- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2002

A Virginia man who drove a tow truck too close to the Pentagon last month, briefly prompting concerns about a possible terrorist attack, pleaded guilty in an Alexandria federal court yesterday to a single count of document fraud.
Imad Abdel-Fattah Hamed could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but it's likely that he will serve just a fraction of that time under federal sentencing guidelines.
At a plea hearing, prosecutor John Morton said Hamed had falsely obtained a Virginia license using a fake name and address. Mr. Morton declined to comment after the hearing, but defense lawyer Michael Hadeed said prosecutors are completely satisfied that Hamed is not involved in any terrorist activity.
Hamed remains free on $5,000 bail while he awaits sentencing on May 24.
Hamed was arrested Feb. 11 after driving a tow truck past signs that ban commercial vehicles on a highway that passes near the Pentagon.
Virginia State Police stopped Hamed and found several false identifications in the truck bearing conflicting names, Social Security numbers and addresses, according to court records filed by the FBI.
Hamed's arrest unnerved officials because it came just hours after the FBI had issued a new warning about terrorist activity.
Hamed spent several days in jail, but was released Feb. 15 under an agreement with prosecutors.
Mr. Hadeed had said at the time that Hamed had nothing to do with terrorism and was simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Hamed, of Manassas, is a naturalized U.S. citizen and a native of Jordan, Mr. Hadeed said.
A separate plea hearing was scheduled later yesterday for Agus Budiman, accused of helping a man linked to Osama bin Laden obtain a fake ID card from the state of Virginia.
Mr. Budiman, 31, of Alexandria, who has been in jail since his arrest Oct. 30, caught authorities' attention because of his association with September 11 ringleader Mohammed Atta. In addition, one of the September 11 hijackers, Ziad Jarrah, listed Mr. Budiman's address on his visa application to enter the United States.
Mr. Budiman's lawyer, William Moffitt, has said his client was a victim of guilt by association. Mr. Budiman's contacts with Atta were fleeting, and Mr. Budiman has passed an FBI-administered lie detector test in which he denied any advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks, Mr. Moffitt said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide