A British man was kicked off an EasyJet plane after a passenger read a message he sent to a Whatsapp group about ‘prayer’ and reported him as a security threat.

Laolu Opebiyi, 40, from London, was due to fly to Amsterdam last Thursday and had been trying to arrange a conference call prayer with friends on WhatsApp when he was reported by the passenger.

He was forced to hand over his phone and provide his password to prove his innocence.

Opebiyi was then questioned and cleared by a detective but the pilot refused to let him back on board.

He then had to wait more than three hours for the next flight.

He told the Guardian: ‘That guy doesn’t know me and within two minutes he’s judging me. Even if I was a Muslim, it was pretty unfair the way I was treated.

‘I don’t think anyone, irrespective of their religion should be treated in such a way.’

The passenger asked him what he meant by ‘prayer’ and Opebiyi explained that he was arranging to pray with his friends.

But he was questioned nevertheless and asked about the name of the Whatsapp group, ISI Men, which is reportedly an acronym from the bible quote ‘iron sharpens iron’.



It is believed the passenger misread the group to read ‘ISIS’.

Though he was given the all clear, when he returned the next day, the electronic passport gate did not let him through.

He said: ‘Someone felt I was a terrorist because they saw the word ‘prayer’ on my phone and now I stand in uncertainty about my freedom of movement in and out of the United Kingdom.’

An easyJet spokesman said: ‘The safety and security of its passengers and crew is our highest priority which means that if a security concern is raised we will always investigate it as a precautionary measure.

‘We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the passenger.’



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