Sohail Ashraf and Khurram Zeb were removed from a flight from Malaga to Manchester recently when other passengers refused to fly with them. In the full version of this story, they deny that they were staging their odd behavior in order to provoke the passengers’ reaction. But there are plenty of unanswered questions about their behavior. “Asian students forced to deny airline mutiny was a set-up,” from The Independent, with thanks to Nicolei:
Mr Ashraf and Mr Zeb were removed from the late-night Airbus A320 by order of the captain, who had been contacted by several passengers worried by their appearance and behaviour after they boarded the plane. They were said to have been talking loudly in Urdu, and wearing suspiciously heavy clothes. When the airline looked into details of their itinerary, the pair were detained pending further security checks….
Industry sources revealed they booked their flights after the recent security scare began on 10 August, paying Â£166 each for the day-trip to Malaga. Although they have claimed that the purpose of the visit was to carry out research for a holiday in September, the pair decided to take an evening flight to the resort. It touched down at 7.25pm, leaving them just a few hours in Malaga before they had to check in for the 3am return journey.
The story goes on to point out that if they were really carrying out “research for a holiday,” would they choose a flight that enabled them to see the resort only in the dark? Also, they say they’re students at the the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), and have claimed that they can’t do any more interviews because they have exams, but the university is closed and this is not an exam period. University officials wouldn’t even confirm that they are really students there.
Daniel Pipes details other incidents of profiling.