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August 05, 2004

Watch What You Write

A Japanese man on a domestic flight in the U.S. was arrested after he was seen writing down the words "suicide bomb," but he was released without charge after explaining that it was an impromptu English exercise. The 60-year-old businessman told investigators he came across the words in a newspaper and wanted to look up their meaning, said a police spokeswoman. "He teaches himself English by reading newspapers," she said. "It was all just a miscommunication." The man was aboard United Airlines flight to Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday when a fellow passenger spotted the words and alerted an attendant. The flight returned to Chicago, where the man was taken into custody and all of the other 120 passengers were taken off the plane and rescreened. Investigators also searched the plane. "Nothing panned out and he was released," police said.

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