California student says airline removed him for being Arabic

Los Angeles, Apr 18: A University of California, Berkeley student and former Iraqi refugee says he was unfairly removed from a flight in Los Angeles this month because another passenger was alarmed by an innocent conversation he was having in Arabic.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement Sunday that the passenger, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was taken off the April 9 flight to Oakland for questioning.


But the airline said it has not received a direct complaint from Makhzoomi and he has not responded to attempts to reach him.

Makhzoomi tells the New York Times that he was calling his uncle before the flight to tell him about a speech he had attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and mentioned the Islamic State group because he had asked the secretary general a question on the subject. The FBI says it responded by request, but it found no further action necessary. 


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