An Ethiopian Man From Washington, DC Charged For Joking Being “Al Qaeda” at Logan Airport – By David Abel, Globe Staff

October 1st, 2007 Print Print Email Email

A 27-year-old man from Ethiopia was arraigned today at East Boston District Court on a charge that he made a false threat to “blow things up” at Logan International Airport. (more…)

A 27-year-old man from Ethiopia was arraigned today at East Boston District Court on a charge that he made a false threat to “blow things up” at Logan International Airport.

Ermiyas A. Asfaw, a taxi driver who lives in Washington, D.C., walked up to an AirTran check-in counter Saturday night and was asked by an agent why he had stickers on his luggage from Dubai. Asfaw responded that he had been there.

The agent asked, “Were you there on business or pleasure?”

According to prosecutors, Asfaw responded: “No. I’m Al Qaeda. I’m with them, and I’m here to blow things up.”

The agent responded that his statement was not funny and was against the law. Asfaw laughed, prosecutors said, and walked away from the counter. The ticket agent alerted a supervisor, who notified State Police.

Troopers sent a K-9 unit to check the bags but found no explosives. Police searched Terminal C but could not find Asfaw.

About 30 minutes later, a trooper called the cellphone listed on Asfaw’s airline reservation. He was flying back to Washington, D.C. The trooper arranged to meet Asfaw and arrested him on charges of making a bomb threat.

In court this morning, Asfaw pleaded not guilty and shook his head as the prosecutor read the charges against him.

A public defender said he was in Boston to see his girlfriend. Judge Paul Mahoney ordered him held on $1,500 bail. Asfaw is scheduled to return to court Oct. 19.

Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport, chided Asfaw for his comments.

“This airport is not going to tolerate this type of behavior,” Orlandella said. “This type of action is completely dumb.”

  1. | #1

    He is damn

  2. gobez
    | #2

    I know this boy. I see him all the time at the famous Habesha restaurant. He is one watete that needs some ass whipin. I was waiting for another encounter with me to beat his ass. Now I know what I’m dealing with. Dumm ass MF.

  3. | #3

    We Ethiopian dont tolerate this kind behavior,and it is out of our culture.It should not pass without punishment.

  4. Hadere Sefer
    | #4

    Blacks have not so much right to make this kind of Joke.
    If he ware a white Guy, they wouldn’t exagurate this shit.

  5. | #5

    It is not a black white thing. He is really “Maferia.” I wish if they put this childish guy in jail 15-20 years.

  6. | #6

    He is Stupid, Moron. He is just a moron. Gee

  7. alferdim
    | #7

    I’m so sorry of the guy. I think he did unintensionally without knowing what Consequences are going to come. Herefore, I don’t want to make him guilty of joking. Don’t judge somebody with evil conception. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt. 7:1-2)
    The grace of the Holysirit be with you all!!!!

  8. obbo destta
    | #8

    I had seen him from distance and observed his arrogant,un Ethiopian attitudes because of the money he makes (has).I hopes after these process,he calm down and grow up.He should learn that recless spheech is not always ideal.We must always learn from our mistakes.

  9. alferdim
    | #9

    according to my opinion it isn’t always true to bring somebody with the help of imposing any bad sentences. Rather than this it is very important to advise him not to do such unnecessary jokes, specially about terroristaction.
    God bless you friends !!!!

  10. | #10

    To Mr/Ms “alferdim”
    The quote(matt. 7:1-2) you use for this situation doesn’t match for the thing that happened. The first thing we should have to know is he is a 27 years old man not a 27 month old baby and the second thing is the security officer who checked his luggage is not his younger brother or a friend to joke with him/her. may be you know these days how Americans are treatened by terrorism. so this “tigabegna” needs to see some thing hard.

  11. boston
    | #11

    He is lucky this happened in Boston not somewhere in Texas,Virginia or Georgia where they would have been more than happy to make an example of him. I would have done the same if I were the agent.

  12. Mimi
    | #12

    what a total looser! This guy is a 27-year old baby. After 9/11, you all know how security has tightened up not just at airport, in many places. This guy has the nerve to joke about that. It’s not like somebody reported on him while he’s joking with his little brother or sisters…he is at the airport for God’s sake. it also doesn’t matter if he’s white or black, i would have done the same thing if i was the agent. I don’t want to say that he gets a sever punishment b/c we all have one or two damm ass in our famiy that will do such a thing. I do hope that he learns from his mistake and be an example for many of our brothers and sisters that think they know it all when they are really not.

  13. | #13

    This is for gobeze let me tell u this our great great grand fathers were proud to fight n they was so so heros but right now fighting or beating somebaddys ass is not gonna make u even closer to be hero in staid of thinking that way why didnt u go n try to tell him what u think about him if u tought u knew better and teach him i donno whats wrong with u guys .

  14. | #14

    Well this is preaty amaizing for me cuz i knew this guy and he was really humble guy and full of ideas I dont know what really hapened and I don’t wanna jump to judgment god be with him

  15. ME
    | #15

    Please my dears,
    If you face such Qs from security people in airports you may do something more than this. I face it was irritating. Even a friend of mine having the name ‘Mohamed’ misses a plan b/c security people took him to an office for further Qing. So it can happen and please don’t make any final decision. Lemanegnawume Geta hulachinenem yetebeke !

  16. Jermiah
    | #16

    It is true that Mr. Asfaw did not make good choices when he made his comments in the airport.

    I do agree with the person who said “we are not to judge others”. We are all humans and do make mistakes but Mr. Asfaw should face the judge for his comments which might have caused a situation in the Airport if other people new what he said.

    If I were the judge, I would give him some community service and not 15 to 20 years in jail suggested by a gentlemen from the other comments above, that would be irresponsible.

    Before we speak let us think twice and not judge others but also do some research on what the law says the punishment would be for this type of mistake. (not crime)

    Let us not also forget that someone else could have been in his shoes with the same incident or possibly something worst. (could have been you)

    And let us not be too quick to jump into conclusions without knowing and studying the facts so we don’t become the police, jury and judge.

  17. Jermiah
    | #17

    God bless all of you.

  18. Alem
    | #18

    Come on ya’ll. The agent had no business asking him why he freaking went to Dubai. The baggage was going to be screened regardless. Even if the guy was planning to do anything, there are enough safeguards to stop him. I am not condoning what the guy did, but he has his habesha pride to protect. As another person commented, if the agent saw the Dubai tag on a clean cut white guy, his question would have if he had a chance to visit the big hotel they built….

  19. Samuel
    | #19

    Hi every one, Thnks to teh Almighty GOd be greatful for making things easy to this our brother. As u all know this days u don’t wanne joke with this kind of things coz thsi guys too scared coz they really have too much enmy almost the rest of the world are agains them every body wanne attak them right so they have to watch out coz it’s not safe for them.

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