Prominent Muslim spokesman Hussam Ayloush had pulled over his car to refuel on a trip from Southern California to visit family in Texas on Christmas Day when he had a thought.

A Russian military passenger jet en route to Syria had crashed in the Black Sea, he had learned earlier that morning, and after conducting  a cursory search on the model he deduced that type of aircraft usually carries soldiers.

He posted a message to Facebook and Twitter, and drove off.

"I'm sad about the crashed Russian military jet. The TU-154 could have carried up to 180 military personnel instead of just 92!" the tweet read.

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