Police: Saudi Passenger Tried To Get Into Cockpit

Man On Indianapolis-Bound Flight Questioned, Released

A Saudi Arabian passenger who tried to get into the cockpit of an American Airlines flight from New York to Indianapolis didn't appear on any terror-related watch lists, authorities said.

Indianapolis airport police said another passenger grabbed the 20-year-old man's arm and directed him back to his seat on the flight before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the man claimed to be a student at the University of Indianapolis and seemed confused when a flight attendant asked him what he was doing. The university told 6News on Thursday that he is not and has never been a student at the school.

A police report indicated that the man flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Doha, Qatar, before arriving in the United States.

"(His) English was very broken and hard to understand," the report read. "He was not clear on what he had done and did not understand what was going on."

The plane's captain told investigators that as he was 30 miles from the airport, "the cabin door light came on, and he could hear someone trying to open the door."

Airport authorities contacted the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center and the FBI, which ran checks on the passenger.

The man was questioned by police after the plane landed but was not arrested. Authorities took a photocopy of the man's passport and a handwritten note in Arabic that officials said was written while on the plane.

Passengers at Indianapolis International Airport were unnerved by the news.

"I don't know how and why anybody would try to do that, I mean, they got to be silly or nuts," said Tom Mcglaughlin.

"9/11 does come first and foremost in my mind when I hear something like that," said Gayle Botti.

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