Follow-up: Arab passengers removed from UK flight come forward

They sound surprisingly mellow and understanding compared to what you’d expect. Very cool.

I wouldn’t rule out possibility 2 entirely, but I do think possibility 3’s taken the lead. From the Mirror:

The pair, studying for degrees at Manchester’s Umist institution, believe the scare was sparked by an elderly lady sitting nearby.

Khurram said: “We were chatting away in Urdu and she kept looking at us.

“At first I didn’t really take any notice. I just thought perhaps she’d never seen an Asian person before.”

Sohail added: “She had to move to let us sit down and I knew straight away that something was bothering her.

“I tried my best to ignore her but she started asking me questions like where we lived and how long we had been in Malaga.

“When I told her we had only gone for the day she became even more suspicious. She kept saying that was a strange thing to do.

“Suddenly she got up and walked toward the cockpit.”

I think we can take an educated guess now how the “30 minutes left to live” nonsense got started.