The computer technician, a Jordanian raised in Saudi Arabia, had celebrated his becoming a Canadian citizen in August 2001 by making a trip from Vancouver to several eastern cities including New York and Washington.
"It was said by many that on that day (Sept 11), the world changed forever. That was certainly so for Mr. Asad," panel member Abraham Okazaki wrote in the tribunal's more than 200-page ruling.
A company receptionist with a "highly active imagination" suspected Asad was involved because he was a young Arab Muslim who had been critical of U.S. foreign policy, according to the ruling.
"Finally, she embellished that profile with exaggerations, assumptions and products of her imagination, spinning threads of innocent events into a web of suspicion around Mr. Asad," Okazaki wrote.
The woman contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who interrogated Asad on Sept 17, 2001, at his workplace, and the next day at a police station. No charges were ever filed and the RCMP never contacted him again.
The tribunal ruled that Asad's employer, Kinexus, a small biotech firm, failed to protect him from racially based accusations that had "poisoned" his workplace. It was ordered to pay him C$6,000 ($5,940) in damages and C$5,000 in costs.
The ill-effects of a tradition among some people.