From the Associated Press :
Five Muslim football fans were detained and questioned during a New York Giants-New Orleans Saints game because they were congregating near the main air intake duct for Giants Stadium, not because they were praying, an FBI spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Several of the fans were expected to detail their experience from the Sept. 19 game at an afternoon news conference in Manhattan. One of the men, along with his lawyer, said Tuesday the five were unfairly profiled and detained because they had been praying at the stadium, as their Muslim faith requires five times a day.
But Special Agent Steven Siegel told The Associated Press that the men aroused suspicion because they were congregating near the main air intake duct for the stadium. Former President Bush was on hand that night as part of a fundraising campaign he and former President Clinton were leading for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“You had 80,000 people there, Bush 41 was there, and you had a group of gentlemen gathering in an area not normally used by the public right near the main air intake duct for the stadium, and a food preparation facility,” Siegel said. “It was where they were, not what they were doing.”
One of the men, who asked not to be identified because he said he fears harassment from the incident, said he and the other four had no idea they were near an air intake.
“I don’t even know what an air duct looks like,” he said. “To me, it was just a wall.”