- By Annie LowreyAnnie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.
If anything good has come from the Flight 253 terror attack — in which a 23-year-old Nigerian man attempted to detonate an explosive on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day — it has been the tale of the Flying Dutchman.
Jasper Schuringa, a 32-year-old Dutch filmmaker, heard a popping sound and saw smoke emanating from the would-be terrorist’s pants. He leaped to the rescue, jumping over other passengers to wrestle Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and put out the fire on his pants, burning his bare hands in the process. (Abdulmutallab had hidden a plastic explosive in his underwear.) Schuringa then restrained Abdulmutallab in a headlock and helped the stewards handcuff him in first class. Needless to say, the tabloids are in love.
And the story underscores the point that, in the words of security expert Bruce Schneier, “Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.”
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