A Portuguese actor humming a prayer as he meditated to a sacred Tibetan text onboard a plane awaiting takeoff from Paris was mistaken for a terrorist by alarmed passengers and taken off the flight by police.
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"Police told me that I had been denounced as a terrorism suspect aboard the plane because I was reciting the Koran aloud, that I was reading a text involving words 'death' and 'bomb'," the man, Heitor Lourenco, said in remarks aired by SIC television on Thursday.
The incident occurred on Tuesday.
Lourenco, 47, said his text, which he was reading on a tablet device, contained Tibetan characters and the device had the timer on to tell him how long he had meditated, which probably caused associations with a bomb.
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He was released after six hours of questioning during which police watched videos of him on the Internet showing that he is a theater and television actor, and checked his profile on Wikipedia, which states that he is a Buddhist.