Israeli Spy Ring–Sakher Hammad’s WTC Pass

Who Signed Sakher Hammad’s WTC Basement Level Pass?

Who Murdered Katherine Smith?

As maintenance and electrical workers talked to each other on their dedicated radio channel, one man trapped in a stairwell on the 103rd floor of the north tower called repeatedly for help. “Open the stairway door,” he called. The radio picked up his labored breathing, and he reported smoke rising. “People stuck in the stairway, open up the goddamn doors.” Later he burst out, “Where’s the f—— sprinkler system?” [USA Today]

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-08-28-attacks-transcript-cover_x.htm

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Quote from GoMemphis:

License Suspect Had WTC Repair Pass, But Port Authority Did its Own Work

by Bartholomew Sullivan, February 16, 2002

A photo ID pass for Sept. 5 found on one of the men charged with fraudulently obtaining a Tennessee driver’s license from a Memphis woman gave him access to the six underground levels of the One World Center building.

But which tenant hired Sakher ‘Rocky’ Hammad, 24, to work on its sprinklers is lost, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Alan Hicks on Friday.

Hammad told federal authorities that he was working on the sprinklers six days before the twin towers were brought down by terrorists, court testimony revealed this week.

But Hicks said the Port Authority, which owned the building, did its own sprinkler work, and that any other work involving sprinklers would have been arranged by an individual tenant.

“We don’t know (which one) because all our records were destroyed in the World Trade Center, as were some of the people who know that,” Hicks said.

Small details about the five Middle Eastern men arrested Feb. 5 with Tennessee driver’s license examiner Katherine Smith are slowly surfacing. Smith died Sunday in a fiery car crash, a day before she was to appear in court. It appears that Khaled Odtllah of Cordova shared the same 2840 Morning Lake Drive address at different times over the past year with Rocky Hammad, according to an online people finder database.

Odtllah and Hammad also spent time in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn in 2000 and lived about 22 blocks apart near New York Harbor.

Calls to the telephone number for Magic Plumbing and Heating Inc. on 93rd Street in Brooklyn were answered Thursday and Friday by a recording that said “Rocky’s” voice-mail box was full. Hammad had the firm’s business card, according to a government exhibit introduced at this week’s detention hearing.

Hammad also had a New York City Police Benevolent Association card, a plastic Detectives Endowment Association Inc. for the Police Department of the City of New York card, two video rental cards, an ATM card and a First Consumers National Bank MasterCard.

Hammad’s cousin, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, also obtained a Tennessee driver’s license last year. He’s in the country illegally after overstaying a visa.

Venezuela-born Mohammed Fares, 19, allegedly told authorities that he needed a Tennessee driver’s license to drive for Big Boss, an export-import clothing store in New York’s garment district. Big Boss Enterprises bookkeeper Hussein Nasser said by phone Friday that he had received several recent inquiries about Fares, but that he’d never worked there. [CYA? Or did he apply for a job there?]

So far almost nothing is known of Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 26, a self-employed Egyptian carpenter living in the United State illegally.

All five men are being held without bail at the pretrial facility of the Federal Correctional Institution in Memphis.

Copyright 2002

http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_989113,00.html

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From 911Encyclopedia:

Quote

The original story on Denko Mechanical began with the arrestment of Sakher “Rocky” Hammad in 2001, who was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5th 2001. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating. Hammad was later involved in a trial on drivers license fraud, which was interrupted with the bizarre death of witness Katherine Smith (->). The following results are based on an independent investigation by Du member Rebecky: “Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified. The Port Authority of New York claimed no knowledge of hiring a Denko Mechanical and said Denko must have been hired by a tenant. Denko Mechanical Ltd’s address and phone is the residential Manhattan apartment and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko. Mr. Davidenko obtained a business license in Feb, 2000. Denko is not listed in any yellow pages or in any type of NY contractor list. Denko simply could not be the sprinkler system contractor for the WTC. Not only would the Port Authority have had records, but companies that install and maintain sprinkler systems for large buildings are heavily regulated major operations with civil engineers, inspectors, warehouses full of delicate equipment and highly trained specialty crews.

A Feb 8, 2000, business entity license issued for a Denko Mechanical Ltd, 232 E 26th St. in Manhattan (ph 212-481-8226) which, on reverse trace, is the Manhattan residence and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko; it’s an apartment building. As noted above, the letter verifying Hammad’s WTC employment was signed by a Sergei Denko. In addition to the WTC 9/5 pass, found in Mr. Hammad’s wallet at the time of arrest: two video rental cards, a credit card, a membership card for the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a card for Detectives Endowment Association of New York with a commemoration for 9/11 victims on it, and a charter membership card to Team Ford Racing. In a February 2002 interview, a rep of the Port Authority, Alan Hicks stated that the PA took care of its own sprinkler system and had no records of Mr. Hammad hired to work on it. The letter exonerating Mr. Hammad’s employment was from a company Denko Mechanical signed by its owner Sergei Denko — does not exist in NY except as a 2 y.o. business license registered to a Mr. Sergei Davidenko of 232 E 26th St., Manhattan. Another residential apartment (again using Skipease reverse trace). A co-defendant in the Memphis trial was Hammad’s cousin, also in the WTC on 9/5, Mr. Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Other defendants were the Memphis ringleader Khaled Odtllah of Jerusalem, immigrated to the US in 1989, and Mr. Mostafa Said Abou-Shahi and Mr. Mohammed Fares, and a juvenile obtaining a 20 y.o. false ID, Mr. Omar Khayata. NOTE: Denko Mechanical was one of a few sponsors for a trade show at “opportunity knocks” Source: http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity Knocks 2001.htm

License suspect had WTC repair pass, but Port Authority did its own work [Tennessee License Scandal]scheme.jpg

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/703781/posts

Attorney slain in 100 North Main parking garage in Memphis

FAA says it had 11 other suspect planes on Sept. 11

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/731896/posts

9/11 – Who Signed Sakher Hammad’s WTC Basement Level Pass?

World Trade Center 1: There Was No Inferno

911: THE INSTALLATION OF THE SPRINKLERS IN THE WTC…


4 Admit Fraud amid Questions on Death of License Examiner

FBI probes death of driver’s license examiner

http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/DenkoMechanical.shtml

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A few days after the crash on the Twin Towers, ex-FBI agent Barry Mawn classified Satam Al Suqamis passport in the rubble in front of the collapsed building 7 on Vesey Street.

A few of the buildings’ tenants: CIA, DOD, OEM and INS

However it was never said, what kind of ID Mawn classified.

A laminated, American one or maybe even a paper ID from Europe?

But back to the story in Arlington:

Due to valawyersweekly, “an employee completed an identity affidavit form for each man”, Alomari and Alghamdi.

“Al Omari and Al Ghamdi returned to the DMV and used the documents to get ID cards.”

But instead of arresting this employee, the FBI concentrated on Villalobos only.

Why?

Then it was said, there was a witness, who was not identified, but in one article her gender is identified: female.

She said that the “forms had been signed in advance by the attorney and that the attorney did nothing but talk to the men in a foreign language for a few minutes,” according to the complaint.

The other witness — Villalobos — stated that the attorney signed the forms after they had been been completed then talked to the men in “their language.”

The unidentified witness in the FBI papers said she received $80 for taking Al Omari and Al Ghamdi to the lawyer’s office. She stated that she had “provided this service to approximately 100 people during the past four months and (received) approximately $100 per individual.”

At least one attorney at that time already prosecuted.

Someone named Michael E. Ford of Reston pleaded guilty Aug. 22 (?) in Alexandria federal court “to the unlawful production of identity documents”.

In a Sept. 27 order, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Ford’s law license.

On Dec 4th, Herbert Villalobos, 35, pleaded guilty to helping two Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards. (REF: http://www.timesunion.com/news/september11/timeline/dec2_8.htm)

Herbert Villalobos is free again.

But another “helping hand” is still in prison until 2004.

On February 1st Victor M. Lopez-Flores “pleaded guilty to falsely certifying that hijackers Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi were Virginia residents” and received a 27-month prison sentence from U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. (REF: http://www.phonebusters.com/Eng/Charges_Arrests/February_1_2002_1a.html)

His attorney, Alan Yamamoto, said the document fraud alone would have resulted in about a 12-month sentence under sentencing guidelines.

The judge blamed the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for allowing people to obtain IDs without proof of residency or identity.

Villalobos’ attorney, Patrick Anderson (also vice president of Hopkins House Association Board of Trustees and president of the Alexandria Symphony, REF: http://www2.ccps.virginia.edu/sorensen/sipl_alum_1999.html), said on court, that his client was kept in isolation for almost the entire time he was detained.

Interestingly, the same attorney is also involved in another Sept 11th-case:

Judge Brinkema appointed Alexandria lawyer Alan Yamamoto as a standby lawyer to assist Moussaoui. (REF: http://www.nandotimes.com/nation/story/448731p-3591776c.html ALEXANDRIA, VA. [June 27, 2002])

But there is also confusion about the number of the helping hands- and even their names!

In another article it was said, that Villalobos was one of four people charged, but only Lopez-Flores was mentioned. (REF: http://www.airdisaster.com/news/1201/05/news3.shtml)

If no.3 was Michael E. Ford , then who was No.4?

One affidavit alleged that Villalobos and a second man – his identity not revealed because he is a confidential witness. He was obviously No.4, but “was not charged”. (REF: http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/092501_news_charged.shtml)

One artist was rendering the first trial on Sep26th, 2001.

Here you can see the persons who had been involved in the case:

Villalobos’ attorney Michael Liberman (from DiMuro, Ginsberg & Lieberman, Virginia) , Herbert Villalobos, FBI Agent Brian Weidner, U.S. Magistrate Curtis Sewell and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Morton (REF: http://web.knoxnews.com/web/kns/news/breaking/wtc/1354.html)

The indictment about Villalobos case is at:

REF: http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/usvillalobos120401plea.pdf

But once again, no mention of any other accomplices.

And there is also no mention about other hijackers.

Only Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi are mentioned in this indictment, who obtained the ID cards “by fraud”. It is said, they needed Form DL6 as an identity affidavit.

DL51 is a residency identification which is needed for the DMV.

It is said, that on August 2nd, Alomari and Alghamdi approached several Hispanic man incl. Villalobos in a parking lot next to the DMV and asked them to assist with the IDs.

On that same day, Villalobos accompanied both to an attorney where they received fraudulent DL6 and DL51 “from an attorney who worked in the office”.

While neither the name of the attorney nor the 4th charged person (witness) was mentioned, 11 days after Lopez-Flores plead guilty, on February 11th 2002 this “witness” obviously was invited again for the trial.

Now for the first name the name of the witness was revealed:

Her name was Katherine Smith, another Department of Motor Vehicles employee.

But now the story became a bizarre twist.

Instead of “charged in a scheme with five men” (ABC now mentions 5 men!),
she was suddenly killed “in a fiery car crash the day before her first court appearance, a crash the prosecutor called “most unusual and suspicious”. (REF: http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20020212_991.html)

“Smith, 49, was killed after the 1992 Acura Legend she was driving ran off the road early Sunday and struck a utility pole on U.S. 72 just north of the Mississippi state line,” Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Mark Fagan said.

Her car “was immediately engulfed in flames” but authorities don’t know whether the fire started before or after the crash, he said. The body was so badly burned it took authorities until Tuesday to verify Smith’s identity. The cause of death remains under investigation.

FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash said authorities were trying to determine what caused the car to burn. The gas tank did not explode and the car was only slightly dented from the crash, she said.

“Smith was one of six (!!) people charged last week by federal officials with conspiracy to get Tennessee driver’s licenses under false pretences…”

So obviously Smith was involved in two cases:

The false hijacker IDs and filing IDs for middle eastern residents:

Khaled Odtllah, 31; Sakhera Hammad, 24; Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad.

Odtllah came to this country from Jerusalem 13 years ago and has lived in Shelby County for 2 years, his lawyer said.

The trial of these suspects was just finished some weeks ago.

As the Guardian reported, Prosecutor Tim Discenza, said the men seeking false identification filed out state driver’s license forms saying they were residents of Tennessee. (REF: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1841426,00.html)

Sakhera Hammad, from Jordan, is now a U.S. citizen living in New York City, said his father, Peter Hansen, who attended the hearing. FBI agent Nash said Abou-Shahin told authorities he was from Egypt and is a carpenter. Fares has a Venezuelan passport and speaks Arabic, DiScenza said. The nationality of Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad was not given.

Hammad is still free on bond, but will be sentenced this month, in August 2002.

Defense lawyers have said the men traveled to Memphis from New York because they heard it was easy to get driver’s licenses in Tennessee, where Social Security numbers are not required.

But the story even involved yet another strange twist:

When Sakhera Hammad was arrested, investigators found a visitor’s pass for the World Trade Center, dated Sept. 5, 2001, in his wallet. He told authorities he was a plumber who worked on the center’s sprinkler system.

FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash told this story U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Daniel Breen.

Nash also testified that investigators found evidence of some kind of accelerant in the burned-out interior of Smith’s car. (REF: http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_985827,00.html)

Later “..Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators found no evidence that driver’s license examiner Katherine Smith tried to stop her car or take any evasive action Feb. 10 as her car veered off U.S 72.” (REF: http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_1016243,00.html)

“Her death was not the result of the crash itself,” said THP Capt. Jimmy Erwin. “Her death was by other means.”

The car was traveling about 21 mph when it hit the utility pole, not fast enough to kill Smith from the impact.

Rodney L. Wood, of Corinth, wrote that he and two others tried to free Smith from the driver’s seat but were driven away by the smoke and heat.

“The driver did not ever respond, moan or move,” wrote Wood, who works for the Corinth Police Department.

Smith was officially “accused of taking payoffs for helping them get driver’s licenses without proper documentation”. (REF: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=License Scam)

In another coincidence, Smith was also examined at the same institute which examined Don C Wiley, a famous Microbiologist, who also died under strange circumstances last year. (REF: http://www.counterpunch.org/madsenanthrax.html)

And the story became even more strange:

On March 14, a bomb and two smaller explosive devices were found at the Shelby County Regional Forensic Center, which houses the morgue and Medical Examiner’s Office that conducted Wiley’s autopsy. Dr. O.C, Smith, the medical examiner, told Memphis’ Commercial Appeal, “We have done several high-profile cases from Dr. Wiley to Katherine Smith”.

And the story around Sakhera Hammad, who worked for this Sprinkler System in the WTC on Sep 5th, also continued:

When arrested, one of the men, Sakher “Rocky” Hammad, as already said, was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating

In a Memphis court on 3/28, Rocky’s father, a NY City engineer, Mr. Peter Hansen (immigrated 15 years ago from Jordan), presented the court with a letter from Denko Mechanical, Ltd, signed by a Mr. Sergei Denko, stating that Rocky and Rocky’s cousin had been doing work for his company in the basement and garage of the WTC on Sept 5 and 6. Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified.

The Port Authority of New York claimed no knowledge of hiring a Denko Mechanical and said Denko must have been hired by a tenant.

(Note: Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg, ex-partner of Goldman Sachs & Co, is a good friend of former Twin Towers owner Larry Silverstein, who signed this lease 4 weeks before the attack. Eisenberg recently was elected Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee)

Denko Mechanical Ltd’s address and phone is the residential Manhattan apartment and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko.

But Denko is not listed in any yellow pages or in any type of NY contractor list.

It is also still unknown, what Mr. Hammad and his cousin were ostensibly doing in the basement and garage of the WTC on 9/5 and 9/6.

The track ends finally here:

Denko is mentioned in a database of 376 BERTRAND ST. WINNIPEG (Real Dennis + Wayne McCarthy)

Denko Mechanical was also one of a few sponsors for a trade show at “opportunity knocks”.

Source: http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity Knocks 2001.htm

A NY Times article mentioning Hammad’s letter from Sergei Denko, president of Denko Mechanical: (REF: http://college4.nytimes.com/guests/articles/2002/02/18/903268.xml)

That same article mentions the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn where “Rocky” Hammad lived, and his friends at the Sunrise Farms delicatessen with a quote (“he was a hard working boy”) from its manager, Elie Eid.

There is also a Canadian based Denko company, but with no connection to the WTC.

Another Feb 8, 2000, business entity license issued for a Denko Mechanical Ltd, 232 E 26th St. in Manhattan (ph 212-481-8226) which, on reverse trace, is the Manhattan residence and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko; it’s an apartment building. As noted above, the letter verifying Hammad’s WTC employment was signed by a Sergei Denko.

In addition to the WTC 9/5 pass, also found in Mr. Hammad’s wallet at the time of arrest: two video rental cards, a credit card, a membership card for the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a card for Detectives Endowment Association of New York with a commemoration for 9/11 victims on it, and a charter membership card to Team Ford Racing.

“…The NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assoc and Detectives Endowment Assoc of NY are both police unions — Hammad was carrying cards for both, which would be union membership cards.”

The company he claimed to be working for at the WTC, Denko Mechanical, is NOT a licensed fire protection contractor in New York and therefore, by NYC law, could NOT touch any pipe or plumbing fixture connected to the building’s sprinkler system:

NYC administrative code 27-126.

Only the building’s licensed fire suppression (or protection) contractor can touch anything, any pipe, any valve, connected to the sprinkler system.

This brings us to new Questions:

Who is Sergei Davidenko? Why did he cover for Hammad?

If not the sprinkler system, why was Hammad in the WTC on 9/5 and why did he claim to be working on the sprinkler system?

In a February interview, a rep of the Port Authority (at that time it could have been Alan Hicks) stated that the PA took care of its own sprinkler system and had no records of Mr. Hammad hired to work on it.

Mr. Hicks went on to state that Mr. Hammad must have been hired by a tenant — interesting statement — it clears the PA of accusing Mr. Hammad directly, but is really a ludicrous statement — tenants do not hire shade-tree residential handymen to work on the HVAC, the elevators, or the sprinkler and standpipe systems — in the case of the sprinkler systems, it is absolutely illegal according to NYC administrative codes for a general plumber to make any repair on any pipe connected to the fire protection system.

When arrested, Mr. Hammad’s residential address, and the address for his Magic Heating and Plumbing residential handyman service was: 275 93rd St, Brooklyn — an apartment building whose other tenants include (per reverse trace done at skipease.com):

Bassam Alshaer, Chouki Atman, Hesham Elegezeny, Ismail Hanafy, Kholoud Hussein, Khalili Ibrahim, Anas and Fatema Watfa, Dave White.

The letter exonerating Mr. Hammad’s employment was from a company Denko Mechanical signed by its owner Sergei Denko — does not exist in NY except as a 2 y.o. business license registered to a Mr. Sergei Davidenko of 232 E 26th St., Manhattan. Another residential apartment (again using Skipease reverse trace).

Hammad’s Dad, who presented the letter that bailed him out, is Jordanian immigrant and reportedly senior engineer with the City of NY, Mr. Peter Hansen of 3187 Hylan Blvd on Staten Island. Reportedly Hammad has closer ties with his mother, still in Gaza/Jordan, than with his dad, but it’s impossible to find her name.

A second address listed in skiptracing for Magic Heating and Plumbing is 1776 Bay Ridge Ave, Brooklyn — phone: 718-833-8282. This address is also registered to Dynasty Bus and Tours, Inc, and to a Bai Sheng Chen, Ahen Xiong Chen and Mouna Chour.

At the time of arrest, Mr. Hammad was also carrying a charter membership card for Team Ford Racing .

Hammad frequented a Lebanese deli in Brooklyn, also owed by a Mr. Elie

Elie later gave reporters a character reference on Mr. Hammad.

Because Hammad is a US citizen now, the Memphis judge would not allow his continued detention nor any mention of the 9/11 coincidences at the Memphis drivers license fraud trial. The other defendants, not US citizens, remain in detention.

A co-defendant in the Memphis trial was Hammad’s cousin, also in the WTC on 9/5, Mr. Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Other defendants were the Memphis ringleader Khaled Odtllah of Jerusalem, immigrated to the US in 1989, and Mr. Mostafa Said Abou-Shahi and Mr. Mohammed Fares, and a juvenile obtaining a 20 y.o. false ID, Mr. Omar Khayata.

As Guardian reported, on June 28th, Khaled Odtllah was released hours after being sentenced by U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald.

But his three co-defendants – Mohammed Fares, 19, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, 31, and Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 25 – remained in custody to face deportation (REF: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1841426,00.html)

But Odtllah was the one, who took the forms to Katherine Smith.
Why is he free?

One of the defendants, un-named in news reports (check http://www.gomemphis.com for archives), drove from NY to Memphis on 9/11.

If the Tennessee, New York and Arlington-stories are connected, remains a mystery, because the only “witness”, Katherine Smith, is dead and others are not asked yet.

More at: http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/duboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=4822&
forum=DCForumID43

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DATA DUMP

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From ABC News

Woman Charged Dies Before Court Day

Woman Charged in Driver’s License Scheme Died the Day Before Court Appearance

The Associated Press

tngc102021321

(AP Photo)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Feb. 12, 2002

A driver’s license examiner charged in a scheme with five men to sell fraudulent licenses died in a fiery car crash the day before her first court appearance, a crash the prosecutor called “most unusual and suspicious”

As Katherine Smith failed to appear in court Monday, the FBI disclosed that it is investigating whether her five co-defendants have terrorist ties, with Prosecutor Tim DiScenza citing “connections” to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Smith, 49, was killed after the 1992 Acura Legend she was driving ran off the road early Sunday and struck a utility pole on U.S. 72 just north of the Mississippi state line, Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Mark Fagan said Tuesday.

Her car “was immediately engulfed in flames” but authorities don’t know whether the fire started before or after the crash, he said. The body was so badly burned it took authorities until Tuesday to verify Smith’s identity. The cause of death remains under investigation.

At a federal court hearing for two defendants Monday, DiScenza called the crash “most unusual and suspicious.”

FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash said authorities were trying to determine what caused the car to burn. The gas tank did not explode and the car was only slightly dented from the crash, she said.

Smith was one of six people charged last week by federal officials with conspiracy to get Tennessee driver’s licenses under false pretenses.

Also charged were Khaled Odtllah, 31; Sakhera Hammad, 24; and Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Authorities didn’t provide ages for the last three and said they admitted being in the country illegally.

Odtllah came to this country from Jerusalem 13 years ago and has lived in Shelby County for 2 years, his lawyer said.

Sakhera Hammad, from Jordan, is now a U.S. citizen living in New York City, said his father, Peter Hansen, who attended the hearing. Nash said Abou-Shahin told authorities he was from Egypt and is a carpenter. Fares has a Venezuelan passport and speaks Arabic, DiScenza said. The nationality of Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad was not given.

Nash outlined the men’s alleged connections to the terrorist attacks.

She said when Sakhera Hammad was arrested, investigators found a visitor’s pass for the World Trade Center, dated Sept. 5, 2001, in his wallet. He told authorities he was a plumber who worked on the center’s sprinkler system. He said Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad was a cousin who worked with him, Nash said.

Nash said federal authorities learned that Odtllah drove to Memphis from New York City on Sept. 11.

Anthony Helm, attorney for Odtllah, asked Nash, “You certainly don’t have any indication any of these fellows is a terrorist, do you?”

“Not at this time, no sir,” Nash said.

The case broke last week when authorities staked out the driver’s license office where Smith worked on a tip from the FBI in New York that several illegal immigrants from the Middle East were traveling to Memphis to illegally obtain state IDs, Nash said.

Smith, an examiner for nine years, told authorities that Odtllah was a friend who had asked her to help him obtain driver’s licenses six or seven times, Nash said.

U.S. Magistrate Diane Vescovo continued the hearing until Wednesday for Abou-Shanin, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad and Fares, primarily to arrange for an Arabic interpreter. She ordered Odtllah and Sakhera Hammad held without bond until their trial.

Smith had been released pending trial.

 

photo credit and caption:
Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, left, and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad leave federal court Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2002, in Memphis, Tenn., after being ordered held without bond on charges of conspiracy to obtain Tennessee driver’s licenses under false pretenses. Katherine Smith, a driver’s license examiner, was also charged in the case. Smith, 49, was found burned beyond recognition in her car about 1 a.m. Sunday on a highway about 20 miles from her home and burned beyond recognition. Witnesses told the FBI that the car was ablaze before Smith drove into a utility pole. (AP Photo/Greg Campbell)

http://web.archive.org/web/20020216133444/http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20020212_991.html

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From Washington Times

U.S. troops would enforce peace under Army study

by Rowan Scarborough – The Washington Times September 10, 2001

(Article ID: U00682760115, available through http://www.washtimes.com/archives.htm, search key “MOSSAD SAMS”)

An elite U.S. Army study center has devised a plan for enforcing a major Israeli-Palestinian peace accord that would require about 20,000 well-armed troops stationed throughout Israel and a newly created Palestinian state.

There are no plans by the Bush administration to put American soldiers into the Middle East to police an agreement forged by the longtime warring parties. In fact, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is searching for ways to reduce U.S. peacekeeping efforts abroad, rather than increasing such missions.

But a 68-page paper by the Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) does provide a look at the daunting task any international peacekeeping force would face if the United Nations authorized it, and Israel and the Palestinians ever reached a peace agreement. Located at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the School for Advanced Military Studies is both a training ground and a think tank for some of the Army’s brightest officers. Officials say the Army chief of staff, and sometimes the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ask SAMS to develop contingency plans for future military operations. During the 1991 Persian Gulf war, SAMS personnel helped plan the coalition ground attack that avoided a strike up the middle of Iraqi positions and instead executed a “left hook” that routed the enemy in 100 hours.

The cover page for the recent SAMS project said it was done for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But Maj. Chris Garver, a Fort Leavenworth spokesman, said the study was not requested by Washington.

“This was just an academic exercise,” said Maj. Garver. “They were trying to take a current situation and get some training out of it.”

The exercise was done by 60 officers dubbed “Jedi Knights,” as all second-year SAMS students are nicknamed.

The SAMS paper attempts to predict events in the first year of a peace-enforcement operation, and sees possible dangers for U.S. troops from both sides.

It calls Israel’s armed forces a “500-pound gorilla in Israel. Well armed and trained. Operates in both Gaza and the West Bank. Known to disregard international law to accomplish mission. Very unlikely to fire on American forces. Fratricide a concern especially in air space management.”

Of the MOSSAD, the Israeli intelligence service, the SAMS officers say: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

On the Palestinian side, the paper describes their youth as “loose cannons; under no control, sometimes violent.” The study lists five Arab terrorist groups that could target American troops for assassination and hostage-taking.

The study recommends “neutrality in word and deed” as one way to protect U.S. soldiers from any attack. It also says Syria, Egypt and Jordan must be warned “we will act decisively in response to external attack.”

It is unlikely either of the three would mount an attack. Of Syria’s military, the report says: “Syrian army quantitatively larger than Israeli Defense Forces, but largely seen as qualitatively inferior. More likely, however, Syrians would provide financial and political support to the Palestinians, as well as increase covert support to terrorism acts through Lebanon.”

Of Egypt’s military, the paper says, “Egyptians also maintain a large army but have little to gain by attacking Israel.”

The plan does not specify a full order of battle. An Army source who reviewed the SAMS work said each of a possible three brigades would require about 100 Bradley fighting vehicles, 25 tanks, 12 self-propelled howitzers, Apache attack helicopters, Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopters and Predator spy drones.

The report predicts that non-lethal weapons would be used to quell unrest.

U.S. European Command, which is headed by NATO’s supreme allied commander, would oversee the peacekeeping operation. Commanders would maintain areas of operation, or AOs, around Nablus, Jerusalem, Hebron and the Gaza strip.

The study sets out a list of goals for U.S. troops to accomplish in the first 30 days. They include: “create conditions for development of Palestinian State and security of Israel “; ensure “equal distribution of contract value or equivalent aid” . . . that would help legitimize the peacekeeping force and stimulate economic growth; “promote U.S. investment in Palestine”; “encourage reconciliation between entities based on acceptance of new national identities”; and “build lasting relationship based on new legal borders and not religious-territorial claims.”

Maj. Garver said the officers who completed the exercise will hold major planning jobs once they graduate. “There is an application process” for students, he said. “They screen their records, and there are several tests they go through before they are accepted by the program. The bright planners of the future come out of this program.”

James Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said it would be a mistake to put peacekeepers in Israel, given the “poor record of previous monitors.”

“In general, the Bush administration policy is to discourage a large American presence,” he said. “But it has been rumored that one of the possibilities might be an expanded CIA role.”

“It would be a very different environment than Bosnia,” said Mr. Phillips, referring to America’s six-year peacekeeping role in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “The Palestinian Authority is pushing for this as part of its strategy to internationalize the conflict. Bring in the Europeans and Russia and China. But such monitors or peacekeeping forces are not going to be able to bring peace. Only a decision by the Palestinians to stop the violence and restart talks could possibly do that.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2001/sep/10/20010910-025319-6906r/

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From GoMemphis

Flaming death no accident, FBI says

Gasoline found on clothes of license examiner

By Bill Dries

The fiery death of a driver’s license examiner at the center of a federal fraud investigation was not an accident, an FBI agent said here Wednesday in federal court.

Federal and state investigators found gasoline on the clothes Katherine Smith was wearing when she died Sunday in a car crash on a stretch of U.S. 72 in Fayette County, FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash told U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Daniel Breen.

Nash also testified that investigators found evidence of some kind of accelerant in the burned-out interior of Smith’s car.

“Katherine Smith obviously lived two lives, maybe more. She may have had other things going on in her life that may have led to her death.” – Karen Cicala
Her testimony came during a probable cause and bond hearing for three of Smith’s five co-defendants in an alleged scheme to get Tennessee driver’s licenses using false information for men with Middle Eastern ties who lived in New York City.

Breen found there was probable cause to charge Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. He also denied them bond.

Fares, Hammad and Abou-Shahin, wearing tan prison scrubs and blue windbreakers, listened to the proceedings through cell phones with an Arabic interpreter on the other end of the line in another city. The courtroom’s sound system was piped through the phone line for the interpreter to hear.

After hearing the translation of Breen denying him bond, Fares, 19, set his cell phone on the table and put his head in his hands.

Smith and her co-defendants, including alleged ring leader Khaled Odtllah and Hammad’s cousin, Sakhera Hammad, were charged Feb. 6 with conspiracy to fraud ulent ly obtain Tennessee driver’s licenses.

While her five co-defendants have been imprisoned without bond since their Feb. 5 arrest, Smith was released on her own recognizance. She died one day before she was due to appear at a detention hearing before a federal magistrate judge.

“Was this death a result of an accident?” federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza asked Nash, who was the only witness to testify during Wednesday’s two-hour hearing.

“No, it was not,” Nash replied.

According to Nash, this is what FBI agents and Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators have concluded about the car crash:

Six unnamed witnesses – all related to each other – saw Smith’s 1992 Acura Legend veer off U.S. 72 around 12:45 a.m. Sunday. They said the interior of the car was on fire as the car drove across a ditch and hit a utility pole.

The fire was arson, Nash said.

“Every single thing inside the car is burnt,” she said before noting that the trunk and gas tank were untouched by a blaze so intense that Smith’s arms and legs were “burned off.”

There was only “slight damage” to the front end of the car from hitting the utility pole, she added.

Nash said gasoline was found on Smith’s clothing. She said investigators are still waiting on test results of traces of an unknown accelerant found in the car. A dog trained to sniff out such chemicals detected the accelerant.

Smith died from “inhaling the actual flames,” Nash testified.

“Her airway system is actually singed.”

Attorneys for the three defendants were quick to point out that their clients were all in prison at the time of Smith’s death.

“Katherine Smith obviously lived two lives, maybe more,” said Karen Cicala, who represents Fares. “She may have had other things going on in her life that may have led to her death.”

She also questioned whether Fares is being treated differently because of ties to the Middle-East.

Attorney Jake Erwin, representing Hammad, urged Breen to consider only the fraud conspiracy charge.

“You’re not saying that Mr. Hammad had anything to do with Katherine Smith’s death, are you?” Erwin asked Nash.

“No, not at this time,” she replied.

“You’re not saying he had anything to do with the World Trade Center attack, are you,” he asked again.

“No, not at this time,” she repeated.

DiScenza has said there are “connections” linking two of the accused to the World Trade Center in the days before it was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Those connections include a visitor’s pass to the WTC dated Sept. 5 that belonged to Sakhera Hammad.

DiScenza focused on Smith’s death as a factor that Breen should consider in denying bond.

“This court has to consider that Katherine Smith died under very suspicious circumstances, in a manner that was clearly not an accident,” DiScenza told Breen. “Coincidence only goes so far.”

– Bill Dries

February 14, 2002

http://web.archive.org/web/20020217031152/http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_985827,00.html

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From: http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity+Knocks+2001.htm (dead link)

wintering-partners-conference-and-trade-show.jpg

denko-mechanical.jpg

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http://web.knoxnews.com/web/kns/news/breaking/wtc/1354.html (dead link)

Scrapbook file

From KnoxNews.com:

Quote

America Remembers Sept 11th – Photo Gallery

1354.jpg

TOP: An artist rendering of Mohamed Abdi shows him in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001, where he was held without bond as a witness in the terrorist attacks. Abdi’s name and phone number was found in a car registered to one of the 19 suspected hijackers. (AP Photo/William J. Hennessy Jr.)

BOTTOM: This is an artist rendering of U.S. Magistrate Curtis Sewell, second from right, presiding over a hearing of Herbert Villalobos, second from left, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001. Villalobos was charged with helping one of the suspected hijackers, Abdulaziz Alomari, obtain a fraudulent Virginia ID card. From left are, Villalobos’ attorney Michael Liberman, Herbert Villalobos, FBI Agent Brian Weidner, U.S. Magistrate Curtis Sewell and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Morton. (AP Photo/William Hennessy Jr.)

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http://web.archive.org/web/20020808201113/http://www.phonebusters.com/Eng/Charges_Arrests/February_1_2002_1a.html

From PhoneBusters (Associated Press):

QUOTE

Associated Press

Two Men Sentenced for Helping Hijackers

By Matthew Barakat

February 1, 2002; 11:57 AM — Two men who unwittingly helped two of the Sept. 11 hijackers obtain false identification cards received disparate sentences Friday in federal court.

Victor M. Lopez-Flores, who pleaded guilty to falsely certifying that hijackers Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi were Virginia residents, received a 27-month prison sentence from U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

A second man, Herbert Villalobos, received a four-month sentence. He admitted to aiding the document fraud by driving the two hijackers to the lawyer’s office where they received the false certification forms.

Because Villalobos has already served 4½ months while awaiting sentencing, he was scheduled for immediate release.

Lopez-Flores received a longer sentence because he was also convicted of returning to the United States illegally. His attorney, Alan Yamamoto, said the document fraud alone would have resulted in about a 12-month sentence under sentencing guidelines.

Lopez-Flores would have received a 46-month sentence but was given credit for cooperating with the investigation.

The hijackers paid both men for their help.

The judge blamed the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for allowing people to obtain IDs without proof of residency or identity.

“Some of the fault lies with the Department of Motor Vehicles for the very lax procedures we had at that time,” Lee said.

Villalobos’ attorney, Patrick Anderson, said in court that his client was kept in isolation for almost the entire time he was detained.

“We live in completely irrational times. The country has gone insane,” Anderson said after the hearing.

© 2002 The Associated Press

http://web.archive.org/web/20020808201113/http://www.phonebusters.com/Eng/Charges_Arrests/February_1_2002_1a.html

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From Albuquerque Tribune Online – Associated Press:

QUOTE

Man charged with aiding hijackers

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – Federal authorities have charged the first person with aiding the terrorist hijackers, according to court documents.

The number of people arrested or detained in the wide-ranging investigation grew to 352.

Herbert Villalobos was charged in federal court in suburban Virginia with aiding one of the suspected hijackers to fraudulently obtain a Virginia identification card a month before the Sept. 11 attacks.

A second man who aided with the I.D.’s is cooperating and was not charged, prosecutors said Monday. The court records disclosed as many as five of the hijackers got Virginia cards in the month before the attacks.

Meanwhile, the terrorism investigation proceeded on several fronts.

Attorney General John Ashcroft disclosed that 352 people have been arrested or detained in the investigation and an additional 392 people were being sought for questioning about the attacks in New York and Washington.

“We think they have information that could be helpful to the investigation,” the attorney general told lawmakers.

In Virginia, an FBI affidavit filed in federal court alleged that as many as five hijackers – Hani Hanjour, Salem Al-Hamzi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Saleh Alghamdi and Abdulaziz Alomari – went to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Arlington, Va., on Aug. 2.

All five were at the office that day to “conduct transactions relating to Virginia identification cards,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit alleges that Villalobos and a second man – his identity not revealed because he is a confidential witness – signed identity papers for the hijackers.

The affidavit said Villalobos, using the alias Oscar Diaz, signed papers certifying that Alomari lived in Virginia. Alomari has been identified as a hijacker of a Boston flight that crashed into the World Trade Center.

The second man, a confidential witness, signed both a residency certification and an identity affidavit that was used by Alghamdi to obtain an identification card, the affidavit said.

Alghamdi has been identified as a hijacker of the second plane that struck the Trade Center.

The affidavit said the unidentified local man was standing in a parking lot near the motor vehicles office along with several other men, including Villalobos, when three men approached in a van and asked for help in getting Virginia identification cards.

Villalobos and his acquaintances then drove together to an attorney’s office nearby with the others following. The papers, which can be used as identification for getting driver’s licenses and state identification cards, require the signature of a notary public.

In Michigan the president of a truck driving school confirmed two men arrested last week had attended the school and one of them obtained a permit to transport hazardous materials.

Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33, arrested Sept. 17, attended the U.S. Truck Driver Training School in Detroit this summer, said the school’s president, Joseph LaBarge. Koubriti passed the state commercial drivers license exam on Aug. 22 and received a permit to transport hazardous materials. Hannan failed the road test, LaBarge said.

In other developments:

– The Coast Guard is requiring that incoming vessels supply local port officials with the identities of crew members and passengers. “We want to identify individuals and cargos that should not get into the United States,” Capt. Mike Lapinski said.

– Nabil Al-Marabh, 32, a convenience store clerk arrested in Chicago last week by an FBI-led terrorism task force, was transferred to New York following four days of questioning, FBI spokeswoman Virginia Wright said.

– A San Diego Zoo security guard told the FBI she recalled finding a metal case at the zoo several weeks ago that may have belonged to suspected hijacker Hanjour, zoo spokeswoman Christine Simmons said. The case, which contained identification, some other papers and possibly cash, was claimed from the zoo’s lost and found. The zoo kept no record of who claimed it, Simmons said.

– In the crash of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, the FBI has determined from the onsite investigation that no explosive was involved. Passengers on the flight said in cell phone calls that one man had what appeared to be a bomb strapped to him.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011121105112/http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/092501_news_charged.shtml

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From AirDisaster.com:

D.C. man pleads guilty to aiding hijackers

Associated Press, 05 December 2001

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping two of the Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards.

Herbert Villalobos, 35, admitted that Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi paid him $50 to drive them to a northern Virginia law office, where they fraudulently completed forms used to obtain ID cards from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The men are believed to have helped commandeer the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

Villalobos’ attorney, Patrick Anderson, said his client did not know the hijackers.

“He was approached by two men who gave him the opportunity to make $50. That’s it. All he did was lead them to the lawyer’s office,” Anderson said.

Villalobos, a day laborer living in the District of Columbia, could face up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 1. Anderson said guidelines call for a much lighter sentence and it’s possible Villalobos could be released.

Villalobos agreed to testify in any related cases. He is one of four people charged with helping some of the hijackers fraudulently obtain ID cards. All but one, Luis A. Martinez-Flores, have already struck plea bargains and are awaiting sentencing.

Seven suspected hijackers exploited a rule that allowed people to get Virginia IDs with sworn statements about their identity and residence, without proof such as a passport or utility bill. The state has since eliminated that loophole.

Villalobos, a native of El Salvador, is a legal permanent resident and does not face deportation, Anderson said.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011206162751/http://www.airdisaster.com/news/1201/05/news3.shtml

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From Sorensen Alumni:

http://web.archive.org/web/20020920171850/http://www2.ccps.virginia.edu/sorensen/sipl_alum_1999.html

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From Seattle P-I.com – Assoc. Press:

QUOTE

ID Worker Burned to Death

Tuesday, March 5, 2002 Last updated at 7:36:25 PM PT

By WOODY BAIRD, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A state Highway Patrol report released Tuesday confirmed a driver’s license examiner charged in a bogus license scheme was not killed by the impact of her car ramming into a utility pole last month.

Investigators are still awaiting a coroner’s report on the cause of Katherine Smith’s death. Smith, 49, was found Feb. 10 burned beyond recognition in her car about 20 miles from her Memphis residence.

Witnesses told the FBI that the car was ablaze before it crashed into a utility pole. Smith had been scheduled to appear in court the following day on charges she helped five Middle Eastern men get licenses illegally.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Capt. Jimmy Erwin said an investigation determined Smith was traveling just over 20 mph, which he called a survivable crash. He did not to speculate on the cause of the fire.

Erwin said the few pieces of her clothes recovered from the car showed traces of gasoline.

“This was not a traffic fatality,” Erwin said.

Memphis FBI spokesman George Bolds said Tuesday that the cause of the fire remains undetermined.

“We know she was alive but not necessarily conscious after the impact with the pole. She did breathe in superheated gases from the fire,” Bolds said.

Smith was arrested five days before her death along with the five Middle Eastern men. She was accused of taking payoffs for helping them get driver’s licenses without proper documentation.

Smith had been released on her own recognizance. The other suspects are being held without bond and were behind bars when Smith died.

The men are charged under federal law with illegally trying to produce identification documents.

http://web.archive.org/web/20020308130224/http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=License+Scam

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From LA Times:

Quote

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Herbert Villalobos, 35, pleads guilty to helping two Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards.

http://articles.latimes.com/2001/dec/05/news/mn-11819

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From GoMemphis:

License suspect had WTC repair pass, but Port Authority did its own work

By Bartholomew Sullivan, February 16, 2002

A photo ID pass for Sept. 5 found on one of the men charged with fraudulently obtaining a Tennessee driver’s license from a Memphis woman gave him access to the six underground levels of the One World Center building.

But which tenant hired Sakher ‘Rocky’ Hammad, 24, to work on its sprinklers is lost, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Alan Hicks on Friday.

Hammad told federal authorities that he was working on the sprinklers six days before the twin towers were brought down by terrorists, court testimony revealed this week.

But Hicks said the Port Authority, which owned the building, did its own sprinkler work, and that any other work involving sprinklers would have been arranged by an individual tenant.

“We don’t know (which one) because all our records were destroyed in the World Trade Center, as were some of the people who know that,” Hicks said.

Small details about the five Middle Eastern men arrested Feb. 5 with Tennessee driver’s license examiner Katherine Smith are slowly surfacing. Smith died Sunday in a fiery car crash, a day before she was to appear in court.

It appears that Khaled Odtllah of Cordova shared the same 2840 Morning Lake Drive address at different times over the past year with Rocky Hammad, according to an online people finder database.

Odtllah and Hammad also spent time in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn in 2000 and lived about 22 blocks apart near New York Harbor.

Calls to the telephone number for Magic Plumbing and Heating Inc. on 93rd Street in Brooklyn were answered Thursday and Friday by a recording that said “Rocky’s” voice-mail box was full. Hammad had the firm’s business card, according to a government exhibit introduced at this week’s detention hearing.

Hammad also had a New York City Police Benevolent Association card, a plastic Detectives Endowment Association Inc. for the Police Department of the City of New York card, two video rental cards, an ATM card and a First Consumers National Bank MasterCard.

Hammad’s cousin, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, also obtained a Tennessee driver’s license last year. He’s in the country illegally after overstaying a visa.

Venezuela-born Mohammed Fares, 19, allegedly told authorities that he needed a Tennessee driver’s license to drive for Big Boss, an export-import clothing store in New York’s garment district.

Big Boss Enterprises bookkeeper Hussein Nasser said by phone Friday that he had received several recent inquiries about Fares, but that he’d never worked there.

So far almost nothing is known of Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 26, a self-employed Egyptian carpenter living in the United State illegally.

All five men are being held without bail at the pretrial facility of the Federal Correctional Institution in Memphis.

  • Bartholomew Sullivan

http://web.archive.org/web/20020221123538/http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_989113,00.html

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From Nando Times:

Quote:

Nation: Feds demand Moussaoui lawyer abide by court rules

Copyright © 2002 AP Online

By DAVID PACE, Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (June 27, 2002 11:17 a.m. EDT) – Prosecutors insisted Thursday that Texas lawyer Charles Freeman not be permitted to meet with or advise accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui unless he follows court rules and formally enters the case – something Freeman refuses to do.

If Freeman “is unwilling to accept the responsibility that the local rules impose on any attorney who practices in this district, he has no complaint,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty said in a written argument filed with the court.

McNulty’s statement came in response to a five-page complaint Freeman filed Tuesday after U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema refused to allow him any more visits with Moussaoui until he formally enters the case. Freeman said the judge’s order “fails our smell, taste and appearance-of-fairness test.”

Brinkema earlier gave Freeman until Friday to formally enter the case as Moussaoui’s standby counsel by obtaining the endorsement of a local lawyer licensed to practice before the federal court and by filing papers with the court clerk.

Moussaoui has refused to cooperate with any court-appointed lawyer and has been granted the right to act as his own lawyer. Brinkema appointed Alexandria lawyer Alan Yamamoto as a standby lawyer to assist Moussaoui and said she would name a second standby counsel unless Freeman, Moussaoui’s choice, enters the case before Friday.

But in his court filing Tuesday, Freeman said he has no intention of assuming that role.

“I never intended to assist Brother Moussaoui by appearing as any so-called standby counsel because I refuse to be a toothless paper tiger amounting to absolutely no counsel at all,” Freeman said.

Freeman said he does not intend to formally enter the case unless Moussaoui asks him to serve as his lawyer. The issue, Freeman said, is whether Brinkema will allow him to continue advising Moussaoui on federal law while Moussaoui acts as his own attorney.

Freeman said he had the approval of Brinkema, prosecutors and Moussaoui’s court-appointed lawyers to meet with him. Both he and Moussaoui have complained that Brinkema’s refusal to allow Freeman further visits with Moussaoui is interfering with his ability to defend himself.

McNulty said Freeman was allowed to visit with Moussaoui in the Alexandria jail only to discuss his possible representation. “The limited clearance provided to Mr. Freeman should not be transformed into carte blanche access to the defendant for any purpose, including legal consultation,” McNulty said.

http://web.archive.org/web/20020705140529/http://www.nandotimes.com/nation/story/448731p-3591776c.html

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From USA Today:

QUOTE

Just-released transcripts give voice to the horror

By Dennis Cauchon, Rick Hampson and Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY, 8/28/2003

NEW YORK — A man on the 92nd floor called the police with what was – though he did not know it – the question of his life.

“We need to know if we need to get out of here, because we know there’s an explosion,” said the caller, who was in the south tower of the World Trade Center. It was Sept. 11, 2001. A jet had just crashed into the Trade Center’s north tower. “Should we stay or should we not?”

The officer on the line asked whether there was smoke on the floor. Told no, he replied: “I would wait ’til further notice.”

“All right,” the caller said. “Don’t evacuate.” He then hung up.

Almost all the roughly 600 people in the top floors of the south tower died after a second hijacked airliner crashed into the 80th floor shortly after 9 a.m. The failure to evacuate the building was one of the day’s great tragedies.

The exchange between the office worker and the policeman was one of many revealed Thursday when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned and patrolled the office complex, released transcripts of 260 hours of radio transmissions and telephone calls on 9/11.

The transcript of nearly 2,000 pages includes the words of dozens of victims. Some identified themselves by name. The release comes two weeks before the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Almost 2,800 people died at the Trade Center. The Port Authority lost 47 civilian workers and 37 police officers. Its loss of uniformed personnel was second only to the 343 New York City firefighters.

In addition to explaining why people might not have immediately fled the upper floors of the south tower, the transcript helps explain the largest pocket of death below the floors where the hijacked jets crashed: 14 Port Authority workers who had plenty of time to leave, but did not.

Sixteen co-workers waited 80 minutes before leaving their 64th-floor office in the north tower. During that time, about 7,000 people safely fled the first 91 floors of the building. The tower collapsed 102 minutes after impact.

‘Wait for the police’

The transcript shows that Patrick Hoey, 53, a Port Authority executive from Middletown, N.J., called police and was told not to leave.

Hoey: “I’m on the 64th floor. … I’ve got about 20 people here with me.”

Sergeant: “OK.”

Hoey: “What do you suggest? (Loud commotion.) Staying tight?”

Sergeant: “Stand tight. Is there a fire right there where you are?”

Hoey: “No, there’s a little bit of smoke on the floor.”

Sergeant: “So be careful. Stay near the stairwells and wait for the police to come up.”

Hoey: “They will come up, huh? OK. They will check each floor? If you would just report that we’re up here.”

Sergeant: “I got you.”

The 16 workers waited, making phone calls to loved ones. Later, the same sergeant got a call from another officer who said people on the 64th floor were trying to find out what to do. “I think they should hit the stairwells and get the heck out of there,” the sergeant said.

It’s not clear how far apart the two calls were, or whether the instruction to leave ever made it to the 64th floor.

The 16 workers left at 10:08 a.m. on their own initiative, one of them, Pasquale Buzzelli, later told USA TODAY. They did not know the other tower had collapsed. They were in a stairwell between the 13th and 22nd floors when their building collapsed at 10:28 a.m.

Two of the 16 were pulled from the rubble alive. The other 14 died, including Hoey. He left a wife and four children.

Police received four increasingly desperate requests for help from Christine Olender, a manager at Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the north tower.

“We’re getting no direction up here,” she told the desk officer in her first call. Smoke on the 107th floor had driven everyone to the floor below. And all three escape stairwells were smoky, she said.

During her second call, told that the building was being evacuated and that help was on its way, she said, “But we need to find a safe haven, where the smoke condition isn’t bad.” By her fourth call, Olender was reporting that the smoke was “rapidly getting worse. … The fresh air is going down fast! I’m not exaggerating!”

“We are sending the fire department up as soon as possible,” Port Authority officer Ray Murray told her. In fact, the jet crash had cut the upper floors off from the rest of the building.

“What are we going to do for air?” she asked. “Can we break a window?”

“You can do whatever you have to to get to the air,” Murray replied.

As maintenance and electrical workers talked to each other on their dedicated radio channel, one man trapped in a stairwell on the 103rd floor of the north tower called repeatedly for help.

“Open the stairway door,” he called. The radio picked up his labored breathing, and he reported smoke rising. “People stuck in the stairway, open up the goddamn doors.” Later he burst out, “Where’s the f—— sprinkler system?”

Then, his last transmission: “Heat increasing … need immediate purge” – a reference to the smoke that had filled the stairwell.

On the street below, disbelieving callers reported people plunging to their deaths.

“Yo, I’ve got dozens of bodies, people just jumping from the top of the building … in front of 1 World Trade,” a male caller said.

“Sir, you have what jumpingfrom buildings?” said the woman who answered the call.

“People,” he said. “Bodies are just coming from out of the sky.”

At least two wives called to inquire about their husbands. They were unaware that they already were widows. One was Christy Ferer, looking for Neil Levin, executive director of the Port Authority.

Another was Jeannine McIntyre, wife of police officer Donald McIntyre. She saw the first tower fall and immediately called one of his co-workers. “Is my husband in that building that just collapsed?”

Assured that there were no reports of injured Port Authority police, she was unmollified. Her husband had told her what he was doing. “He was going up,” she said. “He was going up … ” And she had seen the building collapse.

‘Another plane hit!’

The transcripts capture vivid eyewitness accounts, such as a Port Authority officer describing something that “looks like a missile coming out of the wall of the … second building.”

“Just hit the building,” another man said over a police channel. “Another plane hit! Another plane just hit the building! Move everyone from Liberty Street!”

The transcripts described an almost biblical array of plagues: flooding in the underground shopping area, smoke on the 22nd floor, people fainting on 44, an elevator stuck near 78, dust and debris everywhere. Indeed, one officer said in his report that God told him to dive between two parked cars to escape debris when the south tower collapsed.

There were wild rumors passed around about missiles fired from the nearby Woolworth Building and a third suicide flight.

One Port Authority policeman identified only as “Tommy” did what many do in a crisis: He called his mother. Their conversation reflected the worry that morning that even worse horrors were about to occur.

After apparently sneaking into a conference room to make the call, Tommy assured his mother he was OK, then warned: “Just stay in. Don’t do nothing. This is bad. They got planes all over the radar coming into New York area. They think everything is going to start hitting.”

The transcript reveals an argument at the base of the north tower between Port Authority Officer Michael Simons and New York City firefighters over what to do next.

The firefighters wanted to continue upstairs. Civilians, apparently anxious to help, wanted to follow. But Simons said he told them all to leave the building.

“Port Authority, don’t argue with me,” a firefighter told him. “This is a fire department gig. We’re taking over.”

Similarly, the Port Authority police had high hopes that the day could be saved. Outside the north tower, an unidentified officer tried to bring order out of chaos. “We are going to move out as one operation!” he said over his radio. “No individual actions! We’ve got people in there. We are going to get them. I want everybody over here. We are going to do this right.”

Different authorities appeared to give different evacuation orders. Shortly after the first jet struck the north tower, the Port Authority’s fire command desk in that building got a call from the agency’s fire command station in the south tower to discuss evacuation. The caller from the south tower said, “I’m not going to do anything until we get orders from the fire department or somebody.”

“OK,” replied the north tower fire command.

“OK?” the south tower caller asked. “Because we don’t know what it is here.”

Although many people described being told to stay put in the south tower after the first crash, one Port Authority sergeant called for evacuating both towers at 8:59 – three minutes before the second airliner hit.

Everywhere, there was the fog of battle. A Port Authority police captain was on the 13th floor of the north tower. After trying to escape and being forced back upstairs by a cloud of smoke, he checked a news Web site on his computer and found a jet had crashed into the building.

“We now believed that the clear liquid that was streaming outside of our windows was not water,” he later wrote, “but jet fuel.”

Releasing the transcripts

The transcripts were released under an agreement between The New York Times and the Port Authority. The Port Authority is a bi-state public agency that operates bridges, vehicle tunnels and a subway line between New York City and New Jersey, plus the midtown bus terminal and Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.

Last year, the Times went to court to obtain access to the tapes. The Port Authority agreed to release transcripts on the condition that the newspaper drop its demand for copies of the tapes. The Port Authority later argued that a review of the transcripts indicated their release would violate the privacy of victims’ families.

But a New Jersey judge ordered Friday that the transcripts be released. The Port Authority urged the news media to use restraint in reporting details.

Some victims’ relatives said they favored releasing the transcripts to shed more light on what went wrong on 9/11. Others said the release opened old wounds.

“People are looking for the horror stories. Not the good things,” said Laurie Tietjen, whose brother Ken Tietjen died in the attacks. “A lot of the information there is pretty personal.”

Several dozen relatives accepted an offer to read the transcripts before their release, according to the Port Authority. Theresa Riccardelli, whose husband, Francis, died in the attack, declined: “I know the final outcome. My husband didn’t get to come home.”

Contributing: Gregg Zoroya, Christine Dugas, Michael McCarthy, Blake Carlton, Craig Roush, The Associated Press.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-08-28-attacks-transcript-cover_x.htm

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From 911Encyclopedia:

Quote

The original story on Denko Mechanical began with the arrestment of Sakher “Rocky” Hammad in 2001, who was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5th 2001. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating. Hammad was later involved in a trial on drivers license fraud, which was interrupted with the bizarre death of witness Katherine Smith (->). The following results are based on an independent investigation by Du member Rebecky: “Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified. The Port Authority of New York claimed no knowledge of hiring a Denko Mechanical and said Denko must have been hired by a tenant. Denko Mechanical Ltd’s address and phone is the residential Manhattan apartment and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko. Mr. Davidenko obtained a business license in Feb, 2000. Denko is not listed in any yellow pages or in any type of NY contractor list. Denko simply could not be the sprinkler system contractor for the WTC. Not only would the Port Authority have had records, but companies that install and maintain sprinkler systems for large buildings are heavily regulated major operations with civil engineers, inspectors, warehouses full of delicate equipment and highly trained specialty crews.

A Feb 8, 2000, business entity license issued for a Denko Mechanical Ltd, 232 E 26th St. in Manhattan (ph 212-481-8226) which, on reverse trace, is the Manhattan residence and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko; it’s an apartment building. As noted above, the letter verifying Hammad’s WTC employment was signed by a Sergei Denko. In addition to the WTC 9/5 pass, found in Mr. Hammad’s wallet at the time of arrest: two video rental cards, a credit card, a membership card for the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a card for Detectives Endowment Association of New York with a commemoration for 9/11 victims on it, and a charter membership card to Team Ford Racing. In a February 2002 interview, a rep of the Port Authority, Alan Hicks stated that the PA took care of its own sprinkler system and had no records of Mr. Hammad hired to work on it. The letter exonerating Mr. Hammad’s employment was from a company Denko Mechanical signed by its owner Sergei Denko — does not exist in NY except as a 2 y.o. business license registered to a Mr. Sergei Davidenko of 232 E 26th St., Manhattan. Another residential apartment (again using Skipease reverse trace). A co-defendant in the Memphis trial was Hammad’s cousin, also in the WTC on 9/5, Mr. Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Other defendants were the Memphis ringleader Khaled Odtllah of Jerusalem, immigrated to the US in 1989, and Mr. Mostafa Said Abou-Shahi and Mr. Mohammed Fares, and a juvenile obtaining a 20 y.o. false ID, Mr. Omar Khayata. NOTE: Denko Mechanical was one of a few sponsors for a trade show at “opportunity knocks” Source:http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity Knocks 2001.htm

License suspect had WTC repair pass, but Port Authority did its own work [Tennessee License Scandal]

scheme.jpg

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/703781/posts

Attorney slain in 100 North Main parking garage in Memphis

FAA says it had 11 other suspect planes on Sept. 11

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/731896/posts

9/11 – Who Signed Sakher Hammad’s WTC Basement Level Pass?

World Trade Center 1: There Was No Inferno

911: THE INSTALLATION OF THE SPRINKLERS IN THE WTC…


4 Admit Fraud amid Questions on Death of License Examiner

FBI probes death of driver’s license examiner

http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/DenkoMechanical.shtml

____________________________________________________________

From CNN.com:

FBI probes death of driver’s license examiner

Woman gave licenses to men being checked for terrorist links

From Kevin Bohn and Deborah Feyerick, CNN Washington, February 15, 2002 Posted: 11:19 PM EST (0419 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The death of a Tennessee driver’s license examiner accused of helping six illegal immigrants get false drivers’ licenses was no accident, the FBI said Friday.

Katherine Smith was found burned to death in her car early Sunday, a day before she was to be arraigned on federal charges she helped five Middle Eastern men and one juvenile get fake driver’s licenses earlier this month. The five adults are under investigation for possible ties to the September 11 terrorist attacks, law enforcement officials said.

Smith’s car was on fire when it struck a utility pole on a rural highway about 30 miles from Memphis, FBI agent Suzanne Nash said Wednesday. Smith’s clothing had been soaked with gasoline, leaving her burned beyond recognition, according to authorities.

The FBI said Smith’s death was either a homicide or a suicide.

All six lived in New York and are illegal immigrants, according to law enforcement officials.

One of the men, Sakhera Hammad, had a visitor’s pass for the World Trade Center dated September 5, 2001. He told authorities he and his cousin, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, also charged with trying to obtain a fake license, worked on the tower’s sprinkler systems — a claim authorities have not been able to corroborate.

Investigators say they are also intrigued by the fact that another man implicated in the scam, Khaled Odtllah, drove from New York City to Memphis on September 11.

“As a citizen and as an FBI agent, that’s very disconcerting to me that these Middle Eastern males are coming down from New York City to Tennessee to get false driver’s licenses,” said Phil Thomas of the FBI. “We’re hoping we would get a handle on what type of traffic this is.”

But authorities acknowledge the men could have had nothing to do with the attacks.

The other named suspects in the license scam are Mohammed Fares and Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin. All were arrested on February 7.
Affidavit: Men paid $1,000 for fake licenses

According to an FBI affidavit filed last week, Smith told authorities “that she had accepted Tennessee driver’s license applications from Khaled Odtallah, which were already filled out.” The applications “were not accompanied by proper documentation, and (Smith) had put them into the system so that individuals on the applications would receive Tennessee driver’s licenses.”

The affidavit portrays Odtallah as the scheme’s ringleader, paying $1,000 per fake license.

Odtllah, Hammad and the four other defendants are alleged to have driven February 5 to a driver’s license station in Memphis. They departed about an hour later in two automobiles, accompanied by a juvenile who has not been identified publicly.

Smith had told investigators she issued seven driver’s licenses, at Odtallah’s request, without proper authentication documents and without following proper procedures. She said she had bought her car from Odtallah.

According to the affidavit, Fares, Abou-Shahin and the juvenile said they were told they could get driver’s licenses if they paid $1,000 to Odtallah or Sakhera Hammad. Sakhera and Abdelmuhsen Hammad admitted they had previously received licenses without proper documentation, the affidavit said.

http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/02/15/inv.licenser.death/

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From 24ahead:

The 9/11 hijackers and driver’s licenses

There’s a detailed article from November 2001 here.

When [9/11 hijackers] Hanjour and Almihdhar showed up at DMV Express [in Virginia], they apparently already had two forms of ID–a passport and a legal visa would have been accepted—because they did not submit DL6s to establish their identity. But they did submit DL51s, to “prove” their Virginia residence. Martinez [an illegal alien day laborer from El Salvador who they’d hired to help them get driver’s licenses] allegedly certified the forms for both of them.

On the forms, the men claimed to live in an apartment complex on the 5900 block of Leesburg Pike–one block down from the strip mall. “This address did not belong to either Hanjour or Almihdhar,” [FBI agent] Gomez wrote in his affidavit, “but was rather the address that appeared on Martinez’s Virginia identification card. Martinez no longer lived at the address, but had in the past.”

With their newly minted photo IDs, the two suspected terrorists drove back with Martinez to Culmore. “At the 7-Eleven they all got out of the van,” wrote Gomez. “Hanjour and Almihdhar went inside the store and appeared to use the ATM machine. They then came out, paid Martinez $100 in cash for his efforts, and left in the van. Martinez did not see them again.”

But the Virginia DMV had not seen the last of these two. Hanjour and Almihdhar were now qualified to certify the legal residency of other terrorists.

That is exactly what they did the next day–at a DMV about three miles from the Pentagon on South Four Mile Run in Arlington.

Wrote Special Agent Gomez: “DMV records also show that Hanjour and Almihdhar used the address Martinez gave them on August 1, 2001, to complete DL51 forms for [9/11 hijackers] Majed Moqed (Moqed) and Salem Alhazmi (Alhazmi) on August 2, 2001…”

Three other suspected hijackers showed up at the Arlington DMV that very same day. They, too, needed witnesses to help them secure Virginia IDs. But unlike Hanjour and Almihdhar, they needed not only DL51s, to establish a residence, but also DL6s, to establish their identities. That meant they had to have the help of a witness, a notary, and a lawyer…

…Herbert and Lopez-Flores [also illegal alien day laborers] got into Herbert’s car and drove to an attorney’s office on Columbia Pike in Falls Church. The three Arab men followed in their van…

One of the Arab men in the office that day was Ahmed Alghamdi, one of the suspected hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175, which flew into the World Trade Center towers. Lopez-Flores vouched for his DL51 form, on which Alghamdi falsely claimed to live on Edison Street in Alexandria.

Abdul Alomari was another one of the Arab men in the law office that day. He is a suspected hijacker of American Airlines Flight 11, which also crashed into the World Trade Center towers. Alomari claimed to live on Buchanan Street in Arlington. “Oscar Armando Diaz,” whom the FBI believes to be Villalobos, certified Alomari’s residency on the DL51. (The actual resident at this location was Villalobos’ cousin.)

Villalobos, who told the FBI he believed the men to be Pakistani or Iraqi, added an interesting note. “Villalobos said the attorney then came out of his office and signed the forms as well,” wrote Special Agent Weidner. “Here, Villalobos noted that the attorney conversed with the ‘Pakistanis’ in ‘their language.’ After this conversation, each ‘Pakistani’ man paid the secretary $35, and then all returned to the Arlington DMV office. Once back at the DMV office, the ‘Pakistani’ men paid Villalobos $50 for his assistance and then went into the DMV to get identification cards.”

When the FBI later showed Villalobos photos of the suspected September 11 hijackers, he identified five of them–Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Khalid Alghamdi and Abdul Alomari–as being at the Arlington DMV that day. “These identifications,” Special Agent Weidner wrote, “were later confirmed by Virginia DMV records which show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identifications cards at the Arlington DMV on August 2, 2001…”

http://24ahead.com/blog/archives/002266.html

_____________________________________________________________

From Human Events:

http://humanevents.com/2004/06/18/emflashback-november-5-2001embrsuburban-washingtons-terror-trail/

QUOTE

FLASHBACK: November 5, 2001Suburban Washington’s Terror Trail

Friday Jun 18, 2004 3:00 AM

By Timothy P. Carney and Terence P. Jeffrey

(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the cover of the November 5, 2001, issue of HUMAN EVENTS.)

The frontline in the war against Osama bin Laden does not run through Afghanistan. It runs through the parking lot of the Bush family’s favorite restaurant in suburban Virginia.

From there it moves across a narrow side street, through the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, then down through a warren of old, low-rent, red-brick apartment buildings frequented by aliens from El Salvador.

Past these buildings, it slices several hundred yards down a broad suburban boulevard, then turns left up another boulevard. There it cruises northeast for a few miles, until it takes a brief detour south.

That’s where the line makes its way through the bumper-to-bumper traffic in the congested parking lot of the Arlington office of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Beyond the DMV, the line moves north again, back to the boulevard, which is called Columbia Pike, where it veers northeast–straight into the charred, gaping hole on the southwest face of the Pentagon.

Avenue of Attack

Drive this line–suburban Washington’s terror trail–and a chill runs down your spine. There is an eerie and ominous truth that emerges from affidavits that special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)_have filed in federal district court: The path that suspected al Qaeda terrorists followed through suburban Washington in the weeks before September 11 parallels the last moments of American Airlines Flight 77.

When these alleged lieutenants of Osama bin Laden flew that plane into the Pentagon, they knew exactly where they were going, and exactly how to get there. They knew because they had followed that route before–on the surface roads of Northern Virginia. For at least several weeks before September 11–and perhaps even longer than that–they had frequented the streets and neighborhoods that lie almost in the shadow of the Pentagon.

They had converted a large local community of Latino illegal aliens into a form of human camouflage. That camouflage gave them an avenue of attack fully as stealthy as a billion-dollar B-2 bomber. With easy arrogance, they made their way through a criminal underground that was created to profit from the illicit needs of these illegal aliens. In the dog days of August, the alleged al Qaeda terrorists acted no differently than they would have had they been young men from El Salvador looking for day jobs in construction or gardening. Come September, they consummated their plot to kill thousands of Americans.

The almost criminal neglect of U.S. immigration laws that allowed these alleged terrorists to do this was fostered by Democratic politicians hoping to turn today’s illegal aliens into tomorrow’s voters and by Republican politicians fearful that, if they insisted on enforcing the immigration laws, they would be falsely accused of racism and lose forever their chance of winning support from the burgeoning bloc of Latino voters.

The path through Northern Virginia that led to the Pentagon attack began in a meeting between an illegal Salvadoran immigrant and suspected hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar.

Luis Alonso Martinez-Flores is a 28-year-old Salvadoran who, according to an FBI affidavit, “has been living unlawfully in the United States since 1994.”

On August 1, he went to the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store on Glen Carlyn Road, just off Leesburg Pike, in Falls Church, Va. His purpose, he later told FBI Special Agent Jesus H. Gomez, was to look “for day labor.”

People in the neighborhood knew Martinez. He often hung out, some local businessmen say, near the entrance of a First Union Bank branch at the corner of the Culmore Shopping Center. This center–a strip mall on Leesburg Pike–sits just across a narrow side street from the 7-Eleven. In the middle of the strip, a bit nearer to the bank than to the 7-Eleven, is the Peking Gourmet Inn. This restaurant was such a favorite of the senior President Bush that he reportedly ate there some 50 times during his presidency and vice presidency. President-elect George W. Bush took his brother Marvin there for a birthday dinner in December.

But also last December the restaurant was named in a Washington Post story that did not mention good food or politicians. “Fairfax County police have identified the man who was shot to death in the Culmore Shopping Center last weekend as Thomas X. Duong, 42, of Falls Church,” said the Post. “Duong, a cook at the Peking Gourmet Inn, was found dead in his car behind the restaurant. . . . Police said yesterday that he was shot several times in the upper body.”

Some local businessmen say that over the last two decades the neighborhood has increasingly become a gathering spot for illegal aliens.

The police can’t do anything about it, said one, because they can’t arrest someone merely for being an illegal alien. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) doesn’t do anything either, he added, presumably because they lack the resources. Another local merchant noted that in the mornings, when the largest number of illegal aliens congregate in local parking lots, Fairfax County police cars park nearby to keep a watchful eye on the crowd.

But it wasn’t a squad car that approached Martinez in the 7-Eleven parking lot on August 1. It was a van carrying two Arab men.

Martinez told Special Agent Gomez that two prospective day laborers approached the two men in the van “but refused to assist Hanjour and Almihdhar when they learned the Arab men wanted help with DMV forms.”

Martinez did not share their qualms.

He jumped into the van and directed the two Arabs to drive several miles south to the Springfield Mall. In the mall, they made their way to the “DMV Express,” a Virginia state office set up in a storefront.

At that time, to get an official photo identification card from the state of Virginia, a foreign national needed three documents: two to prove his identity, and one to prove his legal residence in the state. A person lacking ordinary documentation of their identity and residence–such as an out-of-state driver’s license, a passport, a paycheck, a utility bill–could present the DMV with a pair of certified forms instead. The first form, a so-called DL6, was to establish the applicant’s identity. To be legal, a DL6 needed to be signed by a witness who knew the applicant and certified by an attorney in the presence of a notary public. The second, the DL51, which was supposed to establish the applicant’s legal residence, needed to be signed–in the presence of a notary public or a clerk at the DMV–by a witness who knew where the applicant lived.

When Hanjour and Almihdhar showed up at DMV Express, they apparently already had two forms of ID–a passport and a legal visa would have been accepted—because they did not submit DL6s to establish their identity. But they did submit DL51s, to “prove” their Virginia residence. Martinez allegedly certified the forms for both of them.

On the forms, the men claimed to live in an apartment complex on the 5900 block of Leesburg Pike–one block down from the strip mall. “This address did not belong to either Hanjour or Almihdhar,” Gomez wrote in his affidavit, “but was rather the address that appeared on Martinez’s Virginia identification card. Martinez no longer lived at the address, but had in the past.”

With their newly minted photo IDs, the two suspected terrorists drove back with Martinez to Culmore. “At the 7-Eleven they all got out of the van,” wrote Gomez. “Hanjour and Almihdhar went inside the store and appeared to use the ATM machine. They then came out, paid Martinez $100 in cash for his efforts, and left in the van. Martinez did not see them again.”

But the Virginia DMV had not seen the last of these two. Hanjour and Almihdhar were now qualified to certify the legal residency of other terrorists.

That is exactly what they did the next day–at a DMV about three miles from the Pentagon on South Four Mile Run in Arlington.

Wrote Special Agent Gomez: “DMV records also show that Hanjour and Almihdhar used the address Martinez gave them on August 1, 2001, to complete DL51 forms for Majed Moqed (Moqed) and Salem Alhazmi (Alhazmi) on August 2, 2001. Moqed and Alhazmi are believed to be two more of the hijackers who flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon. . . . Hanjour certified Moqed’s Virginia residence, Almihdhar certified Alhazmi’s Virginia residence. Moqed and Alhazmi submitted these DL51 forms in support of applications for Virginia identifications cards. . . . Both applications were approved.”

Al Qaeda had the system down cold.

In Minutes

Three other suspected hijackers showed up at the Arlington DMV that very same day. They, too, needed witnesses to help them secure Virginia IDs. But unlike Hanjour and Almihdhar, they needed not only DL51s, to establish a residence, but also DL6s, to establish their identities. That meant they had to have the help of a witness, a notary, and a lawyer.

They got them all in minutes.

Victor M. Lopez-Flores is allegedly one of those who helped. The “INS deported Lopez-Flores to El Salvador on November 19, 1993, following a felony conviction,” Special Agent Gomez wrote in an affidavit. “He then returned to the United States unlawfully.”

On the day in question, Lopez-Flores later told Special Agent Gomez, “he was standing in a parking lot near the Arlington DMV office with several other Hispanic males.

“There,” Gomez writes, “three Arab males approached him in a van with out-of-state plates and sought his assistance in obtaining Virginia identification cards for two of the three of them.”

A second Hispanic man, who went by the name of “Herbert,” but who carried an ID card in the name of “Oscar Diaz,” joined them. “Herbert is in fact Herbert Villalobos,” FBI Special Agent Brian G. Weidner said in an affidavit.

Herbert and Lopez-Flores got into Herbert’s car and drove to an attorney’s office on Columbia Pike in Falls Church. The three Arab men followed in their van.

“According to Lopez-Flores,” wrote Gomez, “when they arrived at the attorney’s office, he and ‘Herbert’ took the men into a waiting room where they were all greeted by a female secretary.”

The secretary remembered not three, but four, Arab men in her office that day.

“I interviewed Kenys Galicia, the secretary who worked at the attorney’s office in Falls Church,” wrote Gomez. “Galicia stated that she worked at the attorney’s office as a secretary and that she notarized documents for the attorney as well. Galicia stated that a man she knew as ‘Victor’ and a second Hispanic male brought in four Arab males to her office on our about August 2, 2001.”

“Victor” allegedly was a regular customer. “She stated that she has known Lopez-Flores approximately one year,” wrote Gomez. “During that time, he brought several people into her office and helped them complete DL6 and DL51 forms.”

One of the Arab men in the office that day was Ahmed Alghamdi, one of the suspected hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175, which flew into the World Trade Center towers. Lopez-Flores vouched for his DL51 form, on which Alghamdi falsely claimed to live on Edison Street in Alexandria.

Abdul Alomari was another one of the Arab men in the law office that day. He is a suspected hijacker of American Airlines Flight 11, which also crashed into the World Trade Center towers. Alomari claimed to live on Buchanan Street in Arlington. “Oscar Armando Diaz,” whom the FBI believes to be Villalobos, certified Alomari’s residency on the DL51. (The actual resident at this location was Villalobos’ cousin.)

Villalobos, who told the FBI he believed the men to be Pakistani or Iraqi, added an interesting note. “Villalobos said the attorney then came out of his office and signed the forms as well,” wrote Special Agent Weidner. “Here, Villalobos noted that the attorney conversed with the ‘Pakistanis’ in ‘their language.’ After this conversation, each ‘Pakistani’ man paid the secretary $35, and then all returned to the Arlington DMV office. Once back at the DMV office, the ‘Pakistani’ men paid Villalobos $50 for his assistance and then went into the DMV to get identification cards.”

When the FBI later showed Villalobos photos of the suspected September 11 hijackers, he identified five of them–Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Khalid Alghamdi and Abdul Alomari–as being at the Arlington DMV that day. “These identifications,” Special Agent Weidner wrote, “were later confirmed by Virginia DMV records which show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identifications cards at the Arlington DMV on August 2, 2001.”

But that did not end the connection between the Virginia DMV and the suspected September 11 hijackers. The agency also has a tie to one of the suspected hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93–the plane that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the hijackers were apparently overwhelmed by a group of courageous passengers.

This takes us back down I-395–the main highway heading south from the Pentagon into Virginia–to the Springfield Mall and its “DMV Express.”

“DMV records further show that Hanjour used the address Martinez gave him on August 1, 2001, to complete a DL51 form for Ziad Jarrah (Jarrah) on August 29, 2001,” wrote Gomez. “Jarrah is believed to be one of the hijackers who commandeered United Airlines Flight 93. Jarrah’s DL51 was certified by Hanjour. . . . Jarrah submitted the completed DL51 form in support of an application for a Virginia identification card . . . at the DMV office in Springfield, Va. The application was approved.”

As far as the government of Virginia was concerned, five of the September 11 hijackers were just peaceful aliens sharing a small apartment a block from the President’s favorite restaurant.

Two more of the suspected hijackers, as far as the state of Virginia was concerned, were peaceful aliens living in Arlington and Alexandria, in neighborhoods close to the Pentagon and Reagan National Airport.

The attorney for whom Galicia worked later provided the FBI with photocopies of Alomari’s and Alghamdi’s Saudi passports, which he had taken when they received their documents in his office.

Not long after she allegedly helped the September 11 hijackers get Virginia IDs, Galicia became the target of a sting. “On or about August 16, 2001, CW-2 [Confidential Witness-2], acting at the direction of agents of the Virginia DMV, contacted Galicia and made arrangements to purchase additional DL51 forms,” wrote Special Agent Weidner. “CW-2 called Galicia and told her that he needed more blank DL51 forms because he was bringing in a group of people from New York to get Virginia identification cards. She agreed and said she would call CW-2 back when the forms were prepared. Later that day, Galicia called CW-2 and told him that the forms were ready. CW-2 then drove to her office, met Galicia in the office, and bought 30 DL51 forms from her for $90. These forms were blank but for Galicia’s signature and notary stamp.”

How many blank, pre-notarized forms such as these may have floated around Virginia in the months before September 11? It’s anyone’s guess.

On a previous occasion, according to Weidner’s affidavit: “CW-2 met Galicia in the parking lot outside her office and bought 100 DL51 forms from her for $300. These forms were incomplete except that Galicia had signed and stamped the notary portion.”

While the suspected hijackers are presumed dead, some of their facilitators face criminal prosecution. Luis A. Martinez-Flores was indicted on October 25 for “unlawful production of identification documents.” Victor M. Lopez-Flores, according to the Washington Post, has been “charged with falsely signing an affidavit.” Herbert Villalobos has pleaded innocent to “unlawful production of identification documents.” And Kenys Galicia has been charged with “conspiracy to commit identification document fraud,” “unlawful production of identification documents,” and “aiding and abetting.”

The lawyer that Galicia worked for has not been charged with any crime.

Since September 11, the Virginia DMV has changed its rules. You can no longer get a photo ID using a DL6 or a DL51.

What does that mean for prospective terrorists? Well, a DMV spokesman conceded to us that a man with a valid passport and visa could still get a Virginia photo ID if he could produce any document from a long list including a paycheck stub, a bank statement or an auto insurance policy to prove he is a Virginia resident.

The bombs are dropping today on Afghanistan, and an intensive search is underway for the anthrax killer. But on the frontline in the war against terrorism that runs through the parking lots at Culmore then down Columbia Pike to the Pentagon, the enemy has hardly been engaged.

http://humanevents.com/2004/06/18/emflashback-november-5-2001embrsuburban-washingtons-terror-trail/

________________________________________________________________

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/25/investigate.htm

From USA Today

QUOTE

Va. man accused of helping hijacker get ID

By Kevin Johnson, Toni Locy and Richard Willing, USA TODAY, 09/24/2001 – Updated 11:39 PM ET

A Virginia man has been charged with helping a suicide hijacker fraudently obtain a state identification card that the hijacker may have used to board one of the jets that crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Herbert Villalobos of Arlington, Va., was charged with signing papers that falsely certified that hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari lived at an Arlington address. Alomari used the notarized papers to get a Virginia identification card issued by the state motor vehicles department Aug 2. Villalobos is scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday. Court papers say a second hijacker, Ahmed Saleh Alghamdi, falsely obtained an ID card through an unidentified associate of Villalobos. That man has agreed to be a witness against Villalobos and has not been charged, the court papers indicate. Alghamdi was part of a second team of Muslim extremists that also crashed a hijacked jet into the Trade Center.

The complaint against Villalobos is the second set of criminal charges to be filed in connection with the hijacking attacks, which left more than 6,000 dead or missing and destroyed the Trade Center and part of the Pentagon. It is the first charge U.S. authorities have filed that directly links the hijackers to any alleged assistants. Last week, three resident immigrants in Detroit were charged after FBI agents found them in an apartment where allegedly falsified immigration papers were hidden.

Nothing in court papers filed by the FBI suggests that investigators believe Villalobos was part of the hijacking plot.

But the arrest adds a new and chilling element to the unfolding story of how the hijackers were able to assume “American” identities in the months leading up to the worst mass murder in U.S. history. Papers filed in connection with Villalobos’ arrest suggest the hijackers might have used a contact, an Arabic-speaking Virginia lawyer, to hire Villalobos and tap into a system for obtaining false identification that is well-known to Hispanic undocumented immigrants in the Washington area.

To this point, authorities have said the hijackers kept largely to themselves and had little to do with other Arabs or non-Arab immigrants.

Virginia’s liberal regulations allow people to obtain state ID cards and driver’s licenses by showing two other pieces of identification and proof of state residence, such as a lease or utility bill. The state allows an affidavit to be substituted for other proof of residence. That affidavit is what Villalobos is accused of supplying.

The FBI’s complaint charges that Villalobos and the unidentified witness were approached Aug. 2 in the parking lot of a state motor vehicles office by three Arab men, including Alomari and Alghamdi. The five allegedly drove to the nearby office of an Arabic-speaking lawyer, where Villalobos, using the name Oscar Diaz, and the witness signed proof-of-residency forms. Villalobos was paid about $80 for his part, court papers say.

When he was arrested Friday, Villalobos could not recall the lawyer’s name, the court papers say.

His arrest comes as the worldwide probe into the hijackings continues to mushroom.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said Monday that 352 people have been arrested or detained since Sept. 11, and that 392 more are being sought for questioning. The number sought for questioning was nearly double the 200 named in a list the FBI sent to state and local authorities last week. And the number arrested and detained is more than triple the 115 who had been arrested through Thursday.

Investigators have performed 324 searches. They have carried out or plan to carry out 103 court orders and 3,410 subpoenas, Ashcroft said. He said 98 of the arrestees are held on immigration charges. The rest were arrested or detained for investigation of other charges. Some detainees have been released, but authorities would not say how many. In Europe, Asia and Canada, at least 50 others have been arrested.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration continued to ban flights by crop-dusting planes Monday amid reports that hijacker Mohamed Atta was part of a group of Arab men who visited a Florida airport recently and asked detailed questions about chemical-spraying aircraft.

Contributing: Deborah Sharp

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/25/investigate.htm

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From HighBeamResearch:

QUOTE

D.C. Man Pleads Guilty To Helping Hijackers

A District day laborer pleaded guilty yesterday to helping two of the Sept. 11 hijackers fraudulently obtain Virginia personal identification cards in a plea agreement that underscores the unwitting nature of the man’s involvement with the terrorists.

Herbert Villalobos, 35, faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting identification document fraud, but lawyers said he could receive a year or less when he is sentenced Feb. 1. Villalobos also could face deportation after serving his sentence.

Villalobos was the first of four Washington area residents charged with helping the hijackers exploit a loophole in Virginia law that has since been closed. Until Sept. …

https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-480551.html

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http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/keyword/villalobos

Search for articles about Herbert Villalobos

From Orlando Sentinel

Man Admits Driving 2 Hijackers To Law Office To Obtain Virginia Id

December 5, 2001

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping two of the Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards. Herbert Villalobos, 35, admitted that Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi paid him $50 to drive them to a northern Virginia law office, where they fraudulently completed forms used to obtain ID cards from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Villalobos’ attorney, Patrick Anderson, said his client did not know the hijackers.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2001-12-05/news/0112050385_1_hijackers-obtain-villalobos

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http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010925/ts/attacks_investigation_207.html (dead link)

Reported on AnandTech forums

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/hijackers-linked-to-hazardous-waste.620735/

Hijackers Linked to Hazardous Waste

Tuesday September 25 3:11 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) – Attorney General John Ashcroft (news – web sites) said Tuesday that individuals with possible links to the hijackers who terrorized the nation obtained or tried to obtain licenses to transport hazardous materials.

Ashcroft issued the new warning as the FBI (news – web sites) sought nearly 400 people for questioning in the terrorist attacks and federal prosecutors worked to build a criminal case involving identification cards for five of the now-dead hijackers. One man was charged with aiding the hijackers.

In France, anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. interests in France. Seven people already were in custody in France in connection with the alleged plot.

The FBI, meanwhile, dropped a material-witness warrant against a Texas doctor who had been detained. Al-Badr Al-Hazmi had been held in New York as a material witness in the Sept. 11 attacks. Government officials confirmed Tuesday that he was released and was returning to Texas.

A Saudi national, Al-Hazmi, 34, was doing a medical residency in radiology at University of Texas Health Science Center. He had been working at a military hospital located on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in the days before the attacks.

The FBI has advised local police to be on the lookout for anything suspicious regarding hazardous materials and crop-dusting aircraft, Ashcroft told a Senate hearing.

“Our investigation has uncovered several individuals, including individuals who may have links to the hijackers, who fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain harzardous-material transportation licenses,” Ashcroft said.

At least two people detained in the investigation – one in Detroit and the other in Chicago – had licenses to transport chemicals and other hazardous materials. And one of the hijackers had visited a Florida crop-dusting company several times in the weeks before the attacks and had sought a government loan for a crop-dusting plane.

Such reports have raised fears the small farm planes could be used in a biological or chemical attack. All crop-dusting planes were grounded Sunday and Monday as a precaution. The grounding was lifted early Tuesday.

In the criminal case, the government said Herbert Villalobos accompanied Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to a lawyer’s office in Virginia on Aug. 2 to help the two suspected hijackers obtain state identity cards.

When shown photos of the hijackers by the FBI, Villalobos recognized three other suspects “believed to have commandeered American Airlines Flight 77” from Washington Dulles International Airport that crashed into the Pentagon (news – web sites), according to court documents. Villalobos said Hani Hanjour, Salem Al Hazmi and Majed Moqed were at the Arlington, Va., office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2, just as Al Omari and Al Ghamdi were.

“Virginia DMV records … show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identification cards at the Arlington DMV,” said a seven-page affidavit by an FBI agent.

The affidavit did not say whether the five used the IDs to become ticketed passengers aboard the doomed flights, which also crashed in New York City and a field in Pennsylvania.

The FBI says Al Omari was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Al Ghamdi was aboard United Flight 175 that hit the trade center’s south tower. Villalobos was charged with unlawfully signing a Virginia residency form for Al Omari. He was being detained at an undisclosed location. A hearing is set for Wednesday morning.

More than 6,900 people are missing and presumed dead from the attacks, in which Saudi exile Osama bin Laden (news – web sites) has been named the leading suspect.

Ashcroft said 352 people have been arrested or detained in the investigation and 392 others who “we think … have information that could be helpful” were being sought for questioning.

There was concern over the potential for further attacks.

Robert Epling of Community Bank of Florida said he’s been told that Mohamed Atta, one of the suspected hijackers, sought a USDA loan for a crop-duster. The USDA is a tenant in the bank, which checked its files about Atta at the request of the FBI.

“We understand he was turned down” at the USDA “and they referred him to us,” said Epling. A loan officer at the bank remembered a phone call from someone inquiring about crop-dusters, an unusual request because there are so few of the planes left in the area, Epling said. Nothing came of the inquiry from the unnamed person.

James Lester, an employee of South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade, told the FBI that Atta was among the men who in groups of two or three visited the crop-dusting firm nearly every weekend for six or eight weeks before the attacks.

Atta was a persistent questioner and “I recognized him because he stayed on my feet all the time. I just about had to push him away from me,” Lester said.

In California, authorities detained three San Diego area college students as material witnesses. Law enforcement officials said they determined the students had information about three suspected hijackers and were unlikely to testify willingly before a grand jury.

Authorities in Wynne, Ark., early Tuesday arrested five Middle Eastern men, including at least one whose name appeared on an FBI list of people wanted for questioning in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin said the five were stopped for speeding in a small town located in a heavy agriculture area.

Crop-dusters weren’t the only concern.

In Michigan the president of a truck-driving school confirmed two men arrested last week had attended the school and one of them obtained a permit to transport hazardous materials.

Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33, taken into custody Sept. 17, attended the U.S. Truck Driver Training School in Detroit this summer, said the school’s president, Joseph LaBarge. Koubriti passed the state commercial drivers license exam on Aug. 22 and received a permit to transport hazardous materials. Hannan failed the road test, LaBarge said.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/sep/25/september11.usa3

From The Guardian

Suspected hijacker sought loan for crop duster

Mark Oliver, Tuesday 25 September 2001

A bank president has said that one of the suspected hijackers in the terror attacks on the US tried to get a government loan to buy a crop dusting plane, it emerged today.

Robert Epling, of the Community Bank of Florida, said suspect Mohamed Atta sought a loan from the US department of agriculture, which is a tenant in his bank, to buy a crop duster.

The attorney general, John Ashcroft, told Congress yesterday the FBI had intelligence that crop dusters could be used in a biological or chemical attack, and a national ban on flying them had been extended but ends today.

Atta, 33, who was reportedly one of the pilots in the World Trade Centre attack in New York, is alleged to have been monitored by intelligence officers last year after buying huge quantities of chemicals. He is widely believed to have been one of the organisers of the terror attacks on the US on September 11.

It has also been reported that Atta and several Middle Eastern associates made repeated visits to Florida’s Belle Glade airport, enquiring about crop dusters, how much poison they could carry and how hard they are to fly.

The New York Times reported today that the key to unravelling the plot may lie in Germany and that a team of investigators has been dispatched there. Atta is believed to have spent eight years in Hamburg, where he is believed to have studied engineering.

Almost 400 people are being sought for questioning by FBI agents investigating the attacks. Mr Ashcroft said 352 people have been arrested or detained in the investigation. Another 392 are being sought for questioning.

However, investigators have not yet identified any knowing accomplices in the US or uncovered a broad network of support which helped the 19 hijackers, according to a senior law enforcement official quoted in the New York Times today.

The source, who is not named, says there has been little hard evidence of other cells working in the US and many of those who helped the terrorists are believed to have done so unwittingly.

Meanwhile, the first person has been charged in the terror investigation as federal prosecutors attempt to build a criminal case involving identification cards for five of the hijackers.

The government said Herbert Villalobos accompanied suspected hijackers Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to a lawyer’s office in Virginia on August 2 to help them obtain state identity cards.

Mr Villalobos has been charged with unlawfully signing a Virginia residency form for Al Omari.

The FBI says Al Omari was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the north tower of the World Trade Centre. Al Ghamdi was aboard United Flight 175 that hit the trade centre’s south tower.

The affidavit did not say whether the five used the IDs to become ticketed passengers aboard the doomed flights.

Amid other developments, US legislation is pending to make all airport workers with access to planes and secure areas submit to new criminal background checks and there are plans to reissue all identity cards.

Meanwhile, French anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early today in connection with a planned attack on the US embassy in Paris and other American interests in France.

More than 6,000 people are missing and presumed dead from the attacks, in which Saudi exile Osama bin Laden has been named the leading suspect.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/sep/25/september11.usa3

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From FoxNews

Ten Arrested for Fraudulently Obtaining Licenses to Transport Hazardous Materials

Published September 26, 2001 FoxNews.com

Authorities arrested 10 Middle Eastern men in three different states Wednesday on charges of fraudulently obtaining licenses to transport hazardous materials. The arrests were made in connection with the terrorist attacks probe.

The arrests in Missouri, Michigan and Washington state followed FBI warnings that terrorists may strike next using chemical or biological weapons. Authorities said as many as 20 people who had the bogus permits, some of whom may have connections to the 19 hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, have been charged but may not be linked to the attacks.

FBI affidavits for the 10 arrested said a total of 18 people from seven states had falsely obtained licenses in Pennsylvania to haul hazardous materials between July 1999 and February 2000.

It’s too early to tell whether any of those arrested Wednesday are connected to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, said Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden.

Those arrested got the licenses from the state of Pennsylvania, where a driver’s license examiner in Pittsburgh provided permits to people who didn’t take required tests, had suspended licenses or were otherwise not eligible, according to court records.

In court papers, the FBI said a Middle Eastern man named Abdul Mohamman, known as “Ben,” acted as a middleman in the scheme, bringing in as many as 30 drivers who fraudulently obtained commercial licenses to carry hazardous materials.

The FBI quoted the examiner, identified in the affidavit only as CW-1, as saying that he was introduced to “Ben” about six years ago.

The examiner told the FBI he “issued HAZMAT endorsements to these individuals at Ben’s instruction without conducting the required test.”

“Ben paid between $50 and $100 per individual by placing the money in ‘brand-new’ bills under CW-1’s desk calendar,” said the FBI affidavit.

Also Wednesday, the Washington Times is reporting that Usama Bin Laden and his terrorist group, Al Qaeda, attempted to acquire weapons of mass destruction from Russian mafia sources and are believed to have a secret nuclear weapons laboratory inside Afghanistan.

Authorities were also concerned about the testimony of a convicted terrorist collaborator who told a courtroom two months ago that he trained for a chemical attack at a camp inside Afghanistan where poison was unleashed to kill dogs.

“In regard to targets in general … we were speaking about America,” Ahmed Ressam testified in July. Ressam said terrorist trainers discussed dispensing poison through the air intake vents of buildings to ensure the maximum amount of casualties.

Ressam testified in the trial of a man accused of conspiring with him to bomb the Los Angeles airport as part of a millennium terror plot. He was convicted and became a cooperating witness in hopes of receiving a shorter sentence.

Those at the camp with him in 1998 learned how to place cyanide near a building’s air intake to kill as many people as they could without endangering themselves, he testified.

Ressam told authorities that the camp taught him how to mix poisons with oily substances and smear them on doorknobs so those who touched them would be killed by toxins coursing through their blood.

He said America, as the “enemy of Islam,” was the likely target of such attacks.

The concern about licenses to haul chemicals first surfaced last week when authorities arrested Nabil Al-Marabh, 34, a former Boston cab driver taken into custody in Chicago last week. Al-Marabh holds a commercial driver’s license and is certified to transport hazardous materials, records show.

The arrests came as the government increased its pressure Wednesday on a former airline food worker whose name and phone number were found in a car registered to one of the terrorist hijackers, persuading a federal court to detain him without bail.

Prosecutors described Mohamed Abdi of Virginia as an essential witness and said “he may be more.” Abdi’s lawyer insisted he knew nothing about the Sept. 11 attacks.

Another man, charged with helping a hijacker get a photo identification card, was also denied bail by a federal magistrate in Alexandria, Va., as prosecutors sought to keep possible suspects jailed until it could be determined whether they were tied to the attacks.

Abdi’s name and phone number were on a Washington road map found in a car registered to Nawaq Alhamzi, identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers who commandeered an American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon.

Abdi was arrested on forgery charges unrelated to the attacks.

FBI agent Kevin W. Ashby testified that when Abdi was arrested he had a piece of newspaper containing an article about Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who was convicted of conspiring to bomb the Los Angeles airport as part of a millennium terror plot.

Ressam testified at a separate trial earlier this year that he spent six months training at terrorist camps in Afghanistan.

Investigators said the name “Mohumed” and a phone number registered to Abdi, a security guard and naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, were written on a map found inside the car parked at Dulles International Airport, where American Airlines Flight 77 took off.

A cashier’s check made out to a flight school in Phoenix, drawings of a cockpit of a 757 and a box-cutter knife were also found in the car.

Ashby said Abdi “could offer no explanation” how his name and phone number turned up on the map in the terrorist’s car. When Ashby pressed for an explanation, Abdi said he donated his car to the Salvation Army in 1999 and that perhaps he had left the map behind in the car. However, Abdi didn’t have that phone number in 1999, Ashby testified.

He said that Abdi worked for an airline catering company at Reagan Washington National Airport in the early to mid-1990s.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Spencer, who described Abdi as an essential witness and possibly more, argued that he should be held without bond. “The pressure on him to abscond will be incredible,” he said.

Abdi was one of two men ordered held without bond Wednesday in Alexandria. After a separate hearing, U.S. Magistrate Welton Curtis Sewell granted the government’s request to detain Herbert Villalobos, who was arrested Monday in Arlington, Va.

Villalobos was charged with helping one of the suspected hijackers, Abdulaziz Alomari, obtain a fraudulent Virginia ID card. His lawyer argued that the charge did not warrant holding him without bond, but Sewell disagreed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2001/09/26/ten-arrested-for-fraudulently-obtaining-licenses-to-transport-hazardous.html

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From LubbockOnline

Hijackers easily vanished into fabric of American society

Published: Saturday, September 15, 2001

Suspected Hijackers identified

The 19 people identified by the FBI as hijackers aboard the four planes that crashed Tuesday:

American Airlines 77, which hit the Pentagongeles and New York; visa status: B-1 Visa (covers business-related travel, good for up to a year). Expired B-2 Visa (travel visa, good for up to a year).Nawaq Alhamzi: Possible residences in Fort Lee, N.J.; Wayne, N.J., and Los Angeles.

Hani Hanjour: Possible residences in Phoenix and San Diego. He was believed to be a pilot.

American Airlines 11, which hit the north towerof the World Trade Center

Satam Al Suqami: Date of birth used June 28, 1976; last known address United Arab Emirates.

Wail Alshehri: Date of birth used: July 31, 1973. Possible residences in Hollywood, Fla., and Newton, Mass. He was believed to be a pilot.

Abdulaziz Alomari: Dates of birth used: Dec. 24,

1972 and May 28, 1979. Possible residence in Hollywood, Fla. He was believed to be a pilot.

United Airlines 175, which hit the south towerof the World Trade Center

Marwan Al-Shehhi: Date of birth used: May 9, 1978. Possible residence in Hollywood, Fla. Visa status: B-2 Visa. He was believed to be a pilot.Ahmed Alghamdi: Possible residence: Delray Beach, Fla.

Mohald Alshehri: Possible residence: Delray Beach, Fla.

United Airlines 93, which crashed in ruralPennsylvania

Saeed Alghamdi: Possible residence: Delray Beach, Fla.

Ahmed Alnami: Possible residence: Delray Beach, Fla.

Ziad Jarrahi: Believed to be a pilot.

The FBI requests that anyone with information about these individuals call 1-866-483-5137.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON {AP}— Most came from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, two of the Arab countries most friendly to the United States.

They betrayed not a word to their neighbors about what drove their suicide missions: commandeering airliners and flying them into two of America’s most treasured landmarks.

“They didn’t talk to anyone about anything at all,” said Azzan Ali, a fellow student at a Florida flight school of two men named by the FBI as hijackers.

The FBI on Friday released names of the 19 men it identified as the hijackers of the four planes used in the attacks.

Some of the men left little trace of their time in America. Others stayed for years, taking flight classes, buying cars, moving from apartments to boarding houses to rented homes.

Several clustered around Mohamed Atta, a square-jawed 33-year-old pilot who ended up on the first plane to smash into New York’s World Trade Center.

Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, 23, trained as pilots together in Florida and stayed together in the home of a former flight school worker in the summer of last year. Those who came across them said they called each other “cousin” — the two are believed to be from the United Arab Emirates — and kept to themselves.

Al-Shehhi was in the United States on a tourist visa. Like Atta, he had a federal pilot’s license.

Ziad Jarrahi had a pilot’s license listing a Hamburg address. Jarrahi was on United Airlines Flight 93, a plane hijacked from a Newark, N.J., to San Francisco route that crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

Authorities believe Atta flew from Portland, Maine, to Boston on Tuesday morning with another hijacker, Abdulaziz Alomari.

Alomari also took flight training in Florida. He told his landlord that he was a Saudi Arabian Airlines pilot getting more training at FlightSafety International, the flight school in Vero Beach where John F. Kennedy Jr. trained. A federal pilot’s license for an Abdulrahman Saeed Alomari lists the airline’s address in Saudi Arabia.

“I can’t confirm there was any link between any of these individuals and Saudi Arabian Airlines,” airline spokesman Thomas Quinn said.

Neighbors say Alomari was a family man. Living with him in the $1,400- a-month home were his wife and four school-age children. Neighbor Jim Smith said he noticed that when school started last month, Alomari’s wife and children were gone.

With Atta on the first plane was Waleed M. Alshehri, 25. Records show he had been in the United States since at least 1994, when he got a Social Security number and a Florida driver’s license. In 1997, he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida with a commercial pilot’s training degree; he also has a commercial pilot’s license.

Two other hijackers on American Flight 11, Wail M. Al Shehri and Satam Al Suqami, had Florida driver’s licenses listing the same apartment in Boynton Beach as their address. Records say Suqami had a Saudi driver’s license.

Another hijacker who may have had a commercial pilot’s license was Hani Hanjour, who was aboard the American Airlines flight that slammed into the Pentagon. Federal records show a Hani Hanjoor received a commercial pilot’s license in 1999, listing a Saudi address.

T. Gerald Chilton Jr., a corporate officer for CRM Airline Training Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., said a Hani Hanjoor received pilot instruction there for three months in 1996 and in December 1997.

http://lubbockonline.com/stories/091501/ame_091501010.shtml#.WKmKqFI2LDE

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From Lubbock Online

Virginia man with link to hijacker ordered held without bond

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2001

PETE YOST Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON {AP}— A Virginia man whose name and phone number were found in a car registered to one of the 19 suspected hijackers was ordered held without bond Wednesday. A prosecutor described him as an essential witness and “he may be more.”

U.S. Magistrate Curtis Sewell ordered Mohamed Abdi of Alexandria held following a hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, a suburb of Washington.

When Abdi was arrested, FBI agent Kevin W. Ashby testified, he had a newspaper article about Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who was convicted of conspiring to bomb the Los Angeles airport as part of a millennium terror plot. Ressam testified at a separate trial earlier this year that he spent six months training at terrorists camps in Afghanistan.

Abdi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, works as a $22,000-a-year security guard, said Joseph Bowman, his lawyer. He did not say where Abdi is employed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Spencer said Abdi also has worked for an airline security company, but did not identify the company.

Spencer, who described Abdi as an essential witness and possibly more, argued that he should be held without bond. “The pressure on him to abscond will be incredible,” he said.

Abdi was one of two men ordered held without bond Wednesday in Alexandria. After a separate hearing, Sewell granted the government’s request to detain Herbert Villalobos, who was arrested Monday in Arlington, Va.

The Justice Department, meanwhile, said that about 20 people have been charged since the Sept. 11 attacks with fraudulently obtaining licenses to transport hazardous materials.

Declaring that terrorism “is a clear and present danger to Americans today,” Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday that some people who sought such licenses may have links to the hijackers of the four planes that crashed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, killing thousands.

“Intelligence information available to the FBI indicates a potential for additional terrorist incidents,” the attorney general told Congress.

Villalobos was charged with helping one of the suspected hijackers, Abdulaziz Alomari, obtain a fraudulent Virginia ID card. His lawyer argued that the charge did not warrant holding him without bond, but Sewell disagreed.

“One of the unspoken issues after the events of Sept. 11” is “is it going to be business as usual,” Sewell said. “I suspect not.”

Abdi was charged with forging his landlord’s signature on housing subsidy checks he was receiving from Arlington County and cashing the checks.

Investigators said the name “Mohumed” and a phone number registered to Abdi were written on a Washington road map found inside a car parked in a lot at Dulles International Airport, where American Airlines flight 77 was hijacked. The plane, a Boeing 757, smashed into the Pentagon.

The car, found the day after the hijackings, was registered to Nawaq Alhamzi, identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers of the American flight, the records said. The FBI also found a cashier’s check made out to a flight school in Phoenix; four drawings of the cockpit of a 757 jet; a box-cutter-type knife; and maps of Washington and New York.

Nabil Al-Marabh, 34, a former Boston cab driver taken into custody in Chicago last week by investigators, holds a commercial driver’s license and is certified to transport hazardous materials. Al-Marabh has been moved to New York for questioning.

The focus on trucks with hazardous materials follows disclosures that Mohamed Atta, suspected of piloting one of the two hijacked passenger airliners that struck the World Trade Center, was interested in farm crop-dusting planes. Ashcroft said the FBI had gathered information raising fears that agricultural aircraft could be used in a biological or chemical attack.

A convicted terrorist collaborator testified just two months ago about another potential threat, saying in court that he trained for a chemical attack at a camp inside Afghanistan where poison was unleashed to kill dogs.

“In regard to targets in general … we were speaking about America,” Ahmed Ressam testified in July. Ressam said terrorist trainers discussed dispensing poison through the air intake vents of buildings to ensure the maximum amount of casualties.

In the probe of the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI is investigating whether some of the hijackers who destroyed the World Trade Center practiced their approaches by renting small planes at New Jersey flight schools and flying along the Hudson River toward the twin towers.

In France, anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. interests in France. Seven people already were in custody in France in connection with the alleged plot.

In other developments:

—The FBI released a Saudi doctor living in Texas who had been taken into custody and brought to New York for questioning earlier in the investigation. Al-Badr Al-Hazmi, a radiologist whose name was similar to two of the 19 hijackers, returned to San Antonio after nearly two weeks in custody as a material witness — someone believed to have important information about the investigation.

A law enforcement source, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said authorities questioned the doctor about whether his credit card may have been stolen by the hijackers or their associates.

—A Saudi man arrested 13 miles south of Washington Dulles International Airport the night after the terrorist attacks passed an FBI-administered polygraph test and faces only an immigration-related charge, his attorney said. Drew Hutcheson said Khalid al-Draibi was cleared by the FBI after being asked whether he had any involvement in the attacks or whether he knew anything about them in advance.

—Three men in San Diego who authorities believe knew some of the suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks have been detained as material witnesses and could be sent to testify before a grand jury in New York, a law enforcement official said.

—In Arkansas, one of five people stopped for speeding has a name that is on the FBI’s list of people it wants to talk to in the investigation, said Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin. All five were detained at the FBI’s request.

—Thousands protest at abandoned U.S. Embassy compound in the Afghan capital of Kabul, burning cars and tearing down the U.S. seal.

—Pakistani officials say nation and U.S. officials reach broad accord on a plan that includes attacks on camps in Afghanistan. Sticking points remain, and Pakistan warns against assisting alliance trying to overthrow Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban.

—Iran’s supreme leader rules out Iranian help for any U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan, saying the U.S. is not competent to lead a global campaign and calling U.S. behavior “disgusting.”

—Crews work to dismantle last standing remnant of the World Trade Center; pieces of the seven-story facade are preserved for possible memorial. Area is declared a crime scene off limits to cameras.

—Attorney General John Ashcroft warns of additional terrorist attacks that could include trucks carrying hazardous chemicals.

—Stocks fall after a two-day advance, with investors wary about the economy and awaiting the U.S. response to the attacks.

—Death toll at trade center rises to 300, missing number remains 6,347. Death toll at Pentagon 189, Pennsylvania crash 44.

—Pentagon calls nearly 2,000 more reservists to active duty, bringing to 14,318 the number of Reserve and National Guard members called so far. President Bush has authorized the Pentagon to call as many as 50,000.

—Bush meets with Sikhs and Muslims at the White House to discuss bigotry and reinforce his message of religious tolerance.

—House passes $343 billion defense bill after diverting some money from missile defense program to counterterrorism efforts.

—White House cuts back scheduled presidential trip to Asia in October to keep Bush close to home.

—U.N. refugee agency says an assault on Afghanistan could send up to 1.5 million refugees into neighboring countries; $252 million sought to care for them.

http://lubbockonline.com/stories/092601/upd_075-7241.shtml#.WKmLUlI2LDE

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From Lubbock Online

Official say 25 people arrested on immigration violations as part of attack investigation

Published: Saturday, September 15, 2001

KAREN GULLO Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON {AP}— Twenty-five people have been arrested for immigration violations as part of the investigation into Tuesday’s terrorist attacks, a government official said Saturday.

None has been formally charged, either on immigration counts or with crimes relating to the four hijackings, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. FBI agents have interviewed many of those in Immigration and Naturalization Service custody and some of the detainees are cooperating, the official said.

Among the 25 are two men detained at an Amtrak station in Fort Worth, Texas, who were interviewed by FBI agents, taken into custody and then flown to New York.

They were removed from an Amtrak train during a routine drug search Wednesday night. Although no drugs were found, the men had box-cutting knives, authorities said, and also carried about $5,000 in cash, according to a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hijackers in Tuesday’s attacks used knives and box cutters to take control of the airliners.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said Saturday that the investigation into the terrorist attacks was “developing a kind of clarity.”

“We are beginning to understand the ways in which this terrible crime was committed,” said Ashcroft, who joined President Bush and administration officials at Camp David.

The first big break in the investigation came Friday when a man was arrested in New York in connection with this week’s four airplane hijackings.

He was being held on a material witness warrant, said Jim Margolin, spokesman for the FBI in New York. The warrant allows authorities to hold someone considered crucial to the investigation without charging him with any crime. The man’s identity was withheld.

A law enforcement source, speaking privately, said the man arrested was the same person detained Thursday at John F. Kennedy International Airport after showing what authorities said Friday was a pilot’s license issued to his brother.

Both Margolin and New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik refused to provide any further details on the arrest. Court records were sealed.

Some of the 25 who have been arrested because they were discovered to have immigration problems when FBI agents questioned them about the case. Others were arrested as part of unrelated investigations and came to the attention of authorities investigating the hijackings.

Officials declined to say where the 25 were arrested or where they are being detained.

Late Friday, searchers recovered the cockpit voice recorder for United Flight 93, which crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania. It was not immediately clear what kind of shape the box was in. The box will be sent to the National Transportation Safety Board for analysis.

In Germany, police found “airplane-related documents” in a suitcase they believe belonged to one of the hijackers, federal investigators said Saturday.

Police seized the evidence late Friday in the industrial western city of Bochum when they searched the apartment of the girlfriend of Ziad Jarrah, who was aboard the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, German authorities said.

Jarrah, a 26-year-old Lebanese native, often visited Bochum but lived and studied in Hamburg along with two others named by the United States as hijackers in Tuesday’s attack, said Kay Nehm, German federal prosecutor said.

Federal investigators say Jarrah and the two others were part of an organization formed in Hamburg this year to destroy symbolic U.S. targets.

Pilot training is a central theme of the massive investigation into Tuesday’s attacks. Several of the 19 hijackers whose names were released by the FBI Friday were pilots and had gone to aviation schools in Florida.

Among the 19 was Mohamed Atta of Hollywood and Coral Springs, Fla., identified by German authorities as being tied to an Islamic fundamentalist group that planned attacks on American targets.

Atta received pilot training at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., and took two three-hour courses at SimCenter Inc. in Opa Locka, Fla., where he trained on a Boeing 727 full-motion flight simulator.

Besides Atta, the hijackers who were believed to be pilots included Hani Hajour, who was on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon; Wail Alshehri and Abdulaziz Alomari, who were on one of the Boston flights; Marwan Al-Shehhi, hijacking on United Flight 175 out of Boston and Ziad Jarrahi, who flew on United Flight 93 out of Newark, N.J., which crashed in a field 80 miles from Pittsburgh.

“The fact that there were a number of individuals that happened to have received training at flight schools here is news, quite obviously,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

“If we had understood that to be the case, we would have, perhaps one could have, averted this,” he said.

Officials said the men who were arrested in Texas had boarded a flight from Newark to San Antonio on Tuesday, the same morning of the attacks. The flight was diverted to St. Louis, where the men took an Amtrak train bound for San Antonio, an FBI spokeswoman said.

The Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office identified the men as Ayub Ali Khan, 51, and Mohammed Jaweed Azmath, 47. According to authorities, the men said they were from India.

Authorities also were looking for a Muslim cleric who previously was questioned by prosecutors in the 1998 embassy bombings case linked to Osama bin Laden, a Saudi extremist suspected of sponsoring a worldwide terrorist network.

The cleric, Moataz Al-Hallak, left the Northeast on Monday, the day before the attacks, and traveled to Texas, according to authorities and his lawyer.

http://lubbockonline.com/stories/091501/upd_075-6811.shtml#.WKmLzFI2LDE

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From USA Today

FBI seeks nearly 400 people for questioning

09/25/2001 – Updated 01:04 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday that individuals with possible links to the hijackers who terrorized the nation obtained or tried to obtain licenses to transport hazardous materials. Ashcroft issued the new warning as the FBI sought nearly 400 people for questioning in the terrorist attacks and federal prosecutors worked to build a criminal case involving identification cards for five of the now-dead hijackers. One man was charged with aiding the hijackers.

In France, anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. interests in France. Seven people already were in custody in France in connection with the alleged plot.

The FBI, meanwhile, dropped a material-witness warrant against a Texas doctor who had been detained. Al-Badr Al-Hazmi had been held in New York as a material witness in the Sept. 11 attacks. Government officials confirmed Tuesday that he was released and was returning to Texas.

A Saudi national, Al-Hazmi, 34, was doing a medical residency in radiology at University of Texas Health Science Center. He had been working at a military hospital located on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in the days before the attacks.

The FBI has advised local police to be on the lookout for anything suspicious regarding hazardous materials and crop-dusting aircraft, Ashcroft told a Senate hearing.

“Our investigation has uncovered several individuals, including individuals who may have links to the hijackers, who fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain harzardous-material transportation licenses,” Ashcroft said.

At least two people detained in the investigation — one in Detroit and the other in Chicago — had licenses to transport chemicals and other hazardous materials. And one of the hijackers had visited a Florida crop-dusting company several times in the weeks before the attacks and had sought a government loan for a crop-dusting plane.

Such reports have raised fears the small farm planes could be used in a biological or chemical attack. All crop-dusting planes were grounded Sunday and Monday as a precaution. The grounding was lifted early Tuesday.

In the criminal case, the government said Herbert Villalobos accompanied Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to a lawyer’s office in Virginia on Aug. 2 to help the two suspected hijackers obtain state identity cards.

When shown photos of the hijackers by the FBI, Villalobos recognized three other suspects “believed to have commandeered American Airlines Flight 77” from Washington Dulles International Airport that crashed into the Pentagon, according to court documents. Villalobos said Hani Hanjour, Salem Al Hazmi and Majed Moqed were at the Arlington, Va., office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2, just as Al Omari and Al Ghamdi were.

“Virginia DMV records … show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identification cards at the Arlington DMV,” said a seven-page affidavit by an FBI agent.

The affidavit did not say whether the five used the IDs to become ticketed passengers aboard the doomed flights, which also crashed in New York City and a field in Pennsylvania.

The FBI says Al Omari was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Al Ghamdi was aboard United Flight 175 that hit the trade center’s south tower. Villalobos was charged with unlawfully signing a Virginia residency form for Al Omari. He was being detained at an undisclosed location. A hearing is set for Wednesday morning.

More than 6,900 people are missing and presumed dead from the attacks, in which Saudi exile Osama bin Laden has been named the leading suspect.

Ashcroft said 352 people have been arrested or detained in the investigation and 392 others who “we think … have information that could be helpful” were being sought for questioning.

There was concern over the potential for further attacks.

Robert Epling of Community Bank of Florida said he’s been told that Mohamed Atta, one of the suspected hijackers, sought a USDA loan for a crop-duster. The USDA is a tenant in the bank, which checked its files about Atta at the request of the FBI.

“We understand he was turned down” at the USDA “and they referred him to us,” said Epling. A loan officer at the bank remembered a phone call from someone inquiring about crop-dusters, an unusual request because there are so few of the planes left in the area, Epling said. Nothing came of the inquiry from the unnamed person.

James Lester, an employee of South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade, told the FBI that Atta was among the men who in groups of two or three visited the crop-dusting firm nearly every weekend for six or eight weeks before the attacks.

Atta was a persistent questioner and “I recognized him because he stayed on my feet all the time. I just about had to push him away from me,” Lester said.

Five Middle Eastern men were detained early Tuesday in Wynne, Ark., for questioning by the FBI and immigration authorities, said Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin. The five were stopped for speeding in a small town located in a heavy agriculture area.

Crop-dusters weren’t the only concern.

In Michigan the president of a truck-driving school confirmed two men arrested last week had attended the school and one of them obtained a permit to transport hazardous materials.

Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33, taken into custody Sept. 17, attended the U.S. Truck Driver Training School in Detroit this summer, said the school’s president, Joseph LaBarge. Koubriti passed the state commercial drivers license exam on Aug. 22 and received a permit to transport hazardous materials. Hannan failed the road test, LaBarge said.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/25/fbi.htm

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From NewsOn6

The net opens wide; man who allegedly helped two hijackers get IDs is charged

Updated: Sep 25, 2001 1:00 PM KST

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday that individuals with possible links to the hijackers who terrorized the nation obtained or tried to obtain licenses to transport hazardous materials.

Ashcroft issued the new warning as the FBI sought nearly 400 people for questioning in the terrorist attacks and federal prosecutors worked to build a criminal case involving identification cards for five of the now-dead hijackers. One man was charged with aiding the hijackers.

In France, anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. interests in France. Seven people already were in custody in France in connection with the alleged plot.

The FBI, meanwhile, dropped a material-witness warrant against a Texas doctor who had been detained. Al-Badr Al-Hazmi had been held in New York as a material witness in the Sept. 11 attacks. Government officials confirmed Tuesday that he was released and was returning to Texas.

A Saudi national, Al-Hazmi, 34, was doing a medical residency in radiology at University of Texas Health Science Center. He had been working at a military hospital located on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in the days before the attacks.

The FBI has advised local police to be on the lookout for anything suspicious regarding hazardous materials and crop-dusting aircraft, Ashcroft told a Senate hearing.

“Our investigation has uncovered several individuals, including individuals who may have links to the hijackers, who fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain harzardous-material transportation licenses,” Ashcroft said.

At least two people detained in the investigation _ one in Detroit and the other in Chicago _ had licenses to transport chemicals and other hazardous materials. And one of the hijackers had visited a Florida crop-dusting company several times in the weeks before the attacks and had sought a government loan for a crop-dusting plane.

Such reports have raised fears the small farm planes could be used in a biological or chemical attack. All crop-dusting planes were grounded Sunday and Monday as a precaution. The grounding was lifted early Tuesday.

In the criminal case, the government said Herbert Villalobos accompanied Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to a lawyer’s office in Virginia on Aug. 2 to help the two suspected hijackers obtain state identity cards.

When shown photos of the hijackers by the FBI, Villalobos recognized three other suspects “believed to have commandeered American Airlines Flight 77” from Washington Dulles International Airport that crashed into the Pentagon, according to court documents. Villalobos said Hani Hanjour, Salem Al Hazmi and Majed Moqed were at the Arlington, Va., office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2, just as Al Omari and Al Ghamdi were.

“Virginia DMV records … show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identification cards at the Arlington DMV,” said a seven-page affidavit by an FBI agent.

The affidavit did not say whether the five used the IDs to become ticketed passengers aboard the doomed flights, which also crashed in New York City and a field in Pennsylvania.

The FBI says Al Omari was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Al Ghamdi was aboard United Flight 175 that hit the trade center’s south tower. Villalobos was charged with unlawfully signing a Virginia residency form for Al Omari. He was being detained at an undisclosed location. A hearing is set for Wednesday morning.

More than 6,900 people are missing and presumed dead from the attacks, in which Saudi exile Osama bin Laden has been named the leading suspect.

Ashcroft said 352 people have been arrested or detained in the investigation and 392 others who “we think … have information that could be helpful” were being sought for questioning.

There was concern over the potential for further attacks.

Robert Epling of Community Bank of Florida said he’s been told that Mohamed Atta, one of the suspected hijackers, sought a USDA loan for a crop-duster. The USDA is a tenant in the bank, which checked its files about Atta at the request of the FBI.

“We understand he was turned down” at the USDA “and they referred him to us,” said Epling. A loan officer at the bank remembered a phone call from someone inquiring about crop-dusters, an unusual request because there are so few of the planes left in the area, Epling said. Nothing came of the inquiry from the unnamed person.

James Lester, an employee of South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade, told the FBI that Atta was among the men who in groups of two or three visited the crop-dusting firm nearly every weekend for six or eight weeks before the attacks.

Atta was a persistent questioner and “I recognized him because he stayed on my feet all the time. I just about had to push him away from me,” Lester said.

In California, authorities detained three San Diego area college students as material witnesses. Law enforcement officials said they determined the students had information about three suspected hijackers and were unlikely to testify willingly before a grand jury.

Authorities in Wynne, Ark., early Tuesday arrested five Middle Eastern men, including at least one whose name appeared on an FBI list of people wanted for questioning in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin said the five were stopped for speeding in a small town located in a heavy agriculture area.

Crop-dusters weren’t the only concern.

In Michigan the president of a truck-driving school confirmed two men arrested last week had attended the school and one of them obtained a permit to transport hazardous materials.

Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33, taken into custody Sept. 17, attended the U.S. Truck Driver Training School in Detroit this summer, said the school’s president, Joseph LaBarge. Koubriti passed the state commercial drivers license exam on Aug. 22 and received a permit to transport hazardous materials. Hannan failed the road test, LaBarge said.

http://www.newson6.com/story/7700652/the-net-opens-wide-man-who-allegedly-helped-two-hijackers-get-ids-is-charged

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From The Daily Utah Chronicle

(link is dead)

Scrapbook link

Chemical Licenses Sought by Terrorists

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2001; Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2008 10:07

WASHINGTON—Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday that individuals with possible links to the hijackers who terrorized the nation obtained or tried to obtain licenses to transport hazardous materials.

Ashcroft issued the new warning as the FBI sought nearly 400 people for questioning in the terrorist attacks and federal prosecutors worked to build a criminal case involving identification cards for five of the now-dead hijackers. One man was charged with aiding the hijackers.

In France, anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. interests in France. Seven people were already in custody in France in connection with the alleged plot.

The FBI, meanwhile, dropped a material-witness warrant against a Texas doctor who had been detained. Al-Badr Al Hazmi had been held in New York as a material witness in the Sept. 11 attacks. Government officials confirmed Tuesday that he was released and was returning to Texas.

A Saudi national, Al-Hazmi, 34, was doing a medical residency in radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He had been working at a military hospital located on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in the days before the attacks.

The FBI has advised local police to be on the lookout for anything suspicious regarding hazardous materials and crop dusting aircrafts, Ashcroft told a Senate hearing.

“Our investigation has uncovered several individuals, including individuals who may have links to the hijackers, who fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain hazardous-material transportation licenses,” Ashcroft said.

At least two people detained in the investigation—one in Detroit and the other in Chicago—had licenses to transport chemicals and other hazardous materials. And one of the hijackers had visited a Florida crop-dusting company several times in the weeks before the attacks and had sought a government loan for a crop-dusting plane.

Such reports have raised fears the small farm planes could be used in a biological or chemical attack. All crop dusting planes were grounded Sunday and Monday as a precaution. The grounding was lifted early Tuesday.

In the criminal case, the government said Herbert Villalobos accompanied Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to a lawyer’s office in Virginia on Aug. 2 to help the two suspected hijackers obtain state identity cards.

When shown photos of the hijackers by the FBI, Villalobos recognized three other suspects “believed to have commandeered American Airlines Flight 77” from Washington Dulles International Airport that crashed into the Pentagon, according to court documents. Villalobos said Hani Hanjour, Salem Al Hazmi and Majed Moqed were at the Arlington, Va., office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2, just as Al Omari and Al Ghamdi were.

“Virginia DMV records…show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identification cards at the Arlington DMV,” said a seven page affidavit by an FBI agent.

The affidavit did not say whether the five used the IDs to become ticketed passengers aboard the doomed flights, which also crashed in New York City and a field in Pennsylvania.

____________________________________________________________

From Memphis Flyer

Heading To Court

Judge allows bond, denies another in driver’s-license fraud case.

By Rebekah Gleaves, April 05, 2002

The latest twists in the headline-grabbing driver’s-license fraud case here were the bond hearings on Friday and Monday for Sakher Hammad and Khaled Odtllah, respectively.

On Friday, Federal Court judge Bernice Donald released Hammad on $250,000 bond but postponed Odtllah’s hearing until Monday and denied bond to a teary-eyed Odtllah, saying that he posed a substantial risk of flight.

The case drew national attention after co-defendant Katherine Smith, the driver’s-license center employee accused of assisting five Middle-Eastern men in a fraud scheme, was found burned to death in her car the day before she was scheduled to testify on the matter.

Donald said Monday that she saw no evidence in the record linking Odtllah to the September 11th World Trade Center attacks.

Prior to the decision, Donald explained, “This defendant may have been the mastermind in a scheme to procure false identification.” She went on to say that Odtllah did not have a “stable long-term residence” or “employment that would weigh him in a particular community.” Donald also said that “the defendant does have a wife and child in Jerusalem,” despite being in a relationship with a Shelby County resident. Donald then listed six dates when Odtllah failed to appear in court on traffic violations and cited a Utah felony charge from which the defendant fled to Florida and had to be extradited.

“The defendant’s conduct in response to nominal traffic charges I believe to be the best indicator of his ability to respond to this charge,” said Donald.

In the Friday hearing, FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash testified that Odtllah had been extradited from Florida in 1997 after fleeing a sodomy charge in Utah. Nash said Odtllah had been charged with “committing an act” on the 12-year-old sister of Odtllah’s then-girlfriend. Nash said that after being extradited the charges against Odtllah were dropped.

Odtllah’s girlfriend in Memphis, Sandra Dasilva, testified on his behalf, saying that he lived with her in Cordova and that the two had been together for one-and-a-half years. Dasilva admitted to keeping an envelope marked “Do Not Open” for Odtllah in a locked filing cabinet in her office. A search warrant revealed that the envelope contained four pieces of state-issued identification, but Dasilva testified that the I.D.s all contained Odtllah’s correct name and information, though she said one had his birthday one day off.

Odtllah will remain in custody until he is tried on the matter. The other three defendants also remain in custody. On Friday, Donald agreed to try each of the five men charged separately and consecutively, with Odtllah’s trial coming last. The first trial is scheduled to begin on May 20th.

U.S. Attorney Timothy DiScenza said Friday that each trial should last two days. “I also anticipate — but I do not represent them, of course — that they may not all go to trial,” he said.

DiScenza would not say if he believed some of the defendants would accept plea agreements and also said he could not comment when asked if his office still considered any of the defendants linked to terrorism. He added that he believed the trials would be over before national attention is again focused on Memphis for the June 8th boxing match between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.

http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/city-reporter/Content?oid=1112723

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From St Petersburg Times

Fiery death raises fears of terror link

A Tennessee woman accused of helping five Middle Eastern men get fraudulent drivers’ licenses is found dead in her car.

By ALLEN G. BREED and BILL POOVEY, The Associated Press

February 17, 2002

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, witnesses saw flames erupt from the back seat of a 1992 Acura Legend as it crawled along a two-lane road skirting farm fields in the little Tennessee town of Piperton.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, witnesses saw flames erupt from the back seat of a 1992 Acura Legend as it crawled along a two-lane road skirting farm fields in the little Tennessee town of Piperton.

The driver breathed in the flames, her lungs searing, as the car veered off the road and came to rest against a utility pole near the Mississippi state line. There were no skid marks or furrows in the grass to indicate the driver had hit the brakes.

A witness rushed up and pulled open the car door, but the driver was not moving. She appeared to be already dead. When the first volunteer firefighters arrived, the car was engulfed in flames.

From the very beginning, it didn’t look right, said Steve Kellett, chief of the Piperton Volunteer Fire Department.

The car had been moving too slowly for the accident to cause much damage. The wooden pole was barely dented. The radiator was pushed in a few inches, but the engine block was undamaged. Most important, the gas tank had not ruptured. The cardboard packaging for a replacement headlamp in the trunk was barely scorched.

What could have caused a fire so severe that it cooked the passenger compartment of the sedan down to the frame and burned the driver beyond recognition? If someone had been trying to make this death look like an accident, they had done a lousy job.

Police began investigating the death as a homicide, though they have not ruled out suicide. The mystery deepened the next day when dental records identified the victim as Katherine Smith, 49, a state driver’s license examiner.

Smith had been scheduled to be arraigned last Monday on federal charges of helping five Middle Eastern men from New York obtain fraudulent Tennessee drivers’ licenses.

One of the men, authorities say, drove from New York to Memphis on Sept. 11 — the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And one of them, at the time of his arrest, was carrying in his wallet a pass to the trade center dated Sept. 5.

Was this a series of bizarre coincidences?

“The possibility of a really interesting story exists here,” FBI Agent George W. Bolds said last week, brushing soot from his hands as he walked away from the charred vehicle impounded in a garage. Then again, he said, “it could turn out to be a whole lot less than people expect.”

* * *

On the morning of Feb. 5, authorities say, a gray Dodge Durango and a white Toyota Avalon arrived in Memphis from New York and parked outside the motor vehicles office. Inside the cars sat six Middle Eastern men.

Tennessee is one of four states not requiring a Social Security number to get a license, and many people carry utility bills as proof of residence.

Shortly after Smith showed up for work, a man from the Toyota, Khaled Odtllah, a native of Jerusalem, joined the morning rush into the building. According to an FBI affidavit, he was clutching four signed driver’s license applications.

Katherine Smith was a woman of modest means. She had a couple hundred dollars in a credit union account, a couple hundred more than that in checking, according to court records. She had a 1999 Ford Escort with a $10,000 lien and the Acura.

She and her daughter shared a one-story home in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood in the shadow of Memphis’ Liberty Bowl stadium. The neat little house is worth $65,000; Smith owed $55,000 on it.

She had worked for mental health agencies before joining the motor vehicle division in 1992. She was earning just over $23,000 a year.

Neighbors say they hardly saw the woman because she was working all the time. After hours, she worked taking care of an elderly woman.

“She worked day and night,” says Peola Wright, who lives two doors down. She called Smith a nice lady who sang in the church choir and tried to get neighbors to attend services.

The neighborhood is a few miles from where Khaled Odtllah lived, but it seems a world away.

According to records, Odtllah’s last address was the Grove, a gated community in the Memphis suburb of Cordova, with swimming pools, tennis courts and spas.

Police say Odtllah came to the United States about 13 years ago from Jerusalem and had been in Tennessee for about 2 1/2 years.

Smith later told officials she met Odtllah at his gas station. He sold her the Acura, which was still in Odtllah’s name when Smith died. Somewhere along the line, police say, Smith and Odtllah became business partners.

As an examiner in an office processing 300 to 400 driver’s license applicants each day, Smith screened applicants at a front counter and gave written and road tests.

On the applications Odtllah was carrying on Feb. 5, each man listed as his address 2840 Morning Lake Drive, in another gated community just outside Memphis.

At motor vehicles, the applications were approved and entered into the computer system. When Odtllah walked outside, the FBI was waiting for him.

Agents in New York had received a tip that the men would be traveling to Memphis that day, and the bureau’s agents in Tennessee had staked out Smith’s home and the motor vehicle office. When Odtllah and the others pulled out of the parking lot, agents flashed blue lights and pulled them over.

With Odtllah, police found Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, Mohammed Fares and Sakher Hammad and his cousin Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. An unnamed juvenile also was arrested.

A few months ago, the contents of Sakher Hammad’s wallet would have seemed innocuous: two video rental cards; two major credit cards; a card designating him a “charter member” of Team Ford Racing; a New York plumber’s business card.

And a pass, dated 09/05/01 that gave him access to the lower basement of One World Trade Center.

Shown a photocopy, New York City Port Authority officials said the pass looked authentic, but they couldn’t be certain without seeing the original.

Authorities say Sakher Hammad told them that he is plumber and that he and his cousin were in the tower to work on the sprinkler system. New York authorities have no record of a plumber’s license for either cousin.

A business card in Sakher Hammad’s wallet was for a Magic Plumbing & Heating in Brooklyn. It advertises “custom kitchens, bathrooms, water heaters, boilers, repiping” — generally residential in nature.

A call to the business produced only a full voice-mailbox for someone named “Rocky.” Using a reverse telephone directory, the AP found a list of phone numbers at the company’s street address, all of them for individuals, among them Sakher Hammad.

Hammad’s wallet also held courtesy cards from the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Detectives’ Endowment Association of New York. The latter bears the inscription, “In memory of those who lost their lives on 9-11-01.”

It is adorned with a fluttering American flag, a police badge and a picture of the twin towers.

When Smith was arrested, authorities say she admitted helping Odtllah obtain licenses for “cousins” on a half-dozen occasions in the past year. An FBI agent later testified that Odtllah was charging up to $1,200 each to help people get their new identities.

Authorities say the men arrested with Odtllah admitted being in the country illegally.

The day Smith was to appear in court, her car sat in an FBI garage in Memphis, the champagne finish bubbled and streaked with trails of melted rubber window stripping. The upholstery was burned away. Police couldn’t even tell if Smith had been wearing a seat belt.

However, they had found a residue of gasoline on her body. The fire, the FBI determined, was intentionally set.

Bolds, the FBI agent, wondered how someone who was conscious could have stayed in the burning car. “If the car is on fire, you’re going to stop in the middle of the highway if you have to, to get out,” he said.

An autopsy is not yet finished.

On Wednesday, Abou-Shahin, Fares and Abdelmuhsen Hammad appeared in court wearing blue windbreakers provided by the court. They face charges of conspiring to obtain licenses with false information. Odtllah and Sakher Hammad had appeared in court Monday.

Court records indicate that another man, Omar Khayata, 20, had also applied for a license Feb. 5, using the same address. But he was not charged, and officials would not say whether he was the juvenile mentioned in the affidavit.

Lawyers for the defendants argued that their clients were being held only because of their ethnicity. “They seem to be trying to tie this to Sept. 11,” said Clifton Harviel Jr., who represented Abou-Shahin.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza replied that each man had participated in a conspiracy intended to acquire a “completely false and untraceable identity.” Their motivation, he said, could be “further criminal activity.”

In the wake of Sept. 11, there have been crackdowns on illegally obtained drivers’ licenses elsewhere. Several of the Sept. 11 hijackers had illegally obtained licenses in Virginia.

In denying bail for the five, federal magistrates cited the men’s tenuous connections to the community and strong ties to other countries.

Court papers show Odtllah has a wife, a 2-year-old son, a mother and 10 siblings, all living in Jerusalem. Officials say he has “traveled extensively across the U.S. in the last few years.”

Sakher Hammad “has no ties whatsoever to this community,” a magistrate noted. “He has substantial ties to Jordan or Gaza, where his mother lives. He has had less than stable employment . . . and a cooperating witness has disappeared under suspicious circumstances.”

Of the local telephone numbers listed on the license applications, three were out of service, and one was a fax.

When bail was denied, Fares put his head in his hands and wiped his eyes. The others showed no reaction.

* * *

Outside Smith’s home, a row of red artificial flowers seems to wilt in the winter chill.

Family members have refused to talk.

The answering machine message on Smith’s phone was changed to provide information about her funeral Saturday. There was no wake, the message said, because wakes are for sadness.

“Please wear lively attire,” said a young woman’s voice. “Because this is a joyous occasion — because she’s going home to be with the Lord.”

https://archive.is/ZVE8m

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From World Net Daily

Memphis death tied to terror?

Investigation into phony driver’s license scheme, 9-11 ties

Posted: February 13, 2002

A woman allegedly at the center of a phony driver’s license scheme linked to Middle Eastern men prosecutors say have connections to the World Trade Center disaster has turned up dead.

Tennessee license examiner Katherine Smith’s burned body was found Sunday in the wreckage of a car that appears to have been torched, say authorities. She was to testify the next day before a federal magistrate judge for a detention hearing on a charge of conspiracy to obtain fraudulent identification documents.

Smith and five co-defendants were arrested Feb. 5 after they left a state driver testing station. Prosecutors said Smith had processed four driver’s license applications that morning based on false information provided by co-defendant Khaled Odtllah, 31, of Shelby County.

At Monday’s hearing, federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza described Smith’s death as “most unusual and suspicious.” He also said two of her co-defendants had “connections” to the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Smith, describing Odtllah as a friend, told authorities that he had asked her to help him obtain driver’s licenses six or seven times before.

Co-defendants Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad are scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate judge today. The FBI said the men drove to Memphis from New York last week to get Tennessee driver’s licenses. Their ages and addresses were unavailable.

Odtllah and Sakhera Hammad, 24, of New York City, the other alleged middleman, made their appearance on Monday, when they were ordered held without bond until trial.

The FBI has custody of Smith’s charred Acura, which she bought from Odtllah, at an undisclosed location in Memphis, said Memphis FBI spokesman George Bolds.

“(Smith) was the subject of a pending FBI investigation. Her death coming at the time it did is very coincidental. We’re looking at that,” Bolds said. “As best we can, we’d like to recreate what happened and try to determine whether or not there was any sort of foul play in connection with her death or whether it was an auto accident.”

Smith, 49, authorities say, was probably alive after her car hit a utility pole Sunday. They believe her car was deliberately torched.

The Highway Patrol and the FBI are reportedly continuing a joint investigation into the one-car crash, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The agencies are also working together in the ongoing criminal investigation into the fraud charge.

Fagan said investigators want to know if the fatal car wreck and the driver’s license scheme “intertwine criminally,” or if Smith’s death was a coincidence.

“We’re not ruling out anything. We’re looking at all aspects of that investigation,” he told the Commercial Appeal. “We have a crash. We have a car that’s hit a pole and we know it burned. Now, what sequence – that’s part of the investigation.”

Attorney Anthony Helm, representing Odtllah, accused DiScenza of raising the terrorism issue based solely on the Middle East origins of Smith’s co-defendants. While Smith was released on her own recognizance pending Monday’s hearing, her co-defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrest.

Citing a report from the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office, Fagan said Smith was identified through dental records and that there was evidence she had inhaled smoke. To a layman, Fagan said, the evidence suggests Smith was alive when the car caught fire.

“You obviously would have to be breathing to inhale smoke, which would tell you that she was not deceased prior to impact,” he said.

Gene Marquez, resident agent in charge of the Memphis office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said the ATF is contributing an ATF-certified fire investigator cross-trained as an explosives expert.

http://www.wnd.com/2002/02/12767/#ixzz1Dvo2ukaU

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http://911review.org/Storage/Katherine-Smith-9_11.html

From 911 Review:

Mysterious Tennessee Death May Be Linked to Terrorist Cover-up

By J.J. Johnson – Sierra Times.com: 02.15.02

It’s shocking that this story has barely gotten national attention, but it should as soon as folks can forget Enron and Campaign Finance Reform.
In the current war against terrorism, it’s beginning to look more and more like Katherine Smith, a former Tennessee DMV employee was killed to cover up something – possible Arab terrorists active on U.S. Soil.

It goes back to last Thursday, when 5 illegal immigrants were nailed buying drivers licenses in Memphis from Katherine Smith.. They were from New York City, and all reportedly of Arab descent. Authorities say these drivers licenses were purchased for $1000.00 each.

They were taken to jail and held there without bail. Smith on the other hand, was released on her own recognizance.

No jail, no bail, nothing for her except “come back Monday”.

Problem is: She never got to court. She died one day prior.

Last Sunday Morning, at about 12:15 AM, Smith’s car was found against a utility pole on Hwy 72, totally engulfed in flames.

Looked like an accident at the beginning.

Then the Feds came in.

During a probable cause hearing Wednesday, Federal and state investigators found gasoline on the clothes Katherine Smith was wearing
when she died Sunday in a car crash on a stretch of U.S. 72 in Fayette County, FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash told U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Daniel Breen.

According to the FBI, some kind of flammable accelerant (probably gasoline) started the fire, which burned Smith beyond recognition.

Of the 5 in custody, none have been released. But of the three who had a hearing, Judge Breen found there was probable cause to charge Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. He also denied them bond.

But mysteriously, the primary witness in the case – is toast.

In a rush to standardize drivers licenses among the states, critics have pointed to Tennessee as an example of a national overhaul, or national I.D. cards.

Having a flawed I.D. system helps when there is a American allegedly willing to take 30 pieces of silver, or $1000 each. She apparently paid an even greater price. “Was this death a result of an accident?” federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza asked Nash, who was the only witness to testify during Wednesday’s two-hour hearing. “No, it was not,” Nash replied.

The conclusion is arson. Six unnamed witnesses – all related to each other – saw Smith’s 1992 Acura Legend veer off U.S. 72 around 12:45 a.m. Sunday.
They said the interior of the car was on fire as the car drove across a ditch and hit a utility pole.

The trunk and gas tank were barely touched, but the interior fire was so intense that her arms and legs were burned off.

There is nothing to tie the Arab suspects to any terrorist activity (yet), but the matter is raising eyebrows, even though all the suspects were in custody at the time of the incident.

However, DiScenza has said there are “connections” linking two of the accused to the World Trade Center in the days before it was destroyed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Those connections include a visitor’s pass to the WTC dated September 5 that belonged to Sakhera Hammad.

More details as they develop

http://www.sierratimes.com/02/02/15/arjj021502.htm

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February 10, 2002: Driver’s License Examiner Dies in Suspicious Circumstances

Katherine Smith is killed one day before her scheduled appearance in court on charges she helped five Islamic men get illegal drivers licenses. According to witnesses, she veered into a utility pole when a fire erupted in her car.

She was burned beyond recognition. The FBI later determines that gasoline was poured on her clothing before she died in the fire and find that arson was the cause of death. [Associated Press, 2/15/2002]

A suicide note was found, but prosecutors say they are looking for murder suspects. One of the five men, Sakhera Hammad, was found with a pass in his wallet giving access to the restricted areas of the WTC, dated September 5, 2001.

Hammad claims he was a plumber and worked on the WTC’s sprinkler system that day, but the company with exclusive rights to all WTC plumbing work has never heard of him. Smith was being investigated by the FBI; the five later plead guilty to charges of fraud. [Go Memphis, 2/12/2002; Associated Press, 2/13/2002; Reuters, 2/15/2002; Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 2/21/2002]

One of the five, Khaled Odtllah, drove from New York City to Memphis on 9/11. Tennessee is one of only four US states that doesn’t require a Social Security card to get a driver’s license. A prosecutor accuses each of the five men of attempting to acquire a “completely false and untraceable identity.” [Associated Press, 2/12/2002; Associated Press, 2/15/2002]

One month later, the coroner who examines her body is targeted by a bomb, which is defused. Then in June the coroner is attacked, bound with barbed wire, and left with a bomb tied to his body, but he survives. [Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 3/14/2002]

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F.B.I. Says Arson Killed Woman Accused in License Scheme

By REUTERS

MEMPHIS, Feb. 14 — A deliberately set fire caused the death of a driver’s license examiner who had been accused of illegally selling licenses to five Middle Eastern men who were being investigated for possible ties to terrorism, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has said.

Gasoline was poured on the clothing of the examiner, Katherine Smith, before she burned to death on Sunday in an automobile accident, J. Suzanne Nash, an F.B.I. agent, said on Wednesday.

Ms. Smith died one day before she was to have appeared in court with her five co-defendants after being arrested last week on charges of conspiracy to obtain driver’s licenses illegally.

In a federal court hearing here on Wednesday, Ms. Nash said an accelerant had been found in Ms. Smith’s car, adding that her death was “not an accident.”

Investigators have said the gasoline tank of the automobile did not explode. Ms. Nash also said witnesses had reported that the interior of Ms. Smith’s car was on fire before the vehicle struck a utility pole, causing just minor damage to the car.

Ms. Nash told the court on Monday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into whether the five men who were arrested had ties to terrorist groups, citing connections to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The five men, one of whom said he was a plumber at the trade center and had a visitor’s pass to the towers dated September 5, are being held without bond.

A lawyer for one of the defendants has denied that they had any connection to terrorism and said they were seeking documentation to work in the United States

.http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/15/national/15LICE.html?ex=1185249600&en=18d1f3ff9d2d2a77&ei=5070

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4 Admit Fraud amid Questions on Death of License Examiner

The Memphis Commercial Appeal

21 May 2002

by Lawrence Buser

URL: http://www.commercialappeal.com/

After four men with ties to the Middle East pleaded guilty Monday in a Tennessee driver’s license fraud case, new questions arose about a central figure in the case – a state driver’s license examiner who died in a mysterious, fiery car wreck just days after her arrest.

The case drew national attention earlier this year because of the still-unsolved death of Katherine Smith and the revelation one of the defendants,
a naturalized plumber from Jordan living in New York, had been in the World Trade Center days before the twin towers were destroyed by hijacked airliners.In a hearing Monday morning before U.S. Dist. Judge Bernice Donald, federal prosecutors said, however, had the cases gone to trial,
there would have been no evidence presented that the defendants were involved in terrorist activities or in Smith’s Feb. 10 death on U.S. 72 in Fayette County.

Federal and state authorities said Monday that the wreck remains under investigation but the fire in the car was set and the crash did not cause Smith’s death. Tennessee Highway Patrol Capt. Jimmy Erwin said Monday that he is waiting on autopsy test results from the Medical Examiner’s Office before the cause of death is officially determined.

He said neither suicide nor homicide has been ruled out. Smith, a state employee for 27 years, had been charged with conspiring to provide driver’s licenses fraudulently as part of a scheme involving the other defendants.

A handwritten letter by Smith dated Feb. 5 – the day of her arrest – was included in pretrial discovery material the government provided to defense attorneys.

After the hearing, defense attorney Jeffrey Jones showed the letter to several reporters.

Asked if the letter appeared to be a suicide note, Jones said, “That’s certainly one interpretation.”

Written on green flowered stationery headed “Gardening Angel,” the note read: “I Katherine Smith tried to help Kal. He didn’t give me any money.
He was I thought my friend. I was trying to help him. Now I’ve lost everything and am called a liar when I was telling the truth. I can’t live without any honor. I live a lonely life true enough but I didn’t lie to the FBI. Forgive me John. Forgive me Vernola.

I can’t live this way. I love you both and wish and pray for the best. Love Mama.”

The names in the letter, apparently discovered during the FBI’s investigation, refer to alleged conspiracy ringleader Khaled Odtllah,
who is known as “Kal,” and Smith’s son and daughter, John Barton IV and Vernola Buchanan.

Pleading guilty to the one-count conspiracy indictment Monday were Odtllah, 31, a Cordova resident from Jerusalem; Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 26, a carpenter from Egypt; Sakher A. Hammad, 24, a New York plumber from Jordan
and the lone defendant who is an American citizen, and his cousin Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, 32, also a plumber living in New York.

A fifth defendant, Mohammed A. Fares, pleaded guilty earlier this month. Fares has a Venezuelan passport, but his family is from Lebanon.
Each faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine and a minimum of immediate probation when sentenced in June and August by Donald.
Those who are not citizens also face the possibility of deportation and remain in federal custody.

A minor teenager arrested in the case was handled in Juvenile Court.
Federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza said Odtllah, who had been living here for two years, provided Tennessee driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants for about $1,000 each.

The Hammads of New York found clients and drove them to Memphis where Smith would issue them driver’s licenses without requiring proper documentation, he said.

He said Tennessee was vulnerable to such a scheme because the state does not require immigrants to provide a Social Security number.

The Hammads in February drove Fares and Abou-Shahin and the juvenile to Memphis from New York to get four licenses.

They met with Odtllah here and were arrested as they attempted to obtain licenses at the Summer Avenue testing station.

FBI agents and the highway patrol had set up surveillance after receiving a tip from the New York FBI office.

During their separate guilty pleas Monday, at least two of the defendants asked their attorneys to emphasize that they are not being accused of terrorist activity. DiScenza then made a statement to that effect.
Jones, who represents Sakher Hammad, said the World Trade Center visitor’s pass found in his client’s wallet was needed because he had worked on the center’s sprinkler system plumbing.

He said Hammad also had a card that indicated he had donated money to the victims of the September 11 attack.

“My guy’s a fairly conservative guy,” Jones said.

The guilty pleas were straightforward and routine for the most part as Donald asked each man, some requiring Arabic interpreters, if he was pleading voluntarily and understood the implications. She also asked each defendant why he was pleading guilty, drawing tearful responses from Odtllah who said, “I made mistake.

I didn’t know I was breaking the law. I didn’t mean to break the law.”
Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad also wept when asked about his residency in New York, where he had been living with his wife and three U.S.-born children.
“I’m just concerned about my wife,” he said through an interpreter.

Because of its importance to the events of September 11, 2001, this article has been archived by the 9/11 Reading Room

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
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If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

http://www.911readingroom.org/bib/whole_document.php?article_id=386

MORE…

http://covertoperations.blogspot.com/2010/03/suspicious-untimely-deaths-of-people.html

http://911review.org/Storage/Katherine-Smith-9_11.html

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From GoMemphis

Link to GoMemphis dead and saved webpages removed from WebArchive

From: http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/WTC-murder-Examiner_IDs_9-11.html

Medical examiner ambushed Bomb, barbed wire, acid used in attack on Smith

By Yolanda Jones, June 3, 2002

An attacker ambushed Shelby County Medical Examiner Dr. O. C. Smith Saturday night, wrapped him from head to toe in barbed wire and strapped a bomb to his body.

Police said Smith left his office at about 10 and was headed to the parking lot when someone threw an acid-like substance in his face to subdue him.

For nearly three hours, he was unable to move or shout for help because of the barbed wire in his mouth.

A security guard spotted Smith’s vehicle in the parking lot, became suspicious and found Smith about 12:30 a.m. Sunday outside the office building in the medical center.

The police bomb squad was called to free Smith because of the device bound to his body. Smith was taken to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and treated for cuts, bruises and a chemical burn to his face.

Released early Sunday, Smith went back to his office to help investigators work the case.

“This is his character,” said Deputy Chief R. G. Wright of the Memphis police. “He is always willing to help out and always go the extra mile no matter what.”

Sunday, police had more questions than answers. “Yes, this was a functioning device that could have caused serious injuries or killed somebody,” said Gene Marquez, resident agent in charge of the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Memphis.

This is the second time in the last three months a bomb or explosive device
has been left on the doorstep of the Shelby County Regional Forensic Center, which houses the morgue and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

On March 13, a bomb and two smaller explosive-type devices were found in a stairwell of the building at 1060 Madison.

At the time, local and federal agents couldn’t say for sure if Smith and his staff were the targets. Saturday’s attack on Smith left police with little doubt about the focus of the attack but no answers as to why.

“We don’t know a motive and aren’t making any assumptions as to why anyone would want to hurt Dr. Smith,” said Wright.

During a noon press conference, Memphis police and ATF agents wouldn’t disclose specifics of the investigation such as information about a suspect or details about the device. Authorities said Smith was found on an outside stairway on the west side of the forensic center building. It was near the area where the bomb and other devices were found in March.

“All we can say is the components of this device are similar to the one found in March,” said Marquez. “Both are not very sophisticated and are very similar, but until we finish the investigation we can’t say if the two are connected.”

When the device was removed from Smith, police X-rayed it to see if it was an explosive device. When they determined it was a bomb, they sent it to the ATF lab in Atlanta for further analysis.

Today, the ATF’s National Response Team, made up of agents who are experts on explosive devices and who specialize in profiling bombers, will arrive in Memphis.

“This is the cream of the cream,” Marquez said. “We are planning to saturate this investigation and team up with local police on this matter immediately.”

The ATF also is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the case.

The Commercial Appeal could not reach Smith, who was placed under heavy security, for comment.

Smith, 49, is one of several local forensic science specialists who help investigate criminal cases.

Last year, anonymous letters threatened harm to Smith, a prosecution witness in the long-running case of convicted Memphis cop killer Philip Workman.

Smith said at the time that he had not received any letters himself but was taking the threats “very seriously.”

Workman’s attorneys had challenged the validity of Smith’s ballistics and laboratory tests. Smith said the tests proved Workman’s bullet killed Memphis police Lt. Ronald Oliver in 1981.

In one letter, the writer called Smith a liar and said, “Long have I waited for my HOLY ORDER to fight against the DOCTOR-KILLER abortionists but now I know OUR LORD was saving me for something larger.”

“I know Dr. Smith has worked several big cases, but I can’t imagine who would want to hurt him,” said Wright. “That is what we are working on now to find out.”

Known for his precision and thorough work, Smith is highly regarded by police and prosecutors and defense attorneys as well.

“In the 1994 case where we found three homicide victims hidden in the cemetery, Dr. Smith was right there down in the graves working hard like always,” said Wright.

At the time of the attack, Smith’s office had not yet made a determination for Katherine Smith’s death, homicide vs. suicide.

How many women burn themselves alive with gasoline in a suicide?

——————

Memphis medical examiner, O.C. Smith
This is the same medical examiner who did the autopsy on Don Wiley, the Harvard microbiologist.

http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/WTC-murder-Examiner_IDs_9-11.html

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From wmcactionnews5

O.C. Smith goes one-on-one with Janice Broach

Who can forget the pictures?

5726092_bg1-sml2.jpg

O.C. Smith (after paramedics arrived at the scene)

5726092_bg2-sml.jpg

O.C. Smith (present)

Former medical examiner Dr. O. C. Smith was “the man in the barbed wire mask.” A motion sensitive bomb was strapped and super glued to his neck. His hands were padlocked crucifixion-style to a window grate at the Shelby County Forensics center.

For the first time in more than four years, Smith is breaking his silence.

“Did you think you were going to die?” asked Action News 5’s Janice Broach.

“I never looked that far ahead,” he said.

Smith says it happenednon the west side of the Forensics Center on Madison in 2002. Around 10:00 on a Saturday night, Smith says a man threw lye in his face and forced him down the dark stairs.

“I just saw his hand and caustic fluid hit my face dropped my keys and I got a second gush,” he said. Seconds later, he says he felt the barbed wire.

“I could feel the pain of the wire but I couldn’t see and I didn’t know what was causing the pain. It’s not cutting but its pushing in on the pressure points and its – uh uh – produces tremendous pain but without the damage.”

Prosecutors focused on the lack of lacerations brought on by the barbed wire. They say pictures prove their point Smith did this to himself, accusations Smith has denied for years.

“I mean, come on,” he said.

As for the bomb, he said, “at that point I didn’t care about anything else because if this is a motion sensitive device then the only thing you could do is stay absolutely still.”

Smith says his attacker – a man he put at 6-feet-tall and 200 pounds – warned him not to move. “As he was getting ready to leave he came up and whispered in my ear basically ‘push it, pull it, twist it and you die welcome to death row.'”

Smith says he was in the stairwell for more than two hours, before a University of Tennessee security officer found him.

“I really did some things I shouldn’t have done,” he said. “I called for him to help me.” Smith says he should have cautioned the officer to stay away. Afterall, there was a bomb strapped to his body.

“I wasn’t man enough to shut up. And I begged him I begged him to come down,” he recounted.

The bomb never went off.

As the attack investigation began, Smith soon learned he was the prime suspect. Hidden camera video shows him being interrogated by a special prosecutor.

“At some point and time they said it just doesn’t add up and we think you did it,” he explained.

A federal trial dragged on for weeks. The jury dead locked. The judge issued a mistrial.

“Obviously you know there are some people out there who still think you did it. So what would you tell them?” asked Broach.

“I don’t think they are going to enjoy the book,” Smith responded.

The “book” is a story he’s currently shopping to publishers.

Prosecutors have said they will not try Smith again.

http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/5726092/oc-smith-goes-one-on-one-with-janice-broach

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From Revisionist History

Conspiracy didn’t kill eleven microbiologists, just coincidence –a case of “random clumping” and death by “roadway bounce”

September 2002

When the Miami Police first found Benito Que, he was slumped on a desolate side street, near the empty spot where he had habitually parked his Ford Explorer. At about the same time, Don C. Wiley mysteriously disappeared. His car, a white rented Mitsubishi Galant, was abandoned on a bridge outside of Memphis, where he had just had a jovial dinner with friends. The following week, Vladimir Pasechnik collapsed in London, apparently of a stroke.

The list would grow to nearly a dozen in the space of four nerve-jangling months. Stabbed in Leesburg, Va. Suffocated in an air-locked lab in Geelong, Australia. Found wedged under a chair, naked from the waist down, in a blood-splattered apartment in Norwich, England. Hit by a car while jogging. Killed in a private plane crash. Shot dead while a pizza delivery man served as a decoy.

What joined these men was their proximity to the world of bioterror and germ warfare. Que, the one who was car-jacked, was a researcher at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Wiley, the most famous, knew as much as anyone about how the immune system responds to attacks from viruses like Ebola. Pasechnik was Russian, and before he defected, he helped the Soviets transform cruise missiles into biological weapons. The chain of deaths — these three men and eight others like them — began last fall…

In more ordinary times, this cluster of deaths might not have been noticed, but these are not ordinary times…we are spooked and startled by stories like these – all these scientists dying within months of one another… The stories of these dozen or so deaths started out as a curiosity and were transformed rumor by rumor into the specter of conspiracy as they circulated first on the Internet and then in the mainstream media. What are the odds, after all? What are the odds, indeed?

For this is not about conspiracy but about coincidence…The true meaning of the word is ‘a surprising concurrence of events, perceived as meaningfully related, with no apparent causal connection.’ In other words, pure happenstance. Yet by merely noticing a coincidence, we elevate it to something that transcends its definition as pure chance. We are discomforted by the idea of a random universe…John Allen Paulos (is) a professor of mathematics at Temple University. Finding a reason or a pattern where none actually exists ”makes it less frightening,” he says, because events get placed in the realm of the logical. ”Believing in fate, or even conspiracy, can sometimes be more comforting than facing the fact that sometimes things just happen.” In the past year there has been plenty of conspiracy, of course, but also a lot of things have ”just happened.”

The numbers 9/11 (9 plus 1 plus 1) equal 11, and American Airlines Flight 11 was the first to hit the twin towers, and there were 92 people on board (9 plus 2), and Sept. 11 is the 254th day of the year (2 plus 5 plus 4), and there are 11 letters each in ”Afghanistan,” ”New York City” and ”the Pentagon” (and while we’re counting, in George W. Bush), and the World Trade towers themselves took the form of the number 11, this seeming numerical message is not actually a pattern that exists but merely a pattern we have found…

Recall, for example, the list of coincidences that…linked the deaths of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. It goes, in part, like this: The two men were elected 100 years apart; they were both succeeded by men named Johnson; and the two Johnsons were born 100 years apart. Their names each contain seven letters; their successors’ names each contain 13 letters; and their assassins’ names each contain 15 letters. Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran to a warehouse. Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran to a theater. Lincoln was shot in a theater named Ford. Kennedy was shot in a Ford automobile named Lincoln. Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln (Evelyn Lincoln) who warned him not to go to Dallas.

Something like that has to be more than coincidence, we protest. What are the odds? The mathematician will answer that even in the most unbelievable situations, the odds are actually very good. The law of large numbers says that with a large enough denominator — in other words, in a big wide world — stuff will happen, even very weird stuff. ”The really unusual day would be one where nothing unusual happens,” explains Persi Diaconis, a Stanford statistician who has spent his career collecting and studying examples of coincidence. Given that there are 280 million people in the United States, he says, ”280 times a day, a one-in-a-million shot is going to occur.”

..And what of the deaths of nearly a dozen scientists? Is it really possible that they all just happened to die, most in such peculiar, jarring ways, within so short a time? ”We can never say for a fact that something isn’t a conspiracy,” says Bradley Efron, a professor of statistics at Stanford. ”We can just point out the odds that it isn’t.”

…I read a small news item out of the Finnish town of Raahe…On the morning of March 5, two elderly twin brothers were riding their bicycles, as was their habit, completing their separate errands. At 9:30, one brother was struck by a truck along coastal Highway 8 and killed instantly. About two hours later and one mile down the same highway, the other brother was struck by a second truck and killed. It was hard to believe this could happen just by chance,” says Marko Salo, the senior constable who investigated both deaths for the Raahe Police Department. Instead, the department looked for a cause, thinking initially that the second death was really a suicide. ”Almost all Raahe thought he did it knowing that his brother was dead,” Salo says of the second brother’s death. ”They thought he tried on purpose. That would have explained things.” But the investigation showed that the older brother was off cheerfully getting his hair cut just before his own death.

…Which brings us to the death of Benito Que…Que had the habit of parking his car on Northwest 10th Avenue, a side street that Ardalan describes as being ”beyond the area considered to be safe.” His spot that day was in front of a house where a young boy was playing outside. Four youths approached Que as he neared his car, the boy later told the police, and there might have been some baseball bats involved. When the police arrived, they found Que unconscious. His briefcase was at his side, but his wallet was gone. His car was eventually found abandoned several miles from the scene…

The mystery, limited to small items in local Florida papers at first, was ”What killed Benito Que?” Could it have been the mugging? A CAT scan showed no signs of bony fracture. In fact, there were no scrapes or bruises or other physical signs of assault. Perhaps he died of a stroke? His brain scan did show a ”huge intracranial bleed,” Ardalan says, which would have explained his earlier headache, and his high blood pressure would have made a stroke likely. In other words, this man just happened to be mugged when he was a stroke waiting to be triggered. That is a jarring coincidence, to be sure. But it is not one that the world was likely to have noticed if Don Wiley had not up and disappeared.

Don C. Wiley was a microbiologist. He did some work with anthrax…and he was also quite familiar with Ebola, smallpox, …and influenza. At 57, he was the father of four children and a professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the department of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard.

On Nov. 15, four days before the attack on Benito Que, Wiley was in Memphis to visit his father and to attend the annual meeting of the scientific advisory board of St. Jude’s Research Hospital, of which he was a member. At midnight, he was seen leaving a banquet at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. Friends and colleagues say he had a little to drink but did not appear impaired, and they remember him as being in a fine mood, looking forward to seeing his wife and children, who were about to join him for a short vacation.

Wiley’s father lives in a Memphis suburb, and that is where Wiley should have been headed after the banquet. Instead, his car was found facing in the opposite direction on the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River at the border of Tennessee and Arkansas. When the police found the car at 4 a.m., it was unlocked, the keys were in the ignition and the gas tank was full. There was a scrape of yellow paint on the driver’s side, which appeared to come from a construction sign on the bridge, and a right hubcap was missing on the passenger side, where the wheel rims were also scraped. There was no sign, however, of Don Wiley. Detectives searched Wiley’s financial records, his family relationships, his scientific research– anything for a hint that the man might have had cause to take his own life. …The week that Wiley disappeared coincided with the peak of anthrax fear throughout the country…Could it be mere chance that this particular scientist, who had profound knowledge of these microbes, had disappeared at this time?

…Vladimir Pasechnik was 64 when he died. His early career was spent in the Soviet Union working at Biopreparat, the site of that country’s biological weapons program. He defected in 1989 and spilled what he knew to the British, revealing for the first time the immense scale of Soviet work with anthrax, plague, tularemia and smallpox. For the next 10 years, he worked at the Center for Applied Microbiology and Research, part of Britain’s Department of Health….In the weeks before he died, Pasechnik had reportedly consulted with authorities about the growing anthrax scare…

Robert Schwartz…was an expert on DNA sequencing and analysis. On Dec. 10 he was found dead on the kitchen floor of his isolated log-and-fieldstone farmhouse near Leesburg, Va., where he had lived alone since losing his wife to cancer four years ago and his children to college. Schwartz had been stabbed to death with a two-foot-long sword, and his killer had carved an X on the back of his neck.

…On the same day that Schwartz died, Set Van Nguyen, 44, was found dead in an air-locked storage chamber at the Australian Commonwealth’s Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s animal diseases facility in Geelong…the center dealt with microbes like mousepox, which is similar to smallpox…”He was a valued member of the laboratory’s technical support staff… Nguyen…shared a last name with Kathy Nguyen, the 61-year-old hospital worker who just happened to be the one New Yorker to die of anthrax.

In addition to the men already discussed, the names that appear most often are these: Victor Korshunov, a Russian expert in intestinal bacteria, who was bashed over the head near his home in Moscow; Ian Langford, a British expert in environmental risk and disease, who was found dead in his home near Norwich, England, naked from the waist down and wedged under a chair; Tanya Holzmayer, who worked as a microbiologist near San Jose and was shot seven times…when she opened the door to a pizza delivery man; David Wynn-Williams, who was hit by a car near his home in Cambridge, England; and Steven Mostow, who died in a plane crash near Denver.

Ken Alibek…is one of the country’s best-known microbiologists. He was the No. 2 man at the Soviet Union’s Biopreparrat (where Victor Pasechnik also worked)…and now works with the U.S. government seeking antidotes for the very weapons he developed:”I got an e-mail from Pasechnik before he died…but I’m not paying much attention.”

Others are not quite as sanguine. Phyllis Della-Latta is the director of clinical microbiology services at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She found an article on the deaths circulating in the most erudite place — an Internet discussion group of directors of clinical microbiology labs around the world. These are the people who, when a patient develops suspicious symptoms, are brought in to rule out things like anthrax…

Don Wiley’s body was finally found on Dec. 20, near Vidalia, La., about 300 miles south of where he disappeared. The Memphis medical examiner, O.C. Smith, concluded that yellow paint marks on Wiley’s car suggest that he hit a construction sign on the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, as does the fact that a hubcap was missing from the right front tire. Smith’s theory is that heavy truck traffic on the bridge can set off wind gusts and create ”roadway bounce,” which might have been enough to cause Wiley to lose his balance after getting out of the car to inspect the scrapes….”If Dr. Wiley were on the curb trying to assess damage to his car, all of these factors may have played a role in his going over the rail,” Smith said when he issued his report. The Memphis Police consider the case closed..The talk of Memphis at the moment is the bizarre ambush of the city’s coroner last month. He was wrapped in barbed wire and left lying in a stairwell of the medical examiner’s building with a live bomb strapped to his chest. Coincidentally, that coroner, O.C. Smith, was also the coroner who did the much-awaited, somewhat controversial autopsy on Don Wiley.

Paul Sieveking…co-editor of Fortean Times…”the Journal of Strange Phenomena”…Sieveking says: ”It’s probably just a random clumping, but it just happens to look significant. …conspiracy theorists are just frustrated novelists. We like to make up a good story out of random facts.”

..Mainstream newspapers started taking up the story, including an alternative weekly in Memphis, where interest in the Wiley case was particularly strong, and most recently The Toronto Globe and Mail…

http://www.revisionisthistory.org/secretagent.html

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From History Commons

Profile: Khaled Odtllah 

Khaled Odtllah was a participant or observer in the following events:

Katherine Smith is killed one day before her scheduled appearance in court on charges she helped five Islamic men get illegal drivers licenses. According to witnesses, she veered into a utility pole when a fire erupted in her car. She was burned beyond recognition. The FBI later determines that gasoline was poured on her clothing before she died in the fire and find that arson was the cause of death. [Associated Press, 2/15/2002] A suicide note was found, but prosecutors say they are looking for murder suspects. One of the five men, Sakhera Hammad, was found with a pass in his wallet giving access to the restricted areas of the WTC, dated September 5, 2001. Hammad claims he was a plumber and worked on the WTC’s sprinkler system that day, but the company with exclusive rights to all WTC plumbing work has never heard of him. Smith was being investigated by the FBI; the five later plead guilty to charges of fraud. [Go Memphis, 2/12/2002; Associated Press, 2/13/2002; Reuters, 2/15/2002; Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 2/21/2002] One of the five, Khaled Odtllah, drove from New York City to Memphis on 9/11. Tennessee is one of only four US states that doesn’t require a Social Security card to get a driver’s license. A prosecutor accuses each of the five men of attempting to acquire a “completely false and untraceable identity.” [Associated Press, 2/12/2002; Associated Press, 2/15/2002] One month later, the coroner who examines her body is targeted by a bomb, which is defused. Then in June the coroner is attacked, bound with barbed wire, and left with a bomb tied to his body, but he survives. [Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 3/14/2002]

Entity Tags:  Katherine Smith, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khaled Odtllah, Sakhera Hammad, World Trade Center

http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=khaled_odtllah

________________________________________________________________

From GoMemphis

TENN DRIVER LICENSE SCANDAL: FLAMING DEATH NO ACCIDENT, FBI SAYS

2/14/02 | Bill Dries

Flaming death no accident, FBI says

Gasoline found on clothes of license examiner

The fiery death of a driver’s license examiner at the center of a federal fraud investigation was not an accident, an FBI agent said here Wednesday in federal court.

Federal and state investigators found gasoline on the clothes Katherine Smith was wearing when she died Sunday in a car crash on a stretch of U.S. 72 in Fayette County, FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash told U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Daniel Breen.

Nash also testified that investigators found evidence of some kind of accelerant in the burned-out interior of Smith’s car.

“Katherine Smith obviously lived two lives, maybe more. She may have had other things going on in her life that may have led to her death.” – Karen Cicala

Her testimony came during a probable cause and bond hearing for three of Smith’s five co-defendants in an alleged scheme to get Tennessee driver’s licenses using false information for men with Middle Eastern ties who lived in New York City.

Breen found there was probable cause to charge Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. He also denied them bond.

Fares, Hammad and Abou-Shahin, wearing tan prison scrubs and blue windbreakers, listened to the proceedings through cell phones with an Arabic interpreter on the other end of the line in another city. The courtroom’s sound system was piped through the phone line for the interpreter to hear.

After hearing the translation of Breen denying him bond, Fares, 19, set his cell phone on the table and put his head in his hands.

Smith and her co-defendants, including alleged ring leader Khaled Odtllah and Hammad’s cousin, Sakhera Hammad, were charged Feb. 6 with conspiracy to fraud ulent ly obtain Tennessee driver’s licenses.

While her five co-defendants have been imprisoned without bond since their Feb. 5 arrest, Smith was released on her own recognizance. She died one day before she was due to appear at a detention hearing before a federal magistrate judge.

“Was this death a result of an accident?” federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza asked Nash, who was the only witness to testify during Wednesday’s two-hour hearing.

“No, it was not,” Nash replied.

According to Nash, this is what FBI agents and Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators have concluded about the car crash:

Six unnamed witnesses – all related to each other – saw Smith’s 1992 Acura Legend veer off U.S. 72 around 12:45 a.m. Sunday. They said the interior of the car was on fire as the car drove across a ditch and hit a utility pole.

The fire was arson, Nash said.

“Every single thing inside the car is burnt,” she said before noting that the trunk and gas tank were untouched by a blaze so intense that Smith’s arms and legs were “burned off.”

There was only “slight damage” to the front end of the car from hitting the utility pole, she added.

Nash said gasoline was found on Smith’s clothing. She said investigators are still waiting on test results of traces of an unknown accelerant found in the car. A dog trained to sniff out such chemicals detected the accelerant.

Smith died from “inhaling the actual flames,” Nash testified.

“Her airway system is actually singed.”

Attorneys for the three defendants were quick to point out that their clients were all in prison at the time of Smith’s death.

“Katherine Smith obviously lived two lives, maybe more,” said Karen Cicala, who represents Fares. “She may have had other things going on in her life that may have led to her death.”

She also questioned whether Fares is being treated differently because of ties to the Middle-East.

Attorney Jake Erwin, representing Hammad, urged Breen to consider only the fraud conspiracy charge.

“You’re not saying that Mr. Hammad had anything to do with Katherine Smith’s death, are you?” Erwin asked Nash.

“No, not at this time,” she replied.

“You’re not saying he had anything to do with the World Trade Center attack, are you,” he asked again.

“No, not at this time,” she repeated.

DiScenza has said there are “connections” linking two of the accused to the World Trade Center in the days before it was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Those connections include a visitor’s pass to the WTC dated Sept. 5 that belonged to Sakhera Hammad.

DiScenza focused on Smith’s death as a factor that Breen should consider in denying bond.

“This court has to consider that Katherine Smith died under very suspicious circumstances, in a manner that was clearly not an accident,” DiScenza told Breen. “Coincidence only goes so far.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20020217031152/http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_985827,00.html

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From New York County District’s Office

NEWS RELEASE

December 20, 2007

Contact: Barbara Thompson

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the indictment of two men on charges that they falsified applications to obtain trade licenses issued by the New York City Department of Buildings by overstating their qualifications for the licenses.

SERGEI DENKO and DAVID CONNELL were both charged with multiple counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree in connection with statements they made about their employment experience on applications for Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor licenses. In addition to the false filing charges, CONNELL was charged with three counts of Forgery in the Second Degree. DENKO was also charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree in connection with applications he filed to be a Master Plumber.

Both DENKO and CONNELL falsely stated on their applications that they had worked under the supervision of licensees when they had not. It is a requirement to obtain both Master Plumber and Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor licenses to have worked under the supervision of a licensee for a certain period of years. In addition, CONNELL forged three letters purportedly written by individuals attesting to his experience under the supervision of a licensee who had not in fact supervised him.

The Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor license is a trade license issued by the New York City Department of Buildings. The New York City Building Code provides that a Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor is someone who is authorized to “install, maintain, repair, modify, extend or alter fire suppression piping systems in the City of New York.” Such systems include sprinkler and standpipe systems.

Mr. Morgenthau said, “Obviously, fire suppression systems are critical to public safety. It is extremely important that licenses be granted only to qualified professionals. Individuals who obtain licenses by falsifying their applications are putting lives at risk in the event of a fire.”

New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said, “These individuals were entrusted with keeping the public safe by installing fire suppression systems in the City. Instead, as these troubling allegations show, they misrepresented their qualifications and evaded the City’s requirements for licensing fire suppression contractors. In the case of Sergei Denko, the City must now re-inspect each of the approximately 95 jobs he worked and DOI has notified the Buildings Department regarding the sites that need to be re-inspected. This case underscores the commitment by DOI and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to pursue individuals who try to skirt the regulations that ensure professional standards and protect the public.”

DENKO is self-employed as the president of Denko Mechanical, a Brooklyn-based plumbing and fire suppression company. CONNELL is supervisor plumber of the City College of New York.

The New York City Department of Investigation conducted the investigation and referred the matter to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The Inspectors General for the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services had conducted a joint audit of applications filed for the Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor licenses. At the time that DENKO and CONNELL applied for the licenses, the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) administered the licensing examination and conducted the background investigation, while the New York City Department of Buildings issued the licenses. One of DENKO’s falsified Licensed Master Plumber applications was discovered in connection with a routine background investigation, while the other falsified Licensed Master Plumber application was discovered during an investigation into his Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor license application.

DENKO is charged with six counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. CONNELL is charged with four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and three counts of Forgery in the Second Degree. Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree is a class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years in prison. Forgery in the Second Degree is a class D felony, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Daniel G. Cort, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Rackets Bureau, and Special Assistant District Attorney Cristina Lynn Fernandez, an attorney with the New York City Department of Buildings Special Investigations Unit, presented the case to the grand jury under the supervision of Rackets Bureau Chief Patrick Dugan. Chief of Investigations Barry Romm of the Department of Buildings Special Investigations Unit and Department of Investigation Confidential Investigator Jacqueline Maquine conducted the investigation under the supervision of Robert Joyce, Department of Investigation Associate Commissioner and John Woods, Inspector General for the New York City Department of Buildings.

Mr. Morgenthau thanked Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, Patricia Lancaster, FAIA, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings, and Martha Hirst, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and her staff for their assistance in this investigation.

Defendant Information

DAVID CONNELL, 9/13/61
28 Maple Place
Huntington, NY 11743

SERGEI DENKO, 2/11/64
232 East 26th Street, Apt. 21
New York, NY 10010

http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doi/downloads/pdf/pr_firesuppression_12202007.pdf

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From NewsOn6.com

The net opens wide; man who allegedly helped two hijackers get IDs is charged

Updated: Sep 25, 2001 1:00 PM KST

WASHINGTON (AP)   Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday that individuals with possible links to the hijackers who terrorized the nation obtained or tried to obtain licenses to transport hazardous materials.

Ashcroft issued the new warning as the FBI sought nearly 400 people for questioning in the terrorist attacks and federal prosecutors worked to build a criminal case involving identification cards for five of the now-dead hijackers. One man was charged with aiding the hijackers.

In France, anti-terrorist police detained at least four people early Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. interests in France. Seven people already were in custody in France in connection with the alleged plot.

The FBI, meanwhile, dropped a material-witness warrant against a Texas doctor who had been detained. Al-Badr Al-Hazmi had been held in New York as a material witness in the Sept. 11 attacks. Government officials confirmed Tuesday that he was released and was returning to Texas.

A Saudi national, Al-Hazmi, 34, was doing a medical residency in radiology at University of Texas Health Science Center. He had been working at a military hospital located on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in the days before the attacks.

The FBI has advised local police to be on the lookout for anything suspicious regarding hazardous materials and crop-dusting aircraft, Ashcroft told a Senate hearing.

“Our investigation has uncovered several individuals, including individuals who may have links to the hijackers, who fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain harzardous-material transportation licenses,” Ashcroft said.

At least two people detained in the investigation _ one in Detroit and the other in Chicago _ had licenses to transport chemicals and other hazardous materials. And one of the hijackers had visited a Florida crop-dusting company several times in the weeks before the attacks and had sought a government loan for a crop-dusting plane.

Such reports have raised fears the small farm planes could be used in a biological or chemical attack. All crop-dusting planes were grounded Sunday and Monday as a precaution. The grounding was lifted early Tuesday.

In the criminal case, the government said Herbert Villalobos accompanied Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to a lawyer’s office in Virginia on Aug. 2 to help the two suspected hijackers obtain state identity cards.

When shown photos of the hijackers by the FBI, Villalobos recognized three other suspects “believed to have commandeered American Airlines Flight 77” from Washington Dulles International Airport that crashed into the Pentagon, according to court documents. Villalobos said Hani Hanjour, Salem Al Hazmi and Majed Moqed were at the Arlington, Va., office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2, just as Al Omari and Al Ghamdi were.

“Virginia DMV records … show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identification cards at the Arlington DMV,” said a seven-page affidavit by an FBI agent.

The affidavit did not say whether the five used the IDs to become ticketed passengers aboard the doomed flights, which also crashed in New York City and a field in Pennsylvania.

The FBI says Al Omari was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Al Ghamdi was aboard United Flight 175 that hit the trade center’s south tower. Villalobos was charged with unlawfully signing a Virginia residency form for Al Omari. He was being detained at an undisclosed location. A hearing is set for Wednesday morning.

More than 6,900 people are missing and presumed dead from the attacks, in which Saudi exile Osama bin Laden has been named the leading suspect.

Ashcroft said 352 people have been arrested or detained in the investigation and 392 others who “we think … have information that could be helpful” were being sought for questioning.

There was concern over the potential for further attacks.

Robert Epling of Community Bank of Florida said he’s been told that Mohamed Atta, one of the suspected hijackers, sought a USDA loan for a crop-duster. The USDA is a tenant in the bank, which checked its files about Atta at the request of the FBI.

“We understand he was turned down” at the USDA “and they referred him to us,” said Epling. A loan officer at the bank remembered a phone call from someone inquiring about crop-dusters, an unusual request because there are so few of the planes left in the area, Epling said. Nothing came of the inquiry from the unnamed person.

James Lester, an employee of South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade, told the FBI that Atta was among the men who in groups of two or three visited the crop-dusting firm nearly every weekend for six or eight weeks before the attacks.

Atta was a persistent questioner and “I recognized him because he stayed on my feet all the time. I just about had to push him away from me,” Lester said.

In California, authorities detained three San Diego area college students as material witnesses. Law enforcement officials said they determined the students had information about three suspected hijackers and were unlikely to testify willingly before a grand jury.

Authorities in Wynne, Ark., early Tuesday arrested five Middle Eastern men, including at least one whose name appeared on an FBI list of people wanted for questioning in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin said the five were stopped for speeding in a small town located in a heavy agriculture area.

Crop-dusters weren’t the only concern.

In Michigan the president of a truck-driving school confirmed two men arrested last week had attended the school and one of them obtained a permit to transport hazardous materials.

Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33, taken into custody Sept. 17, attended the U.S. Truck Driver Training School in Detroit this summer, said the school’s president, Joseph LaBarge. Koubriti passed the state commercial drivers license exam on Aug. 22 and received a permit to transport hazardous materials. Hannan failed the road test, LaBarge said.

________________________________________________________________

From Democratic Underground

LAST EDITED ON Aug-07-02 AT 03:52 AM (ET)  911- The untold Files (the ID gang around the “hijackers”)
by ewing2001
================================================================
(*the following fragment had been originally planned for “911-the final dots Pt.2- Top 20 suspects for LIHOP?”, which still is in work.
But due to the excellent research results by Ajw18, democraticunderground.com,
i decided to pre-release it now as open info source for a better synchronisation.
I also came to the conclusion, that most of the suspects in this report might have been scapegoats. I hope these details might help to combine the dots of the reports about the hijacker-whereabouts in the final weeks before Sep 11th.Thanks also to Rebecky, who was concentrating on the “Denko Mechanical”-details a while ago)
911- The untold Files (the ID gang around the “hijackers”)
———————————————————————————-
When the Sep11th-story comes to the helping hands,
the official version tends to fade out the most obvious investigative questions:
Who was organising the visas for the hijackers?
Who was organising the IDs?
While an ex-american soldier, who was fighting for the Taliban, made big national news and another hijacker suspect , who was already arrested in August 2001, made big national news as well, almost nothing is said about the real helping hands, who officially “had no idea”, that they would help organising the biggest “terrorist attack” in history:

Some “unknown” consulate employees in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia
and some “unknown” criminals, who organised some fake IDs.

Unknown?

Both is a lie. The employee, who organised the visas, is well known.
His name is Abdullah Noman and he was already arrested in a smart FBI-plot in Las Vegas, last year in November.

It was also already confirmed, that Jeddah is a CIA consulate, who allowed visas without asking much questions.

A former employee, Michael Springman, confirmed this various times in many interviews for european and canadian media incl. Greg Palast of the BBC and for http://www.unansweredquestions.org on a press conference at the Washington Press Center in June 2001.

Noman was accused for filing 15 of the hijackers visas and their names are well known:

Abdulaziz Alomari, Banihammad Fayez, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, Hamza al-Ghamdi, Saaed al-Ghamdi, Salem al-Hamzi, Ahmed al-Haznawi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed al-Nami, Waled al-Shehri, Wail al-Shehri, Mohald al-Shehri and Satam al-Suqami.


And what about the fake IDs ?

Many people got arrested and they also made some small news, but they didn’t make National TV.

Why?
Probably because they had some helping hands by the FBI or CIA?

Below is a list of names, who allowed 911 to happen.
If they had any idea or not, has to be find out. The only problem is, noone really asked them.

Because they are in prison?

No, most of them are free again or “vanished” under strange circumstances.

One thing for sure: Bin laden didn’t hire them. He was hiding in the caves in Afghanistan.
The true mastermind behind Sep11th is still unknown.

Most of the helping hands however are known.
Even if they had been only scapegoats, their stories has still to be told!


Herbert Villalobos is one of them.


Image

One important helping hand of the Sep11-plots, who didn’t make much national news yet.

His name is Herbert Villalobos, who officially produced identification documents for the hijackers.
It was said, he used the alias Oscar Diaz for this.

What’s the background story of the these IDs and why is this story untold?

First of all, according to “LawyersWeekly”, instead of Villalobos, it was in reality a “Virginian lawyer” who helped with the photo identification cards.

Early FBI reports said, these photo ID cards, issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Arlington “could have been used by the men to board the planes or pass through other checkpoints”
http://www.valawyersweekly.com/terrorist.htm


Arlington lists one address, where this Department might have its location:
http://www.dmv.state.va.us/exec/csc/csc.asp?id=5


According to FBI documents filed in Alexandria federal court Sept. 22, the lawyer, who is not named but works in the Arlington, Virginia area, signed papers that allowed Abdul Aziz Al Omari and Ahmed Saleh Al Ghamdi to obtain ID cards. The cards apparently listed false addresses for the two men.

But we know already that Saleh Al Ghamdi (flight 175/twin towers) and Abdul Aziz Alomari (flight 11/twin towers) got their visas in Jeddah.

So those “hijackers” didn’t really need new IDs.

Interestingly, as often before, many hijackers took many risks.
As various articles claimed, they trained at military air bases or CIA connected flying schools (Huffmann Aviation).

Saled Alghamdi has lived briefly at a Vienna, Virginia,
“boarding house near CIA headquarters” (CBS), same to Waleed M. Alshehri, who is also reported to have lived in that same Vienna house.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/ 14/archive/main311329.shtml
Actually both lived “three blocks” away from this CIA headquarter.
Why did they take this risk?
Or better, who briefed them on that or just didn’t do his homework?
For example, agent Noel E. Firth worked in Virginia 31 years
or James H. Noren, originally from Springfield.

Also located in Virginia, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a network of databases and financial records maintained by the US federal government.

Working for the FinCen as a director is Mr. James F. Sloan, served with the United States Secret Service for 21 years.

He was responsible for the management of the Service’s protective mission which includes the protection of the President of the United States.
He was also the Senior Program Manager of the Service’s Anti-Terrorism responsibilities and represented the Secret Service as a member of the National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Security Group.

He served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1966 to 1969 and
in several investigative and managerial positions including as Special Agent in Charge.


From January 20, 2001 to August 8, 2001, he served as Acting Under Secretary (Enforcement), Department of the Treasury, overseeing the operations of Treasury’s law enforcement bureaus, including U.S. Customs Service; U.S. Secret Service; Office of Foreign Assets Control; Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms; and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
http://www.ustreas.gov/fincen/af_organization.html

Vienna is also the same city, where ex-russian spy Robert Hanssen lived, worked and had been arrested, last year!


But also the background story of Abdul Aziz Alomari is strange.

At one time he worked for the aircraft maintenance company Saudi Flight Ops,
at JFK Airport.
Alomari also listed his address as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
http://www.airdisaster.com/news/0901/wtc0915/news6.shtml

Alomari lived in Hollywood, Fla. with his wife and four school-age children in a rented house in Vero Beach, Fla., moving out on Sept. 3, telling his landlord he was returning home.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/14/archive/printable311329.shtml

It is still unknown, why he allowed his family to stay with him if he was planning a deadly hijack?

Did he really know, what was planned on Sep11th?
But then again, why did he need a new ID, if he didn’t know?

Now according to the FBI documents, witnesses told FBI agents that on Aug. 2 (=TUE), “Al Omari and Al Ghamdi went to a parking lot near the Arlington DMV seeking help in obtaining Virginia ID cards”.

The witnesses led the men to a nearby attorney’s office.

But in another official statement by Villalobos the story had a strange twist.

He said that three other hijackers, Hani Hanjour, Salem Al Hazmi and Majed Moqed were at the Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2, too, just as Al Omari and Al Ghamdi were.

This maybe made sense for Hani Hanjour who was only 1 state away,
but for which reasons did he need a new ID?

And why didn’t this info appear in the official indictment?

In the six weeks before the attack, Hani Hanjour took flying lessons at Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md., where instructors thought “his skills were so poor they refused to rent him a plane”.

Did he need the Arlington-ID for these lessons?

He was also part of the group that worked out at Gold’s Gym in Greenbelt, Md.,
between Sept. 2 and Sept. 6, as did Khalid Al-Midhar, Nawaq Alhamzi and Salem Alhamzi

Does the FBI want us to believe, these hijackers planned their coup in a gym,
skitting their maps under sweat and water?


Let us make a logistic analysis:
For Hanjour this location in Arlington was not far away.

But Salem Alhamzi lived at that time in Fort Lee, N.J. or in Wayne, N.J..


(Another interesting note:
Fort Lee became famous for the CIA in 1956, where they worked together with Projection Co. on subliminal manipulation, which “has achieved some success in commercial advertising, as ‘Eat Popcorn’ or ‘Drink Cola’ “, due to CIA veteran William R. Corson
http://www.sfbg.com/reality/01.html
Wayne is the main operation center for the US Army, where they test their U.S. Army Joint Tactical Radio System/JTRS, together with BAe, TRW, Boeing and Harris Corporation.
This system allows video and data communications capability for varied mission requirements. The software programmable nature of the JTRS affords users the flexibility to select optimum waveforms to meet mission demands.
http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2002/q2/nr_020624s.html )


So Alhazmi needed a longer drive with a rental car, train or flight to come to Arlington,Virginia.

But why did HE need a new ID,why did he choose to get this ID in Arlington instead of in New Jersey and why this risk doing this only a few miles away of the Feds in DC?

Here we can’t find a logical explanation.

And why Arlington anyway, a city which is full of feds as well?

Why did the hijackers always risk so much, walking around between military flight schools, CIA headquarters, Pentagon-related hospitals (Holy Cross, Fort Lauderdale) or government institutes (Monterey etc…)?


Moqued, who got his visa from Jeddah, along with Hani Hanjour, was later seen on a photo from a video surveillance camera, using an ATM machine on Sept. 5 in Laurel, Maryland.

(Note:
Interestingly, if you compare both inserts of the ATM photos, you will realise another oddity:
09-05-2001 08.25 filename MD000006 008 and 09-05-2001 08.31 filename MD000006 009
are these 2 photos, but taken with 6 minutes between each)


It was said that Moqued lived in Caldwell, New Jersey.
For him it was also stressful to drive to Arlington.
Once again the question, why?

Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland are only some miles away from each other.


Who told him to drive to Arlington?
Who allowed him to get his ID?

The NIH and ANSER, who created the Homeland Security in 1999 are right in the centre,
where the hijackers got their IDs.
Did the hijackers had some helping hands by the feds?

Then we have the strange Suqami-story:

A few days after the crash on the Twin Towers, ex-FBI agent Barry Mawn classified Satam Al Suqamis passpord in the rubble in front of the collapsed building 7 on Vesey street.
A few of the buildings’ tenants: CIA, DOD, OEM and INS

However it was never said, what kind of ID Mawn classified.
A luminated, american one or maybe even a paper ID from europe?


But back to the story in Arlington:

Due to valawyersweekly, “an employee completed an identity affidavit form for each man”, Alomari and alghamdi.

“Al Omari and Al Ghamdi returned to the DMV and used the documents to get ID cards.”
But instead of arresting this employee, the FBI concentrated on Villalobos only.

Why?

Then it was said, there was a witness, who was not identified, but in one article her gender is identified: female.

She said that the “forms had been signed in advance by the attorney and that the attorney did nothing but talk to the men in a foreign language for a few minutes,” according to the complaint.

The other witness — Villalobos — stated that the attorney signed the forms after they had been been completed then talked to the men in “their language.”

The unidentified witness in the FBI papers said she received $80 for taking Al Omari and Al Ghamdi to the lawyer’s office. She stated that she had “provided this service to approximately 100 people during the past four months and (received) approximately $100 per individual.”


At least one attorney at that time already prosecuted.

Someone named Michael E. Ford of Reston pleaded guilty Aug. 22 (?) in Alexandria federal court “to the unlawful production of identity documents”.

In a Sept. 27 order, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Ford’s law license.


On Dec 4th, Herbert Villalobos, 35, pleaded guilty to helping two Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards
http://www.timesunion.com/news/september11/timeline/dec2_8.htm

Herbert Villalobos is free again.
But another “helping hand” is still in prison until 2004.

On February 1st Victor M. Lopez-Flores “pleaded guilty to falsely certifying that hijackers Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi were Virginia residents” and received a 27-month prison sentence from U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.
http://www.phonebusters.com/Eng/Charges_Arrests/February_1_2002_1a.html


His attorney, Alan Yamamoto, said the document fraud alone would have resulted in about a 12-month sentence under sentencing guidelines.
The judge blamed the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for allowing people to obtain IDs without proof of residency or identity

Villalobos’ attorney, Patrick Anderson (also vice president of Hopkins House Association Board of Trustees and president of the Alexandria Symphony, http://www2.ccps.virginia.edu/sorensen/sipl_alum_1999.html),
said on court, that his client was kept in isolation for almost the entire time he was detained


Interestingly, the same attorney is also involved in another Sep11th-case:

Judge Brinkema appointed Alexandria lawyer Alan Yamamoto as a standby lawyer to assist Moussaoui.

http://www.nandotimes.com/nation/story/448731p-3591776c.html
ALEXANDRIA, VA. (June 27, 2002)

But there is also confusion about the number of the helping hands- and even their names!


In another article it was said, that Villalobos was one of four people charged,
but only Lopez-Flores was mentioned.
http://www.airdisaster.com/news/1201/05/news3.shtml

If no.3 was Michael E. Ford , then who was No.4?

One affidavit alleged that Villalobos and a second man – his identity not revealed because he is a confidential witness. He was obviously No.4, but “was not charged”.
http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/092501_news_charged.shtml

One artist was rendering the first trial on Sep26th, 2001.

Here you can see the persons who had been involved in the case:


Villalobos’ attorney Michael Liberman (from DiMuro, Ginsberg & Lieberman, Virginia) , Herbert Villalobos, FBI Agent Brian Weidner, U.S. Magistrate Curtis Sewell and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Morton
http://web.knoxnews.com/web/kns/news/breaking/wtc/1354.html

The indictment about Villalobos case is at:
http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/usvillalobos120401plea.pdf


But once again, no mention of any other accomplices.

And there is also no mention about other hijackers.

Only Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi are mentioned in this indictment, who obtained the ID cards “by fraud”. It is said, they needed Form DL6 as an identity affidavit.

DL51 is a residency identification,which is needed for the DMV.

It is said, that on August 2nd, Alomari and Alghamdi approached several Hispanic man incl. Villalobos in a parking lot next to the DMV and asked them to assist with the IDs.

On that same day, Villalobos accompanied both to an attorney where they received fraudulent DL6 and DL51 “from an attorney who worked in the office”.

While neither the name of the attorney nor the 4th charged person (witness) was mentioned,
11 days after Lopez-Flores plead guilty, on February 11th 2002 this “witness” obviously was invited again for the trial.

Now for the first name the name of the witness was revealed:


Her name was Katherine Smith, another Department of Motor Vehicles employee.

But now the story became a bizarre twist.
Instead of “charged in a scheme with five men” (ABC now mentions 5 men!),
she was suddenly killed “in a fiery car crash the day before her first court appearance,
a crash the prosecutor called “most unusual and suspicious”
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20020212_991.html

“Smith, 49, was killed after the 1992 Acura Legend she was driving ran off the road early Sunday and struck a utility pole on U.S. 72 just north of the Mississippi state line, Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Mark Fagan said.

Her car “was immediately engulfed in flames” but authorities don’t know whether the fire started before or after the crash, he said. The body was so badly burned it took authorities until Tuesday to verify Smith’s identity. The cause of death remains under investigation.

FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash said authorities were trying to determine what caused the car to burn. The gas tank did not explode and the car was only slightly dented from the crash, she said.

“Smith was one of six (!!) people charged last week by federal officials with conspiracy to get Tennessee driver’s licenses under false pretenses…”

So obviously Smith was involved in two cases:
The false hijacker IDs and filing IDs for middle eastern residents:

Khaled Odtllah, 31; Sakhera Hammad, 24; Mohammed Fares, Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin and Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad

Odtllah came to this country from Jerusalem 13 years ago and has lived in Shelby County for 2 years, his lawyer said.

The trial of these suspects was just finished some weeks ago.
As the Guardian reported, Prosecutor Tim Discenza, said the men seeking false identification filed out state driver’s license forms saying they were residents of Tennessee.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1841426,00.html


Sakhera Hammad, from Jordan, is now a U.S. citizen living in New York City, said his father, Peter Hansen, who attended the hearing. FBI agent Nash said Abou-Shahin told authorities he was from Egypt and is a carpenter. Fares has a Venezuelan passport and speaks Arabic, DiScenza said. The nationality of Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad was not given.

Hammad is still free on bond, but will be sentenced this month, in August 2002.
Defense lawyers have said the men traveled to Memphis from New York because they heard it was easy to get driver’s licenses in Tennessee, where Social Security numbers are not required.

But the story even involved yet another strange twist:

When Sakhera Hammad was arrested, investigators found a visitor’s pass for the World Trade Center, dated Sept. 5, 2001, in his wallet. He told authorities he was a plumber who worked on the center’s sprinkler system.

FBI agent J. Suzanne Nash told this story U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Daniel Breen.


Nash also testified that investigators found evidence of some kind of accelerant in the burned-out interior of Smith’s car.

http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_985827,00.html

Later “..Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators found no evidence that driver’s license examiner Katherine Smith tried to stop her car or take any evasive action Feb. 10 as her car veered off U.S 72.”
http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_1016243,00.html

“Her death was not the result of the crash itself,” said THP Capt. Jimmy Erwin.
“Her death was by other means.”
The car was traveling about 21 mph when it hit the utility pole, not fast enough to kill Smith from the impact.

Rodney L. Wood, of Corinth, wrote that he and two others tried to free Smith from the driver’s seat but were driven away by the smoke and heat.
“The driver did not ever respond, moan or move,” wrote Wood, who works for the Corinth Police Department.

Smith was officially “accused of taking payoffs for helping them get driver’s licenses without proper documentation”
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=License%20Scam


In another coincidence, Smith was also examined at the same institute which examined Don C Wiley, a famous MicroBiologist, who also died under strange circumstances last year.
http://www.counterpunch.org/madsenanthrax.html


And the story became even more strange:

On March 14, a bomb and two smaller explosive devices were found at the Shelby County Regional Forensic Center, which houses the morgue and Medical Examiner’s Office that conducted Wiley’s autopsy. Dr. O.C, Smith, the medical examiner, told Memphis’ Commercial Appeal, “We have done several high-profile cases from Dr. Wiley to Katherine Smith”


And the story around Sakhera Hammad, who worked for this Sprinkler System in the WTC on Sep 5th, also continued:

When arrested, one of the men, Sakher “Rocky” Hammad, as already said, was carrying a WTC pass for Sept 5. He told police that he had been working on the sprinkler system. He showed them his business card: Magic Plumbing and Heating

In a Memphis court on 3/28, Rocky’s father, a NY City engineer, Mr. Peter Hansen (immigrated 15 years ago from Jordan), presented the court with a letter from Denko Mechanical, Ltd, signed by a Mr. Sergei Denko, stating that Rocky and Rocky’s cousin had been doing work for his company in the basement and garage of the WTC on Sept 5 and 6. Rocky was released on $250,000 bail. The nature of the work was not specified.

The Port Authority of New York claimed no knowledge of hiring a Denko Mechanical and said Denko must have been hired by a tenant.

(Note:
Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg, ex-partner of Goldman Sachs & Co, is a good friend of former Twin Towers owner Larry Silverstein, who signed this lease 4 weeks before the attack. Eisenberg recently was elected Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee)

Denko Mechanical Ltd’s address and phone is the residential Manhattan apartment and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko.

But Denko is not listed in any yellow pages or in any type of NY contractor list.
It is also still unknown, what Mr. Hammad and his cousin were ostensibly doing in the basement and garage of the WTC on 9/5 and 9/6.

The track ends finally here:
Denko is mentioned in a database of
376 BERTRAND ST. WINNIPEG (Real Dennis + Wayne McCarthy)
Denko Mechanical was also one of a few sponsors for a trade show at “opportunity knocks”
Source:
http://www.northwest.ca/Opportunity%20Knocks%202001.htm

A NY Times article mentioning Hammad’s letter from Sergei Denko, president of Denko Mechanical:
http://college4.nytimes.com/guests/articles/2002/02/18/903268.xml

That same article mentions the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn where “Rocky” Hammad lived, and his friends at the Sunrise Farms delicatessen with a quote (“he was a hard working boy”) from its manager, Elie Eid.

There is also a canadian based Denko company, but with no connection to the WTC.

Another Feb 8, 2000, business entity license issued for a Denko Mechanical Ltd, 232 E 26th St. in Manhattan (ph 212-481-8226) which, on reverse trace, is the Manhattan residence and phone of Mr. Sergei Davidenko; it’s an apartment building. As noted above, the letter verifying Hammad’s WTC employment was signed by a Sergei Denko.

In addition to the WTC 9/5 pass, also found in Mr. Hammad’s wallet at the time of arrest: two video rental cards, a credit card, a membership card for the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a card for Detectives Endowment Association of New York with a commemoration for 9/11 victims on it, and a charter membership card to Team Ford Racing.


“…The NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assoc and Detectives Endowment Assoc of NY are both police unions — Hammad was carrying cards for both, which would be union membership cards.”

The company he claimed to be working for at the WTC, Denko Mechanical, is NOT a licensed fire protection contractor in New York and therefore, by NYC law, could NOT touch any pipe or plumbing fixture connected to the building’s sprinkler system:

NYC administrative code 27-126.
Only the building’s licensed fire suppression (or protection) contractor can touch anything, any pipe, any valve, connected to the sprinkler system.


This brings us to new Questions:

Who is Sergei Davidenko? Why did he cover for Hammad?
If not the sprinkler system, why was Hammad in the WTC on 9/5 and why did he claim to be working on the sprinkler system?

In a February interview, a rep of the Port Authority (at that time it could have been Alan Hicks)
stated that the PA took care of its own sprinkler system and had no records of Mr. Hammad hired to work on it.


Mr. Hicks went on to state that Mr. Hammad must have been hired by a tenant — interesting statement — it clears the PA of accusing Mr. Hammad directly, but is really a ludicrous statement — tenants do not hire shade-tree residential handymen to work on the HVAC, the elevators, or the sprinker and standpipe systems — in the case of the sprinker systems, it is absolutely illegal according to NYC administrative codes for a general plumber to make any repair on any pipe connected to the fire protection system.


When arrested, Mr. Hammad’s residential address, and the address for his Magic Heating and Plumbing residential handyman service was: 275 93rd St, Brooklyn — an apartment building whose other tenants include (per reverse trace done at skipease.com):

Bassam Alshaer, Chouki Atman, Hesham Elegezeny, Ismail Hanafy, Kholoud Hussein, Khalili Ibrahim, Anas and Fatema Watfa, Dave White.


The letter exonerating Mr. Hammad’s employment was from a company Denko Mechanical signed by its owner Sergei Denko — does not exist in NY except as a 2 y.o. business license registered to a Mr. Sergei Davidenko of 232 E 26th St., Manhattan. Another residential apartment (again using Skipease reverse trace).


Hammad’s Dad, who presented the letter that bailed him out, is Jordanian immigrant and reportedly senior engineer with the City of NY, Mr. Peter Hansen of 3187 Hylan Blvd on Staten Island. Reportedly Hammad has closer ties with his mother, still in Gaza/Jordan, than with his dad, but it’s impossible to find her name.


A second address listed in skiptracing for Magic Heating and Plumbing is 1776 Bay Ridge Ave, Brooklyn — phone: 718-833-8282. This address is also registered to Dynasty Bus and Tours, Inc, and to a Bai Sheng Chen, Ahen Xiong Chen and Mouna Chour.


At the time of arrest, Mr. Hammad was also carrying a charter membership card for Team Ford Racing .

Hammad frequented a Lebanese deli in Brooklyn, also owed by a Mr. Elie

Elie later gave reporters a character reference on Mr. Hammad.


Because Hammad is a US citizen now, the Memphis judge would not allow his continued detention nor any mention of the 9/11 coincidences at the Memphis drivers license fraud trial. The other defendants, not US citizens, remain in detention.


A co-defendant in the Memphis trial was Hammad’s cousin, also in the WTC on 9/5, Mr. Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. Other defendants were the Memphis ringleader Khaled Odtllah of Jerusalem, immigrated to the US in 1989, and Mr. Mostafa Said Abou-Shahi and Mr. Mohammed Fares, and a juvenile obtaining a 20 y.o. false ID, Mr. Omar Khayata.

As Guardian reported, on June 28th, Khaled Odtllah was released hours after being sentenced by U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald.
But his three co-defendants – Mohammed Fares, 19, Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad, 31, and Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, 25 – remained in custody to face deportation
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-1841426,00.html

But Odtllah was the one, who took the forms to Katherine Smith.
Why is he free?

One of the defendants, un-named in news reports (check www.gomemphis.com for archives), drove from NY to Memphis on 9/11.

If the Tennessee, New York and Arlington-stories are connected, remains a mystery, because the only “witness”, Katherine Smith, is dead and others are not asked yet.


The only thing for sure is, that all DMVs are under radar right now:

“After the Sept. 11 attacks, DMVs across the country are looking at how business is done, with an eye toward maybe tightening the measures it takes to get a license,” said Jason King, a spokesman for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in Arlington, Va.
http://detnews.com/2001/nation/0110/10/a03-315065.htm

But the ID story around Sep11th is still not finished.

In a November 27, 2001 article another virginian man, Virginia man, Agus Budiman
was also charged with helping a friend from Germany exploit a now-closed legal loophole to obtain a Virginia identification card on Nov. 4, 2000.

Budiman, an Indonesian citizen, lived and studied in Hamburg before coming to the United States in October 2000.


FBI special Special Agent Jesus Gomez testified that Budiman knew Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi
and Ramsi Binalshibh, a Muslim cleric living in Hamburg, formerly described as the “20th hijacker” as well, but on the run, as the FBI said.

Atta, the official leader of the plot, and Binalshibh were roommates, and Budiman helped them move from one apartment into another, Gomez said.
http://www-tech.mit.edu/V121/N62/ish62_wn_long_1.62w.html

(full story also at http://www.humaneventsonline.com/articles/11-05-01/cover.html )


Gomez also testified that Binalshibh twice used Budiman’s Washington area address to try to enter the United States, presumably to take part in the plot.
Budiman is charged with helping a friend from Germany exploit a now-closed legal loophole to obtain a Virginia identification card on Nov. 4, 2000.

The friend was Mohammed Belfas!


Who is this Budiman?

The indonesian media is still reporting about Budiman, obviously accusing the US-Feds of a plot.
Unfortunately there are no british translations of these articles, but you can find them here:

http://www.forum.co.id/terkini/11-01/agus.htm (November 2001)
http://www.balipost.co.id/BaliPostcetak/2002/5/14/n8.htm (Mai 2002)
http://www.balipost.co.id/BaliPostcetak/2002/5/13/n2.htm (Mai 2002)
or

BENGKEL RESMI HONDA WILAYAH JAKARTA TIMUR
http://www.wahanaartha.com/service/jaktim-index1.htm


Gomez testified that hijacker Ziad Samir Jarrah used Budiman’s name to get into the United States, and Ramsi Binalshibh, a Muslim cleric from Hamburg, twice unsuccessfully tried to use Budiman’s name to get into the country.
http://www.ummahnews.com/viewarticle.php?sid=2183

But strangely, the CIA, nearly nine months before the attacks, as sources in the government of the UAE and other Middle Eastern and European sources told CNN, monitored Jarrah as well and stopped him for an interrogation
-in Saudi Arabia!
The CIA suspected Ziad Jarrah had been in Afghanistan before and wanted him questioned because of “his suspected involvement in terrorist activities”
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/08/01/cia.hijacker/index.html
How does that fit the timeline?
“9 months before” was December, at that time Jarrah was already one month in the United States.
But let us assume, this story was true, then why did they release him again and did they already know about Budiman?

And if so, did they continue to monitor Jarrah?

Jarrah also had a girlfriend: Aisel Sengun.
Amazing, that some of the hijackers ignored their family.
It’s especially amazing in Jarrahs case:
His family was in touch with him until his last days:
“…On September 4, his family sent him $700 in addition to his regular monthly stipend of $2,000. According to his uncle, Jammal Jarrah, he told his family it was only for “fun”.
On September 5 Ziad Jarrah and Al-Haznawi booked one-way tickets on a Sept. 7 flight to Newark.
On September 9 he made his final phone call to his family. He confirmed receipt of the money sent on the 4th. The family reported he was cheerful and normal and said he’d see them Sept. 22 for a family wedding…”
http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/featurestories/jarrah_101001/story.html
Jarrah’s uncle originally had claimed his nephew — who has not been accounted for in weeks — was an “innocent passenger” on the flight. … The family contends that a lease showing that Jarrah rented an apartment in New York City was dated before he even left Lebanon, leading the family to believe Jarrah was not involved in the attacks. …
It turns also out, that this “family wedding” was his own:
Ziad Jarrah was planning to marry Aisel Sengun just two weeks after he is supposed to have taken his life (CNN).
Due to the FBI Jarrah died on the planes, officially as the pilot, he didn’t appear on any passenger list or even on a tape from the flight recorder.


Since August 2002, suddenly also his passpord was found in the rubble, too, a detail, which never appeared in the news before.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/08/01/cia.hijacker/index.html

Actually another passpord by Satam Al Suquami was found too, but in New York, on Vasey Street, in front of Building 7, where the CIA, DOD, the OEM and INS had their offices.

This passpord was classified by Barry Mawn, a FBI agent, who doesn’t work for the FBI anymore.
He retired under unknown reasons in March 2002. Rumour has it, so Tom Daschle, he complained, that the FBI ignored the possibility, that the Anthrax (he was involved in the NBC case, http://www.policetalk.com/anthrax-fbi.html ) might be of american origin.

Later he tried to start a job at Massport, Boston Airport, but failed. Nothing is known about his current job.

But back to Budiman:

He was a driver for a food delivery service, who was charged with helping Mohammad Belfas, a fellow Indonesian, fraudulently obtain a Virginia driver’s license.

Prosecutor Steven Mellin acknowledged that the government didn’t know the details of Budiman’s relationships with the hijackers. However, he called the connections “extensive.”

When Budiman’s court-appointed lawyer heard Gomez’s testimony, he asked the court to excuse him from the case, according to The Jakarta Post. “I’m a retired Army officer,” said Budiman’s attorney, Greg English. “I can’t in good conscience represent anyone accused of terrorist activity against the United States.”
http://www.ummahnews.com/viewarticle.php?sid=2162


Budiman has admitted to knowing Mohammad Atta because the two went to the same mosque in Hamburg. Budiman’s immigration attorney Ivan Yacub, however, refuted reports of involvement. “If you know someone who committed a crime, does it make you also guilty of a crime?” he said.

Budiman has declared his innocence. He told the Jakarta-based Tempo weekly (http://www.tempo.co.id/ ) that he was twice interrogated by FBI agents who later cleared him. At one of the interrogations, he was questioned for seven hours and was put on a lie detector. “They checked me with the detector. I was not involved (in the attacks).”

According to the criminal complaint, Budiman came to the United States from Hamburg, Germany, in October 2000.
http://www.ummahnews.com/viewarticle.php?sid=2136

Budiman said he was chatting through the internet with an Indonesian friend in Jakarta when the attacks took place.
“The media got the information (on my reported involvement) from Fox News…there’s never been anything coming from my side,” Budiman said.

On November 21st, Budiman however is identified on the list as a U.S. contact for Atta, the presumed ringleader of the 19 hijackers.

“Chief of the Coordinating Board of State Intelligence (Bakin) A.M. Hendropriyono said on Wednesday Budiman was an Indonesian of Arabian descent and a friend of Atta’s.
Both Hendropriyono and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said Budiman appeared in court for two violations, namely overstaying his visas and working without permits.”

Agus Budiman was mentioned again on
“Agus Budiman akan Dideportasi dari AS” (5/7/2002)
http://www.tempointeraktif.com/iklan/
and

http://www.tempo.co.id/news/2002/7/5/1,1,44,id.html
Agus Budiman akan Dideportasi dari AS
5 Jul 2002 23:43:13 WIB

The indonesian version:

TEMPO Interaktif, Jakarta: Agus Budiman, salah satu warga Indonesia yang ditangkap pihak kepolisian Amerika Serikat karena terkait dengan tindakan terorisme, akan segera dideportasi ke Indonesia dari Amerika Serikat. “Tinggal ditanyakan kepada pihak terkait, kapan pelaksanaan deportasinya,” demikian dikatakan oleh Marty Natalegawa juru bicara Departemen Luar Negeri dalam jumpa persnya di Deplu Jumat (5/7).
Agus Budiman sudah diputuskan oleh Pengadilan Negeri Amerika Serikat tidak ada sangkut-pautnya dengan terorisme. “Satu-satunya masalah yang terbukti di pengadilan adalah pemalsuan dokumen,” papar Marty. Akibatnya, Agus diputuskan hukuman penjara semula tujuh bulan dan dikurangi menjadi enam bulan.

…Pertemuan ini untuk menjelaskan bahwa hal-hal yang dihadapi anaknya saat ini hanyalah masalah teknis semata, yaitu pelaksanaan deportasi. Yang bisa dipastikan menurut Marty, “Dia telah diberi bantuan kekonsuleran oleh perwakilan kita di Washington DC,” urainya. (D.A Candraningrum – Tempo News Room)

At the end of November Budimans family had to be deported:


Friday, 23 November 2001
Agus Budiman’s Family Evacuated Temporarily
http://www.kompas.com/kompas-cetak/0111/23/ENGLISH/mer.htm

The two-storey building usually occupied by Agus Budiman’s parents, Abron Ishak (62) and Haj Fatimah Abron (50) on Jalan Duren Sawit VI No. 173, RT 006/RW03 Tanjung Duren Selatan district, has been unoccupied since Thursday (22/11).


In the meantime, the official hijacker No.20, Zacarias Moussaoui accused the FBI, that EVERYONE of the hijackers was under surveillance.

Did the FBI had moles within the MVAs?

And what about the 10 FBI agents, which are represented by former Clinton prosecutor David Schippers and Judicial Watch, who claim, that the FBI knew the names of all hijackers, the targets of their attacks, the proposed dates, and the sources of the terrorists’ funding?
But not only that.
Ex-FBI agent Robert Wright accused the FBI also “of intentionally thwarting investigations of known terrorists”
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/08.03B.jvb.wright.htm
http://www.laweekly.com/ink/02/37/news-crogan.php

What about the CIA, who obviously also traced at least 3 of the hijackers?

What about ex-FBI informant Aukai Collins , who claimed, that yet another “hijacker”,
Hani Hanjour was under surveillance as well?
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/DailyNews/FBI_informant020523.html

Hanjour was living in Phoenix and taking flight lessons at Cockpit Resource Management and Professional Pilot Training in nearby Scottsdale. Lotfi Raissi, who after Sept. 11 was jailed in Britain on suspicion of training terrorists, was also in Phoenix at this time.

This was the first version.

But later it suddenly changed, but ignored until now by US Media:

A british court declared in May 2002, that Hanjour never met Raissi and Raissi also never gave him any flight lessons at all. Raissi was plead unguilty.

That brings us to another question:
If Hani Hanjour couldn’t fly, then who was the pilot in the machine, he was accused for?

Which plane was it?

A plane, which was never found or shown on any picture:
The pentagon plane, who changed his route 360 degrees, ignoring the White House.


Raissi is now a free man, who later tried to file a lawsuit against the US government, accusing them being in prison for 4 months as an unguilty man.

This story however never appeared on National TV as well.


The official stories about the hijackers seem to be a big bogus and their “routes” make no sense anymore.


4 different teams, that’s the official story, planned the Sep11th-attack.

But where did they meet?
Not in Las Vegas. This was later denied by the FBI.

It’s also very unrealistic that they planned the attack in a gym in New Jersey.

Mohammad Atta wasn’t the ringleader.
That’s nonsense.

Who really orchestrated the attack from here?

Who synchronised the time of departments of the four planes?

Why at least 2 planes left their airport 45 minutes later?

United Airline Flight 93 (from Newark, NJ), a Boeing 757,
bound for San Francisco, was “delayed for 40 minutes on run way”.
and Portland, Maine (6:00AM) was luckily “waiting” 45 minutes for Atta + Jarrah,
before they were able to reach their second plane on Sep11th.

The hijackers left their motel in Portland way too late, this is was the FBI at least told us.
“..they didn’t check out of the Comfort Inn until 5:33”

http://www.portland.com/news/attack/010915passengers.shtml

More questions are still open:

What about this 5th plane?
http://www.emergency.com/2001/11sep01-terror1.htm


Which of the 19 hijackers had been under radar on Sep11th?

What about some unconfirmed rumours, that one hijacker even “worked for the FBI”?

How many of the 19 hijackers really had been monitored?

The Feds denied these accusements so far and also tried to stop a book of FBI whistleblower Robert Wright:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/08.03B.jvb.wright.htm


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/25/attack/printable513281.shtml
Government Denies Surveillance
ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 1, 2002

“Prosecutors said Monday that none of the 19 hijackers was under government surveillance prior to the Sept. 11 attacks and accused conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui wasn’t being watched before his arrest last August.”


But even this story was changed by CBS.

In an older cache you can find these additional lines- about Budiman:

“…Those clues suggest the witness was Agus Budiman,
an Indonesian native who knew several of the hijackers in Hamburg…”

and another version- about Atta:

“Spanish police believe suspected Sept. 11 suicide pilot Mohamed Atta met in Spain with other key leaders of the attack on the World Trade Center eight weeks before the hijackers flew U.S. airliners into the buildings, a newspaper said Sunday.”

Spain? Which newspaper?
11 weeks before?

At least three different stories want us to believe, that Atta was at that time in Florida or even Oklahoma (new articles from August 2002 claim, he even met Zacarias Moussaoui in person,
but Moussaoui was at that time learning in Minnesota).

But other stories also told us, that both Atta and Moussaoui bought “the same videos” at Sporty’s Pilot Shop in Batavia, Ohio and also learned at the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma, but at a different time.
Once again, we learn of a city, which is connected with the CIA.
Everyone who might plan a plot like this, would probably avoid this city like the pest.

It’s where former CIA director and currently President of the University of Oklahoma,
David Boren lives, the “mentor” of current CIA director George Tenet.
He had named Tenet to be chief of staff for the Intelligence Committee in 1987.

If Atta was the so called “ringleader”, he also didn’t do his homework.

Is this really the same hijacker crew, who planned this attack for three years or who was behind them?


Also, if Atta was “11 weeks before” in Spain, it must have been around June11th, on the same day, when Kenneth Williams wired his memo about strange flight lessons in Arizona and Phoenix.

That was also the same time, when one “terrorist”, connected with another story, was arrested in Dubai, named Djamel Begal.

This was big news in all european media that time.

Very difficult, i would assume, to fly back to the United States.

Strangely also at the same time, the official mastermind of Sep11th, Bin Laden, was in Dubai as well, in a hospital, under yet another radar by CIA agent Larry Stevens, which was reported by terrorist account specialist Richard Labevierre (“Terror Dollars”), Radio France International.
The story was later picked up by Le Figaro, but denied by the CIA.

It was also at the same time, when John O’ Neill, an “obsessed” anti terror FBI agent resigned in frustration because the US ambassador to Yemen, Ms Barbara Bodine, forbad O’Neill and his team of so- called Rambos (as the Yemeni authorities called them) from entering Yemen, where he tried to investigate for “terrorist ties”.


At the same time, on July 5th, 2001 Richard Clarke convened a White House meeting of the Counterterrorism Security Group; then met with Rice and Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card; then met again with CSG plus, Federal Aviation Administration, FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Clarke told them: “something spectacular is going to happen.”
http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/may/timeline/

The FAA took his warning for real and warned airlines to exercise the highest level of caution- on July 18th, one of five different warnings.

Back to Attas spain story:


It was said, that he met in or near the northeastern city of Tarragona on July 10 with Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni who’s now the subject of a worldwide manhunt, and Marwan al-Shehhi, a cousin of Atta with whom he took flight lessons in Florida, El Pais said.

Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, is said to have received a $14,000 wire transfer from Bin al-Shibh in August.

Why Atta chose Tarragona for this meeting, is yet another dumb coincidence:
The US Navy has a state contract with the Tarragona refinery.

Let us continue with the Budiman trial:

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/americas_new_war/terr12092001.htm
“It is all a misunderstanding,” Budiman’s brother, Achmad Faisal, told the
Herald. “He is (a) good man.”

Budiman’s attorney, Mark Thrash:
“If you knew you were going to be around after Sept. 11, why would hand out your address like that?” Thrash told the Herald. “He didn’t have in-depth friendships with these people. The government has inflated the acquaintance relationship to create the impression that they were friends, when they weren’t.”

Thrash also contends that another acquaintance of Budiman’s, Mohammad Bin Nasser Belfas, was the one who told the others to use Budiman’s address.

Although he apparently has a fiancee in Germany, Budiman traveled alone, his last entry into the United States in Oct. 20, 2000. His brother Achmad Faisal is in the United States on a student visa, attending George Washington University. In the last year, Budiman brought his other brother and sister over to study and work.

“But they have recently left. They were scared to death after (Budiman) was arrested,” said Yaser Bushnaq, founder of Solidarity USA, a Washington, D.C., group helping Budiman and others detained since Sept. 11. `The question I have is, if he was part of such an extraordinary plot, why would he arrange for his brother and sister to join him?”

Although Budiman reportedly made only $3.75 an hour plus tips at Takeout Taxi – which delivers to military bases and the Pentagon – in Alexandria, Va., he lived in an Alexandria apartment tower that leases one- and two-bedroom apartments for $650 to $1,000 a month.
And a Herald computer search of database records shows that while he was here on a visitor’s visa, he was issued a Social Security number in Wisconsin between 1993 and 1994

Agus Budimann indictment is at
http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/usbudiman022102ind.pdf

Budiman appeared in the same federal courthouse Monday where
prosecutors obtained guilty pleas from two men arrested initially in
connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

Khalid al-Draibi, 32, who was arrested Sept. 11 while driving with a flat tire near Washington Dulles International Airport, pleaded guilty to a visa fraud charge after
prosecutors said he wasn’t involved in the hijackings.


The other man, Victor Lopez-Flores, an illegal alien from El Salvador, pleaded guilty to
helping one of the Sept. 11 hijackers fraudulently obtain a Virginia
identification card and to re-entering the United States illegally after
being deported.

Al-Draibi was arrested about 13 hours after the attacks
when he aroused suspicion by driving away from Dulles airport in a car
with a flat tire. After he was stopped, police found driver’s licenses
from eight states and flight manuals for small aircraft, prosecutors said.

But al-Draibi passed two lie detector tests that showed he wasn’t involved
in the attacks, his attorney, Drewery Hutcheson Jr., said.

“U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III asked prosecutors Monday if the government was
satisfied al-Draibi had nothing to do with Sept. 11. “That’s correct,”
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Morton answered. Al-Draibi faces up to 10
years in prison and $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Jan. 18 on the visa
fraud charge.”

In his guilty plea, Lopez-Flores admitted he falsely
certified on Aug. 2 that Ahmed Alghamdi lived at his Alexandria, Va.,
address.

The stories about Flores:

November 20 8:30 AM ET
Named Atta Contact Charged
By DAVID PACE, Associated Press Writer

Lopez-Flores, who was deported in 1993 after a criminal
conviction, acknowledged that he helped at least 20 people obtain false
Virginia IDs since last May. Lopez-Flores was the second person to plead
guilty in northern Virginia to charges arising from the investigation into
false ID cards obtained by the hijackers


http://clevessf.dev.advance.net/indepth/attack/more/09hijacker27.html
“Salvadoran national police director Mauricio Sandoval said the FBI had detained a man who allegedly helped the terrorists obtain false identification cards. Luis Martinez-Flores “may have moved” around “with the terrorists in New York, Boston or Florida,” Sandoval told a news conference”

In Florida, Michael Hlavsa, chairman of SunCruz Casinos gambling cruise company, said two or three men linked to the hijackings may have been customers on a ship that sailed from Madeira Beach. One name on the passenger list from a Sept. 5 cruise was the same as one of the suspected terrorists, Hlavsa said. SunCruz Casinos turned over photographs and other documents to FBI investigators after employees said they recognized some of the men suspected in the terrorist attacks as customers.


Belfas is also free again:

http://216.239.37.100/search?q=cache:nzL4WuALrCwC:www.msnbc.com/news/771128.asp+&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

July 1 issue
In Hamburg last week, Belfas answered the door at his apartment himself and politely declined to answer NEWSWEEK’s questions.


The story about the fake IDs is a never ending story with many unanswered questions and it yet continued in August 2002:

On July 31st 2002 another suspect was arrested, who apparently organised fake IDs.

His name is Mohamed El-Atriss:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&ncid=716&e=3&u=/ap/20020731/ap_on_re_us/attacks_fake_ids_8

Sept. 11 Fake ID Suspect Flees U.S.
Wed Jul 31, 5:42 PM ET

By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press Writer
PATERSON, N.J. –

“…A man who allegedly sold fake IDs to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers apparently fled the country for Egypt just before authorities came to arrest him in a raid on his home and businesses Wednesday, investigators said.


Interpol was notified to be on the lookout for Egyptian immigrant Mohamed El-Atriss, who faces charges of manufacturing and distributing fraudulent documents and conspiracy.
El-Atriss, 43, sold a fake ID card to Khalid Almihdhar, who was on the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon and one to Abdul Aziz Alomari, who was aboard one of the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center, Sheriff Jerry Speziale said.

Khalid Almihdhar was under surveillance at least three times:

In January 2000 by the CIA, in August 2000 by the FBI (on order by John O’ Neill) and once again later by the CIA. The FBI later claimed, they had to stop the investigation, but the CIA even allowed new visas,as Newsweek found out.


The ID story might be complex to understand, but hopefully you will remember, that Alomari officially got his ID first by Herbert Villalobos.

Which story is true, which is false?


The newer story now tells us this version:

“…Spokeswoman Sandra Carroll said investigators questioned El-Atriss after the Sept. 11 attacks and found no evidence he knew of the hijackers’ plans.

El-Atriss, a naturalized U.S. citizen, operated businesses in Paterson and Elizabeth where he sold the identification cards, Speziale said. Authorities raided his home and business Wednesday afternoon and were told El-Atriss had taken a flight from Newark to Egypt, the sheriff said.

Inside the Paterson office, investigators found large rolls of plastic laminating sheets and backings used to make driver’s licenses in several states. A sign outside the building identified it as a provider of international driver’s licenses and ID cards, notary public, fax and passport services and a money transfer station.

Authorities said investigators have gathered 75 fake IDs that El-Atriss generated and sold for as much as $800 each. Authorities said they believe he sold as many as 18 fake IDs per day, and that his office also made counterfeit New Jersey license plates and auto title certificates.

The ID story as also the story around the hijacker routes might continue, the myth about a coincidence about an attack, based on “incompetence” is however already destroyed.


In Mid August, Newsweek revealed once again, that the war against Taliban was planned a long while ago, since 3 years.

There are also various quotes around from George Bush, George Tenet, Richard Clarke and former DoD in charge, Henry H. Shelton, that they wanted this war.

8 secret services warned the United Stats in time about an attack, Israel even twice,
one of the few services who didn’t warn was the Secret Service of pakistan-the ISI.

Though with the best ties to the Taliban and Bin laden, former ISI-chief Massoud decided to visit Washington during September 4th to 15th, 2001 and met George Tenet, Richard Armitage but also Porter Goss and Bob Graham, who both had prior knowledge about an ‘attack with plane’ since August 6th, 2001 (Washington Post).


On September 10th, the Pentagon decided, that their employees are not allowed to take the plane on the following day.
http://www.msnbc.com/news/629606.asp?0sp=w13b2#BODY

But many other US-Admins decided different:

Henry H. Shelton was in Europe, George Bush spent the night in Florida at his brother, Richard Myers was not at the Pentagon, while Donald Rumsfeld was there 45 minutes with someone unknown at the phone, but didn’t decide to evacuate the building after the whole staff saw the attack on the towers live on TV (Spokesman Veronica Clark in a Greta v. Succeren Interview)), Colin Powell was in Chile, John Ascroft was in Milwaukee and George Tenet spent the night and a breakfast with his “mentor” David Boren at the St. Regis Hotel, three blocks from the White House.
Official Reason for this meeting: Unknown.


Who hired and monitored the 19 hijackers to let this attack happen?

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