ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) – A North Carolina woman appeared in federal court on Monday for allegedly assaulting a Federal Air Marshal while on a flight to Virginia.
Dana Ghazi Mustafa, 27, is accused of assaulting a Federal Air Marshal on a United Airlines flight that departed from Frankfurt, Germany, and landed at Dulles International Airport.
According to court documents, flight attendants were notified of a smoke detector being activated and found Mustafa in a lavatory. They notified Mustafa to not smoke on the aircraft. Flight attendants said they saw her visibly upset and crying, and Mustafa said one of her family members died in a car accident.
Mustafa was relocated twice when a Federal Air Marshal saw her allegedly head to the rear of the plane and attempting to strike a lighter. Two Federal Air Marshals moved to handcuff Mustafa when she reportedly became combative and kicked at the Federal Air Marshals.
Mustafa was handcuffed and seated next to an Air Marshal when she allegedly said, “I’m going to stab everyone on this plane. Then kill myself. I’m Palestinian! That’s how we get down.”
An FBI agent interviewed her about the incident after landing at Dulles International Airport, and Mustafa allegedly admitted the story about her family member being killed was a lie.
If convicted, Mustafa faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison for assaulting a federal officer.
Mustafa’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for the next day at the federal courthouse in Alexandra.