Passengers and holiday-makers have been left terrified after an African migrant relentlessly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “today we will die” as he was being deported from Britain on a commercial flight.
The man behaved violently and entered into the relentless, half-hour-long rant on an EasyJet flight from London Gatwick to Venice in Italy, where he can claim asylum. He was being deported back to the first safe EU country he entered according to the Dublin Regulation.
The handcuffed migrant was positioned at the back of the plane, with officials either side of him. One is reported to have stood over him, holding him down, for most of the flight.
Flight attendants allegedly left passengers in the dark about the nature of the incident and later asked them to delete videos and recordings.
The migrant screamed “Allahu Akbar” (god is greatest) 29 times, “death is coming” 17 times, and “we will die” nine times in the shocking tirade.
The Home Office spends about £30 million a year on deporting illegal immigrants and foreign criminals, chartering private jets as well as paying for individual seats on commercial flights.
Lucy and Terence O’Sullivan, from Detling, Kent, were sitting only five rows in front of the man. Mrs. O’Sullivan, 33, told the Mail on Sunday: “It was really scary. I felt threatened. I was tearful.
“The worst-case scenario was that we weren’t going to get off that plane alive because we didn’t know who the person was, what the circumstances were or anything. There was nothing explained to us. It was very daunting.
“When we got on board, the seats were moving so he was obviously kicking or thrashing out. I thought someone was having a fit. But when we got up close we could see people were restraining him.”
As the chaos unfolded, she feared the man could be a terrorist. “We didn’t know whether he came from a group of terrorists, or anything along those lines,” she added.
“We didn’t know if there would be people on the plane who knew he was going to be deported that were on his side and whether they were going to mount a terrorist attack to free this person.”
She said she thought to herself: “We’ve just got married – is this the last time we’re going to be together?”
Mr. O’Sullivan, 34, added: “It was pretty terrifying. I was thinking he’s somehow got explosives onto the plane and he doesn’t want to go through with it. I absolutely feared for my life.”
It was only later during the flight that fellow passengers explained the situation to the couple.
EasyJet apologised for the “distressing” incident and announced it was reviewing the circumstances with the Home Office. “However, the safety of the flight was never compromised,” they added.
They also claimed that “we would not have carried the passenger had he displayed threatening behaviour prior to the flight”.