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RESPONSE TO TERROR | IRAQI THREAT : IN BRIEF / VIRGINIA

Man Accused of Helping Bin Laden Contact Get ID

November 20, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An Indonesian man named in FBI documents as a contact for suspected airline hijacker Mohamed Atta was arrested and charged with helping obtain Virginia identification, using false information, for another man listed in the same documents as a contact for Osama bin Laden.

Agus Budiman appeared before a U.S. magistrate in Alexandria, Va., on a criminal complaint charging him with helping Mohammad Bin Nasser Belfas obtain a Virginia driver's license.

Both Budiman and Belfas are among 370 names included on a detailed FBI list of people sought for questioning in the investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Budiman is identified on the list as a U.S. contact person for Atta, the presumed ringleader of the 19 hijackers. Belfas is identified as a contact person for Bin Laden, the prime U.S. suspect in the attacks. No charges against Belfas have been made public, and his whereabouts could not be learned.

The complaint alleges Budiman helped Belfas obtain a Virginia identification card by certifying Nov. 4, 2000, that he and Belfas both lived at an Arlington address. Neither of the men actually lived there, the complaint said, but Belfas later used the card to obtain a Virginia driver's license.

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