It turns out that this was all part of a ceremony:
The men began praying out loud in Hebrew shortly after takeoff on Flight 241 from Mexico City. Flight attendants alerted the flight deck, which then called the tower and alerted law enforcement. When the plane arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, it was met by the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and airport police....
...During weekday prayers, some Orthodox Jewish men wear teflillin, or phylacteries - black leather straps wrapped around the left arm and around the forehead. The straps are connected to small boxes with tiny scrolls containing Jewish scriptures. Many Orthodox Jewish men also wear a prayer shawl called a tallit under their clothes, with knotted fringes at each of the four corners.
However, I can’t figure out what part of the ceremony requires them to go to the lavatory together while another man stands guard, anxiously glancing at the cockpit door and around the cabin.
This is not the first time that this has happened. The suspicious activities of these men, along with their unwillingness to go along with flight crew demands, leads me to believe that they were purposely in search of a religious discrimination lawsuit against the airline. I can develop no other reason why these men were dumb enough to do all of this, and why they felt like it couldn’t wait until they were safely on the ground.
Before you go there, I am not anti-Jewish or anti-religion. I am pro-common sense, and I just fail to see how these men could have reasoned their way into believing that this was a good idea. They are lucky as hell that some passenger didn’t straighten them out. I’m not sure what I would have done in the same situation, but I would certainly have been on a razor’s edge ready to dish out some ass-whoopin’ if I got any indication that their intent was anything other than honorable, I can tell you that much.
That being said, I can tell the difference between radical muslims and orthodox Jews, so I might not have been that worried, knowing that they were Jews and not Muslims.
I know, I totally just went off the PC reservation by suggesting that Muslims are more likely to commit terror attacks than Jews. Its just that, well…