Muslim minister is held at US airport

BRITAIN'S first Muslim minister said he was "deeply disapp-ointed" yesterday after being detained at a US airport where his hand luggage was tested for traces of explosive materials.

Shahid Malik, the MP for Dewsbury and an international development minister, was returning to Heathrow after meetings and talks on tackling terrorism, when he was stopped at Dulles Airport near Washington yesterday morning.

He was searched and detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - the department whose representatives he had been meeting on his visit.

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Mr Malik said: "After a few minutes a couple of other people were also taken to one side. We were all Muslims."

Mr Malik said he was particularly annoyed as he was detained for an hour at JFK airport in New York last year by the DHS - despite the fact that he was a keynote speaker at an event organised by the department.

After his 40-minute detention yesterday, he said: "I am deeply disappointed. There was no malice involved but it has to be said that the US system does not inspire confidence."