Thursday, May 08, 2014

I don't know whether to mock the arrestee or the arrestors.

So, an FBI agent boarding a plane apparently tried to do so with a loaded pistol magazine, resulting in his arrest. The temptation is there to mock the dude, but I know how one can forget these things; there's a reason I never take the bag I use for a carry-on anywhere near the range if I can help it.

Unfortunately for the agent, he was not trying to board a plane at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, where he would have gotten a stern talking to and maybe lost the magazine if he didn't want to miss his flight. No, he was catching a hop from Karachi to Islamabad and, apparently unlike many US states, there's no mens rea requirement in Pakistan for what he did, so they arrested him.

The funny part is what they charged him with:
" On Tuesday, he appeared in court on charges that he had violated local anti-terrorism laws..."
Wait, they have those in Pakistan? Were I in his shoes, it would have taken every ounce of self-control to not paraphrase Captain Willard while they were hooking me up: "Charging a man with terrorism in this place is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."

Coincidentally, I just got back from the range, where one of the guys was relating what happened when he had forgotten some live rounds in a coat pocket on a recent trip. It didn't involve Pakistani prisons, I'll tell you that.


Anonymous said...

It must be Pakistan's version of Candid Camera.

Look over there Mr. American G-Man, your friends at Pakistan Military Intelligence have pawned you!

Your on Karachi Camera!

Big smile and blow kisses please.


Leatherwing said...

One word, two meanings?

Sebastian said...

Actually the Phoenix PD didn't even give me a stern talking to. He took me back through security and let me mail the magazine back to myself. I had to give up the ammo though, because you can't ship that through USPS.

jdunmyer said...

Back in about 1969, when I had just begun reloading, I often carried a .357 cartridge in my pocket. On a business trip to Jamaica, I showed it to a local, and he acted like he was going to crap himself. As if I had pulled out a loaded gun. Naturally, as part of the Gun Culture, I thought nothing of it, but it was probably fortunate that I didn't get caught with it by officialdom.

Joseph said...

It's been a while, but I recall picking my brother up at IND and going through security with live .223 ammo on my person (and a knife) after a day of shooting. Simply emptied my pockets, held the metallic cartridges and knife out in front of me while I walked through the metal detector. Not a word was said to me.

Things, they have changed.

Tam said...


No kiddin'.

billf said...

One time,(why do I always want to say 'at band camp'?) ,when I was traveling,I inadvertantly left a full magazine in my computer bag.I made it through security,where they had me pull out my computer and turn it on,to make sure it wasn't a fake,but they didn't notice the magazine.I was traveling to Montreal,and they -for sure-would have noticed the mag in customs,so I went to a bathroom and emptied the rounds in the garbage,thinking I could probably get away with the empty mag,as long as there were no live rounds.Fun times.

Brad K. said...

I imagine the "terrorism" charge came from a couple of directions.

If the agent were on the up and up -- he/she should be held to a stricter standard. Conducting business according to required protocol should have fewer lapses of thinking.

Then, too -- Obama! The terrorism charge elevates the issue to the Federal level, and lets the Pakistani's vent a bit about whatever needs venting this week. I am *sure* they can think of something. I might be able to, myself.

And, ever since Clinton's "Uh, I sure didn't shoot that airplane full of people off the East Coast with a military rocket!" incident, the US is one of those folk look at and wonder. . .

Sendarius said...

Way back, several years BC (Before Children), I was in the Honolulu airport, heading home to Oz.

After a nap and shower in the air-side hotel (what a great idea), I dressed and headed to duty-free before boarding.

Security pulled me aside when they spotted the Leatherman pouch on my belt.

I was starting the ritual self-kicking, figuring that I was going to lose it due to my own stupidity, when the lovely young lady opened the blades, measured them against a rule on the side of her magnetometer wand and said, "Under 4 inches, that's fine."

When I changed planes in Sydney they didn't even measure it. "Leatherman? She'll be right mate."

Times have, most certainly, changed.

Mattexian said...

I wonder if they'll let that G-Man keep his job (or anything else that involves being around guns), now that he's been convicted of a felony in a foreign country, as has happened to other folks. Or will he be one of those "Some animals are more equal than others"?

Tam said...


"now that he's been convicted of a felony in a foreign country"

He has? Do you have a link?

Tam said...

WaPo article at the link says the Pakistani judge at whatever they call an arraignment hearing in Pakistan ordered him held through Saturday while investigators determined if they had a basis for a trial.

B5K said...

Well the Pakis did arrest a 9-month old for attempted murder back in April...

Anonymous said...

It pays to be extra careful when traveling. Down here along the Texas / Mexico border, its a regular thing having citizens busted for having a stray round or two in your vehicle when crossing the border check point. Many are eventually released but its time and money spent.

I quit taking my vehicle across for that reason - scared to death a single case will get you thrown in Mexican hoosegow, not a fun place at all.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking I wouldn't wish to reside in a Mexican or Turkish prison.
A Pakistani one, not-so-much, either!


mikee said...

It is always a good thing to have a prisoner or two lying around to trade for a diplomatic favor at any time of your choosing.

The Palestinians mastered this, by kidnapping Israeli soldiers and releasing them in exchange for terrorists held by Israel, at a rate of 1 Israeli for about 20 to 100 Palestinians. Then after the exchange, they'd kidnap another one.

Looks like the Paks think they will need a favor from the US in the near future. Hmmmm.

perlhaqr said...

I think we have to mock the arrestee, given that there was a very recent reminder of "Don't do that!"

Seriously, I was confused and thinking I was misremembering the initial incident when I was reading your post. "Wait, wasn't this a couple weeks ago? FBI? I thought it was NYPD. Ohhhhhh."

Derfel Cadarn said...

What does one do with a loaded magazine sans gun ?

Unknown said...

Although, I do know a guy who used to do special things in special places who ended up in a small concrete room with a wet floor and a flickering light (said he thought it was straight out of a horror movie set...) in Kazakhstan due to having one of the "customs inspectors" dropping a loaded magazine into his bag as he tried to get through customs after the plane ride into the country.

He was stuck for several days before somebody at State got the "misunderstanding" squared away.