By a Staff Writer
Saturday 24 August 2002
Last Update 24 August 2002 12:00 am
JEDDAH, 24 August — Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed has denied his son Saud had ties with the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 terror attacks as alleged by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"Everyone knows that Saud is innocent and that the information published (by the FBI) is baseless," Abdul Aziz told Al-Yaum newspaper yesterday.
He said his 21-year-old son left for a holiday in Egypt three days before the FBI alert was launched but that he was now back in Riyadh.
"I asked him to come back fearing he might be arrested," the father said, vowing to work with the Saudi authorities to establish his son’s innocence.
Saud Al-Rasheed spent one year in Afghanistan "to take part in charity activities" before returning to Saudi Arabia "four months after the September attacks," he said, adding that the photo of his son released by the FBI was genuine.
The FBI has said that it was not sure whether Saud was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. "Security authorities are not sure whether Saud had any role in the Sept. 11 attacks," Saudi daily Al-Watan quoted the FBI deputy director as saying. However, he said FBI agents wanted to question the Saudi youth.
The FBI on Tuesday released a passport photo of Saud Al-Rasheed and said it considered him armed and dangerous.
The bureau is seeking Saud following the Sept. 11 investigation. The investigation revealed that Saud bore a Saudi passport No. C161433, issued in Riyadh in May 2000. Saud is the 15th person sought in connection with the attacks.
According to Al-Hayat newspaper, there are six Saudis with the name of Saud Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed.
One of them arrived at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh on Thursday from Cairo, but his passport number was different from the one given in the FBI report.
The Arabic daily said it believed the passport might have been forged, if there was no error in transferring information.
According to a Council of American Islamic Relations study more than half of the seven million Muslims living in the US have been victim of discrimination after the Sept.11 attacks.