- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2002

An Alexandria, Va., man with ties to September 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta was indicted yesterday on two counts of document fraud, charged with helping a man linked to Osama bin Laden obtain a fake ID.
Indonesia native Agus Budiman, 31, has been detained since Oct. 30. Authorities are suspicious of his links to Atta and others whom federal authorities have identified as terrorists. But Mr. Budiman's attorneys say their client is a victim of guilt by association.
The indictment handed up in federal court in Alexandria contends that in November 2000, Mr. Budiman falsely certified that another man listed as an unindicted co-conspirator was a Virginia resident, allowing that man to obtain an ID card from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Previous court records indicate that the unindicted co-conspirator is Mohammad Bin Nasser Belfas, who has been named by authorities as a bin Laden contact.
Federal authorities also have said that Ziad Jarrah, one of the September 11 hijackers, listed Mr. Budiman's address on an application to enter the United States. Another man, Ramsi Binalshibh, twice listed Mr. Budiman's address in an unsuccessful effort to enter the country.
Authorities have said Mr. Binalshibh, a roommate of Atta, may have been "the 20th hijacker" who was supposed to be aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in western Pennsylvania on September 11 on a flight path to Washington.
Mr. Budiman has acknowledged that he attended the same Hamburg mosque as Atta and that he helped Atta move into an apartment in 1998. But his attorneys said Mr. Budiman's association with Atta was fleeting and that he only helped Atta move because it was the only way Mr. Budiman could gain access to a car to move his own belongings.
Mr. Budiman's attorneys also have said that Mr. Jarrah and Mr. Binalshibh listed Mr. Budiman's address on their visa applications without Mr. Budiman's permission.
Mr. Budiman will be arraigned March 4.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide