A man who ranted about national security and repeatedly screamed "I'm dead" during a flight from Hong Kong to New Jersey once worked for the U.S. State Department, an agency spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The passenger, whose name has not been released, ended his time at the department in 2006, said the spokeswoman, who gave no details about his job or why he no longer works for the agency.
The man started screaming nine hours into a 15-hour United Airlines flight to Newark Liberty Airport on Monday. At one point, a passenger said, the man claimed people were trying to poison him. Passengers helped subdue him.
Passengers said the man was clearly not stable. The FBI said he was hospitalized after being taken off the plane.