Lotfi Raissi, 29, the first person accused of participating in attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, has filed for damages against the US department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

Raissi, who was detained by the British for five months following the attacks, says his life has been ruined by the trauma he was put through.

 

He said: “I love the US. I lived and trained there and had hoped to make a life for myself there in America. But the US together with the British police and prosecutors ruined my life and they have not even apologised.”

 

Ruined life

 

Raissi’s UK and American solicitors added: “The consequences for Mr Raissi have been utterly ruinous. His family spent enormous sums to support his training as a pilot and now he will never work in his chosen profession.

 

"On account of the unfounded allegations many will always see him as a terrorist. His entire life, both personal and professional has been blighted by the allegations and it is time for the US and UK authorities to acknowledge their part in his undoing.”  

 

Raissi was arrested on 21 September, 2001 and accused of being the “chief instructor” to the September 11 attackers who flew airliners into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon.

 

He soon found himself at the centre of the biggest investigation in criminal history and was told it was likely he was going to be charged with conspiracy to murder and could face the death penalty in the US.

 

Nightmare

 

The allegations resulted in him being detained in a cell for 23 hours a day in the UK’s Belmarsh top security prison.

 

In February 2002, a UK judge granted him bail and said the government had not substantiated its allegations. 

 

And on 24 April, 2003 his nightmare ended when a British judge ruled he had no case to answer.

 

However, even after all the serious charges had been dropped, the US pursued the extradition of Raissi for offences unrelated to terrorism.