Pakistani couple sues airline over threat hoax

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A Pakistani couple is suing American Airlines after they were escorted off a plane in handcuffs based on a telephone hijacking threat that turned out to be a hoax.

The lawsuit, transferred to federal court on Tuesday, also names the San Francisco Police department.

Maheen and Shahbaz Taseer say they were held for several hours after being pulled from the flight on August 19, 2010. Shahbaz is the son of Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, who was recently assassinated by an Islamic extremist.

Authorities had been notified of a telephone threat that the plane would be hijacked. The threat was later determined to be a hoax. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

A call to American Airlines was not immediately returned. San Francisco police declined to comment.

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