US court mulls Arabic flashcards, Pa. airport stop
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lawyers for a college student handcuffed at Philadelphia International Airport for several hours over Arabic language flashcards asked a U.S. appeals court to uphold his lawsuit against five federal agents.
Nicholas George was “perp walked” — as one judge described it today— after Transportation Security Administration agents saw the words “bomb” and “terrorist” among his flashcards in 2009 and called police.
George is now a 24-year-old Google programmer. His father says George has also worked in the Mideast through a State Department program.
In arguments today, judges noted that airport security stops have different guidelines than drug stops because the public risk is greater if a questionable suspect boards an airplane. Yet they questioned why George was detained for nearly five hours.
The judges didn’t say when they would rule.