RIYADH, 25 October — The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States
yesterday arrested a Saudi student, Khaled Sami Hussein, 22, who is studying
computer science in a Santa Monica college. He was picked up from the campus and
no reason has been given for the arrest.
His stepfather Muhammad Al-Reefi said that Khaled had called him up two days
ago and said that several Saudi students, some his friends, had been arrested
and later released after interrogations. “And he too feared being arrested as he
(Khaled) had seen plainclothes police following him for some days now,” Al-Reefi
Khaled went to the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and expressed his fears to
officials there. They told him not to worry and if at all the US authorities
took him in, then it would be only a routine matter and advised him to cooperate
with the police.
Two days ago Khaled ran to his college when he saw his stalkers trying to
catch him. He thought they were some Arab bashers. When he arrived at the
college the police arrested him and they have set a bail of $500,000 for his
release, said Al-Reefi. The embassy has appointed an attorney to defend Khaled.
Al-Reefi denied that Khaled had any connection with the suspected hijackers or
any other terrorists.
Meanwhile, the central bank of the United Arab Emirates admitted yesterday
that about $100,000 transferred from the state to Florida could be linked to the
Sept. 11 suicide hijackers.
Central Bank Governor Sultan ibn Nasser Al-Suwaidi said the money went from
an exchange house in the emirate of Sharjah to a bank in Florida. “There were
some transfers of money last year and this year,” he said, and when pressed for
details added there had been four transactions over six months last year and
But he did not disclose the name of the exchange house or the exact amount
involved. The Los Angeles Times has reported that two of the suspected
hijackers, Muhammad Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, the latter a UAE national, held
bank accounts with Citibank and HSBC in the UAE before going to the United
Suwaidi told a press conference that if the United States had granted visas
to the pair to allow them to follow training courses there, the UAE should not
be blamed for dealing with them. Several Arab suspects are believed to have
undergone flight training in Florida. However, as Al-Suwaidi sought to distance
the UAE from any wrongdoing, the press conference ended in confusion. The names
of the suspicious accounts in the local branches of Citibank and HSBC were only
similar to the names of the hijackers, Al-Suwaidi said.