PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union says he finds it perplexing that a federal appeals court has rejected a former college student’s lawsuit over his detention at an airport after he was found to be carrying Arabic language flashcards.

Nicholas George says the Transportation Security Administration and FBI agents violated his constitutional rights during the August 2009 stop at Philadelphia International Airport.

A district judge rejected the agents’ assertion of immunity. But the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed Tuesday and said the agents were justified in detaining him briefly to investigate.

ACLU attorney Benjamin Wizner says the decision could be appealed to the full 3rd Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court and didn’t affect legal action against Philadelphia police or the federal government.

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