Arrests made overseas as probe moves forward

WASHINGTON -- As the terror investigation proceeded with arrests overseas, federal prosecutors on Friday said they had charged a man with trying to fly into Chicago with an illegal passport and airline uniforms on the day of the hijacking attacks.

In a criminal complaint filed in Illinois, prosecutors said Nageeb Abdul Jabar Mohamed Al-Hadi was flying aboard a German airliner on Sept. 11 when it was grounded in Toronto as a result of the attacks.

Al-Hadi was traveling with a ticket under a different name and was carrying three passports from Yemen, the complaint said. In his luggage found on the flight, investigators found two Lufthansa crew uniforms, at least one identification card and paper with Arabic writing, the complaint said.

Al-Hadi, who is in custody in Canada, appeared to be an employee of Lufthansa, the complaint said. He was charged with possessing and attempting to use a false passport.

Each of the Yemenese passports he carried had a different number, different name and different date of issue, it said. Al-Hadi presented one of them, issued in Yemen on Sept. 2, to Canadian authorities. A receipt showed that he had purchased a visa from the United State Embassy in Yemen on that day.

Using a search warrant, the FBI also recovered a student identification card from the Yemenese Language Institute in Yemen, and a pair of pants that had a small piece of material sewn into the side of a pocket that had a sequence of English and Arabic numbers.

The complaint, filed Sept. 14, had previously been sealed.

The charges came as European authorities made several arrests and issued warrants and the Justice Department disclosed that many of the Middle Eastern immigrants detained since the attacks had entered the country illegally or overstayed visas.

Attorney General John Ashcroft visited the scene of devastation in New York to deliver $10 million in fresh police aid while officials nationwide continued their heightened vigilance against new terrorist attacks.

The investigation made gains across the globe.

In London, authorities arrested three men and one 25-year-old woman in connection with the World Trade Center attack, and they were being questioned by anti-terrorist police, Scotland Yard said.

French authorities arrested seven people in connection with an alleged plot to harm U.S. sites in that country.

German prosecutors issued arrest warrants for Ramzi Binalshibh, 29, of Yemen, and Said Bahaji, 26, a German of Moroccan origin, in connection with the Sept. 11 plot.

Both are suspected of helping plot the attacks on New York and Washington with three hijackers who lived for a time in Hamburg, Germany, prosecutor Kay Nehm said. He said they are being sought on charges of forming a terrorist organization and at least 5,000 counts of murder.

In Washington, the Justice Department released documents charging 33 of the 80 people taken into custody by immigration authorities.

The names of those detained were covered up in the documents. Their native countries included Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, Jordan, India, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Department officials have said they believe some of those detained may have information about the plot for the attacks or about the 19 suspected hijackers.

Some, but not all, are cooperating with investigators. None has been charged with a crime directly related to the attacks.

Seven of the detainees came into the country illegally, authorities said, five into Texas, one into Washington state and one at a location on the U.S.-Canada border not further described. The only non-Middle Eastern detainee, from El Salvador, entered the country illegally, authorities said.

Among the 33, six were Egyptians, five were Jordanian and four were from Israel. One Israeli was a native of Jordan.

Meanwhile, authorities and a lawyer confirmed a Saudi man was arrested the day of the attacks in suburban Washington, a few miles from Dulles International Airport where one of the planes was hijacked. That plane later crashed into the Pentagon.

Attorney Drewry B. Hutcheson Jr. said his client, Khalid al Draibi, was stopped while driving with a flat tire near Manassas, Va.

"He was arrested for allegedly making a false statement that he was a U.S. citizen. He later told the FBI investigators who spoke to him that he was a Saudi Arabian citizen," Hutcheson said. He said his client remained in detention.

Police near Birmingham, Ala., said the FBI questioned them in recent days about a cab driver with a similarly spelled name, Khalid Aldiribi, who they believed was being detained in Washington.

The FBI in Virginia also issued a list of 21 names to banks seeking records of financial transactions in the investigation that included a similarly spelled name, Khalid Ardiribi.

Hutcheson said he was unaware of the list but believed his client "did work and live for a period time in Birmingham." He said he knew of no connection between his client and Dulles airport or the hijackers there.

A second lawyer, Ashraf Nubani, said the FBI detained two Middle Eastern clients who worked at Dulles airport on immigration matters. Nubani said he believed authorities over the past week were doing a routine sweep of workers at Dulles with Middle Eastern backgrounds. "I've never seen anything like it," he said.

Authorities also are investigating whether one of the suspected hijackers attempted to purchase the official Air Force magazine from the Government Printing Office about two months before the attacks.

Andrew Sherman, a GPO spokesman, said a man using a name similar to Mohamed Atta used a "bounced credit card" to try to purchase the magazine "Airmen" back in July using an address in Egypt.

In other developments:

--Three men arrested in Detroit at a home with false IDs, information on a U.S. military base and airports present a flight risk and should be detained, a U.S. magistrate ordered. Karim Koubriti, 23, Ahmed Hannan, 33, and Farouk Ali-Haimoud, 21, are charged with identity fraud; fraud and misuse of visas, passports and other documents; and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

--Atta, one of the suspected hijackers, apparently stayed at a Las Vegas motel around the corner from the FBI's office. A man using Atta's named checked in June 29 at the Econo Lodge, checked out July 1 and returned Aug. 13, the motel owner said.

--French police arrested seven people Friday in connection with an investigation into alleged plans to attack U.S. interests in France.

The arrests were linked to Djamel Begal, a French-Algerian who was arrested in Dubai in July. Begal told intelligence agents of alleged plans to attack the U.S. Embassy in Paris and other U.S. targets, police officials said.