Abdallah Higazy is a citizen of Egypt residing in the United States. Higazy was arrested following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He alleges that the FBI threatened to torture his family unless he confessed to being involved in the attacks.
Higazy was an Egyptian student staying at the Millenium Hilton Hotel near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Hotel security claimed they found an aviation radio in Higazy's safe. The FBI questioned Higazy, guessing he might somehow have been communicating with or aiding the 9/11 pilots. Higazy denied he owned the radio.
An FBI agent conducted a polygraph test during which, according to Higazy, the agent told Higazy that unless Higazy confessed to owning the radio, they would "make sure that Egyptian security (gave) his family Hell," which both parties understood to include torture. Higazy confessed to owning the radio. A criminal complaint was then filed against Higazy, and he was detained without bail.
Approximately three weeks later, the airline pilot who actually owned the radio returned to the Millennium Hilton Hotel to reclaim his property, which he had left at the hotel. Two days later, Higazy was released after spending a total of 34 days in custody.
His lawyer, Robert Dunn, said he wanted to know how investigators came to believe that the handheld radio was found in a safe in Higazy's room at the Millennium Hilton Hotel when it actually belonged to someone staying one floor below his client.
On February 28th, 2002 the NY Post reported, that the hotel security guard admitted he lied about finding an aviation radio in a guest's room - a false accusation that left Higazy sitting in jail for a month.
Ronald Ferry, a 48-year-old ex-cop, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. On December 13th, 2002 the NY Post reported, that Higazy filed a $20 million lawsuit for being falsely charged.
Higazy claimed his constitutional rights were violated by FBI agent Michael Templeton when he was interrogated and coerced into falsely confessing, that he was falsely arrested and imprisoned, and was maliciously prosecuted. He claims the hotel was negligent in supervising the security guards, who gave false information that led to his arrest.