Car bomb eyewitness becomes web news star

A baggage handler who prevented a suspected terrorist bomber from attacking a police officer at Glasgow Airport is being made into a hero by web fans.

John Smeaton gave eyewitness accounts to several news organisations, including BBC News, CNN and ITN, detailing how he wrestled the suspect to the ground as he ran toward a constable upon fleeing a burning 4×4 vehicle driven in to the airport.

He described how concerned citizens were “all trying to get a kick in” at the suspect to protect the police officer. Now the web is buzzing with admiration for the newsmaker.

YouTube clips ripped from Smeaton’s TV interviews have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

A blog set up at is calling for national tributes to Mr Smeaton and has successfully mobilised a campaign for 1,000 Scots to buy a pint for the eyewitness at an airport hotel bar.

“Today is the day that Smeatomania genuinely shook the internet to its very foundations,” wrote the author behind the site, who has taken to documenting the back-story behind Smeaton’s “heroic” efforts, posting pictures from the locality on Flickr.

Meanwhile, one enterprising individual has set up a web shop selling t-shirts featuring an image of Smeaton as a superhero and displaying the message: “We’ll set about ye!”

First minister Alex Salmond yesterday praised Smeaton’s courage.