- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 15, 2001

Two men seized from an Amtrak train in Texas along with box cutters, hair dye and more than $5,000 in cash a day after the September 11 attacks on America have been indicted on charges of credit-card fraud, the Justice Department said yesterday.
Mohammed Jaweed Azmath and Syed Gul Mohammed Shah were named in documents filed in U.S. District Court in New York on charges they "unlawfully, willfully and knowingly, and with intent to defraud" sold their identification and Social Security cards to unnamed co-conspirators to be used to obtain credit cards.
Mr. Azmath, 47, and Mr. Shah, 51, who also is known as Ayub Ali Khan, were arrested Sept. 12 at an Amtrak railroad station in Fort Worth, Texas, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
After Fort Worth police found the box cutters, hair dye and $5,588 in cash in their luggage, Mr. Azmath and Mr. Shah were detained by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service agents on immigration violations. They were later flown to New York to be questioned by the Justice Department's terrorism task force.
Some of the 19 hijackers who commandeered the three jetliners that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a fourth plane that crashed in Pennsylvania also were armed with box cutters.
At the time of the arrest, Texas authorities said Mr. Shah and Mr. Azmath had flown from Newark, N.J., on a flight bound for San Antonio. But the flight was diverted after the September 11 attacks, and forced to land in St. Louis. The two men then got on an Amtrak train and were pulled off in Fort Worth for a routine drug check, which targeted several passengers at random.
Texas authorities said the men lied about their nationality and had no legitimate identification. Both men have since been identified as being from India.
"It is at the moment not a terrorist case," a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan said yesterday.
FBI Agent Jason Horowitz, in a lengthy complaint filed late Thursday, said the two men conspired to sell their New Jersey nondriving identification cards and their Social Security cards to unindicted co-conspirators to be used as identification documents to obtain credit cards.
Mr. Horowitz said in the complaint that the identification documents sold for between $7,000 and $8,000 and that the two men knew that no payments were going to be made on the accounts.
The agent said Mr. Shah applied for two Social Security numbers and had paid an "officer" $300 to obtain a second Social Security number.
He said in the complaint that Mr. Shah was approached in 1999 by an unnamed third party who offered to pay him $2,000 for every credit card he could obtain.
Mr. Horowitz said Mr. Shah sold at least 15 cards and received between $1,000 and $2,000 for them. Each of the cards bore the name Ayub Ali Khan.
The agent said Mr. Shah admitted spending some of the money he received from the cards and sending the rest of it to India.
According to the complaint, investigators determined that 11 different credit cards were issued in the name "Azmath Jaweed" or "Jaweed Azmath," using Mr. Azmath's Social Security number. The complaint said payments on six of the cards were made using invalid checks or checks for which there were insufficient funds.
Each of the six cards has an outstanding balance. The amounts owed range from $2,795 to $19,504. The total outstanding balance is $58,747, the complaint stated.
Mr. Horowitz also said in the complaint that at least 20 different credit cards were issued in the name "Ayub Ali Khan" or "Ayub A. Khan," using Mr. Shah's Social Security number.
Ten of those cards, he said, have outstanding balances.

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