Published January 13, 2015
When Abdallah Higazy was released following a month in detention, the Egyptian student said he forgave the FBI for pursuing charges against him after an aviation radio found in his hotel room on Sept. 11.
But after some time to reflect, Higazy, the son of an Egyptian diplomat, now wants an apology from federal officials and an investigation, his lawyer said Monday.
"They have not issued an apology as of yet," said Higazy's lawyer, Robert Dunn.
Last week, federal prosecutors dropped charges against Higazy, 30, after another hotel guest, a private pilot, came forward and told officials the radio was his.
Dunn said Monday he will ask the courts this week to open an investigation into the case. He said the investigation's findings will determine whether a civil suit will be filed.
Marvin Smilon, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, declined to comment on the case Monday.
Higazy was charged with making false statements to investigators when he insisted he had never seen the radio that prosecutors said was found next to a Quran and his passport in his downtown hotel room.
The handheld device, called a transceiver, is marketed for use by pilots, enabling them to communicate with other pilots or to monitor pilot conversations.
Another guest at the hotel who went to claim his own belongings Jan. 14 told hotel officials that the radio belonged to him.
The government is investigating how the radio came to be found in Higazy's room. The private pilot who owns the radio was staying one floor below Higazy.
Higazy was held without bail for 30 days before being released last week by federal officials.
"To be absolutely honest, I don't blame the FBI for thinking it was mine," Higazy said at the time. He then offered to take two agents who interrogated him to dinner so everyone could "bury the hatchet."