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Report: Stowaway's mom says son believed her dead

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The mother of a California teenager who stowed away on a flight to Hawaii told Voice of America that her son had recently learned that she was alive after being told by his father she had died.

Speaking with VOA from a refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia, mother Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi said she felt bad that her son risked his life and that her dream is to live with her children in the United States.

""I cried, felt badly and many people in the refugee camp came to me to give me support," she said.

FBI agents say surveillance video shows the 15-year-old jumping out of the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet on a Maui tarmac Sunday after surviving a cross-Pacific flight from San Jose, California. He told authorities he had argued with his father before leaving his house.

The 5 1/2-hour flight over the Pacific would have exposed him to sub-zero temperatures and very low temperatures, likely knocking him out for the duration. He has been hospitalized ever since.

The boy's parents are divorced, and he lives with his father, Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, a cab driver in Santa Clara, California.

Abdullahi said her ex-husband took their three children to California without her knowledge, and that she hadn't heard from them since 2006.

"I know he was looking for me, and I am requesting the U.S. government to help me reunite with my kids," she told VOA.

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lbrycemaynor April 25 2014 at 10:46 PM

Billions spent on airport security and it's still just that easy to breach an aircraft; I had a harder time sneaking into the drive-in as a teenager.

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1 reply
pokisa lbrycemaynor April 25 2014 at 10:50 PM

i remember that also. very hard wasnt it?

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davidhken April 26 2014 at 10:32 AM

Americans aren't hateful. We simply realize that we cannot take care of the entire world or we will become like it. Until we know how the father got here with the children we shouldn't pass judgment however taking children from their mother and fleeing to another continent is not a comforting thought.

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1 reply
kmcc895370 davidhken April 26 2014 at 10:54 AM

Sounds like he's an illegal to me.

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nihalh April 26 2014 at 10:40 AM

It does not quite add up now, does it? First the shock of learning dead mom is actually alive; She is in Ethiopia; how'd she find out this was her son in the wheel well? Mom's in Ethiopia and he gets mad and flies to Hawaii (utopia)!!! Hmmmmm! Let's hope he is not prosecuted and found guilty which will give immigration grounds to deport him for rash/criminal behavior!!!

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4 replies
nihalh April 26 2014 at 10:42 AM

PS: There's always two sides to a story and a third we'll never know eh?

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1 reply
dreamweaver5580 nihalh April 26 2014 at 10:45 AM

Excuses, excuses

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phrankly April 26 2014 at 10:46 AM

i still

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Bill Case April 25 2014 at 11:38 PM

The boy would have been exposed to very low pressures, meaning much less oxygen, in a wheel well. It is surprising that he survived.

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1 reply
Jinxyzboi Bill Case April 25 2014 at 11:57 PM

It was in the script

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myfrend7325 April 25 2014 at 9:53 PM

here we are being frisked and searched by TSA-thinking we are safe, when someone can get that close to a commercial plane without been detected. God help us all! Seems like all of our security systems are just reactive.

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2 replies
jane.falconer myfrend7325 April 25 2014 at 10:13 PM

He is not the one to harm you. Its the ones taking away your constitutional rights. Countrys and empires die from within while you are told to be afraid of the boogey man.

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1 reply
jtobend jane.falconer April 25 2014 at 10:23 PM

only afraid of fascist TEA PARTY, anti-govt, unless it is about any issue for women, then watch out...in your bedroom,-pocketbook, demeaning us, our lives our work ethic, our children

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goncrazi myfrend7325 April 25 2014 at 11:02 PM

I've never thought "we" were safe. When I was a kid, planes flying east were always getting hi-jacked to Cuba. Not 1 or 2 planes, happened a dozen or more times - they couldn't stop it. It stopped when people no longer wanted to go to Cuba. The TSA and any other security messures just makes the public "feel" safe and that the gov. is doing all it can do to protect it's citizens - bunch of bs is you ask me. There are some things there is no protection against. If someone is determined to hurt people it doesn't take a genius to figure out how to do it. How long has the "war on terror" been going on? No one is any safer now than before the "war" began. What happened on 9/11 could easily be repeated, they would just have to do it a bit differently to by-pass what "security" there is. There is nothing to stop someone from planting a bomb somewhere on a place between flights posing as an employee then disappearing to wait. Have you ever noticed how many people are coming and going around parked planes at airports? How about last year at the Boston Marathon - there is no way to guard against something like that happening at every event that draws large numbers of people. Everything would have to be locked down so no one but "authorized" personnel could get near the place and everyone that was "authorized" be strip searched and not allowed to carry anything within the perimeter and that still wouldn't guarantee your safety, something could be dropped from above. Terrorist have been in action for hundreds, maybe thousands of years in one for or another and no "war" is going to stop them. What that young man did is enough to show everyone that. Be glad he wasn't a suicide bomber and took the whole plane out over the Pacific. That would be another plane we'd have to search for.

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Josh April 25 2014 at 11:41 PM

"The 5 1/2-hour flight over the Pacific would have exposed him to sub-zero temperatures and very low temperatures, likely knocking him out for the duration."

Sub-zero temperatures, very low temperatures... pretty much the same point. Why the redundancy?

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5 replies
jaidadelinar April 26 2014 at 1:36 AM

I would have to say, you can't write fiction like this. Some of the strangest stories are the truest ones. Wow.

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cayorodrigues April 25 2014 at 9:46 PM

so sad

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