Algiers (AFP) – An Algerian pilot cleared in Britain of any role in the 9/11 attacks appealed to visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday to help lift a US arrest warrant that has grounded him for a decade.
“I’ve written a book to tell my story. Your Justice Department has huge volumes of files that are of no use because they find me innocent,” Lotfi Raissi wrote in an open letter, published in Liberte newspaper.
“Even by winning all the cases against my accusers across the world, the United States remains deaf to the truth,” wrote the pilot, who lived near Heathrow airport in London at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Raissi was arrested together with an Air France hostess and his brother 10 days after the attacks when Islamist extremists hijacked four planes, slamming two into the World Trade Center in New York, one into the Pentagon in Washington, and downing one in Pennsylvania.
He was accused of having trained the 19 Islamist militants who carried out the attacks.
The two others were released while Raissi was interrogated for four-and-a-half months before being cleared in Britain, but the case has remained open in the United States.
In the letter, he explains he has a wish “to be like you. To take a plane. To be free to travel around the world.”