Bush Scandals List

268. Abdallah Higazy mistakenly arrested and held after 9/11

Abdallah Higazy was an Egyptian staying in New York on 9/11. His hotel was evacuated and hotel employees found in his room a radio capable of communicating with airline pilots. Higazy was subsequently arrested. He denied knowing anything about the radio. Nevertheless, an FBI agent Michael Templeton was able to coerce a confession out of Higazy by threatening retaliation against his family in Egypt (a country which tortures). In a bail hearing on January 11, 2002, the government used Higazy’s varying accounts of the radio to argue that he could not be trusted and should not be granted bail. Then, his case took an unexpected turn. An airline pilot returned to the hotel where Higazy had been staying and asked if they had seen his radio. As a result of this, Higazy was freed but sued the hotel and the FBI agent. On October 18, 2007, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the FBI agent had violated Higazy’s Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination. The opinion was originally posted on line then withdrawn and reposted the next day with the part about Templeton’s threats removed.

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