We New Yorkers are told, repeatedly and often, that if we see something, we should say something. The point is, that “something”—an unclaimed bag or suspicious package—may contain a bomb or other device meant to cause harm.
Following the Sept. 17 explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 29 people, and the news that another device planted a few blocks away did not go off, that mantra was jokingly turned into “if you see something, steal something.”
New Yorkers reacted with both derision and pride to the news that two random guys may have saved lives by casually discarding and inadvertently disarming a pressure-cooker bomb, then making off with the suitcase that held it.
Now the story of that unintentional bomb squad has gotten even more farcical: It turns out those two guys are, of all things, airline security guards.
The two men, Hassan Ali and Abou Bakr Radwan, reportedly work for EgyptAir. As airline security officers, their job is to “maintain order during flights and ensure that planes are secure during stopovers at foreign airports,” the New York Times reported. Presumably that would include knowing what is and is not a bomb.
American officials asked for help identifying the two men after surveillance footage showed them taking the pressure-cooker bomb out of its bag and placing it on the sidewalk. Ultimately, it was their employer that identified them and informed officials. According to EgyptAir officials interviewed by the New York Times, the men were interested in the bag, looked inside it, and found a “pot.” They left this pot on the street, saying they did not want to bring it all the way back to Cairo.
Let’s be thankful for Ali and Radwan, even if they don’t seem to be the best security guards around.