British Court Denies Bail to Algerian Pilot Linked to Sept. 11 Incidents

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Friday, February 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On December 10, 2001, High Court judge Duncan Ousely denied bail to Lotfi Raissi, an Algerian pilot accused of helping train a hijacker suspected of crashing a plane into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. U.S. authorities have requested his extradition on tow counts of falsifying an application for a U.S. pilot?s license. The U.S. Government alleges Mr. Raissi concealed a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had a knee operation. British prosecutor Brian Gibbons acted for the U.S. Government. He argued that Britain has not received an extradition request for the eleven counts, including conspiracy to file a false immigration claim, on which an Arizona grand jury has indicted him. Justice Ousely found the extradition charges were not serious in themselves. However, Justice Ousely explained he was troubled by the terrorist background and the potential that Mr. Raissi may abscond if granted bail.