UPDATED: Defense Contractor Makes Up Wild Islamic Terrorism Fantasy; Right-Wingers Act Like it's 9/11 All Over Again

True story. A right-winger who obviously reads too many of those really hard-core Islamophobic blogs emailed around a detailed account of how he had heroically thwarted a terrorist attack on a flight from Atlanta to Houston.

According to the story, which proliferated on conservative blogs and rose as high up the wingnut food chain as Glenn Beck's website, Ted Petruna was on the AirTrans flight waiting to taxi when he saw a bunch of "Muslims" acting suspiciously. They spoke to each other covertly on their cell phones from different locations within the plane. In Arabic, of course. They refused the crew's orders to turn off the phones; instead, they started watching pornographic films (this is what religious fundamentalists tend to do before launching suicide attacks, according to Petruna). When the group stood up and started walking towards the flight deck, Petruna and a brave fellow Texan who had also noted the suspicious doings of the men took action. They manhandled the outclassed young Muslims into compliance and secured them until Air Marshals boarded the plane and took the group into custody.

Then, shockingly, the airline -- no doubt entirely staffed by PC liberals -- tried to allow the men to board again and resume their journey. But Petruna and a bunch of other fine upstanding Americans had had enough. They threatened airline personnel with violence if they weren't re-booked on other flights. The airline relented, and the flight was canceled.

All of this was of course covered up, as usual, by the terror-loving liberal media.

BradBlog offers a sampling of that feverish meme from Debbie Schlussel, who, when referred to at all, is almost ubiquitously dubbed the "poor man's Ann Coulter":

... she notes that she's spoken to Petruna, so she now knows that [her bold] "it's all true. WAKE. UP. AMERICA. We are under siege."

"As we know," the delightful Schlussel informs us, "authorities think we shouldn’t know about these things. They don’t want us to panic or to be suspicious of Muslims, when they’re busy doing outreach over shawarmeh at 'Ahmed’s Falafel Hut.'"

You know where this is all going, right?

Petruna was never on the airplane in question. He had had a reservation, but missed a connection and couldn't make the flight. There was in fact a group of brown people on the flight Petruna missed. But they were speaking Spanish. One of them didn't understand the crew's instructions to turn off his cell-phone. Crew members asked him and a companion to step off the plane and speak to security personnel, which they did without fuss. There was no altercation. No other passengers had to get involved. No air marshals boarded the plane.

Everything got straightened out, the men got back on and the flight continued to Texas without incident after a 2-hour delay.

Detailed story here, here and here.

It's a typically funny tale of conservative bravery! And I want to highlight a couple of what I think are key chunks  ...

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