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View Full Version : Egyptian with "Pilot Radio" Near 911 WTC Charged


Airbubba
11th Jan 2002, 22:55
Maybe just a coincidence, maybe not...

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Egyptian With Pilot Radio Charged

The Associated Press
Friday, January 11, 2002; 12:44 PM

NEW YORK A man staying in a hotel overlooking the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 was charged with perjury Friday after denying he knew anything about a radio in his room that can monitor conversations between pilots.

Abdallah Higazy, who had an Egyptian passport, was charged in a criminal complaint brought in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where a grand jury has been investigating the terrorist attacks that demolished that two 110-story towers, killing about 2,900 people.

In the complaint, FBI Agent Christopher E. Bruno said Higazy denied any knowledge of the hand-held radio, which was found in Room 5101 at the Millenium Hilton Hotel, across the street from the Trade Center site.

The radio was found inside the room's digital combination-lock safe on top of other items, including the passport and a copy of an Arabic book, according to the complaint.

Bruno said that Higazy denied ever seeing the radio when he was asked about the transceiver, which is marketed for use by pilots, enabling them to communicate air-to-air and air-to-ground with other pilots or to monitor other pilot conversations

allianceair
12th Jan 2002, 00:16
What would be the point of having a transceiver in that location? Was he communicating or guiding the aircraft in or what?

gyrohead
12th Jan 2002, 12:59
Abdallah " I know nothing about a tranceiver in my room"

FBI " But we have your fingeprints on it, a picture of you using it, and a recording of your voice speaking into it in Arabic!"

Abadllah " Ok I remember now!, that is mine! "

This could become like a very bad Monty Python sketch. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

MissChief
12th Jan 2002, 14:12
Cuba for this lad, I reckon!

Bon Giorno
17th Jan 2002, 15:29
"Another hotel guest, who is a private pilot, told officials this
week the radio belonged to him, said Marvin Smilon, a spokesman for
the U.S. attorney's office."

<a href="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020117/ts/attacks_aviation_radio_14.html" target="_blank">http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020117/ts/attacks_aviation_radio_14.html</a>

But go ahead - gyrohead, Misschief - feel free to grace us with further pearls of your undoubted wisdom.

SaturnV
17th Jan 2002, 16:03
Charges dropped. Just shows the judgments that can sometimes be made from a partial or erroneous set of facts. Mind you, this Egyptian spent a month in jail for telling the truth.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Charges were dropped Wednesday [January 16] against an Egyptian student accused of lying to federal investigators about an
aviation radio found in his hotel room near the World Trade Center.

Another hotel guest, who is a private pilot, told officials this week the radio belonged to him, said Marvin Smilon, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Abdallah Higazy, the 30-year-old son of an Egyptian diplomat, was charged Friday with making false statements. Prosectors accused him of interfering with the investigation into the Sept. 11 attack, which demolished the 110-story twin towers. During his month in custody, he insisted he knew nothing of the hand-held radio.

"The FBI has verified that the aviation radio found in Mr. Higazy's room belongs to this other man,'' reads a two-page document filed late Wednesday by prosecutors.

The FBI had initially said a Millennium Hilton Hotel employee found the radio in a safe in Higazy's room along with his Egyptian passport, a copy of the Quran and a gold medallion.

But according to the document filed Wednesday by prosecutors, the employee later said he found the radio on a table in Higazy's room on the 51st floor.

Prosecutors said it was unclear how the radio may have gotten from the 50th floor, where the pilot was staying, but a number of people had been in Higazy's room between Sept. 11 and when the
radio was found. There had been no contact between the two hotel guests, prosecutors said.

Smilon said prosecutors asked that the charges against Higazy be dismissed after the pilot went to claim his belongings Monday and said the radio belonged to him. A judge approved the dismissal
Wednesday, and it was unclear whether Higazy had been freed, Smilon said.

The hotel, which is across the street from the trade center, was evacuated Sept. 11. Higazy was questioned by FBI agents Dec. 17 when he returned to the still-closed hotel to retrieve his
possessions. He denied ever seeing the radio but was arrested as a material witness in the attacks investigation.

A telephone call to Higazy's lawyer, Robert S. Dunn, went unanswered Wednesday night. Dunn had said his client was a victim of circumstance in a case based on circumstantial evidence, and that Higazy begged for a lie detector test to prove his
innocence.

"We're quite suspicious right now of anyone of Arab descent and anyone who can be remotely linked to 9-11,'' Dunn said after his client was charged Friday.

Higazy's name had not surfaced publicly in the trade center investigation before he was charged. The criminal complaint against him drew no direct connection between him and the hijackers, who included Saudis and some Egyptians.

The aviation radio, called a transceiver, is marketed for use by pilots, enabling them to communicate air-to-air and air-to-ground with other pilots or to monitor other pilot onversations.

Higazy was enrolled at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn last September as a graduate student in computer engineering, the school said.

Authorities said a student aid group in Washington directed Higazy to stay at the hotel until he could find more permanent housing. He
checked into the hotel on Aug. 27 and was scheduled to check out Sept. 25.

Monkey See Monkey Do
17th Jan 2002, 16:07
Hmm,
Certainly does show what hysteria can do. Sounds like this guy was put through a hell of a lot, all on a single employee trying to be "helpfull".

Do they have "innocent until proven guilty" in America? Maybe that was scrapped in favour for getting at the terroists..
(which i hasten to add is what i am all for)

MSMD

N380UA
17th Jan 2002, 16:13
It all plays in to the terrorist frenzy, currently consuming the world and in particular the US.
People being arrested for “dumb” comments, extra visas for flight crews, fingerprinting for flights crews with sectors to SLC during the Olympic games.

If we regard people with hand-held radios as terrorists today, then tomorrow we will start arresting those who even mention the aspiration of becoming a pilot – private or commercial.

As there certainly is ground and need to be vigilant, a reality check seems to becoming increasingly important as well.

londonlad
17th Jan 2002, 16:28
It's funny how a certain 1/2 people on the post were ready to 'send the guy to cuba!' I really think that people need to start looking beyond, and actually stop assuming anyone 'remotely' arab looking is involved. I personally think what's happened has happened and that security should be stepped in an appropriate way by appropriate bodies. Not by 'have a go hero' hotel staff accusing innocent people about being involved in such terror. Sept 11 has come, and gone. It's scared, but it's gone. Lets wise up and move on. Dwelling over the issue sure won't do any good to the industry we all love.

Hummm....reading that again, maybe its a bit off topic, but just got a bit annoid reading this post. No offence meant to anyone on-board.

El Grifo
18th Jan 2002, 23:28
Lighten up Gangsta,its the weekend.

At least Misscheif's contribution is "textual" and I repeat "textual"- - - - unlike that of superpilot, who is constrained by his beliefs, to the use of symbols

Airbubba
19th Jan 2002, 02:29
Here's a similar case where they made the charges stick:

January 18, 2002

Phony Pilot Found Guilty of Lying
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Filed at 6:06 a.m. ET


NEW YORK (AP) -- An Egyptian man who raised suspicion one week after the terrorist attacks when he was found carrying a fake pilot's uniform and license has been found guilty of lying about his plans to attend flight school.

But Wael Abdel Rahman Kishk, 21, was cleared by a jury Thursday on a second charge of trying to impersonate a pilot by carrying a forged document.

Kishk, 21, faces up to five years in prison on a federal charge of making false statements, though sentencing guidelines suggest a maximum term of only six months. He also faces deportation. Sentencing was set for Feb. 18.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton said the verdict "sends a message that if you lie to federal agents in the middle of an investigation, you'll be prosecuted and convicted.''

Defense attorney Michael Schneider again insisted his client was nothing more than a young man who wanted to be a pilot.

"I can understand the government was suspicious,'' he said. "But not every Egyptian or Arab who wants to be a pilot is a terrorist.''

The government has conceded it has no evidence Kishk, who had a valid U.S. visa, was party to the terrorist plot. But prosecutors argued the fact that he appeared to fit the profile of the men who turned jetliners into weapons of mass destruction made his crimes more serious.

Kishk was detained at Kennedy International Airport in New York on Sept. 19 after arriving on a flight from Barcelona, Spain, that had originated in Cairo. During a routine search of his luggage, immigration agents discovered a fake Federal Aviation Administration document purportedly giving him medical clearance to fly.

Prosecutors alleged Kishk wanted to use the fake document to pass himself off as a pilot. They also accused him of lying about why he was in the country: to attend aviation classes at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Wash.

The FBI, fearing a second wave of terrorist attacks, asked Kishk repeatedly, '"Do you intend to take flight lessons?''' Holton said in closing statements.

"Over and over again, he denied it,'' insisting he was bound for business school, the prosecutor added.

Schneider, responding to evidence Kishk had contacted the Washington college about taking aviation courses, suggested his client changed his mind after Sept. 11. He admitted his client used "poor judgment.''

"But you don't convict people of crimes because they don't do the smartest things,'' the defense attorney said.

The FAA document was a crude forgery, full of misspellings, which Kishk crafted himself to try to convince a girlfriend he had achieved his dream of being a pilot, Schneider said.

"If he intended to pass it off as genuine, wouldn't he have proofread it?'' he said.

FFFlyer
19th Jan 2002, 22:13
I think the word is 'made the charges stick'.
NYP - 13/1/02
"Higazy, it is alleged, had a ground-to-air radio in his hotel room safe, overlooking ground zero on Sept. 11.
On Friday, he told U.S. Magistrate Robert Maas he had accurately filled out a form saying he was broke.
So he got a court-appointed lawyer because he was just a struggling student attending Polytechnic University in Brooklyn since Sept. 4.
Now how does a student who is broke afford a hotel for almost a month?
Some of those rooms in the Millenium Hotel cost up to $300 a night, but because Higazy booked in from Aug. 27 to Sept. 25, he might have gotten a break on the bill.
Still, for a student who's got a case of the shorts, it is the kind of tab for almost a month that you and I would not want to afford.
That is of course, unless the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington paid for it.
You see, Higazy, who had this high-tech pilot radio on him, was on an agency scholarship to study computer engineering. Read that: On our tax dollars.
Now, his court-appointed lawyer, Robert Dunn, said Higazy's stay at the Millenium was arranged by the agency.
Now what does arranged mean? Paid for by the agency, or did they just pick out the hotel from the Yellow Pages and tell Higazy to pick up the tab himself?
Higazy denied owning the radio, then allegedly 'fessed up, and then allegedly gave three different versions of how this radio was found in his hotel room safe.
Now, of course, it emerged that Higazy is an Egyptian Army veteran who apparently is an expert on these particular radios. Possibly just a coincidence, of course?
Now lawyer Dunn, in a failed attempt to get his client Higazy bail on a perjury charge, said the student's father, a former diplomat, would come up with the loot.
If pops was going to pay a whopping bail bill, how come he can't pay for a lawyer?
Dunn, in a brave attempt to defend Higazy, pointed out that the day the Millenium Hotel was evacuated on Sept. 11, there was chaos. And in that chaos, Dunn suggested someone could have entered his room and planted the radio."