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Furious Fife flyer made bomb threat against airline that lost his luggage and forced him to cancel wedding

Adhnan Khalid.
Adhnan Khalid made the threatening post.

A traveller made bomb threats against an airline after they lost his luggage on the way to his wedding.

Adhnan Khalid was due to tie the knot in Morocco in 2019 but was forced to cancel the nuptials as vital documentation was inside his missing bag.

Counter terrorism police were alerted after an enraged Khalid posted messages on the company’s social media page hinting that an explosive device might be on board one of their planes.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard that the airline – Spanish operation Vueling – had already offered him almost £300 in compensation but he felt he was being left out of pocket.

‘Inconvenience’

Fiscal depute Xander van der Scheer said a security manager at Vueling had taken action to avoid a public panic.

A Vueling plane
A Vueling plane

He said: “On October 1, 2019, the accused travelled to Tangier via Barcelona using Spanish airline Vueling.

“During the journey the luggage of the accused was lost in transit and as a result he arrived in Tangier without any luggage.

“This caused him to have to cancel his planned wedding due to required documentation being lost with the luggage.”

He said that Khalid had complained and was awarded £277 by Vueling.

Mr van der Scheer continued: “The accused was not satisfied by this and believed the cost he had incurred buying items to replace those lost as well as the inconvenience amounted to far more than that sum.

“Over the coming weeks the accused sent a number of messages via Facebook and email in relation to receiving his luggage and compensation, none of which were threatening or abusive.

“However he appeared to be of the opinion that he was being ignored.

Facebook messages hidden to avoid public panic

“At 9.40am on January 31, 2020, a post by a Facebook profile in the name of the accused appeared on the Facebook wall of Vueling airlines.

“It read: ‘U hope you find the bombs that have been set on Vueling flights going out of Spain. Good luck, you will need it. I was told next week it will be a flight from France.’

Khalid appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court

“At about 10.05am the following was posted from the same account: ‘Interesting how Vueling ignores information about health and safety of crew and passengers. Do not fly with Vueling or Iberia’.

“When a security manager for Vueling saw the posts he hid them from public view to avoid causing alarm to members of the public and contacted the UK Border Force at Gatwick airport as he believed the accused was a British citizen.”

The information was passed on to Police Scotland’s counter terrorism department who determined there was no credible threat.

Tried official complaints process first

Solicitor David McLaughlin, defending, said Khalid has since managed to get married.

He said: “Mr Khalid does not shy away from his responsibilities in this matter.

“His motivation is clear.

“He was travelling for the purpose of marriage. His documents were in his luggage, as well as the clothing he planned to wear.

“The loss of his luggage meant the marriage could not go ahead.

“He has tried to go through official complaints channels prior to this.

“It was unspeakably foolish of him but it was fully borne out of frustration rather than something more than that.”

Khalid, of Wellsley Road, Buckhaven, admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner by posting the messages on Vueling’s Facebook wall on January 31 2020.

Sheriff Timothy Niven-Smith said he regarded the matter as extremely serious and remanded Khalid, 37, in custody while pre-sentencing reports are prepared.

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