- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday said the FBI manhunt for nearly 400 people being sought for questioning in the Sept. 11 attack on America includes suspected terrorists who fraudulently sought or obtained licenses to transport hazardous materials across the United States.
Mr. Ashcroft, warning of a "clear and present danger" of additional attacks, told a Senate committee that the FBI investigation during which 352 persons have been detained and another 392 are being hunted found that some of those questioned had received state licenses to haul dangerous materials, and that they "may have links to the hijackers."
State and local law enforcement authorities and the American Trucking Association were warned yesterday by the FBI to watch for anything suspicious regarding those who haul radioactive waste, biological agents or other hazardous materials. About 20 persons have been charged so far with seeking to obtain fraudulent licenses to haul hazardous materials, but authorities declined to say how many had ties to the hijackers.
Last week, one man being detained for questioning in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon was identified as a former Boston cabdriver, Nabil Al-Marabh, who had obtained a Michigan license to haul hazardous materials including dynamite, gases and toxic and radioactive materials.
Authorities believe Al-Marabh, 34, a native of Kuwait, had financial ties to Ahmed Alghamdi and Satam al-Suqami, two of the 19 air pirates who commandeered the four planes used in the Sept. 11 attacks. They said he also is believed to have ties to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization. Bin Laden has been identified by President Bush as the prime suspect in the attacks.
Last December, Al-Marabh was convicted in a Boston court of assault and battery with a knife. He failed to show up in March to begin serving his sentence and has been a fugitive since. He is being held by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service for immigration violations and a warrant issued in Boston for his failure to appear.
Meanwhile, an Arlington man arrested Monday after he purportedly helped at least two of the suspected hijackers, Abdul Aziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi, falsely obtain Virginia identification cards, is scheduled for a hearing today in federal court in Virginia on charges of unlawfully signing state residency forms for the two men.
Herbert Villalobos also has identified from FBI photographs three other suspected hijackers, Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhazmi and Majed Moqed, as having been in the parking lot of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles on Aug. 2 with Alomari and Alghamdi.
Hanjour, Alhazmi and Moqed have been identified by the FBI as being aboard American Airlines Flight 77 when it slammed into the Pentagon, killing 194 persons. Alomari was named by the FBI as aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the World Trade Center's north tower. The FBI said Alghamdi was aboard United Flight 175 that hit the World Trade Center's south tower.
"Virginia DMV records … show that all five men did in fact conduct various transactions relating to Virginia identification cards at the Arlington DMV," according to an FBI affidavit. Authorities said the cards could have been used by the hijackers as identification to obtain their tickets, although the affidavit makes no mention of a motive.
A second man was detained in the case, although not identified. He was named in the affidavit as a "confidential informant." Authorities said there appears to be no evidence that Mr. Villalobos or the other man knew that the attacks were planned. Both men received $80 from each of the men for the residency forms, minus $35 that went to a secretary who prepared them.
In related matters:
Police in California detained three San Diego-area college students as material witnesses. Authorities said they believe the three have information about three of the suspected hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks, but declined to elaborate.
Police in Wynne, Ark., arrested five Middle Eastern men, including at least one whose name appeared on an FBI watchlist of people wanted for questioning in connection with the attacks. Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin said the five were stopped for speeding in a small town located in a heavy agriculture area.
Police in France detained four persons yesterday for questioning in a suspected terrorist plot to attack the U.S. Embassy in Paris, along with other U.S. sites throughout France.
The FBI yesterday withdrew a material witness warrant against a Texas doctor, Al-Badr Al-Hazmi, who had been taken into custody last week and transported to New York for questioning by the FBI's terrorism task force. Officials said he had been released and was returning home.

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