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News ::
Student is charged with lying (english)
24 Dec 2002
Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri used a fake identity to open accounts for a fictitious business at three different banks in Macomb, Ill.
Chicago Tribune,12 /24/ 2002

WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors in New York expanded their charges against a Peoria graduate student yesterday, alleging that he lied to the FBI when he denied using pay phones in Chicago and central Illinois to dial the number of a key Al Qaeda operative involved in the Sept. 11 conspiracy.

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Qatari national who was enrolled at Bradley University, also was charged with lying to federal agents about a trip he made to the United States in summer2000 . During that trip, the government alleges, Marri used a fake identity to open accounts for a fictitious business at three different banks in Macomb, Ill., dealings for which he was also charged yesterday.

It is the second case in which prosecutors have brought charges against Marri since his arrest last December as a material witness in the investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Earlier this year, Marri was indicted on charges of possessing stolen credit card numbers, and he is scheduled to go to trial in that case on Jan.13 in federal court in New York.

Yesterday's charges indicate that prosecutors are tightening their focus on Marri's alleged links to those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. He has been held in the high-security Special Housing Unit of the federal jail in Manhattan, his lawyer confirmed yesterday. Other sources have said that Marri was one of the last Sept.11 detainees remaining at the facility.

In an affidavit filed yesterday, an FBI agent gave a list of allegedly incriminating evidence found in a search of Marri's laptop computer and his apartment in Peoria. The FBI said the computer had audio recordings of Osama bin Laden and his associates lecturing in Arabic about ''the importance of jihad and martyrdom.'' The bureau also said Marri had a computer folder marked ''Chem,'' containing links to Internet sites detailing hazardous materials. In his Peoria apartment, the FBI said it found ''an almanac with bookmarks in pages that provided information about major US dams, reservoirs, waterways, and railroads.''

Marri's New York defense lawyer, Richard Jasper, said last night that he believed that prosecutors were pressuring his client because they want to exhaust every possible avenue for gaining information from anyone they believe has ties to the Sept. 11 attacks. Still, Jasper said, the new charges ''do seem like piling on.'' And he emphasized that Marri has not been charged with involvement in the attacks. The FBI first identified Marri, who most recently landed in the United States on Sept. 10,2001 , through international telephone records connected to a man known as Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi.
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New charges against student (english)
24 Dec 2002
New charges allege link between student, Sept. 11 financier

Associated Press

NEW YORK (December 23,3 : 26p.m. AST) - An Arab graduate student who visited Web sites about dangerous chemicals and had information on U.S. dams and railroads was charged Monday with lying to the FBI about phone calls to a financier of the Sept. 11attacks.

Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri was charged in federal court in New York, where he was already scheduled to go to trial Jan. 13 on charges he unlawfully possessed more than 15 credit cards.

On Monday, Al-Marri was also charged with lying to FBI agents in December 2001when he said he had not called a telephone number used by Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi in the United Arab Emirates. Prosecutors said he placed several calls to the number between September and November2001 .

Prosecutors have said al-Hawsawi transferred tens of thousand of dollars to the hijackers before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Al-Hawsawi is named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in connection with the Sept. 11 hijackings. Prosecutors said Al-Marri also lied to agents about aspects of his background during an October 2001 interview at his Peoria, Ill., home.

Al-Marri allegedly told the FBI that he was a Qatari citizen who came to the United States in September 2001 on a student visa to study for a master's degree in computer information systems at Bradley University. He said he was last in this country in1991 , when he attended Bradley as an undergraduate. But prosecutors say Al-Marri re-entered the United States in May2000 , when he used a stolen Social Security number to open fraudulent bank accounts in Macomb, Ill. They say he left the United States in August of that year.

Al-Marri said nothing during a brief appearance in court Monday on the new charges, and no plea was entered. His lawyer, Richard Jasper Jr., noted outside court that his client was "not charged with participating in any way in the tragic circumstances of Sept.11 ." "We, of course, deny all the charges in the complaint," he said.

During a December 2001 search of Al-Marri's computer, FBI agents found an Arabic oath or prayer asking God to "protect" and "guard" Osama bin Laden, audio files containing lectures by bin Laden and his associates and pictures of the Sept. 11 attacks, prosecutors said. They said the computer also contained lists of Web sites with titles such as "Jihad arena" and "Taliban."

One computer folder called "chem" contained bookmarked Web sites providing fact sheets for hazardous substances, the amounts of certain chemicals "immediately dangerous to life or health" and information on how to buy them, prosecutors said. In addition, the computer contained bookmarked Web sites relating to weaponry and satellite equipment and computer files containing more than1 , 000credit cards, the majority of which had been fraudulently used, prosecutors said.

In a search of Al-Marri's home after his arrest, agents found an almanac with bookmarked pages providing information about major U.S. dams, reservoirs, waterways and railroads, they said. If convicted, Al-Marri faces up to30 years in prison on charges relating to false statements to banking institutions, five years for lying to the FBI and up to 15 years for using a stolen Social Security number.
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