29 JAN 2012
Muslim pilot claims he was fired over fears he might copy 9/11
The London-based pilot – who was not named for legal reasons – was judged a security risk after the discovery of his link to two alleged extremists suspected of “planning to use an aircraft as part of a hostile or terrorist act”.
According to the unnamed airline, the pilot was “in a position to divert or sabotage an aircraft”, the Daily Mail reported.
“I felt they believed I was going to fly planes into buildings. I believe the basis they had for that was my race and religion, because of the actions of other people of a similar race and religion,” the pilot said.
Both the men linked to the pilot had been detained under the Terrorism Act. However, charges against one of them were later dropped while the other was cleared by a jury.
The pilot and his brother – an active member of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir – were also arrested but never charged.
During an investigation by the airline, the pilot was questioned about comments he had allegedly made in 2005 about the 9/11 attack.
He is alleged to have said that those killed in 2001 were “not innocent victims”. But the pilot denied making the remark and the matter was not pursued.
One of the airline’s security managers said “anyone caught up in a terror plot has the potential to damage the good name” of the company.
The pilot, who was dismissed in October 2010, is claiming racial and religious discrimination.