Professor questioned as terror suspect on flight over math equation
An Ivy League professor aboard an American Airlines flight was questioned after a passenger mistook a math equation for Arabic and possible Islamic code for a terrorist attack.
Guido Menzio, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was working on a differential math equation as the Syracuse-bound plane was preparing to take off from Philadelphia.
The 41-minute flight was delayed by two hours as the olive-skinned, curly, dark-haired native Italian was questioned.
A blond-haired woman wearing flip-flops and appearing to be in her 30s had passed a note to a flight attendant. American Airlines flight 3950 returned to the gate at Philadelphia International Airport and was met by what he described as an "FBI-looking man in black."
He learned the woman thought he was a terrorist.
After realizing he was only doing math, the flight took off minus the complaining passenger. The woman boarded a later flight for Syracuse. Menzio boarded the original flight again.