The dispute occurred about 1 p.m. Thursday as AirTran flight 175 was preparing for takeoff from Reagan National Airport outside of Washington, D.C., on a flight destined for Orlando, Florida.
Atif Irfan, his brother, their wives, a sister and three children were headed to Orlando to meet with family and attend a religious conference.
"The conversation, as we were walking through the plane trying to find our seats, was just about where the safest place in an airplane is," Sahin said. "We were (discussing whether it was safest to sit near) the wing, or the engine or the back or the front, but that's it. We didn't say anything else that would raise any suspicion." Video Watch Muslims recount how they were kicked off plane »
The conversation did not contain the words "bomb," "explosion," "terror" or other words that might have aroused suspicion, Irfan said.
"When we were talking, when we turned around, I noticed a couple of girls kind of snapped their heads," said Sobia Ijaz, Irfan's wife. "I kind of thought to myself, 'Oh, you know, maybe they're going to say something.' It didn't occur to me that they were going to make it such a big issue."
Some time later, while the plane was still at the gate, an FBI agent boarded the plane and asked Irfan and his wife to leave the plane. The rest of the family was removed 15 or 20 minutes later, along with a family friend, Abdul Aziz, a Library of Congress attorney and family friend who was coincidentally taking the same flight and had been seen talking to the family. |CNN|