Iraqi Passengers Sue American Airlines After Pilot Ditches Flight

American Airlines is defending a pilot who abandoned a flight to Chicago after reports of suspicious behavior by passengers of Iraqi descent.

Six men are suing the Fort Worth-based airline — claiming they were victims of discrimination in August 2007.

A federal judge in Detroit is scheduled to hear arguments today on American's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

The plane was supposed to fly to Chicago late at night. Before takeoff, the aircraft was returned to the gate at San Diego International Airport, and all passengers traveled to Chicago the next day.

The men were leaving San Diego after training U.S. Marines about Iraqi culture.

In a court filing, American says Capt. John Plummer's decision was based on a potential threat to security — not nationality.