The Snatch: Happy Reading for Your Airport Tram Ride

D.C. Says Don't Worry

A recent al-Qaida pro-terrorism ad that reportedly features a tram from San Francisco International Airport has been drumming up quite a bit of anxiety here in the Bay Area. The image was used for the spring edition of the English-language Inspire — an al-Qaida-run publication. But it's the caption accompanying the photo that has people really worried: “Simply stand up, pack your tools of destruction. Assemble your bomb. Ready for detonation,” the ad reads. Take some deep breaths, travelers: Officials in Washington believe it was only a stock photo of the airport tram. The FBI has told multiple media outlets that the ad doesn't contain a public safety threat specific to the Bay Area, and that the photo was most likely selected at random. Easy for them to say, though — they're in Washington.

Help for Hawaii Marilyn

It's clear that 62-year-old Marilyn Hartman wants to spend her days at San Francisco International Airport. What's less clear is why. Hartman has continued to make headlines after she attempted three times to board a plane to Hawaii without a ticket. She was given a court order to stay away from SFO, but since then, she's been caught at the airport three more times. You might think she's crazy, but prosecutors disagree. “Detectives interviewed her in pretty good detail and there was no evidence of mental illness,” says San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. “She's not delusional, she's not confrontational. … It causes me to have concern about why she keeps coming back.” As far as officials know, she has no family. Anytime she's been booked into jail, she's listed her emergency contact as “none.” “She just strikes me as a very lonely person,” Wagstaffe says. He's pushing probation officers to help Hartman connect with the social services. “Jail is not the answer for her, but we can't ignore the violating of a court order,” says Wagstaffe. “So let's find out what we can do as a society. Instead of punishment, we're looking for an answer.”

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