The Latest: LAX police say Arabic-speaking man broke no law

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a University of California, Berkeley, student removed from an airliner after a passenger observed him speaking in Arabic on his phone: (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

A spokesman for Los Angeles International Airport police says officers have concluded a University of California, Berkeley student broke no laws when he spoke in Arabic on his cellphone while seated on a Southwest Airlines plane.

Officer Rob Pedregon of the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department said Monday that officers from his department and agents from the FBI both interviewed Khairuldeen Makhzoomi after he was taken off the April 9 flight.

Southwest Airlines says another Arabic-speaking passenger heard Makhzoomi mention a terrorist organization during his conversation and became alarmed.

Makhzoomi says he made a passing reference to Islamic State while telling his uncle about a speech he had attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"The statement he made was not illegal, there was nothing that involved threats or anything like that so he was released," Pedregon said.

He said airport police consider the case closed.