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Seattlepi: Man forced off plane by fellow passengers

MADRID, Spain -- A Spanish university professor with a long beard and dark complexion said Thursday he was briefly forced off an airliner during a layover on the Spanish island of Mallorca by passengers who feared he was an Islamic terrorist.

Pablo Gutierrez Vega said he was humiliated when three German passengers on an Air Berlin flight approached him during a layover in Palma de Mallorca on Aug. 30 en route from Seville, Spain, to Dortmund, Germany, and asked to search his carry-on luggage.

The men told him that other passengers were frightened by his appearance, said Gutierrez Vega, 35, a law professor at the University of Seville.

"They treated me like an Islamic terrorist because of my appearance," Gutierrez Vega said, according to an account posted Thursday on the Web site of the newspaper El Pais.

The airline confirmed the incident and called it regrettable.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:54:23 AM EST
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