Arab-Jewish Woman Strip Searched in Detroit Airport, Says She Was Ethnically Targeted

January 24, 2013 10:19 am 2 comments

Shoshana Hebshi, who says she was ethnically targeted on a US flight. Photo: Shoshanahebshi.com

Shoshana Hebshi is suing Frontier Airlines and federal agents, claiming she was “ethnically targeted for a strip search” after a flight from Denver to Detroit on September 11th, 2011 according to the Daily Mail. Hebshi, a 36 year old woman of mixed Arab and Jewish ethnicity from Sylvania, Ohio, was pulled off the plane in handcuffs after it landed in at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“One of the cops grabbed my arm a little harder than I would have liked. He slapped metal cuffs on my wrists and pushed me off the plane,” she said. Hebshi says she was ordered to remove her clothes, bend over, and cough while being searched.

Hebshi was sitting in a row with two Indian men during the flight. She says that one of her interrogators told her “that someone on the plane had reported that the three of us in row 12 were conducting suspicious activity.”

Hebshi contested the claim, saying, “What is the likelihood that two Indian men who didn’t know each other and a dark-skinned woman of Arab/Jewish heritage would be on the same flight from Denver to Detroit? Was that suspicion enough? Even considering that we didn’t say a word to each other until it became clear there were cops following our plane?’”

Hebshi was released without charge, along with the two men.

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