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Airplane passenger accused of threatening crew when denied a cigarette

January 28, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ A passenger on a no-smoking flight from Europe claimed to be a terrorist and threatened to blow up the airplane when she wasn’t allowed to smoke, investigators said.

An American Airlines crew told the FBI that the passenger requested and was denied permission to smoke during an eight-hour flight from Madrid, Spain, to Miami on Friday.

The passenger became abusive, shoving or pushing two attendants and the captain, a criminal complaint said. She allegedly said ``that she was a `terrorist,′ that she was `going to blow up the plane,′ that she was going to `gun’ one of them `down.‴ She called the attendants ``American fascists.″

The passenger, Sally Ann Stein, 57, an American who lives in Seville, Spain, was arrested and charged with interfering with the duties of a flight attendant and flight engineer. She made no comment when she appeared before a federal magistrate Monday and was freed on personal bond.

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