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Monday, March 8, 2010
WND Ignores Debunking of Purported Terrorist 'Dry Run'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in December, WorldNetDaily made a big deal out of a report of a purported hijacking "dry run" by Muslim terrorist on an AirTran plane, a story that spread by a "widely circulated e-mail." WND got a few more stories out of the claim, even after it became clear that the person who wrote the email, Tedd Petruna, wasn't even aboard the flight.

A couple weeks ago, Talking Points Memo obtained FAA documents on its investigation of the incident:

In the end there was no amateur porn viewing. There was no shout of "infidel dog!" There were no Muslim hijackers.

FAA documents obtained by TPMmuckraker through the Freedom of Information Act thoroughly debunk NASA diver Tedd Petruna's tale of a thwarted hijacking aboard AirTran Flight 297 in Atlanta last November.


What really happened on AirTran Flight 297 is this, according to the flight attendant reports that are included in the FAA investigation documents:

A man traveling with several others did not comply with flight attendant requests to put away a camera and stop taking pictures before takeoff. Other passengers complained about the "unruly" group of about four -- reportedly Muslim -- passengers. The plane was taxied back to the gate to let the man with the camera off, but the compatriots of the man complained when a flight attendant asked him to leave. Other passengers said they were uncomfortable and did not want to travel with the group.

A replacement crew of flight attendants was put on the plane and it later took off from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport bound for Houston.

WND has yet to report on this release of documents that debunk its earlier reporting on the incident. Surprised? Don't be -- WND tends to offload or ignore reporting that conflicts with its own, even (or perhaps especially) if it proves WND wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:18 PM EST

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