By Mark Memmott
"The U.S. plans to close the book on the bomb scare aboard a Denver-bound airliner after receiving assurances from Qatar that the diplomat who touched off the panic will be sent home," the Associated Press writes. A "State Department official and another person close to the matter" tell the AP of the agreement to send diplomat Mohammed Al-Madadi back to Qatar.
CNN adds that it's been told by two State Department officials that the U.S. and Qatari governments "agreed that was the best way to handle the matter."
As Frank wrote yesterday, al-Madadi was on his way to Colorado on Wednesday to pay a regular consular visit on imprisoned al-Qaida sleeper agent Ali Al-Marri, a Qatari national.
During the fight from Washington, as the AP puts it, "al-Madadi slipped into the plane's bathroom for a smoke, authorities said, then joked about trying to set his shoe on fire -- an apparent reference to would-be 'shoe bomber' Richard Reid, who was convicted for his 2001 attempt to down an airliner." Federal marshals on board the jet took him into custody, fighter jets were scrambled to track the plane and everybody on board was delayed once it landed.
We asked yesterday about what should happen to the diplomat. So far, most folks have thought he should be prosecuted or expelled: