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Air Travelers Get A Scare Over Amarillo

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What should have been just another routine flight from LA to Kansas City turned out quite differently in the skies over Amarillo yesterday.  According to media reports, the 135 passengers and 5 crew members aboard Southwest Airlines flight 3683 got a scare when Ali Reza Shahsavari, 29, stood at the back of the plane and shouted “You’re all going to die.  Allahu Akbar!”  The flight crew eventually convinced Shahsavari  to sit down and stop shouting.  According to an article from Amarillo.com,

“FBI Special Agent Mark White, based in Dallas, said the event did not appear to be an act of terrorism. He described Shahsavari as a U.S. citizen who might have experienced an episode of mental illness.”

The pilot landed the plane in Amarillo and police came aboard and arrested the man without incident.  Shahsavari is Iranian, but was born in Mississippi.  In spite of the fact that he was born in this country, he apparently speaks only Persian, Luri or Azeri (some of the more predominant languages of Iran) fluently.  The man’s sister was traveling with him and aided the FBI investigators.  Shahsavari is being held in the Randall County jail and is facing federal charges.

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