William Potts: "Homesick Hijacker" Wants to Come Back to America


In 1984, revolutionary William Potts hijacked a U.S. passenger airliner aimed for Miami, Florida and forced the pilot to divert its route to Havana, Cuba. Potts who prefers to be called the "homesick hijacker," desires Obama to reconsider the plea he made back in 2009 and to allow him permission to return to the U.S. to visit his family. Perhaps the president's refusal to bring back hijackers could be tied to the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Follower of former political Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Potts thought his communist ideas could reshape America making it more equal in the social and racial aspect of our culture. What he did not know was that a change had taken place in Cuba and they were no longer spreading their radical revolutionary ways to other countries. 

Unaware of the change, he boarded the U.S. airliner hiding his .25-caliber pistol in a fake cast to make the security team disregard it. Once admitted on the plane, he changed into his Black Panther attire which was comprised of black colored clothing and combat boots. He then commanded the pilot to switch the flight to Cuba. When he had arrived in Cuba, instead of being welcomed, he was arrested for 15 years imprisonment, but served only 13 and a half years.

Upon his release, he sought ways to visit his family in the U.S.  He wrote a letter to president Obama and the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2009 hoping that he will give him a pardon to return to his native country. He did not receive an answer from either or. 

"I regret taking the plane and putting those people's lives in jeopardy," he said. "I didn't have that perspective at the time, but I have it now and will have it until the day I die. I would have been responsible for all those people dying."

Last year in September, he tried to visit again and this time with his two little girls to surrender fully to the U.S. government. His daughters were granted access and came to the country to visit their loved ones in December, but the U.S. refused to allow him back into the country. 

During the 9/11 terrorist attack — Potts was still in Cuba — but this could serve as a link to why the government is not interested in having someone who formerly hijacked a plane back in the U.S. Thousands of lives were lost in this attack when the planes involved were taken over by terrorists causing them to be flown into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Strict laws were placed to further protect the U.S. citizens.