A Sudanese man attempted to murder an Israeli communications contractor travelling on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Chad to Ethiopia. The victim, identified only as Arik, aged 54, told Ynet that the Sudanese man sitting behind him identified him as a Jew about 20 minutes before the plane began its descent.
“He came up behind my seat and started to choke me with a lot of force, and at first I couldn’t get my voice out and call for help. He hit me over the head with a metal tray and shouted ‘Allah akbar’ and ‘I will slaughter the Jew.’ Only after a few seconds, just before I was about to lose consciousness, did I manage to call out and a flight attendant who saw what was happening summoned her colleagues.”
According to Arik, most passengers did not come to his aid, but one of the few who did was a Lebanese passenger. Arik says that even after his attacker had been restrained, the man tried to convince the other passengers to murder him.
Arik said that he thought he was going to die: “During the moments when I thought I was going to die, I’d already begun to separate from my family in my thoughts.”
Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement: “The attacker, who has been identified as Ahmed Mohamed, showed no signs of violence as he was boarding the flight….He is still in detention and is due to appear in court on Wednesday. The Israeli passenger was taken to a medical clinic in the airport and released shortly after.”