WASHINGTON — The baby array of men had been blind out in the parking lot aing to the Arlington, Va., Department of Motor Vehicles appointment for at atomic four months, allowance anyone who bare it–usually actionable immigrants–get a driver’s authorization or a accompaniment identification agenda for a baby fee, usually $100 or less.
So it wasn’t abnormal when, on Aug. 2, they were approached by “three Arab males” in a van gluttonous their services. The men in the parking lot led the men in the van to a lawyer’s appointment and swore to their accompaniment residency. The men in the van again alternate to the DMV with the paperwork and calmly got Virginia identification cards.
This description, provided in a afresh appear FBI affidavit, shows how a Virginia law–which accustomed about anyone to affirm to a person’s accompaniment abode so that actuality could get accompaniment identification–apparently enabled at atomic three of the men doubtable of actuality amid the Sept. 11 hijackers to pay a drifter about $80 anniversary to advice them get IDs. The suspects are believed to accept approved the abstracts to accomplish airport check-in easier for the bedevilled flights.
The affirmation is the aboriginal adumbration that suspects from three of the four hijacked planes were in the Washington breadth on the aforementioned day.
It additionally offers an archetype of how the hijackers allegedly confused advisedly about the country to booty advantage of a check of regulations that alter from accompaniment to state. In Florida, area several of the doubtable hijackers operated, admiral are belief changes to aegis that state’s driver’s authorization system.
The Virginia law was afflicted Friday. That had been planned afore the attacks, because accompaniment admiral begin that the arrangement had connected been abused in cases of clearing fraud.
Until the law was changed, Virginia was one of the few states in the nation that did not crave applicants to appearance an electric bill, charter or added affirmation that they lived in the state. Likewise, applicants did not accept to present a authorization or added character documents.
Instead, applicants could accommodate a notarized abode anatomy co-signed by a Virginia citizen or a notarized character anatomy co-signed by a lawyer.
“The bureau has been administering an all-encompassing analysis of our absolute account of adequate documents,” said Virginia DMV backer Pam Gaheen. “This has been activity on back the alpha of the year. Our ambition all forth was to annihilate the use of these forms.”
Thousands Accept Exploited Law
In August, in fact, about a dozen people, including a arctic Virginia abettor public, were bedevilled in a case that apparent a advancing actionable bazaar in Virginia driver’s licenses and ID cards for undocumented immigrants. Thousands of actionable immigrants had exploited the law, alike admitting abounding lived as far abroad as New York and Massachusetts.
At atomic one of the men who allegedly helped accommodate IDs to the doubtable hijackers, Herbert Villalobos, has been answerable by the FBI in a bent complaint with accouterment apocryphal documents. Authorities said Villalobos, who acclimated the alias Oscar Diaz, is actuality bedfast in an bearding location.
The FBI affidavit, fabricated accessible beforehand this week, quotes Brian Weidner, a appropriate abettor based in Washington, who agitated out the investigation, and based his case abundantly on affirmation provided by a arcane witness, referred to as “CW-1.” CW-1 is a affiliate of the arrangement that helped bodies get affected IDs.
“CW-1 declared that he has provided this account to about 100 bodies during the accomplished four months, and receives about $100 per individual,” according to the FBI affidavit.
“CW-1 declared that he and addition Hispanic macho he knew as ‘Herbert’ went to the van, and agreed to abetment the three Arab males,” the affirmation continued. “According to CW-1, he and Herbert again collection to an attorney’s appointment in Herbert’s car, with the Arab males afterward in the van.”
When they arrived, all the men went into a cat-and-mouse allowance area a changeable agent completed the forms. Neither the advocate nor the secretary is articular by name in the affidavit.
In the affidavit, Weidner said that back he after interviewed the secretary, she articular at atomic two of the doubtable hijackers from photographs as accepting been in the appointment that day. She additionally articular the FBI informant, CW-1.
When apparent a photograph of the absolute Oscar Diaz–whose name and abode allegedly were acclimated by Villalobos to access the paperwork–“the woman did not admit him at all,” the affirmation said.
There is some abashing in the affirmation over the adjustment of events, and the cardinal of doubtable hijackers involved. CW-1 talks about three Arab men, admitting at atomic four doubtable hijackers accept been affiliated to accomplishing business at the DMV that day.
According to the affidavit, Villalobos–whom Weidner begin aing to the aforementioned DMV appointment CW-1 had declared earlier–told him that he initially resisted allowance the men, adage he could “get into a lot of trouble.”
Weidner said that Villalobos was apparent photographs of several individuals doubtable of actuality complex in the hijackings. From these photographs, he articular several of the suspects, including Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhamzi, Majed Moqed, and Abdulaziz Alomari as all accepting been at the Arlington DMV on Aug. 2.
Hanjour, Moqed and Alhamzi are three of the men believed to accept commandeered American Airlines Flight 77, which bashed into the Pentagon. Alomari is one of the doubtable hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, which comatose into one of the accompanying building of the World Trade Center in New York.
“These identifications were after accepted by Virginia DMV annal . . . , ” the affirmation said.
Times agents biographer Lisa Getter contributed to this report.
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