The Last Man


It took nearly five years, but U.S. officials have finally released Benemar ?Ben? Benatta. Benatta, from Algeria, was in the U.S. in 2001 as part of a training program for foreign air force engineers. In early September, he tried to cross into Canada to seek political asylum. They handed him over to U.S. immigration authorities, and he was in a U.S. detention facility when the Sept. 11 attacks happened. Benatta was grilled about his possible involvement in the plot. The FBI eventually concluded, in November 2001, that he had no terrorist ties. But the government continued to hold him. In 2003, a court ruled the government had violated his rights by keeping him imprisoned. But the government still continued to hold him. Finally, this year, Benatta's lawyer persuaded Canada to let him apply for asylum there, and the U.S. turned him over to the Canadians.