Apparently, Benjamin Baines has a sense of historical irony. The man from Clearwater, Florida hollowed out a copy of the book Fear Itself, hid a boxcutter in it, and then attempted to get it onto a flight out of Tampa. He now faces ten years in prison:
A 21-year-old Clearwater man was arrested at Tampa International Airport this weekend after security personnel found a box cutter in a hollowed-out book, authorities said.
If convicted, Baines faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for a federal charge of attempting to board an airplane with a concealed dangerous weapon. He is currently serving a 30 day sentence after pleading guilty Monday to a state misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon.
About 7:30 a.m. Sunday, airport security ran Benjamin Baines Jr.’s backpack through an X-ray machine and saw the image of a box cutter, according to a report from the Transportation Security Administration.
When searching the backpack, a security officer found a book titled “Fear Itself.” The book was hollowed out, and the box cutter was inside.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” but I doubt he foresaw such a literal meaning in that warning.
Baines said at first that his cousin hollowed out the book, and then later changed his story to say that he used the book to hide his marijuana. He claims he forgot that the boxcutter was still in the book. However, one has to wonder for what purpose Baines would bother to hide a boxcutter in a hollowed-out book, if not to sneak it onto the plane. Boxcutters, after all, are only illegal to have on airplanes — after the 9/11 hijackers used them to kill the pilots and flight attendants in order to take control of their flights.
Interestingly, Baines had a few other tomes in the backpack as well. Titles such as Muhammed in the Bible, The Prophet’s Prayer, The Noble Qu’ran, and the Koran itself accompanied Baines on his flight. The juxtaposition of the boxcutter to these books seems a lot more than just mere coincidence.
Others blogging on this story: Michelle Malkin, James Lileks, Hugh Hewitt, Power Line.