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Tue 19 Oct 2010 12:34 PM

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Saudi pilot students in terror alert on US flight

Saudi students held after emergency landing by Delta Airlines domestic flight

Saudi pilot students in terror alert on US flight
The Delta Airlines domestic flight made an emergency landing after an alert was raised

A domestic flight between Minneapolis and Grand Forks in the United States was
diverted after Delta Airlines crew became suspicious of three Saudi Arabian
passengers.

However, it has since emerged that
rather then being terrorists, the passengers were actually students who had
travelled from the Middle East to learn English and undertake an aviation course at
the University of North Dakota (UND).

Their programme was part of a new
pilot training contract issued to UND’s Aerospace Foundation last month by the
Saudi Arabian government, according to a report in the Grand Forks Herald
newspaper.

The terrorist alert was sparked on a
Delta Airlines flight that departed from Minneapolis with 20 passengers on
Sunday.

Reports suggested a fire extinguisher
or smoke detector “had been fiddled with” in the bathroom by one of the Saudi passengers,
leading to an emergency landing at Fargo’s Hector International Airport.

The three men were detained, each
placed in the back of Fargo police squad cars, and questioned for several
hours, a source told the Grand Forks Herald. Meanwhile, a search of the
aircraft found no explosives on board.

After being cleared, the students
were collected by Chuck Pineo, chief operating officer and executive director
of the UND Aerospace Foundation.

“We’re assuming that folks acted in good faith and we
realize these are different times in terms of aviation than just a few years
ago,” commented Peter Johnson, spokesman for UND.

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RAM 8 years ago

what can i say typical American , they are clueless on arab , hence all Arabs are rich Muslim and t..... , i think we have a duty to educate you wants to know , since been half arab half american some just does not care .

Rahul 8 years ago

No one is forcing arabs to go to the USA or Europe. If they dont like the way they are being treated/perceived then dont go there!!

arablady 8 years ago

well, whoever fiddles with a smoke detector, should be detained, whether he's an Arab or not. Being pilot students, they should know very well that they can't do that. So were they careless, irresponsible, playing childish, well, they have to pay for what they did.

An Arab.

Patrick Abas 8 years ago

I would like to add to the previous comment this:
'Yes very tipical American behavious as they are indeed clueless not just to Arab but to the rest of the world'. They have no idea what is going on in the world see terrorists everywhere and would, if they had a choice, like to be seperated from their own shadow because it might be a terrorist.

Thay need tot wake up and realise that they are the ones creating this problem.

Omar 8 years ago

Although i fully support the swift action of the US authorities by not taking any risk, those Saudis should pay for their irresponsible behaviour. Few hours should not have been sufficient (maybe several months). Rahul, USA as a nation consists of different ethnics including Arabs so your opinion is not really adequate. Having said so, i support searching every person coming to the USA including all Arabs!

Ben 8 years ago

I am for full search of everybody for passangers safety. No compromise on that. However, everytime there is a quote" reports say that" It does not mean necessarly that these things happened. We are also free to think that after finding out that these guys are genuine students, they had to come up with a story, like the mass destruction weapons for Iraq. We were not there and we will never know what really happened. This should not be a reason to write against arabs or americans. You have stupid people everywhere.

Mujeeb 8 years ago

The very first lesson is to respect the law of the country where you are going or passing by. If they really fiddles with a smoke dectector, then they should have to face the charges.    Transparent enquiry of the concerned Authorities should be done in order to satisfy the Arab world that thier is no Anti  Arab hatred factor  involved , when a pilot or trainee pilot do such foolishness, knowing the consiquences far better than a common man