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Shoshana Hebshi, Ohio woman shocked by being taken from plane in US

Shoshana Hebshi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday that she believes she was targeted because of her Middle Eastern appearance.

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This photo supplied by its subject, Shoshana Hebshi, was taken on Sept. 13. Hebshi said she was strip-searched after being led in handcuffs from a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit on Sept. 11.

Shoshana Hebshi/AP

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An U.S. woman who was one of three people taken off an airplane at Detroit's airport and questioned on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks says she was shocked when armed officers stopped at her row and ordered her off.

Shoshana Hebshi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday that she believes she was targeted because of her Middle Eastern appearance. Hebshi, who describes herself as half-Arabic, half-Jewish with a dark complexion, said she endured nearly four hours in police custody that included being forced off an airplane in handcuffs, strip-searched and interrogated.

Authorities say fighter jets escorted the Denver-to-Detroit Frontier Airlines flight after its crew reported that two people were spending a long time in a bathroom — the two men sitting next to Hebshi in the 12th row.

The FBI has said the three didn't know each other. One man felt ill and got up to use the restroom and another man in the same row also left his seat to go to the bathroom. The FBI said they never were inside together.

Hebshi told the AP she didn't notice how many times the men went to the bathroom. "I wasn't keeping track," she said.

"I really wasn't paying attention," said Hebshi, a freelance writer, editor and stay-at-home mother of twin six-year-old boys. "I was minding my own business — sleeping, reading, playing on my phone."

Hebshi has written extensively on her blog about the incident, saying she felt "violated, humiliated and sure that I was being taken from the plane simply because of my appearance."

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