- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2002

A Washington apartment belonging to the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the United States has been linked to a Saudi citizen who later lived with members of a terrorist cell related to al Qaeda, an attorney for victims of the September 11 attacks said yesterday.
"Our investigation revealed that Princess Haifa al-Faisal has had an address in Washington, D.C. However, in 1997 a certain Mansour Majid settled at this address," Jean-Charles Brisard told AFP.
"He subsequently left this residence and traced to an address in Dearborn in July 2001. However, in September 2001 at this same address, the FBI stopped three of the four members of a dormant terrorist cell," he said, referring to Dearborn, Mich.
The three men, Karim Koubriti, Ahmed Hannan and Farouk Ali-Haimoud, were found guilty by U.S. courts in August 2002 of complicity with terrorism, according to court documents.
Mansour Majib, a Saudi citizen, could be one of the people quoted in the case indictment but whose name was not revealed, a practice sometimes used to protect people who collaborate with police.
The accusations came as several congressmen expressed anger on talk shows yesterday over reports earlier in the weekend that Princess Haifa, the daughter of King Faisal, had indirectly sent money to two of the September 11 hijackers.
The Saudis "have played a duplicitous game, and that is they say to the terrorists, 'We'll do everything you want, just leave us alone,'" said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. "That game has got to stop."
The head of the Senate's intelligence committee also said yesterday that Saudi government ties to some September 11 hijackers "raises the stakes substantially" on the risk of terrorism in the United States.
"We don't have any reason to believe that there are not still infrastructures of support and cooperation here inside the United States facilitating the next wave of terror," Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Saudi officials confirmed yesterday that Princess Haifa, wife of Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, had written checks that were then signed over to friends and associates of two of the hijackers.
Weekend news reports, first published in Newsweek and the New York Times, told of how hijackers Khalif al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi might have received money from Princess Haifa's Washington checking account through two other persons.
According to Saudi foreign policy advisor Adel al-Jubeir, who made the rounds of news shows Saturday and yesterday, Princess Haifa sent an initial payment of $15,000, plus $2,000 monthly checks for medical treatment to a Jordanian woman with a Saudi husband living near Washington.
Mr. al-Jubeir said it was just discovered that Majeda Ibrahim Ahmed was married to Osama Basnan, whose friend, Omar al-Bayoumi, helped out the two hijackers when they lived in San Diego. Of the 19 hijackers aboard the four jetliners, 15 were Saudi citizens.
The FBI said al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi participated in the hijacking of American Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, killing 189 persons, including the five terrorists.
The fate of Mr. Majid, who had apartment links with both the princess and the members of the al Qaeda-linked cell, is not known, Mr. Brisard told AFP by telephone. The exact nature of his ties with the princess is also not known, Mr. Brisard said.
The inquiry also established that "Mansour Majid also lived in Sarasota, Florida, temporarily in 2000, when several of the 9/11 hijackers took flying lessons," Mr. Brisard said.
Three brothers of the princess have been included on a list of defendants in a case brought by a group called Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism brought before the U.S. District Court in Washington.
The princes are accused by the group of financing the attacks.
"Every day our investigation, as well as that of international police and judicial authorities, unearths evidence of financial support of al Qaeda by prominent members of the Saudi kingdom," Mr. Brisard said.
In responding to the funding charges, Mr. al-Jubeir said on ABC's "This Week" that it was "crazy" to think the princess wanted her money to go to terrorists.
"The lady who received the checks had endorsed at least one check to Mr. Bayoumi's wife and several to her husband, Mr. Osama Basnan," Mr. al-Jubeir said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"People are outraged that somebody would try to attach Princess Haifa's name to probably the most heinous crime ever committed against man as a terrorist act. People are outraged," Mr. al-Jubeir said.
He said the princess is a mother and grandmother, who has "raised tens of millions of dollars for charitable causes."
"In a desire to help people, she helped someone and gave them money. The person turned out to be not the person she thought she was, and this person endorsed checks over to someone else."
Mr. Basnan, Mrs. Ahmed and Mr. Bayoumi have all left the United States.
Although FBI officials say they are still investigating, Mr, al-Jubeir said the two were questioned six months ago, when they were still in this country.
He said U.S. officials have not contacted Saudi law enforcement recently and that he had "assumed that the investigation was over."
Joyce Howard Price of The Washington Times contributed to this report.

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