Passengers removed from international flight departing from Houston

Witness: 2 men were arguing in Arabic


HOUSTON – Two passengers who police say were removed from a plane due to suspicious activity caused the delay of an international flight at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The Houston Airport System said a KLM flight from Houston to Amsterdam was taxiing to depart IAH when the suspicious activity was reported and the plane returned to the cargo area.

“Two Arabic men were sitting next to each other," said one passenger, who asked not to be identified. "They were arguing in Arabic. A lady sitting next to them got really suspicious with that and she called the flight attendants.”

The two passengers were removed from the plane, which had 269 people on board.

The TSA said the flight crew was uncomfortable with the actions of the two passengers and Houston police and the FBI were called to investigate.

“They got handcuffed and take off the plane,” said Craig Duffy. “They didn’t say anything, they didn’t put up any resistance, they were handcuffed and walked off the flight.”

However, the FBI said no arrests have been made and there was no credible threat.

The flight was supposed to leave Houston at 3:30 p.m. At 10 p.m., people were still waiting in line to get re-booked. Officials said they expect most of those passengers will not get a flight out until Friday afternoon.