According to ABC, a Yemeni national named Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi was stopped by airport security in Birmingham, Alabama, before boarding a flight to Chicago:
…al Soofi was found to be carrying $7,000 in cash and a check of his luggage found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives. Officials said there was no indication of explosives and he and his luggage were cleared for the flight…
Yes, he was allowed on the plane.
Once he landed in Chicago, al Soofi checked his bags on a flight to Washington D.C.’s Dulles airport “for connections on flights to Dubai and then Yemen, even though he did not board the flight himself.”
What a surprise that a man with knives, box cutters, and devices taped together would go on to act suspiciously! Seriously folks, can we get some people in airport security who have passed Common Sense 101?
In Chicago, al Soofi joined another Yemeni national and boarded a United flight to Amsterdam, where they were finally detained by Dutch authorities. At least there’s a little communication going on.