Six imams who were removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis in 2006 have reached a tentative settlement of their discrimination lawsuit.
The imams' attorney, Omar Mohammedi, said Tuesday that all sides agreed to the settlement at a conference Monday. But he said the details still need to be finalized and the settlement needs to be approved by a federal judge.
Mohammedi declined to comment on the terms of the settlement but saids the six imams are satisfied with it.
An attorney for US Airways, Michael Lindberg, declined comment.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission had no immediate information.
The six Muslim imams were removed from the Phoenix-bound flight after passengers reported what they considered suspicious behavior.
They sued the airline, saying that unnamed "John Doe" passengers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported that they engaged in "suspicious" behavior — praying in the terminal — before they boarded the plane.
The lawsuit alleged that US Airways unlawfully removed the six imams from Flight 300 for discriminatory reasons based on race, religion, ethnicity, or other outside appearances.
The lawsuit said US Airways has "falsely claimed" the imams' "suspicious" behavior, including saying "God is Great" in Arabic on the plane, talking about President Bush and Iraq and purchasing one-way tickets with cash. Passengers also reported that some of the imams asked for seat belt extenders and switched seats.
The suit says one of the imams was blind, and his friend asked another passenger if he would help him by switching seats. The passenger agreed, the suit alleged.
According to the lawsuit, the same imam regularly requests a seatbelt extension when flying.
According to the lawsuit, police arrived at the scene after receiving a call from the airline. The imams were forced off the plane, searched, handcuffed and held against their will for hours without explanation. The imams claim they were questioned by the FBI about where they were from, whether they did anything out of the ordinary in the airport and whether they wanted to do harm to the president of the United States.
An internal probe by US Airways found there was no racial profiling in the incident.