GLASGOW -- Last Saturday afternoon, baggage handler John Smeaton was standing in front of Glasgow Airport smoking a cigarette when a Jeep Cherokee burst into flames nearby. He watched its burning driver emerge. A police officer pursued the passenger.
What happened next has turned Mr. Smeaton, 31 years old, into an unlikely folk hero. When he saw the passenger hitting the officer, Mr. Smeaton ran over and kicked the assailant.
Mr. Smeaton has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN and other networks about his response to the attack in which two suspected terrorists attempted to ram into the airport's main terminal. (See the CNN interview.) In a Glaswegian accent that is at times impenetrable -- Australia's Channel 7 subtitled its interview with him -- Mr. Smeaton voiced a defiance that has turned him into a de facto spokesman for Glasgow's fighting spirit. His message to terrorists: "You come to Glasgow, we don't stand for it," he says. "We'll just set aboot ye." (Translation: "In Glasgow, we'll just deck you.")
By the next evening, an admirer had created a Web site devoted to Mr. Smeaton -- nicknaming him Smeato. It includes links to his media interviews, purported details from his past (he once owned a ferret) and a plea for Britons to buy him a pint in the bar at the airport's Holiday Inn hotel. There is also a picture of Osama bin Laden with the caption: "You told me John Smeaton was off on Saturdays!"