"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The title comes from the fact that the government loses contact with the special forces after the board the plane and it becomes an "executive decision", i.e. a decision from the President, whether or not to shoot the plane down to prevent it. The officials on the ground make a huge deal about this, ruminate about the moral and political ramifications of such a and think it will ruin the administration in the eyes of the public to do so, especially without proof that a bomb is on board, even though the public knows that the flight has been hijacked. The fighter planes even try to get the plane to turn around with them as escort. In the aftermath of 9/11 however, it has become official and highly publicised US policy that a plane is liable to be shot out of the sky if it is even suspected of being hijacked by suicide bombers, never mind suicide bombers who have a weapon of mass destruction on board- if such an incident happened in Real Life today, the plane may have been shot down pretty much immediately.
Harsher in Hindsight: A Middle Eastern terrorist group is behind a bombing in London, and they later hijack a plane with which they plan to attack Washington D.C.. "Ouch" doesn't start to describe how much harsher this film is today.
Magnificent Bastard: Nagi Hasan is a ruthless extremist and would-be mass murderer, but he is a highly intelligent Diabolical Mastermind who seizes control of his terrorist cell by manipulating the Americans into capturing the leader, his superior, and using this to manipulate the cell into carrying out a terrorist atrocity under the guise of releasing said leader from ransom, when in reality he intends to launch an assault on the United States and slaughter millions of people regardless of whether they accede to his demands or not. He accounts for numerous variables, notices every mistake the heroes make and nearly catches them each time, immediately sees through the Senators' bullshit when he tries to "negotiate" in order to score political points, and when the heroes seemingly thwart his plans manages to nearly win a Pyrrhic Victory by killing the pilots.
Values Resonance: Sadly, after 9/11 and the rise of groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, a film like this which was considered complete fantasy when it was released has become a potentially plausible scenario that could really happen.