War on Terror

Passenger Says He Wants to 'Bomb Canada' Over Cigarette Taxes, U.S. Fighter Jets Escort Flight Back to Toronto


o canada, you learn so well
via CTV

Today in security theater of the absurd, via CTV News:

Passenger Bettina Bathe told CTV Toronto the incident unfolded not long after takeoff when a flight attendant came by to pass out headsets.

"He [an unidentified 25-year-old Canadian passenger] basically just tore a strip off her, explaining how expensive the cigarettes are here in Canada, he hates Canada," Bathe said.

"Then he said, with great expression using his hands, 'I just want to bomb Canada.'"

Following procedure, the flight was then diverted back to Toronto's Pearson International Airport, about 45 minutes into the flight, escorted by two fighter jets.

The Conservative government in Canada unveiled a major cigarette tax hike in its budget in February one that even included "duty-free" cigarettes international travelers enjoy. The taxes in cigarettes still aren't as high as in New York City, where aggressive enforcement of potential cigarette contraband led to the death of a man in police custody earlier this month.

Watch tactical police board the plane in Canada to make an arrest via CTV here.

That white flag over Brooklyn might mean surrender after all.

NEXT: Europeans Want 'Right to Be Forgotten,' Don't Know How That Should Work

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  1. FFS. You couldn’t make this shit up.

  2. I can’t believe this bullshit. Complete absurdity all around.

    “Peel police said he’s been charged with mischief to property, mischief interfering with lawful enjoyment of property, uttering threats and endangering the safety of an aircraft.”

    The only danger to the aircraft came from the utterly unnecessary and completely over the top response by the airline, military, and police! Unreal.

  3. Oh Canada. Me thinks they’re taking the ‘stand on guard for thee’ thing a bit seriously.

  4. There’s a lot worse with Canada than cigarette taxes (though they do suck)

    But still, the exchange was an effective illustration of Mr. Murphy’s point ? that Mr. Elliott’s real sin was to take issue with Ms. Guthrie’s politics.

    Mr. Elliott is believed to be the first person in Canada to be prosecuted for criminal harassment via Twitter.

    When he asked her to point to one ? just one ? that had instilled fear in her, she snapped, “That’s not how feelings work, Mr. Murphy. They develop over time.” When the lawyer suggested she wasn’t fearful, that she’d made fun of Mr. Elliott and taunted him, she sighed theatrically and said, “There’s no perfect victim, Mr. Murphy, and no perfect way to respond to being stalked. Sometimes you have to fight back a little bit?. I’m sorry if I wasn’t a perfect victim.”

    Mr. Murphy then suggested that what Mr. Elliott had been doing was defending himself, and his views, when he was being attacked on Twitter by her and the other complainants. Wasn’t he entitled to do that?

    “He’s entitled to defend himself to the world, Mr. Murphy; he’s not entitled to do it to me.”

    “No matter what you say about or to him?” Mr. Murphy asked.

    “Not to me,” she said.

    1. “I know lots of normal men who have raped; I have been raped by normal men.”

      Bullshit. On both claims.

    2. “””I know lots of normal men who have raped; I have been raped by normal men.”””



      excessively *rapey*, ‘normal’ men? you think?

      ” it was a thousand degrees in the Old City Hall courtroom, where the AC had to be turned off for anyone to have a prayer of hearing anyone else, and, as Judge Knazan later remarked, the proceedings were on the sixth day (albeit spread over months) in the fifth hour.”

      And I felt like sometimes MY time was being horribly wasted. Now I feel better

      1. excessively *rapey*, ‘normal’ men? you think?

        Why, I raped no fewer than a dozen times by early afternoon today. There, I just did it again.

        1. I skipped our state university’s new student orientation, but my friend didn’t. She was told that 70% of female undergrads are sexually assaulted, and seemed surprised by my derision of that claim.

          1. Well, if by “rape”, she means “got looked at by a guy that I really wasn’t in to” then that would be correct.

        2. Why, I raped no fewer than a dozen times by early afternoon today. There, I just did it again.

          That’s all? Why, I’d say it’s time you tendered your Rape Club Membership card.

          1. I was a bit under the weather today. A baker’s dozen on a Friday is nothing to be ashamed of!

    3. Wow. She is bark at the moon fucking nuts. “He was talking about me!”

      “Tell us, oh, cryogenically-frozen time-traveler, how did your society violently collapse again, so quickly? Our records from that period are very sparse. And what is a Twitter?”

      1. +1 reverse technological singularity.

      1. That is a master troll.

  5. How much did this cost? And who pays? Oh, that’s right; the taxpayers for the jet escort, and then the customers of the airline when they raise some prices to cover their costs. Fucking absurd.

    1. I don’t think for a minute that Bin Laden had an inkling of just how much pants-shitting would follow the execution of his plans.

      He probably thought there would be some ultimate war that would be our undoing, but no, we’re destroying ourselves, one pathetic, pearl-clutching, panic-stricken, blindly-flail-and-run-around event at a time.

      1. It’s astounding how much Bin Laden helped out the police and political classes in this country. He helped give them more power than they ever dreamed of grabbing by themselves.

        1. The US is just one big, fucking panic room now.

          You really have to wonder what outrageous act of political abuse of power will be “too far” for the thumb-suckers.

    2. And Gaia. Gaia pays with warm tears for all the extra greenhouse gases.

      Won’t someone think of the little Gaiettes?

    3. Show love to others, we all brothers like the Bee Gees
      All except the broads and you
      Hold your applause, they break God’s laws and who pays?
      The taxpayers, that’s who
      Catch a rapper by the toe and smack off his tattoos

      – MF Doom

  6. Canada is part of NORAD. You sure they were US F-16s?

    1. OK, my bad. The article clearly states “2 US Fighter Jets”.


  7. “The Criminal Investigations Bureau interviewed the man, who has been identified as Ali Shahi, at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.”

    Oh, I get it now.

  8. Don’t watch the video. It will ruin your week.

  9. MATTHIAS: Look. I– I’d had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was, ‘That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.’

    CROWD: Ohhhh!

    OFFICIAL: Blasphemy! He’s said it again!

    Pretty much the same thing.

  10. Hold on a second here people. Before you go “rushing to judgement” and “Blaming America first” and “making a big deal about the security-state gone-wild” as you are often wont to do, keep in mind the key facts here =

    1) Procedures were followed, and
    2) Complimentary meals were provided for passengers

    I think that any responsible journalism should highlight these salient points

    Additionally, excessive use of the word “retarded” should be reconsidered as potentially inappropriate. These are Canadians. I believe they have a different word up there for that.

    1. Paging Mr. Firefly. Paging Rufus J. Firefly.

      1. You rang?

        1. Rufus, my man! What does “basically tore a strip off her” mean?

          1. Basically it means to criticize someone in scathing terms, usually with specific references to actions and a detailed explanation of how stupid they were.

            It is best done in public and without swearing. (It really works better if you don’t use words like ‘shithead’ and ‘asshole,’ and give specific explanations as to WHY their conduct was stupid.}

            The derivation is that it is a metaphor for hooking someone’s skin and pulling a length of skin off of their body. (Supposedly a torture invented by the Iroquois.)

            (I had no idea that this idiom was specific to Canada until I looked it up.)

            1. Er.

              What Aresen said.

              The Iroquois did skin their victims alive.

              1. The Iroquois may have invented it, but Canada perfected it.

                1. But we will do it politely.

    2. There was cheese in the complimentary meal and I’M LACTOSE INTOLERANT.

    3. I’m not “Blaming America first.” Instead, I want to [music welling up]

      Blame Canada!
      Blame Canada!
      With all their beady little eyes
      And flapping heads so full of lies. . .

  11. Hey Reason webmaster, when you delete a comment, can you leave some sort of indicator so the comment threads actually make sense?

    1. Piecing together a thread when ‘Murkin is nuked from orbit is half the fun.

      1. I blame all incoherent posts from the regulars on ‘Murkin…except for Tony, he does incoherent just fine without help.

  12. According to the Flightaware link with the CTV article, the turnaround happened south of Pittsburgh, making this joint US-Canada stupidity.

    1. He says he wants to bomb Canada, so you fly him back to Canada?!

      This is not pants-shitting. It is simply throwing weight around like a tin pot dictator.

      1. That’s what stood out for me. If the crew doesn’t think it’s likely just a cranky passenger and a melodramatic remark and takes it as a serious threat, why return to Canadian airspace?

        Maybe I should try this next time I fly. Get a cheap ticket to Chicago and halfway there yell, “I want to bomb Holland!” Next stop Amsterdam.

        It’s trying to make sense of the senseless.

        1. The flight is over West Virginia and instead of immediately landing near at a non-metropolitan, regional airport that could handle this plane, they do a 180 and return over Pittsburgh; Erie, Pa; Hamilton, Ontario; and give the potential bomber the target of Canada’s largest city. Please tell me this was an Onion spoof.

          1. Tell me.

            Do you really want a Crazed Canadian landing in your country?

            After Justin Bieber, you can’t be too cautions.

          2. Probably did him a favor. By returning to Canada maybe he’ll get 5, 10 years as opposed to the national security show trial followed by lifetime supermax imprisonment that he would have gotten here.

  13. Obama is a fascist fuck.

    uring a speech in Los Angeles and an interview with CNBC, the president said it was unpatriotic, comparable to renouncing one’s citizenship, and harmful to the U.S. economy for businesses to set up headquarters overseas in order to avoid America’s high corporate tax rate.

    I was unaware that there was anything morally wrong with renouncing your citizenship. Man, the Democrats sure do become weird xenophobic psychopaths when corporations are involved.

    “People are paid to maximize profits but people are also paid to be good corporate citizens.”


    1. the president said it was unpatriotic, comparable to renouncing one’s citizenship

      I know I have lost all my patriotism during Obama’s presidency.

      If anything better comes along (i still think that is a big if) I am out of fucking here.

      I guess in that way he has been a good president for me. So bad that he cleared any speck of wool from my eyes.

      1. What ever happened to “Dissent is patriotic”?

    2. So am I unpatriotic if I own stock in foreign companies that do business in America (and don’t pay taxes, except on their earnings in this country)?

    3. I was unaware that there was anything morally wrong with renouncing your citizenship.

      The State Department has always treated renouncing of citizenship as something wrong and has a fairly large office devoted to investigating whether the people renouncing are doing so for tax exile purposes. There are significant penalties to future travel in the US if they determine you are a tax exile, and the burden of proof is on the applicant.

  14. Just where the hell does Canada get off sharing a border with countries far superior to it?


    1. They’re not even a real country anyway.

  16. Wait. The news report doesn’t even mention why the plane was diverted, and a military team with automatic assault weapons stormed the plane screaming for everyone on the plane… everyone on the plane.

    Let me say that again… everyone on the plane is told to put their hands up or be shot to death.

    1. Military? No no no my friend, that was the police.

    2. Military people have way more respect for the people they serve to do something like that. No, that was the cops.

    3. The protocol follows the possible scenario that passenger A creates a disturbance such that everyone’s attention concentrates on him (even something as absurd as this). Meanwhile, passengers B, C, and D take advantage of the disturbance to carry out the plan.
      That’s the *logic* behind the evasive actions.

  17. I really feel like I’m living in some kind of alternate reality. How does anyone that is not utterly insane think this is ok?

  18. Wait…where is Cytotoxic?

    1. In the corner, masturbating.

      1. This is a backhanded compliment to him.

        If i was going to have a libertarian conniption fit it would be on a commercial airplane and it would be about cigarette taxes.

  19. Oh wait. “Ali Shahi”.

    Never mind, proceed as normal. I’m not sure why they didn’t just fire two hellfire missiles at the plane just to be safe.

    1. There were white people on board.

      1. Who was the last president to bomb white people? Clinton?

      2. Ali Shahi looks pretty white, actually.

        1. But you can tell he’s evil, just listen the music.

        2. He’s white-Arabic.

          It’s a new thing the media’s doing.

  20. Well fuck this shit. I’m going to watch some crap on Netflix to drown out all of my feelings of hopelessness for humanity.

    1. Drown in you mean. Drown in. Easy mistake to make.

  21. aggressive enforcement of potential cigarette contraband led to the death of a man in police custody

    You guys are still trying to maintain that just because the cops said it?!

  22. basically tore a strip off her

    Rufus, would you *kindly* translate this into American?

    1. It’s something to do with Brazilian waxing. That’s as far as I got.

  23. I got bombed in Canuckia once….er, well maybe more than once … er, well maybe every day.

    I just didn’t talk about it on the plane.

  24. They need high taxes in Canada in order to pay for their glam healthcare.

    In an unrelated news, America is still better than Canada.

  25. Oh, Onion staff…Is there anything you can’t skewer?

  26. Is it okay to say I merely want to litter cigarette butts in Canada for its suffocatingly patronizing Tobacco policy. However, others will see that behavior and think : “I rather support these regulations if it gives what for to those inconsiderate lung cancer liabilities.”

  27. OK, people be taking this terrorist crap WAY too seriously.

  28. After reading this story, I want to bomb Canada too.

    (Excuse me, someone wearing a red tunic and a Smokey Bear hat just knocked on my door. He looks pissed.)

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