Muslim family booted off U.S. airline after comments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Muslim family that was ordered off an AirTran Airways flight on New Year’s Day said on Friday that they were told they could not reboard or rebook a flight on the discount airline even after security officials cleared them for travel.

Atif Irfan said in an interview with CNN that federal authorities removed him, seven family members and a friend from the flight after passengers overheard members of the group talking about the safest place to sit on the plane. He said they were being careful to avoid any “buzz” words like “bomb” that would trigger a security alert.

The group was flying out of Reagan Washington National Airport and was headed for a religious retreat in Florida when other passengers apparently overheard the conversation and reported it to authorities.

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