A man who jumped up and shouted “Allahu Akbar” and then “Boom!” as a plane came into land sparked distress and panic, a court has heard.
“Allahu Akbar” means “God is greater” in Arabic. The phrase is frequently shouted by Islamist terrorists and suicide bombers, giving it sinister connotations.
The unruly behaviour of Shehraz Sarwar, 38, caused widespread panic as an Emirates B777 from Dubai, carrying 347 passengers, came into land at Birmingham in February, Birmingham Crown Court has been told.
Passengers were left shaken and crying.
A report in the London Sun said Sarwar had reportedly caused trouble from the outset and had refused to fasten his seatbelt.
His “obnoxious” behaviour included throwing food and towels around the plane before shouting the phrases, the prosecutor said.
Severe turbulence at the time worsened the situation.
Sarwar’s defence counsel said his client was returning from attending his grandmother’s funeral in Pakistan, which had affected his behaviour. The counsel added that Sarwar had skipped his scheduled medication, methadone, the Sun reported.
Sardar has pleaded guilty to using threatening words and behaviour during the flight. The judge has called for a report before handing down sentence in July.
Written by Peter Needham