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Man questioned and misses flight for speaking Tamil

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Filed: Timeline

A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious.

The Port of Seattle dispatched its police officers to investigate the case, which occurred Saturday around noon, said Bob Parker, airport spokesman.

[...]

The man was speaking Tamil, a language largely used in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, on his cell phone at the departure gate and on the aircraft. An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.

[...]

"It's a big misunderstanding," said Parker. "He had a perfectly innocent explanation that all added up."

[...]

Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/287261_tamil02ww.html


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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Brazil
Timeline
A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious.

The Port of Seattle dispatched its police officers to investigate the case, which occurred Saturday around noon, said Bob Parker, airport spokesman.

[...]

The man was speaking Tamil, a language largely used in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, on his cell phone at the departure gate and on the aircraft. An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.

[...]

"It's a big misunderstanding," said Parker. "He had a perfectly innocent explanation that all added up."

[...]

Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/287261_tamil02ww.html

And?


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A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious.

The Port of Seattle dispatched its police officers to investigate the case, which occurred Saturday around noon, said Bob Parker, airport spokesman.

[...]

The man was speaking Tamil, a language largely used in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, on his cell phone at the departure gate and on the aircraft. An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.

[...]

"It's a big misunderstanding," said Parker. "He had a perfectly innocent explanation that all added up."

[...]

Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/287261_tamil02ww.html

he looked like a terroist ...non-white or european :whistle:


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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Another good reason to speak English in public when in America.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
Timeline

Another good reason to speak English in public when in America.

You don't think an airport that has incoming and outgoing international flights is a little different?

Dammit, whenever I fly, I speak the language of the country of the airport I'm in. It's called assimilation. Duh. Stupid Americans. :lol:

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Filed: Timeline

Another good reason to speak English in public when in America.

You don't think an airport that has incoming and outgoing international flights is a little different?

Dammit, whenever I fly, I speak the language of the country of the airport I'm in. It's called assimilation. Duh. Stupid Americans. :lol:

Well this guy was flying from Seattle to Texas so his flight was domestic. But again, foreign travelers do fly domestic and it would be stupid of us to suddenly expect them to all speak English or else be questioned.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Filed: Timeline
So he was speaking a different language. Big deal. Smells like a lawsuit.

He was talking about sports. You know how some of those conversations can go... "They're gonna get KILLED tonight!". Could be especially alarming if the sentence is in Tamil and the only English word used is "killed" LOL.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Another good reason to speak English in public when in America.

You don't think an airport that has incoming and outgoing international flights is a little different?

I said it was a good reason to speak English, not that you have to speak English. Fundamental difference.


IR1

April 14, 2004 I-130 NOA1

April 25, 2005 IR1 Received

April 26, 2005 POE Dorval Airport

May 13, 2005 Welcome to America Letters Received

May 21, 2005 PR Card in Mail

May 26, 2005 Applied for SSN at local office

June 06, 2005 SSN Received

June 11, 2005 Driver Licence Issued!

June 20, 2005 Deb gets a Check Card! Just like Donald Trump's!

Citizenship

Jan 30, 2008 N400 Mailed off to the VSC!

Feb 2, 2008 N400 Received at VSC

Feb 6, 2008 Check Cashed!

Feb 13, 2008 NOA1 Received

Feb 15, 2008 Fingerprint letter received. (Feb 26th scheduled)

Feb 18, 2008 Mailed out the old Please Reschedule us for Biometics <sigh>...

Feb 27, 2008 Received the new scheduled biometrics.

Mar 15, 2008 Biometrics Rescheduled.

Sep 18, 2008 Interview Letter Recieved.

Nov 11, 2008 Interview Passed :-).

Nov 14, 2008 Oath Cerimony.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Mexico
Timeline
So he was speaking a different language. Big deal. Smells like a lawsuit.

who would he sue? the airline, or the passengers??

zomg im so pulling that, Im gonna start speaking spanish and talk gibberish, people are so dumb they probably think im a suspect.. zomg! lawsuits!


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Filed: Timeline

This could be why they overreacted and I agree this is the United States speaka da English.

6 charged in Md. arms deal sting

Officials say Tamil Tigers were to receive weapons

By Matthew Dolan

Sun reporter

September 30, 2006

Six South Asian arms dealers who paid undercover customs agents in Maryland hundreds of thousands of dollars to ship restricted, high-tech weapons to rebels in Sri Lanka and the Indonesian Army have been arrested by federal authorities in Guam, officials said yesterday.

The elaborate sting operation took center stage in Baltimore this summer, where federal agents put up a Singapore arms broker at a four-star Inner Harbor hotel, arranged for him to attend religious services at a mosque in Laurel and took him to a shooting range in Harford County so he could test-fire machine guns they said he was interested in illegally buying.

The ruse, authorities said, led representatives for the Tamil Tigers insurgents in Sri Lanka to deposit $700,000 with undercover agents as a down payment for millions of dollars in sniper rifles, submachine guns and grenade launchers. The arms dealers also inquired about unmanned air vehicles and buying surface-to-air missiles to shoot down Israeli-built aircraft in Sri Lanka, according to federal court papers.

Yesterday's announcement once again highlighted how attractive Maryland appears to be to arms dealers who want to buy banned state-of-the-art weapons in a state rich with defense contractors. Officials said they have stepped up enforcement, pointing out that the original tip in the case was handled by a military technology task force set up by federal and local law enforcement in 2002 to root out those who attempt to export arms illegally.

Last month, FBI agents searched the office of a Cumberland physician who is president of a Sri Lankan charitable organization suspected of funneling money to the Tamil Tigers. Officials said yesterday that the two cases are unrelated.

"It's our commitment to make sure we do everything we can not only to make sure that terrorists don't attack us in the United States, but terrorists do not find any support here in the United States for their activities overseas," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said at a news conference yesterday.

Federal prosecutors charged all six defendants - Haniffa Bin Osman, 55, of Singapore; Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, 36, of Sri Lanka; and Erick Wotulo, 60, Haji Subandi, 69, Reinhard Rusli, 34, and Helmi Soedirdja, 33, of Indonesia - with conspiracy to export arms and munitions.

Osman, Wotulo and Subandi were also accused of money laundering and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

The defendants, arrested Thursday and yesterday, traveled to the American-controlled South Pacific island to purchase night vision devices, sniper rifles, submachine guns with suppressors and grenade launchers. Federal prosecutors from Maryland will ask a judge in Guam on Monday to send the defendants to Baltimore for trial. The maximum prison sentences range from five years on conspiracy to export arms to 20 years for money laundering.

The military equipment at issue, which can only be purchased in the United States by a licensed dealer for an approved customer, was to be shipped to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers, and customers in Indonesia, including the army, according to court papers and interviews with federal officials.

Mark Bastan, acting special agent in charge of the Baltimore office of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the potential arms shipment would have weighed more than 3 1/2 tons and would have filled 14 pallets on a truck.

"American-made weapons and weapons technology are the envy of the world. And they give us a competitive military edge," Bastan said, adding that the mission to combat the illegal export of military technology was among his agency's highest priorities. The customs investigators were aided by agents from the Baltimore FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Baltimore Police Department.

Investigators said they set up their operations in 2004 when an arms broker suspect contacted an undercover customs agent about acquiring arms for the Tamil Tigers. According to court papers, the broker became the link in both cases, introducing federal agents to those interested in buying weapons for the Tamil Tigers as well as the Indonesian military.

The Tamil Tigers have long advocated the violent overthrow of the Sri Lankan government, using suicide bombings. The State Department labeled the Tamil Tigers as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. The paramilitary organization cannot legally raise money or buy sensitive military equipment in the United States. But experts said the Sri Lankan rebels have skirted the ban by seeking out arms in other countries.

"They have a global arms procurement network" stretching from Croatia to South Africa to Singapore, said Peter Chalk, senior analyst at the Rand Corp., based in Santa Monica, Calif.

The Tamil Tigers, Chalk said, purchased its most sophisticated weapons with funds raised largely by the foreign diaspora who support their cause, he said. A truce between the rebels and government forces ended in August of this year, leading to the conflict's resumption.

From March 2004 until April this year, Subandi told the undercover agent in Maryland that he intended to sell conventional arms and munitions to the Tamil Tigers, according to court papers.

On May 24, federal prosecutors said, Subandi told agents that Osman, a representative for the Tamil Tigers, wanted grenade launchers and other weapons delivered to a spot in international waters off Sri Lanka's coast.

Wotulo, who identified himself two days later to undercover agents as a retired Indonesian Marine Corps general, entered the negotiations to submit a purchase order for nine restricted items totaling about $3 million, authorities said.

But it was Osman who traveled to Baltimore in late July and stayed at the Harborplace Renaissance Hotel. There, he told agents that the arms Wotulo requested were for the Tamil Tigers, and Osman knew the delivery would be illegal, according to court papers. Osman told agents that a subsequent order could be worth as much as $15 million, prosecutors said.

On July 28, Osman test-fired several of the weapons, including machine guns, at a Harford County police range, according to the indictment.

"After hours or in low-light conditions, it wouldn't stick out with a strong government or police feel," Havre de Grace police spokesman Maj. John Van Gilder.

The indictment says that on Aug. 2, undercover agents received $250,000 from a bank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as a down payment for the weapons purchase, expected to total $900,000.

Osman and Varatharasa met with undercover agents in Guam to inspect the weapons on Monday, federal prosecutors said. They were arrested days later.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline
This could be why they overreacted and I agree this is the United States speaka da English.

6 charged in Md. arms deal sting

Officials say Tamil Tigers were to receive weapons

snip..

was the loss of that $700K the reason I saw headlines on news about the TT looking for talks with gov'ment? can't afford the fight anymore?? :P


James & Sara - Aug 12, 05

Humanity... destined to pass the baton shortly.

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
Timeline
A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious.

The Port of Seattle dispatched its police officers to investigate the case, which occurred Saturday around noon, said Bob Parker, airport spokesman.

[...]

The man was speaking Tamil, a language largely used in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, on his cell phone at the departure gate and on the aircraft. An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.

[...]

"It's a big misunderstanding," said Parker. "He had a perfectly innocent explanation that all added up."

[...]

Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/287261_tamil02ww.html

So he was speaking a different language. Big deal. Smells like a lawsuit.

who would he sue? the airline, or the passengers??

zomg im so pulling that, Im gonna start speaking spanish and talk gibberish, people are so dumb they probably think im a suspect.. zomg! lawsuits!

it wasn't a passenger that reported him it was an airline employee


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