Woman pulled off Denver to Detroit flight over security scare files lawsuit against FBI, ICE, TSA

Suspicions raised with frequent bathroom visits

A half-Jewish, half-Arab woman is suing Frontier Airlines, the FBI, TSA and other government agencies after she was removed from a Denver to Detroit flight at gunpoint on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 because the men next to her went to the bathroom too many times.

Shoshana Hebshi, a 36-year-old freelance journalist from Ohio was taken off the flight after it landed in Detroit.  Two men of Indian descent sitting next to her were also removed after someone reported they were making multiple trips to the plane's lavatory during the flight from Denver.

FBI investigators questioned the three and found that one of the men was ill and that was why he was going to the lavatory so often.  The three did not know each other.

Hebshi wrote about her experience on her blog, detailing how she tweeted as the plane was stopped short of a gate after landing in Detroit, then brought to a secure location at the airport.  In her blog, she even described armed officers running up to the plane "carrying the biggest machine guns I've ever seen."  At the time, she had no idea she and the two men sitting next to her were the targets of the security sweep.

"I feel violated, humiliated and sure that I was taken from the plane simply because of my appearance," Hebshi wrote. She was born in California to a Jewish mother and Saudi father.

Her lawsuit seeks damages for "unreasonable search and seizure prohibited by the Fourth Amendment, and discrimination prohibited by the federal civil rights laws." In addition to the TSA, the FBI, and Frontier Airlines, the complaint also names U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),  and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as defendants.

The FBI's Detroit office declined comment on Hebshi's lawsuit when contacted by ABC News. Both the TSA and Frontier Airlines said they could not comment on pending litigation.

Hebshi vowed she will never fly again on Sept. 11.

Print this article Back to Top