarm, news agency Novum reported.

There were 130 passengers on flight KL 1601. The Dutch plane landed safely at the Fiumicino airport.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news