Saleh’s video of the incident went viral Wednesday, along with his claim that he was kicked out “because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone.” Shortly afterwards, however, others pointed out that Saleh had a history of making videos about fake anti-Muslim racial profiling incidents and prank videos about planes in particular:
In a “small world” moment, veteran journalist and former CNN host Soledad O’Brien tweeted Wednesday morning that she actually knew someone who was on the flight, who provided her with some background.
O’Brien’s source told her that the Delta flight attendants were made aware that Saleh was a YouTube prankster.
Moreover, the source also told O’Brien that those aboard the flight were disputing the claim that he made a phone call to his mother, as Saleh claims in the video.
[Image via screengrab]
UPDATE 7:11 p.m. EST: Delta has issued a follow-up statement obtained by Mediaite’s sister site LawNewz finding that Saleh was being disruptive:
Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting. This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight.
UPDATE 9:37 p.m. EST: Saleh responded in a tweet tonight: