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JetBlue Removes Middle Eastern Toddler Accidentally On No-Fly List

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File photo of a JetBlue plane. (credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

File photo of a JetBlue plane. (credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Officials say an 18-month-old girl was mistakenly pulled off a JetBlue flight before it left Fort Lauderdale because airline employees thought her name was on the U.S. no-fly list.

An airline employee boarded the Newark, N.J.-bound flight before it departed Tuesday evening, telling the family their toddler was on the federal list that includes thousands of known or suspected terrorists.

JetBlue on Thursday blamed the problem on a computer glitch, saying employees were following proper protocol. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration says the girl never was flagged by the agency.

The child’s parents told ABC affiliate WPBF they believe they were targeted because they are of Middle Eastern descent and the mother wears a hijab.

The family was cleared to re-board. But they declined, saying they were too embarrassed.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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