NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man who went on a rant about national security on a flight from Hong Kong to Newark-Liberty International Airport Monday once worked for the U.S. State Department.
A State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that the passenger ended his time at the department in 2006. She gave no details about his job or why he no longer works for the agency.
The man was detained after passengers on board United Airlines Flight 116 said he caused a disturbance. He is an American believed to be in his 30s, and claimed his name is Daniel Morgan Perry, during an anti-government rant recorded on a cellphone about nine hours into the 16-hour flight.
“Your life is in jeopardy!” he shouted. “Your life is in jeopardy if you work for the NSA, you work for the CIA, you work for the National Reconnaissance Office, your life is in jeopardy!”
The man had been pacing the aisles repeating his name, age and hometown of Binghamton, N.Y., passengers told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. He then began his rant about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Monday.
“He complained about being shot with darts during the entire flight,” passenger Jacques Roizen told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco.
“He never threatened any individual on the plane. He didn’t threaten to blow up the plane. He didn’t threaten to divert the plane. He was just saying he had information relating to Ed Snowden,” passenger Peter Jones added.
“He said he worked for the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and he was being detained by the CIA and was being transferred and his life was in danger,” Jones told Diamond.
Passengers and flight attendants helped tackle the suspect when he reached into his pocket.
“People got scared and a few of us jumped on him, put him on the ground. With the help of a few passengers and flight attendants, we were able to handcuff him,” passenger Jacques Roizen told Diamond.
The flight crew gave the passengers plastic handcuffs to restrain the man.
The man spent several hours of the flight in plastic restraints. Flight 116, which had 238 passengers on board, landed in Newark at around 1:45 p.m. It taxied to an isolated area where it was kept near at least a dozen emergency vehicles. The man, who was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, was walked off the plane, placed in flex cuffs and taken into custody.
The FBI said he was hospitalized after being taken off the plane.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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