Nicholas Geroge. ACLU
A former college student detained for hours at Philadelphia International Airport because he was carrying Arabic flashcards has settled his lawsuit against the US government, according to court papers the American Civil Liberties Union unveiled Friday.
The $25,000 settlement (PDF)—dated Wednesday—ends five years of litigation that commenced after Nicholas George was detained for having Arabic-English flashcards with words like “terrorist” and bomb.” He was 21 at the time and on his way to California, where he was a senior at Pomona College majoring in physics and Middle Eastern studies.
“At the metal detector at airport security, Transportation Security Administration agents asked me to empty my pockets. I took the set of flashcards from my pocket and handed them to the officers. After I cleared the metal detector, they asked me to step aside for additional screening,” he wrote in a blog post Friday. “One of them started rifling through the cards, and another took the book out of my carry-on. The minutes ticked by, and I got more confused about why I was being detained and more concerned that I would miss my flight. One of them called a supervisor.”
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