At work today, I was talking with some coworkers about a British man flying to the U.A.E. who was recently detained for drunkedly making joke about having a bomb on a plane. I wanted to know more and immediately searched for information about it on the Net. I found a story about it and it wasn't until later that I noticed that I was looking at a story from a year and a half ago about a different British person flying to the U.A.E. who was detained for drunkedly making a joke about having a bomb on the plane. After reading that, I found the story we were talking about. Among the coworkers discussing the story, my British friend was the one who felt he deserved the punishment the most and lamented how stupid British travelers can be.
On the same search, I found another story from the past few weeks about a French guy who was also detained for making a truly offhand remark with the word "bomb." I actually feel sorry for this guy because it sounded like something I could imagine myself saying without thinking.
As was noted, I couldn't find any stories about Americans making jokes like that. I pointed out that it was because we as a nation are already so paranoid about air travel security that we know better than to make jokes. The moral of the story, don't say anything that could even be mistaken for the word "bomb" in an airplane, even in the Middle East.