Local Family on Diplomat's Flight During Bomb Scare

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Karly Holmes, front, gets a ride on a baggage cart pushed by her father, Brian, of San Diego, Cal., as they arrive in the main terminal of Denver International Airport on Wednesday, April 8, 2010. The Holmes family was on a United Airlines flight that a Qatari diplomat tried to sneak a smoke in an airplane bathroom and sparked a bomb scare. (AP Photo/Will Powers)

    A San Diego man and his daughter were on a United Airlines flight when a Qatari diplomat allegedly tried to sneak a smoke in an airplane bathroom and sparked a bomb scare, according to the Associated Press.

    Karly Holmes was seen getting a ride on a baggage cart pushed by her father, Brian Holmes, as they arrived in the main terminal of Denver International Airport on Wednesday.

    Officials from various agencies were involved in internal discussions as well as talks with Qatar's embassy about how to deal with Mohammed Al-Madadi, who authorities said grabbed a surreptitious smoke in a jetliner's bathroom during a flight from Washington to Denver and then joked about lighting his shoe on fire.

    Al-Madidi was released from custody on Thursday and headed back to Washington.

    He will likely be sent home or transferred to another country, U.S. officials said Thursday.

    No explosives were found on the plane and authorities said they don't think Al-Madidi was trying to hurt anyone during Wednesday's scare, which came three months after the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day when a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.

    Since then, law enforcement, flight crews and passengers have been on high alert for suspicious activity on airplanes. That scare exposed major holes in the country's national security and prompted immediate changes in terror-screening policies.

    In the most recent occurrence, two law enforcement officials said investigators were told the man was asked about the smell of smoke in the bathroom and he made a joke that he had been trying to light his shoe -- an apparent reference to the 2001 so-called "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

    Officials said air marshals aboard the flight restrained the man and he was questioned. The plane landed safely as military jets were scrambled.