Michael Chertoff of the Department of Homeland Security announced today that an airplane flying from London to Washington D.C. had been diverted to the Ithaca Tompkins County regional airport in Upstate New York after a passenger gave the steward the finger.
“He stuck it up right in the air”, explained Paula Merikhan, a traveller who sat in the row behind the as-of-yet unidentified man who caused the pilot to redirect the flight away from the nation’s capitol. “The crew asked him to put his finger down, but he wouldn’t do it. He kept on sticking it right up there. It was like he was telling all of us, ‘America can go to hell! You’re going to go down in flames, infidels!’”
An unidentified source within the Transportation Security Administration has indicated that, although the government has yet to obtain proof, the unidentified man could be affiliated with Al Quaida. “The fact that this man has been able to stay off the no-fly terrorist watch list may be an indication that Al Quaida is perfecting its techniques of infiltration and is setting up sleeper cells within our society, ready to launch a massive attack at a moment’s notice,” the source said.
Cecil Gateau, a French citizen who was also on the flight, has an alternative explanation. “I was sitting right next to this man,” says Gateau. “He was only attempting to turn on the overhead light so that he could work on the crossword puzzle in the in-flight magazine. I believe that the light was malfunctioning.”