Two Middle-Eastern men were detained by federal and local authorities Saturday night at Sky Harbor International Airport after passengers on their U.S. Airways flight told flight attendants the pair was "acting suspiciously."
The men weren't running up the aisles screaming "Allah Akbar" -- according to the FBI, the "suspicious" behavior that spooked a few passengers was that the men were "speaking loudly" in their native language and watching the movie The Kingdom on DVD.
Watching Jamie Foxx try to act (with the exception of Ray) is probably enough to make most people want to raise their voices, but when a Middle-Easterner does it on an airplane, it's apparently grounds for an investigation.
Authorities say the men were speaking excitedly, while a scene in the movie depicted a suicide bomber. At that point, one of the men got up to use the bathroom even though the fasten-seatbelt sign was on.
"The totality of those three occurrences led this passenger to believe this was suspicious," FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson tells the Arizona Republic.
When the plane landed, the men were met by authorities, who questioned and released them, but not before delaying the plane's next flight to Orlando, Florida, more than an hour as dogs searched the aircraft.
The dogs found nothing suspicious, and authorities say the two men were cooperative with the FBI. They were not charged and released in time to catch their connecting flight to California.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.