Two men temporarily kept off US flight after speaking Arabic


NEW YORK: Two men were kept from boarding a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia this week because they were speaking Arabic, one of several incidents reflecting public paranoia since the Paris attacks. Maher Khalil and Anas Ayyad were told by a gate agent at Midway Airport on Thursday that they wouldn’t be allowed on the plane because a fellow passenger had overheard them speaking Arabic—and was afraid to fly with them. The two friends reportedly of Palestinian origin and in their late 20s, were eventually allowed on the Southwest flight, but only after being questioned by airport security and police, who Khalil told the local NBC television affiliate he had called himself. Once on board, Khalil said some passengers made him open a white box he was carrying—filled, it turns out, with sweets.



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