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Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Saudi FBI suspect 'surrenders'
FBI officers in Florida shortly after the 11 Sept attacks
The FBI says it acted on new evidence
A Saudi Arabian man wanted by the FBI as a suspected associate of the 11 September hijackers has voluntarily surrendered, his father says.

Abdulaziz Saudi al-Rasheed says his son, Saud, went to the Saudi Interior Ministry on Thursday, two days after the FBI issued a worldwide alert calling for his arrest.


He confirmed to me he had no relations with any terror group... specifically al-Qaeda or the Taleban

Abdulaziz Saudi al-Rasheed
The US authorities - acting on what they called recently acquired information - said the 21-year-old was armed and dangerous.

Mr al-Rasheed denied the FBI's claims, saying his son had no links with terror groups and had never visited the United States or Europe.

He said he was concerned for Saud's safety.

Mr al-Rasheed said his son had learned that he was wanted when he was in Egypt and had immediately returned to Riyadh.

The Saudi authorities have not commented on the case.

Mr al-Rasheed, who works for the Saudi Red Crescent, told the Associated Press news agency that he was confident of his son's innocence.

"He has never held a gun in his life," he said.

Charity work

Mr al-Rasheed said that Saud had been in Afghanistan carrying out humanitarian work for "fellow Muslims", but had returned to Saudi Arabia long before the 11 September attacks.

"He confirmed to me he had no relations with any terror group there, specifically al-Qaeda or the Taleban regime," he said.

Saud al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed's picture was posted on the FBI's website
The FBI posted Saud's photograph on its website, saying that it had turned up with pictures of some of the hijackers in material examined recently.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. All had entered the US legally but three had overstayed their visas.

Mr al-Rasheed said he believed his son's picture might have reached the US via Pakistani authorities, possibly from his visa application or from his passport.

Conspiracy denied

In a separate development, a man arrested in the US last week on suspicion of having provided false identity papers to two of the hijackers has pleaded innocent at a preliminary court hearing.

Mohamed el-Atriss - a naturalised US citizen of Egyptian origin - was detained by customs officials after his return from Egypt, where he fled last month to avoid arrest.

No federal charges have been filed against him but authorities in Passaic County, New Jersey, have charged him with conspiracy and manufacturing and distributing fake documents.

A judge at Passaic County Superior Court set bail at $250,000 and a grand jury must decide if there is sufficient evidence to indict Mr el-Atriss.


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21 Aug 02 | Americas
01 Aug 02 | Americas
24 Jul 02 | Americas
20 Jul 02 | Americas
17 Jul 02 | Americas
22 Nov 01 | South Asia
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