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October 12, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Loct LfS TATE The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 12, 2001- 5A
Trial postponed for suspicious man with Detroit ties

DETROIT (AP) - A federal court appe
ance for a man charged with fraud and mist
of visas, permits and other documents u
halted yesterday when he declined to discli
his country of origin.
Youssef Hmimssa was arrested last month
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after fake documents v
his photo and an alias were found in a Detr
house the FBI raided while looking for a mi
wanted for questioning in the terrorism inve
gation.
A grand jury in Detroit indicted Hmimssa
charges of fraud and misuse of visas, pern
and other documents; and fraud related to id
tification documents.
Detroit -
man jailed
,ntil next
hearing
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Detroit
man appeared in federal court yes-
terday to face charges that he fraud-
ulently obtained a commercial
Pennsylvania driver's license from a
state examiner who allegedly
accepted bribes.
Fadhil Al-Khaledy was ordered
jailed until a detention hearing this
morning before U.S. Magistrate
Robert Mitchell.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda
Kelly said she planned to ask the
judge to jail Al-Khaledy until he is
tried.
Prosecutors may only ask for pre-
trial detention if they believe a
defendant is likely to flee prosecu-
tion or a danger to the community.
Kelly didn't say why she would ask
Mitchell to detain Al-Khaledy.
Al-Khaledy is one of 20 men of
Middle Eastern descent arrested
late last month for allegedly obtain-
ing the licenses - 18 of which
would have allowed them to trans-
port hazardous or explosive materi-
als - amid concerns about possible
terrorist attacks involving chemical
or biological weapons.
Federal authorities have since
"I need to be
released under any
bond ... because I
have a business."
- Fadhil AI-Khaledy
Defendant

He also has been indicted in Chicago, where
the Secret Service said he went by the name
Patrick Vuillaume and was involved in a com-
plex credit card fraud scheme.
At the Detroit hearing yesterday, he con-
firmed his name is Youssef Hmimssa. He also
told U.S. Magistrate Virginia Morgan that he is
30 years old.
When asked his country of origin,
Hmimssa's attorney told the judge that he
needed to meet with his client, who he said had
been in Michigan for less than 24 hours.
Morgan said arraignment for Hmimssa
would be rescheduled for next week.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino

would not say where Hmimssa was being held.
According to federal documents filed in
Chicago, Hmimssa used up to 400 illegally
obtained credit card numbers to make purchas-
es at places such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart
and Red Lobster, causing more than $40,000 in
losses.
Hmimssa, who authorities say was known by
at least four aliases, also used a false Romanian
passport and other documents to obtain an Illi-
nois photo identification card, federal docu-
ments allege. He also illegally possessed a
Czech handgun, the documents said.
Authorities say two other suspects who also
had federal court hearings scheduled in Detroit

yesterday have possible ties to Hmimssa.
Karim Koubriti, 23, and Ahmed Hannan, 33,
were detained Sept. 17 by FBI agents who
were searching the Detroit house where visas
and other documents they believe belonged to
H~nimssa were found. One of Hmimssa's alias-
es, Michael Saisa, appeared on some of the
papers agents seized.
Koubriti and Hannan said they knew him
only as "Jilali." They have been charged with
fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other
documents; and fraud in connection with iden-
tity documents and information.
During the raid, the federal agents said they
also found a planner with handwriting in Ara-

bic. The planner included information about an
American base in Turkey, the "American for-
eign minister," and Alia Airport in Jordan,
according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal
court in Detroit.
Agents had gone to the house looking for
Nabil Al-Marabh, who was on the FBI's
"watch list" of people they wanted to contact
about the terror attacks.
Al-Marabh later was arrested outside Chica-
go on an Immigration and Naturalization Ser-
vice request and a Massachusetts warrant
issued in March, charging him with a probation
violation involving a stabbing. He was trans-
ferred to New York for questioning.

The ghost of Angell Hall

Former president Ford
praises Bush policies

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) - Former President
Ford praised the Bush administration for its reac-
tion to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Ford returned to his hometown to celebrate the
20th anniversary of the Amway Grand Plaza
Hotel. He remarked Wednesday that he was
impressed with the decisions President Bush and
his advisers have made, The Grand Rapids Press
reported.
"I totally support the program outlined by the
president," Ford said. "I equally support the
actions they have taken. They have responded
with measured, specific military policies. They
are looking down the road as to what can be the
next responsible step."
Ford was no stranger to conflict during his
presidency. But those troubles, Ford said, don't
compare to the ones facing Bush.
"I don't relish the responsibilities that Presi-
dent Bush has," Ford said. "I think he has done
very well, but it's a different ballgame.
"Our problem diplomatically and militarily
was dealing with another superpower. And our
problem was what should we do about nuclear
weapons. We had a known enemy.
"The current situation is quite different. We
have no real, solid target. You may have 20 of
them, you may have more than that. We have a

different kind of enemy."
Ford said he was worried about the lack of
progress toward lasting peace in the Middle East.
"When I look at what they're negotiating about
today, they're really not fundamentally different
issues (from 25 years ago). We seem to make
progress on a step-to-step basis, but then we slow
down or stop.
"I was always hopeful there could have been
future progress in the Middle East and not leave
us where we are today. I am disappointed that
today, 25 years later, we still have the kinds of
problems."
In a speech to guests at the anniversary dinner,
Ford said he found hope in the reaction of Ameri-
cans since the attacks.
"Overnight we were transformed," he said.
"Petty rivalries were forgotten ... Patriotism has
swallowed up partisanship. America has never
been more united that she is now."
Part of the evening also was devoted to cele-
brating the 20th anniversary of the Gerald R.
Ford Museum, which opened the same week as
the hotel.
"It is in no way a personal monument," Ford
said. "I expressed the wish that it would be a
dynamic, constantly changing museum, and we
are achieving that role."

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Students study yesterday on the steps and benches in the atrium of Angell Hall, one of the
University's oldest buildings.

said they found po link between the
alleged scam and the Sept. 11 ter-
rorist attacks.
The men were arrested in Penn-
sylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Mis-
souri, Tennessee, Texas and
Washington state.
Al-Khaledy has been in federal
custody since he was arrested Sept.
27 after federal prosecutors in
Chicago objected to his being
released on bond. Al-Khaledy was
arrested at O'Hare International
Airport after arriving on a Royal
Jordanian jetliner from Shannon,
Ireland.
Al-Khaledy didn't speak about
his charges at yesterday's hearing,
but told Mitchell he hasn't been
able to contact his family to hire an
attorney of his choice since his
arrest.
"I need to be released under any
bond ... because I have a business,"
Al-Khaledy said. He told the mag-
istrate he owns a janitorial business
from which he makes about $6,000
a month.
Randall Samborn, a spokesman
for the U.S. Attorney's Office in
Chicago, said Al-Khaledy waived
his right to a detention hearing
there.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney
Lawrence Beaumont told a federal
magistrate in Chicago, before Al-
Khaledy waived the hearing Sept.
28, that he intended to prove Al-
Khaledy was a flight risk and dan-
ger to the community.
After that proceeding before U.S.
Magistrate Arlander Keys, Al-
Khaledy's court-appointed defense
attorney told reporters he believed
the government was trying to asso-
ciate Al-Khaledy "with some ter-
rorism - that's pretty obvious to
me.
Attorney Standish Willis, of
Chicago, said Al-Khaledy is a U.S.
citizen and has a family in Detroit.
Al-Khaledy told Mitchell yesterday
that he has a wife and no children,
but does have other family mem-
bers he wishes to contact.

I

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